Sunday, October 28, 2007


The regular cook was sick so my sous chef (represented here) graciously pitched in to cook for someone (me) who was sick onto death. Well, at least in no shape to cook. Unfortunately, we have different ideas on what constitute condiments for the food. Seasoning salt, in my opinion, is not a fit taste to use liberally in food preparation. We since have had IM conversations about the (in my opinion) proper way to cook Egg Mess.

All this makes me wonder about ghostwriters and their clients. Yes, there is a writing angle! Are the clients satisfied or do they complain about the seasoning? Is it the client's true story or the hired writer's tale? I wonder this as I am thankful for my sous chef pitching in at the last minute when I was not cogent enough to deliver one of my favourite dishes. It is something to ponder on those windy Canadian days when I'm imbibing a hot cup of Oolong tea and perusing my recipe books. Hmmm... Hobbit Shire Soup doesn't look that bad.

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Friday, October 26, 2007


The Vegetable Stirfry with Tofu Croquettes was delicious. My sous chef says that I put in too much corn and carrots but what does he know? I'm a better cook than him.

Tomorrow: Egg Mess and Toast! Yum.... My food critics adore this hardy staple of very few ingredients and non-meat protein. For the vegans out there who think of eggs as meat, pffft. You aren't getting enough B12 for your brains so you can't appreciate the value of eggs.

All this cooking has me jazzed. I'm currently revising a children's picture book about Canadian animal life. I figure if deer can eat eggs (and sometimes birds), then nothing should prevent me from eating chicken eggs. Will post how the cooking (and writing) progresses.

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Monday, October 22, 2007


I have been taking a hiatus from the blog to work on culinary skills. I find that if I can't work with writer's block, then a little innovation in other areas helps.

Canadian Thanksgiving was superb. I made vegan gluten free dressing with brown rice bread with almond and cashew nut butter gravy. My sous chef made homemade chips. There was a bowl of canned cranberry jelly, and pears for the sides.

Tonight I made Bean without Bacon soup, a vegan spin on a classic fall comfort food. Served again with more cranberry jelly, and potatoes, it was a comforting rustic meal.

Tomorrow, I make my standby Vegie Stirfry with Tofu Croquettes.

All this has inspired me to send out an article on Plains Native American tribes to a history magazine geared toward middle school grades. Will let my readers know if my conquests as a culinarian translate to the published page.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

ça m'amuse

A struggling author, David Lassman, recently proved how difficult it was get published as a first time author. He submitted chapters of Jane Austen novels to various literary agents and publishers (including some very big names) and all but one rejected the manuscripts.

Well, who wouldn't reject a manuscript from Jane Austen? Despite the Beeb's television series, the various and sundry movies of her novels and about her, Jane Austen is dull. She is overly mannerly and correct. There are no surprises or major conflicts in Austen novels, just irritating lapses in etiquette. Charlotte Brontë described Austen's petit point screeds in accurate terms.

Letter of April 12th 1850 to W.S. Williams:

"I have likewise read one of Miss Austen's works,Emma -- read it with interest and with just the degree of admiration which Miss Austen herself would have thought sensible and suitable -- anything like warmth or enthusiasm, anything energetic, poignant, or heartfelt, is utterly out of place in commending these works: all such demonstrations the authoress would have met with a well bred sneer, would have calmly scorned as outré and extravagant. She does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well; there is a Chinese fidelity, a miniature delicacy in the painting: she ruffles her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound: the Passions are perfectly unknown to her; she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy Sisterhood; even to the Feelings she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but distant recognition; too frequent converse with them would ruffle the smooth elegance of her progress."

Charlotte, be it noted, grew up with a kickass younger sister. Emily could shoot a pistol. The more youthful Brontë also made a tidy livelihood from railroad stocks. None of your mincing, faint-of-heart Austen mollycoddles for the Brontë clan when they wrote of their heroines. The sisters gave literature Catherine Earnshaw and Jane Eyre. Both characters had more spirit than, well, I can't recall any of Austen's lead women. They are not memorable as the plain Jane with her mysterious Rochester or Catherine with the brooding Heathcliff. Perhaps, someone ought to try the same experiment with a Brontë novel and see if publishers recognize such.

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If my words, like leaves,
should scatter through the world,
would that I might leave behind
the name that was mine
in the unforgettable days of old.

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