Monday, April 30, 2012

His Art

He walked out on stage. There it was! The flash of the spotlight as it hit him; the thunder of applause!

Oh my God...THE RUSH... Fear. Joy. Panic. Mind-blowing-exhilaration.

These were his people. This was his moment. No matter how many times he did this, he always poured every ounce of himself into this - his art. His gift to the world.

"Met her on a Monday, and my heart stood still.
Da-do-ron-ron-ron. Da-do-ron-ron."


I have written this as part of this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.

Click on the link and take a look! Its a lot of fun, and a great group of people :)


Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Gift

SASHA: I got a present for the landlady! I don't have to get her anything, but ... She's coming soon; I'm going to leave it on the front step and hide around the corner!

JULIET: My God, Sasha is such a kiss up! This place is a dump and the food sucks. The landlady should consider herself lucky to have us. Sasha should give me that instead.

EMILY (THE LANDLADY) PULLS UP - TALKING ON HER PHONE: Oh My GOD!! I know. I know, but I have to go now! The cats left another headless mouse on the steps! Sasha!! Juliet!!

I'm entering this little story into the Trifextra Writing Challenge. Check it out - its a lot of fun!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekend Cooking - Meyer Lemons!

You know what they say about too much of a good thing... I was at the grocery store three days ago, and they were practically GIVING away the Meyer lemons - 6 for $1.49! I wanted to buy all 30 or so bags, but since it was produce I restrained myself and bought 4 bags, for 24 total lemons. Let's look at them (for no reason - I just think they are pretty!)
At first, I had fantasies about lemon curd and marmalade, but I discovered they were selling them so cheaply because they were starting to get a little soft - still good, but they could not wait around until I had time. So, I made up a recipe for two kinds of Meyer lemon popsicles! They turned out really well, so I am going to share the recipe with you. You obviously do not need to make such a huge batch - the recipe is very easy to divide. But, this allowed me to juice and freeze the lemons so that I did not lose them!

This post was written as part of Weekend Cooking over at Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to head over to Beth Fish Reads, grab the button, and link up anytime over the weekend.  (The button is on your right...)

First, I made a simple syrup with 2 cups of sugar and two cups of water. (Again, you can use one cup of each if you have fewer lemons...) I brought this to a boil on the stove, watching it and giving it a stir now and then. You can see when the sugar is dissolved. At that point you can remove it from the heat and give it a few more stirs and set it somewhere to cool.

Meanwhile you can be squeezing the lemons. Mine were very seedy, so you will have to strain the juice. When the syrup is cool, mix it at a 1:1 ratio -- in other words, one cup of syrup for every cup of juice. Now you have Meyer Lemon Concentrate.

So, I did two different things with the Meyer Lemon Concentrate. They both turned out - but the second one was GREAT, and the first was just pretty good.

For the first type of popsicles, you just mix one cup of water to one cup of concentrate and fill up the molds. For the second (WONDERFUL) type of popsicles, mix one cup of concentrate to one cup of plain Greek yogurt. At first the mixture will look alarming and curdled, but just keep stirring with a fork and it will blend nicely. Add to molds.

And, that is really it! I only had two sets of pretty small molds. But, the concentrate can be kept in the fridge for about three days or so, and that way you can mix up and freeze batches of popsicles and put them in individual zip lock bags.

Note that I did not use the plastic sticks that come with the molds. They are too short and they pull right out when you try to release the popsicles from the molds. I just got a package of sticks. To keep them from tipping over I cover the top of the molds with foil and put a little slit in their with a knife. To release the frozen popsicles, I run hot water over the bottoms of the molds until they release. You do not want to pull really hard on the sticks...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trifecta Writing Challenge - Confidence

I remember sitting there at my desk. Second row halfway between the door and window. We had just come back from lunch. Mrs. Shepard gave us each two worksheets and we settled in to do them.

Then, the first mother came to the door. She gave Mrs. Shepard a little wave, and the two of them talked in the hallway. We could see them through the tall, narrow window in the door to our classroom. Of course, it was not a big deal. Mothers came and picked kids up early for doctor's appointments and things all the time.

Mrs. Shepard stuck her head in and called one of the kids from our class. He left with his mother.

A few minutes passed and another mother came. And, then another, and another. Each time Mrs. Shepard would go out and talk before that mother's child was called. You could tell that the mothers were telling Mrs. Shepard something in confidence and she would come back in tight-lipped, but cool and calm.

Then, Debbie Ballucci's mother came to the door. I can still see her! She had on a lavender sweatsuit and those really big, wide curlers on the top of her head that women used to wear. Mrs. Ballucci did not do that signaling thing that the other mothers did. She gave a cursory knock and then opened the classroom door as Mrs. Shepard rushed toward her.

"They're shooting the kids out there!" she cried, out of breath and red-faced.

Mrs. Shepard moved toward her quickly as she was talking and kind of forced her out the door. As they stood talking in the hallway, the other kids sitting among the empty desks and I looked at one another in confusion. But, we were not supposed to talk.

I started on my second worksheet. I wrote my name: Libby Myers. I wrote the date: May 4, 1970.

Go to my Facebook Page to sign the petition to re-open the case based on new evidence that has emerged. One of the victim's sisters is heading it up.

I am linking this story to up for the Trifecta Writing Challenge! You should give it a try! Today we had to use the word "confidence."

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday

I am reading "Heartland: The Cookbook," by Judith Fertig. I am actually reading the cookbook instead of just using it as a reference for finding recipes, because Fertig has written a lot more than recipes. The book includes a lot of really interesting information about the foods common in the Midwestern United States. She explains how settlers from different parts of Europe brought certain traditions with them and then adapted them to their new surroundings.

Anyway, I was just enjoying the book, and not encountering any challenging vocabulary until I came to page 198 and found a recipe for "Heartland Daube with White Cheddar Polenta." Daube? What the heck is Daube?

I scanned the list of ingredients to see whether there was any Daube in there. Nope. So, I read the recipe. No clues.

Finally, I just looked it up ;)

Here is what Wiki says: "Daube is a classic Provencal (or more broadly, French[1]) stew made with inexpensive beef braised[2] in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbes de Provence, and traditionally cooked in a daubière,[1] a braising pan." I got the picture of the daubiere from Wiki, as well. So, daube is basically a beef stew cooked in wine using the pictured pot. This recipe calls for it to be served over polenta - which I think would be good!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted at We talk about and share new words that we have come across in our reading - go over to WWW and check it out!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Titanic Cookies - Weekend Cooking

When you hear "Titanic Cookies," does it make you think of really big cookies? If so, there are a bunch of cool pictures of Titanic Cookies at Sweet Paul Mag - follow the link :) But, if Titanic Cookies make you think of cookies that were eaten during the Titanic (ship) era, then stay tuned!

This post was written as part of Weekend Cooking over at Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to head over to Beth Fish Reads, grab the button, and link up anytime over the weekend.  (The button is on your right...)

As you may recall, in my last exciting Weekend Cooking update, I had gotten a book called "Movie Menus," and I was going to use it to find something era-appropriate for the kids and I to munch on while watching "Titanic."

I ended up going with 'Queen Victoria's Cherry-Almond Cookies.' Here is the recipe and the information and fun movie quotes that are also on the page with the recipe! The photos are of me following along.


"I am Queen Victoria, and I am very big in England."
Peter Sellers, The Great McConagall, 1974.

Queen Victoria had a passion for cherries. Charles Francatelli, her chef, invented these buttery, light cherry cookies, as well as cherries jubilee to celebrate the queen's diamond jubilee in 1897. The dough for these delicious cookies keeps for several days in the fridge, so these are a great make-ahead treat.
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
8 Tablespoons (stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup very finely chopped almonds
pinch of salt
confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. (Libby's note - later in the recipe they are going to tell you to refrigerate the dough for at least half an hour, so it is really too early to start preheating.)

2. Grind the cherries and granulated sugar in the food processor until the cherries are finely chopped. (Libby's note - Just for fun, I decided not to use equipment that they would not have had on the Titanic. So, I did everything by hand.)
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the cherry-sugar mixture and blend until well-combined. turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and shape into a log about 3/4 inches in diameter. Roll it on the counter to smooth the edges. Chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
4. When ready to bake, slice the dough into 1/3 inch slices and place 1 inch apart on a lined baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before removing.
5. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
Now, for the $64,000 question...did we like them? Well, that evening, they were good, but not spectacular. But, for some reason, the next day they were really, REALLY good. Like a cross between high-quality shortbread and pecan sandies. Does anyone know why? Normally baked goods do not improve with say the least.

By the way, I just launched my first(!) meme/challenge thing! It is called the 2012 Book Pilgrimage. You can read more about it on the actual post, but basically I am putting this up because people are planning summer vacations now, and I thought it would be great that if people either went to literary destinations OR read books based in cities/countries to which they were traveling, it would be fun to link all our Book Pilgrimages together! The post explains that this does not require extensive or exotic travel - unless you were already planning to do that!

Golda Lox and the Three Bubbas

Once upon a time, there was a quality smoked fish product named Golda Lox. Now, Golda was a wild-caught salmon; she was not farm-raised. So, she was always running around, getting into trouble, doing things that she was not supposed to do.

One day she was walking through the neighborhood, and she noticed that someone had left their door wide open! From where she stood on the sidewalk, she could see that on the kitchen table, there were three bowls of cream cheese.

She went into the house, walked up to the first bowl, and gave it a taste. Oy Vey! Some Firshtinkiner had put pineapple in there!

Shaking her head, she went to the second bowl. She peered into the bowl, and shuddered a bit, and then walked away without a taste. That cream cheese had had a bit of green mold around the edges!

She walked over to the third bowl, and looked in with a bit of hesitation, having had the first two bad experiences. But, this...THIS...was cream cheese! Smooth, creamy, and white. She scooped up the bowl and went into the next room.

In the living room, predictably, were three bagels. These were large bagels, big enough for Golda Lox. Boldly, she walked over to the first, and biggest, bagel and folded herself down onto it. No. It was uncomfortable. It had clearly done some hard time in the toaster.

Sighing, she got up and slid over to the second, medium-sized bagel, and plopped down on it. They had the nerve to call this a BAGEL?!? This one was so soft that she sunk into it, and had a bit of trouble extricating herself.

When she finally got up she had become weary, and she dragged herself over to the final bagel. It was smaller than the others, but not too small. Gingerly, she tried it was just right! She started spreading the cream cheese onto it with a butter knife that just happened to be leaning against an adjacent wall.

When she finished, she spread out on the bagel and cream cheese and went to sleep.

Golda Lox had no way of knowing it, but she had wandered into, and was at this moment asleep in, the house of the three bubbas (Yiddish word for "grandmothers."). But, a few minutes after she had fallen asleep they returned.

She did not hear them, as they clucked and lamented over the mess in the kitchen, and the fact that there had obviously been an intruder and that one of them - but which one - clearly needed to go out and find a policeman.

She slept on as the three proceeded into the living room and crowded around her. They began to talk about her, quietly at first, but soon they were talking rather loudly and with a good deal of animation. Golda slowly awakened, but she pretended to continue to sleep until she could figure out what was happening.

She listened to the conversation and realized that the three bubbas were trying to figure out whose son to marry her off to!

She sprang from her bagel and, disoriented, ran to the backdoor and not the front. The backyard was bordered by a swift river. But, that did not deter Golda Lox! Not for an instant. She jumped in and swam all the way home. Upstream.

The End

photo: I wrote this story to enter it into the Trifecta Writing Challenge! Click on this link and check it out! This week we had to put our spin on the story of Goldilocks ;) Didya like it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday - Music!

Can you stand it if I bring you something else from Les Miserables? I'm STILL reading it :) I promise that it will be interesting...

Cosette is living with her foster father, Jeam Valjean, who is away. She is playing the piano, and our author, Victor Hugo, tells us that she is playing, "the chorus from Euryanthe: Hunters Wandering in the Woods! which is perhaps the finest piece in all music."

It got my attention that Victor Hugo called this the finest piece in all music! That is pretty high praise - right? Also, I was wondering what a Euryanthe was - and that is my word for today!

While she is playing, Cosette hears someone walking outside (at night) in the garden. And, here, I think, is the difference between a good writer and a great writer, because now Hugo brings the plot of the music piece from "Euryanthe, which she is playing, into the plot of his book.

He says, "It was a hallucination produced by Weber's somber and majestic chorus, which opens before the mind startling depths, which trembles before the eye like a bewildering forest, and in which we hear the crackling of the dead branches beneath the anxious step of the hunters dimly seen in the twilight."

So, do you see what Hugo is doing? He is having Cosette play music about men walking around outside, when there is indeed, a man walking around outside! Clever!

So, of course, I looked this up(!) Turns out, according to Wiki (from which I got the above picture), that Euryanthe is an 19th century opera by Weber, about a 13th century story.

Briefly, Euryanthe (that is her name) is engaged to a man. Another man bets that he can get her to betray her fiance (nice - right?). Another woman wants the fiance for herself so she sets Euryanthe up. At this point there is a lot of running around in the woods, and in the end the other woman is found out for having framed Euryanthe and she is killed. Everyone else lives happily ever after.

One last thing...I am wondering whether the plot of Euryanthe in anyway foreshadows the plot of Les Miserables? I have never seen the play, so I do not know how this book is going to turn out. (If you know, please don't tell me in the comments!)

Oh, one last LAST thing, see the button on my top right? I am unveiling my first ever meme, challenge thing!! Push the button! It is about going to book-related locale's and blogging about it! If any of you know how to put the code in that column so people can actually "Grab the Button" please let me know - lol! Also...if there are any other problems, please tell me - I'm new :)

Here then, is the finest piece of music ever written!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted at We talk about and share new words that we have come across in our reading - go over to WWW and check it out!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Book Spine Poems!!!

April is National Poetry Month! I read somewhere about Book Spine Poetry, and I wanted to give it a try. Let me know what you think. All these books come from my parents' house. As you will see, my mother has a thing for murder mysteries! My parents and I did this together, and we had a really good time, and a lot of laughs :)

April 15 Trifextra - Second Entry

I am entering the Trifextra Writing Challenge this weekend. This time, we have 33 words to write a letter of apology - the salutation and sign off do not count! Here it is:

Dear Mr. Smith,

We are very sorry about the prescription mix up. The doctor says that your breasts should go away in seven to ten days. Here is a 20% off coupon by way of apology.

Sincerely, Acme Drugs

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another Trifextra Writing Challenge!

I am entering the Trifextra Writing Challenge this weekend. This time, we have 33 words to write a letter of apology - the salutation and sign off do not count! Here it is:

Dear Edwin,

My probation officer said I should write you a letter of apology for breaking your nose. You should try vitamins or drinking milk so you aren't so fragile. I'm just trying to help.

Sincerely, Zach

"Movie Menus," Featuring Titanic - Weekend Cooking

One hundred years ago tonight, "Titanic" hit an iceberg. Then, in the wee hours of the next morning, April 15, 1912, it sank.

The kids and I are going to watch "Titanic," the movie, tonight, and I thought it might be fun to make food from the era, or food that was actually served on the ship.

This post was written as part of Weekend Cooking over at Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to head over to Beth Fish Reads, grab the button, and link up anytime over the weekend.  (The button is on your right...)

So, my first stop was the library where I was lucky enough to find "Movie Menus," by Francine Segan." She has written a book that features menus and recipes that "go with" dozens and dozens of movies. She was able to work with so many movies by the clever way that she organized the book.

The book is divided into sections of "like" movies. Here are the categories:

*Pharaohs and Philosophers - Ancient Times
*Knights and Kings - The Middle Ages
*Shakespeare and the Renaissance
*America's Early Years
*The Wild West
*The Gilded Age
*The War Years
*Gangsters to Greasers
*Romantic Dinner for Two
*Family Movie Night

She has movies that fall into each category. For example - since this is what I was looking for - the category, "The Gilded Age," covers movies set during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, which includes the mid-and late-1800's up until the start of WWI. So, her section called the Gilded Age features menus and recipes that "go with" not only "Titanic," but also (for example) "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," and "Jane Eyre."

In this section, the author has included such recipes as, "Ginger-Lemon Ices," and "Peach Melba."

I am going to digress for a moment from my search for "Titanic" foods because I really like the section that Segan has written about the Middle Ages! At the beginning of each section of recipes and movies, she has a little write up about dining during that era. She tells us that during the Middle Ages the "no elbows on the table" rule arose because the tables were just planks on sawhorses and if you leaned on them they could fall over! She also tells us that the term "chairman" came into use during that era because he was the man that actually had a chair - everyone else sat on benches or stood!

OK, back to "Titanic." My friend, Whirly Girl, is a brand new book blogger. She has been reading Titanic books, and just reviewed a book called "The Dressmaker," that is set on the Titanic. She told me that they have actual menus from the night of the wreck.

So, of course, I googled, and I found lots and lots of information about the food that was served the last night on the Titanic. In fact, they have found first-class, second-class and steerage menus from that night! There are a lot of articles on the web right now about this.

Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley have even published a book called, "Last Dinner on the Titanic." I cannot report on it first-hand (because I don't have it!), but here is what is written about it:

From Library Journal According to Walter Lord (A Night To Remember, LJ 10/15/55), April 14 finds many "sentimentalists" re-creating the Titanic's last meals. Now, with the help of research chef McCauley, Archbold (coauthor of The Discovery of the Titanic, LJ 1/88) reveals these menus to the population at large. A handsome gift book filled with photos, graphics, and Edwardian motifs, this work will appeal to foodies, Titanic buffs, and trend seekers. The recipes, taken from all five dining room menus, include delicacies like Quail Eggs and Caviar, Lobster Thermidor, and Oysters a la Russe; even the steerage "saloon" fare is formidable by present standards. There's also advice on how to host a Titanic dinner party complete with wardrobe and table-setting ideas, helping diners to feel like an Astor at the captain's table. With renewed interest and marketing of things Titanic in anticipation of the much-publicized film and Broadway musical (this year marks the 85th anniversary of the disaster), this book is surely the tip of the iceberg.?David Nudo, "Library Journal"

I still do not know what I am going to make for tonight(!) but there is certainly a lot of information out there! And, I still have "Movie Menus," which can be used for a lot more stay home "dinner and a movie" nights!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Once I figured out what was going on with the following passage from "Les Miserables," I ended up thinking it was hysterically funny! See what you think :)

"Cosette did not know what love was. She had never heard the word uttered in its earthly form. In the books of profane music which came into the convent, amour was replaced by tambour, or Pandour. This made puzzles which exercised the imagination of the great girls, such as; Oh! how delightful is the tambour! or; Pity is not a Pandour! But Cosette had left while yet too young to be much concerned about the "tambour." She did not know, therefore, what name to give to what she now experienced. Is one less sick for not knowing the name of the disease?"

OK, so the nuns don't want the girls singing songs about passionate love, so for the word, "amour," they substitute rhyming words. They use the words "tambour" and "Pandour." So what do those two words actually mean?

Tabour has several meanings, but I think the one meant here is a type of drum (think "tambourine.").

A Pandour is what is shown in today's picture. It/he is, according to, "... one of an 18th-century force of Croatian soldiers in the Austrian service, notorious for their brutality [via French from Hungarian pandur, from Croat: guard, probably from Medieval Latin banderius summoner, from bannum ban1]." (Note about Pandour...if you google the word, you will see that there was a famous body-builder named Bobby Pandour. The internet is full of pictures of him in nothing but a fig leaf. So, when I first googled the word, I was confused and thought, "THIS is what the nuns had the little girls singing about?!?!?"

Which brings us back to our Les Mis quote...Hugo said that the great (or older) girls were puzzled. I would say so! The nuns had them substituting the words for "drum" and brutal foreign soldiers for the word "amour" in songs. The songs must have sounded completely crazy! LOL!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted at We talk about and share new words that we have come across in our reading - go over to WWW and check it out!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Cook's Journey to Japan - Weekend Cooking!

I picked up "A Cook's Journey to Japan" in my local library. It was in the cookbook section, and it looked like a winner to me because one of my favorite sub-genres is the travel cookbook. These are, of course, books where the author travels around cooking and eating and seeing the sites, and dragging us along for the ride!

Right off the bat, I have to say that after the introduction, which explained how she came to be in Japan, author Sarah Marx Feldner, did not do much travel writing, and this turned out to be pretty much a cookbook, minus a whole lot of the travel part. Having said that, it turned out to be a really good Japanese cookbook.

Feldner starts with the very basics of Japanese cooking. For example, after the introduction, the first section is called 'Useful Japanese Tools and Utensils.' This is indeed very useful for those of us accustomed only to Western cooking. She shows us things like ginger graters. She also includes beautiful photographs of basic ingredients and explains what they are and how they are used.

This post was written as part of Cookbook Sundays (button below!) and also as part of Weekend Cooking, a weekly meme hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads. Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to head over to Beth Fish Reads, grab the button, and link up anytime over the weekend.  (The button is on your right...)

Then, she gently takes us to the very basic Japanese cooking techniques. We learn to grate wasabi; make ginger juice; and shave vegetables. My runaway favorite basic technique is "Pressing Tofu." This is a means to get the excess water out - something that she says is very useful when you are going to deep-fry your tofu. So, she places a block of tofu on a large cutting board. Then she puts a small, thin board on top of that, followed by a very clean looking rock! I love the idea of cooking with rocks! I have not done that since girl scouts when we were supposed to use rocks to make an oven in our campfire and bake gingerbread (Yea, THAT really worked...).

We learn to make stocks and different kinds of rice and pickled ginger...and then on to the recipes!

You will see that I picked an oh-so-simple recipe for today. Why? Because I am doing ScriptFrenzy in the month of April! We have one month to write a script. Mine is a movie script for a romantic comedy! The bad news is that it is taking more time than I had thought that it would; the good news is that I think it is pretty good so far! Having said all that, my offering today is a quick snack, lunch or appetizer recipe! And, sometimes you need a quick recipe...I also think that this would be good to use up all that extra sticky rice that you get with Chinese take-out. You could buy some thin sliced smoked salmon and the other ingredients and turn the leftover rice into something special the next day!

So, without further ado, I bring you, "One Bite Sushi Nibbles." Here is the recipe from page 118... Makes about 8 dozen balls

1 recipe Sushi Rice
5 oz smoked salmon, sliced paper thin
Chives, cut into 1-in lengths

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon wasabi paste or freshly grated wasabi, or to taste

1. To make the Wasabi Mayo, mix the mayonnaise and wasabi together in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. With damp lightly salted hands, shape the Sushi Rice into 2-teaspoon-size balls. (I found that a 2-teaspoon Oxo Cookie Scoop is ideal for portioning the rice balls.)

3. Wrap each ball with a piece of salmon - squeeze gently to refine the shape and help make the salmon stick to the rice.

4. Dollop each ball with some of the Wasabi Mayo and decorate with the chives.

That's it!

A note about the chives...garlic chives grown wild here, so I got mine from the yard :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012


(Be sure to comment, you could win $100!!)

I start reading Sykosa, and at first, I just think its this nice little book about this nice little Japanese-American girl sitting in class at this nice little school thinking about painting her fingernails. Seriously - that is how the book starts.

And, then... And, then author Justin Ordonez, starts dropping subtle hints that something is wrong. Something happened to Sykosa - but, what? This book really snuck up on me. Because during the time that I was reading it, I would find myself thinking about it when I was driving or doing other things. I would be mulling it over, trying to put the pieces together.

Puzzle Piece 1 (from page 11): " Last year. It’s hard to discuss, and like a lot of things that’re hard to discuss, it’s pretty much the root of every issue in her life."

Puzzle Piece 2 (from page 20): "...she thinks of all the scars that are on his right hand..."

Puzzle Piece 3 (from page 21): "...last year, she overheard a girl named Donna Harly crying about rape."

Ordonez masterfully drops just the right number of clues - enough to keep you hooked - but, not enough to let you figure out the mystery of what happened to Sykosa too soon! Meanwhile, he is also spinning a good coming-of-age story about a girl and her friends. Sex and drugs and family relationships are explored and explained in, what I think, is a really realistic manner. (However, this is NOT a book for minors.)

I liked this book! Once I got into it, it had depth and complicated characters, and that mysterious thread running through it.... What happened to Sykosa?!