Fresh Hens’ Eggs and Creamy Grits in the Cookbook!

Hens Eggs and Creamy Grits in the Cookbook!

Happy New Year!

I am taking a tabletop photography class. I am learning to style food. I am not that great at it yet, because I am not willing to go to great great lengths for a shoot, yet. And, because my camera is on its very last legs! But, I am loving Grits and Eggs. My neighbor barters fresh hen’s eggs with me for bread. I have an unlimited source of bread, you see. So, I am able to bring her baked goods that delight and tickle her fancy, and she is able to give me fresh hens’ eggs, that are loving cared for and fed high quality foods. The actual eggs are even deeper orange than the photo indicates, but the photo exposure lightened them.
Grits are awesome because, corn is like crack for the brain. Pure sugar is very addictive.  If you’ve browses any corn syrup studies about rats and cocaine, like I have, you see that the rats choose corn syrup over cocaine every time. So by way of extrapolation, grits are corn, and they are like crack for my brain! I love healthy foods and all natural foods, but not at the expense of flavor. Things that have fat, and sugar in them, albeit natural and organic, tastes awesome. Don’t come looking for non-fat cooking around here! I have COOKBOOK in the title, because Christy Dorrity has accepted my recipe into her 3rd Book Bloggers’ Cookbook, Where I also review The Loom. The eggs and grits are something they would’ve probably eaten on a plantation in the South during slavery, and its my current breakfast fetish, so I decided to feature it with my book review. Also, Shella Gillus is an amazing author, and I can’t wait to see what else she may write!

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PRE RELEASE OF AWAKENING

About the Book

. . . because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth.



A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery’s family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a psychic for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn’t think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She recently moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has a best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital—and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way.


When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities.

After Aunt Avril comes to Star Valley in pursuit of a supernatural killer, people begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened.


When the janitor reveals that an ancient curse, known as a geis, has awakened deadly powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy.

A thrilling debut novel based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy rife with magic, romance, and mystery.


Awakening (The Geis, #1)

Praise for Awakening

“AWAKENING is a wonder and a delight. Christy Dorrity is a talent to watch.”

~David Farland, New York Times bestselling author of Nightingale
“I thoroughly enjoyed AWAKENING, a captivating and unique debut novel that creatively integrates Irish dance.”

~ CHRIS NAISH, Riverdance member and Creative Director of Fusion Fighters Irish dancers.

About the Author



Christy Dorrity lives in the mountains with her husband, five children, and a cocker spaniel. She grew up on a trout ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming, and is the author of The Geis series for young adults, and The Book Blogger’s Cookbooks. Christy is a champion Irish dancer and when she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.

Purchase Awakening by Christy Dorrity:
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Awakening by Christy Dorrity Cover Reveal

This is the coolest cover ever!  Can’t wait to read it

AwakeningFrontCoverSmall copy

Awakening: Book One of The Geis by Christy Dorrity
RELEASE DATE:
September 24th 2013
About Awakening. . .
. . .because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth.
A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery’s family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a clairvoyant for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn’t think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She just moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has an amazing best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital, and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way.
 When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled, janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities.
After Aunt Avril comes to the valley in pursuit of the supernatural killer that she has been chasing her entire career, people in the valley begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened. When an ancient curse, known as a geis, awakens powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy.
A thrilling first novel, Awakening is a gripping contemporary fantasy laden with magic, romance, and mystery.

Christy Dorrity lives in the mountains with her husband, five children, and a cocker spaniel. She grew up on a trout ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming, and is the author of The Book Blogger’s Cookbooks. Christy is a champion Irish dancer and when she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably trying out a new recipe in the kitchen.

Now, go stalk her-she loves being stalked.

Book Review Insomnia by J.R. Johannson Freaking Awesome!

Insomnia final

The high intensity world of Parker Chipp, a kid that can’t sleep but is compelled for some unknown anomaly to watch the dreams of the last person that he makes eye contact with, will have you feeling sleep depraved as well. Anyone knows the utter horror of not getting enough sleep, and the brutality of how that would compound night after night. I could totally sympathize with the protagonist. I loved the premise of the book and it was riveting up until the climax. The resolution fell slightly flat even with a well coordinated twist, because this book is so smart, all the characters are well rounded and vibrant, but the antagonist was a shell of a character, a little cliche, with a psychological outburst that was supposed to do the work of resolution. That may have been on purpose, but I want my villains as complex as my good guys. This honestly was one of my favorite books in this genre for almost the entire book. The author’s writing is very smart and the intricacies of the dreams and the layers, intrigued me as a reader and pushed me forward. No fluff here. It felt that the conflicts delivered breakneck speed at times and this is thrilling to the reader. Amazing Debut Novel. Much better written than most first time novels, and I love Parker Chipp, and his sidekicks and am excited that this is a series. I hope by word of mouth, this gets big, it deserves to.
Way to go J. R. Johansson!  **** Four stars

A little perspective on Carpooling

My carpool worked well and it was very helpful until this week.  A mom decided to quit the carpool without any notice, any apology, any preface.  When I questioned her I got an earful.  It had nothing to do with me, it was about things going on in her life, but she was so livid that I wanted an explanation, or further clarity, and had no time or patience for me trying to navigate through my surprise.  She left me hanging the week I was going out of town, but that conversation went south fast.  She screamed at me and told me not to push her and threatened me.  She told me it had nothing to do with me or my child, but if I wanted it to be about that, then she would gladly make it about that! (she screamed all this) I felt like I was on the school playground and someone dropped their lunch box and said you wanna give me a reason to hit you, huh huh??

NO one has ever talked to me like that before!  I mean she only knows me from the place I live and a little and from carpool. No one has treated me that bad, that I can recall, (except some girls in 8th grade who told me to go do something to myself every day and then laughed, for half a semester when I moved to a new school.)  Not even my husband scolded me that much, even when I was really really naughty!

You think maybe she’s having a bad day, but the next conversations were equally as bad.  When I questioned her, and tried to let her know that I was not fond of the conversation we had previously, she hurled an insult at me and drove off!   Yes, I am slow to get it!  I think I tried to mend the situation and it made it worse.

So anyway, here is a photo dedicated to that special individual.

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A little perspective on carpools:

Carpooling in Africa!  Seems slightly “inconvenient” .  Aren’t we spoiled jerks when we compare ourselves to the humility that abounds in other parts of the world?

A Poem about Withdrawing from Antidepressants

Rx  for Withdrawal
my brain is buzzing, twitching,
it’s chirping , zapping itching…
my ears are screeching, loudly singing
my rage is bent
it’s loud, it’s looking
it’s searching, seeking
it wants new life, through confrontation
it wants a host, no invitation,
it doesn’t need one to feed on
it just grabs the unlucky, awash in plucky,
it needs no courage
no bravado,
it claims its victims like a tornado.
the aftermath is clearly
the only evidence of what hit.
It’s not the same in this brain, anymore.
Every neurotransmission, I abhor.
I can’t take the buzzing, the fuzzing,
the looks of others.
Aren’t they my brothers?
No, clearly we are not in sync
they have other think.
I am full of thoughts and feels and guilts,
They loom large, they teeter on stilts.
Feelings rough, un-edged, really ugly…
emotions
Feelings pent up for years, four years
that the Rx was dispensed
human progress halted
for pharmaceutical convenience.
So if you think what’s best
is within a little pill
think a few more times before
you ride the thrill
of a false world
without daily dosages of strife,
before you overdose on
the luxury of avoiding life.
I thirst for freedom
from this inauthentic state
I was never full of rage or hate
I was sensitive, and sort of mean, without meaning to be
but my brain never buzzed, or fogged or fuzzed
as it does right now
trying to come clean
A month of confrontations, paranoia,
angst and rage in my wake.
Do you think I will ever willing take
another prescription?
No matter how well meaning
or eruditely prescribed?
I am not sure how I survived.
but the answer is hell, no!
P.S.
After six weeks the phantom 225 mg
still gives me grief.
I stepped down gently
only to find,
a horrible state of mind.
The worst part by far is the person I have become
I was never as bad before the antidepressant rum
Its a trick, it’s a lark, it’s I am sure
what some need.
For me it was only a monument
to impede
my progress in this life.
Yes it took away
the daily strife
and made me feel
free
But a false sense of security
ringing in my ears
ahhhhhh,
and let’s not forget
all this darned lucid poetry!
I was prescribed an antidepressant after giving birth to my second child.  I came down with Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia pain syndrome and so my midwife prescribed an antidepressant to help control the joint and muscle pain and severe fatigue, which it did, and give me some pep in my step which it did.  It then stopped working after 4 years or so I was put on a different medication.  Then one day I wondered why I was still on it, the side effects were sometimes worse than the actual issues.  So one day I decided to stop taking it.  But I am no dummy.  I researched it on the internet and tapered off the drug over 10 weeks.  I thought that was a huge amount of time to taper off an antidepressant.  I was either wrong, or I was right, but the experience was totally and completely BRUTAL!
I have been clean for 21 months now but it has taken me that long to feel normal.  I believe the drugs changed my brain and caused me to feel more anger and more moodiness than I felt before I ever took these drugs.  Anyway here is some crazy poetry I wrote while coming off these horrible substances, which are right for some, but nevertheless have anyone who takes them seriously addicted.

The Loom by Shella Gillus- Review

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I give the loom 4.0 stars

This book transports you back to the 1800’s during the time of southern slavery in America.  The point of view character is Lydia, a light skinned slave.  Through genetics and the practice many slave owners had of either brutalizing or falling in love or lust with their slaves, Lydia a slave girl arrived on the scene as white as her slave owners daughter.  The girls played as children and though they looked very similar, their worlds were the antithesis of one another.   Lydia looked white, but her heart was that of a slave.  Her passionate yearning for freedom, like all her friends and relatives living the life of a slave, had her running and yearning for escape.  Her escape attempt failed, but when she accidentally passed herself off in a social situation on the arm of her Master’s daughter as a young white woman in society, Lydia knew that she didn’t have to run away.  She could walk right off the plantation and into white society, and she did.  The conflict is so great as Lydia is torn between the people she loves and left behind and her yearning to be free.  The author magically weaves so much depth into this novel with biblical themes, and symbols with incredible skill.  The actions of the characters have you worked up and the lessons you learn from their actions will both inspire and disappoint.  The intense contrast the author provides for the reader between Lydia’s two different worlds, and the intense inner conflict of Lydia herself shakes you to your very core.  This novel reminded me of Steinbeck’s East of Eden, his take on Cain and Abel, because of the skillful way Shella Gillus used contrast and hints at biblical stories to ratchet up the tension.  The Biblical symbols are so subtle they will resonate if you are a believer, and not notice them if you are not a bible reader.  So it is a novel for everyone interested in a good story.  It is a character driven novel, with a plot that delivers.  Rare today to find a book with both, and one by a first time author.

You do not find this type of depth and skill in a first time author.  Shella Gillus truly was born to write.

Flyby Rating System
1* hated it2** didn’t like it
3*** liked it and totally recommend it
4****loved it may read it more than once
5***** so impacted by it and will read it over and over in my lifetime

Jane Austen Supper

My book club is worth all the work. I did this for my friends after we read Austenland.  I wanted a themed gathering so I chose a soup from the Jane Austen Era.  It was the soup that they ate in Pride and Prejudice, and it was labor intensive, which doesn’t bother me because I love to cook, but it did take two days!

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Farley’s White Soup

Put a knuckle of veal into six quarts of water, with a large fowl, and a pound of lean bacon, half a pound of rice, two anchovies, a few pepper corns, a bundle of sweet herbs*, two or three onions, and three or four heads of celery cut in slices**. Stew them all together, till the soup be as strong as you would have it+, and then strain it through a hair sieve into a clean earthen pot. Having let it stand all night, the next day take off the scum, and pour it clean off into a tossing-pan. Put in half a pound of Jordan almonds beat fine, boil it a little, and run it through a lawn [fine cloth] sieve. Then put in a pint of cream, and the yolk of an egg, and send it up hot.
~ John Farley’s London Art of Cooking (1783)

Translation~ My interpretation

Handful size of veal or tender beef –I used boned in beef short ribs it was cheap at the store that day they didn’t have veal
A large Fowl –I used 2 Turkey Legs but you could easily use a chicken 
1 lb of bacon-
Half lb of rice – 1 1/4 Cup of Rice
two anchovies- I got canned but you can just as easily squeeze the equivalent of that in anchovy paste
a few peppercorns – like a 1 1/2 tablespoon
2 or 3 onions
A bundle of fresh Herbs-I put in a bundle of fresh Poultry Herbs blend but you could use oregano, thyme, rosmary, majoram etc.. a mix of those
*3-4 heads of celery cut up 

Stew them all together til the soup be as strong as you have it- I stewed it on low for about 4 hours
Strain it through a hair sieve- I used a colander with tiny holes
Let it sit overnight in an earthen pot then drain off the scum- I put it in the refrigerator over night and Farley was right there is a weird scum on it you must remove.
1/2 lb of Jordan Almonds beat fine- 1/2 bag almonds in the Vitamix baby beat fine in seconds!
Run it through a sieve- Strain it again
add a pint of cream and a beaten egg send it up hot- add pint of cream, beaten egg, warm it through and it is delicious

Add ground pistachios and pomegranate seeds to garnish- I loved this part because they just burst in your mouth with each spoonful and really add something wonderful to the soup.

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