Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Spread, Wiley Relatives and Updates

I hadn't planned on making a big spread for the Super Bowl. It's just Jon and me this year, and he's not all that big on nachos or Buffalo wings. Besides, I went a bit batty cooking for the Chinese New Year – more on that later. But then suddenly, it wasn't just Jon and me. My brother is coming to town and I suspect there is a plot afoot. I believe my brother and father are in cahoots in this trip. Since my last hospitalization, there have been a lot more calls from back east. My suspicion is that they want to see for themselves that I am as I've claimed to be. I am. Believe me, if I'm having more problems than usual, I am not quiet about it. Ask poor Jon. I've been half expecting to find my father on my door step. He's a wiley gentleman with a whole lot of frequent flyer miles. He's been known to turn up in cities other than Philly without any notice at all. This time though, my brother is making the trip. I think he wanted to get away from the snow more. At any rate, we're having company for the game. Keith offered to take us out to dinner, but I figure most places we'd like will be crowded and noisy because of the game.

Thus, I'm putting on a little bit of a Super Bowl spread. I don't mind actually. It will be nice to see my brother. And I've had a craving for baby back ribs lately. I didn't want to look like a glutton by consuming a whole rack of ribs. And there are the wings to consider. That would mean that there should be a little potato salad. You see, I need company or I'd gain 40 pounds in a weekend. And for those who may be concerned, my daily diet is very healthy and almost completely made from scratch. I'm still on those dreadful low white count restrictions, but otherwise my food intake is fiber, iron and potassium rich. So, this is a once in a while treat. By the way, I'm not rooting for a particular team. I'm just hoping for a really good game and really fun commercials.

The menu will be oven roasted baby back ribs, chicken wings (some Buffalo some not), corn and some sort of dessert. I've made the potato salad already. The wings are marinating in white wine, soy sauce, garlic and fresh thyme. I won't have very much to do before the game. This spread will be far easier than the one for the Chinese New Year. The dumplings took me two days. And there was a whole lot of slicing and chopping to do in advance of stir frying the chicken fired rice and cooking the pork lo mein. I only have one photo of the lo mein, and I'm not happy with that. The dumplings looked great before I cooked them, but they got mangled in the cooking process. The fried rice stuck to the bottom of the first pan I used. Sigh. Strangely enough, everything tasted really good. It was all just a little too sad to be photographed. And my fortune cookie said 'you will be happy with your spouse.' Uncanny! Jon is a rabbit in Chinese astrology. I'm hoping that this will be a great year for him and all the wascally rabbits I know.

Spice of Life

I finally made it to my local Penzey's Spice store. I needed dried herbs and such for making soups. We took the long way home after my latest trip to the Doctor's office. I finally bought some saffron. I've been wanting to for the longest time as I make a lot of rice dishes and always wondered about the depth of flavor that saffron could bring. I now have to figure out exactly what I want to make with the stuff. There may be a version of Paella that I can get past Jon. Or I may just be jazzing up the regular rice side dish. I'll let you know. In other spice news, I have come to a conclusion about specialty salts. As you may or may not recall, I was gifted a set of them (gray salt, pink salt and Fleur de Sel flakes) for Christmas. I had wondered if I could really tell the difference using them versus my usual salts in cooking. Well, I did notice a difference. What's even more interesting is that Jon noticed as well. He especially appreciated the Fleur de Sel for the taste and texture it brought to food. He noticed so much that he made sure that I noticed that Penzey's carried them. Thus, I can easily replace them when I run out. This is big as my Hubs doesn't have the gourmet palate.


I finally posted an excerpt from A Soldier's Destiny on the blog. I even figured out why it's taken me so long. The pages are coming along at a better pace. This makes me happy. On the film front, this week has been a journey through big and small ventures mostly via phone and internet conferences. On the big side, we were contacted by a major distributor about our films. We're following up on that with great enthusiasm. On the small side, we were working on ways of bringing some of our content to the small screen through web series. We made a lot of progress there.

Stay tuned.

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