Wednesday, April 23, 2014



The next whole grain quest for nutritional goodness. I should confess that when I started this experiment, I just wanted some barley but couldn’t find it. So here I am trying all of the more exotic selections of grains. Millet, The Traditional Grain of Asia, was called off the bench to go in for barley.

Millet looks like seeds but is bigger than the Amaranth so someone has defined it as a grain. Okay. It even puffs up and becomes bigger when cooked just like rice. Like rice it takes the flavor of the seasonings you put with it. I would say it has a very bland taste instead of a stronger taste you have to disguise. I am happy to say I didn’t overcook it. Its little standing up grains are a soft yellow color and they looked lovely in the peppers I stuffed with them.

So I took the lovely yellow grains, mixed them with a little bit of sweet sausage, some onion and mild pepper, and Italian seasoning and stuffed them into peppers. Italian seasoning is my second string seasoning when I don’t have strong feelings about what I should use. I have a system that prescribes thyme, basil, rosemary, and oregano for some of my cooking efforts, but when I have doubts I use the Italian seasoning which is a combination of all of them until some sort of flavoring system reveals itself. It is an intuitive, crystal ball kind of process that eventually becomes clear to me.

I fed these lovely color coordinated stuffed peppers to my husband, the gourmand, who thinks fish sticks are a fine food. He was very receptive to this attempt at whole grain goodness. I never argue with success, but bear in mind, if I am not in my kitchen, this man goes steady with Marie Callender. When I text him I am coming home, send that woman out the back door, he is always glad to see me and eat my experiments.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014



Aren’t Easter customs interesting? I saw in our paper the announcement of 40,000 Easter eggs being dropped out of a helicopter in the celebration of the holiday. I suppose we should not even ask ourselves about the symbolism of this drop and how it ties into a holiday about the Resurrection. We should certainly not focus on why propelling plastic Easter eggs from a great height would take the place of a traditional hunt. In a traditional hunt we are still finding eggs in July having done the hiding so well in April.  But here we are not hiding anything, we are bombarding the populace with the small egg projectiles.

Hopefully they are filled with jelly beans, or kisses. It seems to me a rather aggressive way to celebrate the Holiday, or spring which is the softest of all the seasons. Spring gently sneaks up on us with soft green buds and yellow pollen. I can only wonder at the mentality of substituting the helicopter for the Easter Bunnie. When did this happen?

Okay, all that aside. Let’s just focus for a minute on the symbolism of the helicopter. We use helicopters in this way in war zones to drop food supplies, propaganda pamphlets, and medical aid. Usually these drops are done in concert with the military or some operation ordered by our alphabet spy agencies. Is the military involved in this Easter Egg drop? I submit that dropping anything from the sky onto a crowd below is wrong, and old fashioned Easter Egg hunts are the best.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

OK SCBWI Spring 2014


The gathering of children’s book writers is always an amazing collection of talent. This spring’s conference in Oklahoma City was no exception. We come together and listen to professional agents, editors, and publishers representatives talk about a topic of interest to everyone. This spring’s it was character development. If you’re struggling with your stories then you don’t get it right all at once. It takes trial and error before you bring all the story elements together in one glorious whole unit. The important thing is to keep trying. I always learn something new. A new technique to develop and practice for my art.

I have several wonderful ideas that are not perfected yet. I want to make them as perfect as I can before I release them into the world. I continue to work on them for my sake. I will continue with my character development and the other techniques I learned. My writing buddies are always game for conferences. They enjoy going and meeting. Sometime we go down the road writing on the back of something a new idea. Sometimes we edit as we go. We eat and sleep our characters some days. Children’s literature is very challenging.

I discovered that I have nothing to say that would benefit any adult. Being an adult is just no fun, and I just don’t have anything to add to the experience. I just am not that good at being an adult, so I choose to have a very active and imaginative childhood experience during my waking hours. It is my best self. I’ll keep working on my stories and some day I’ll see you in the juvenile literature section.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014



I am on a whole grain quest for nutritional goodness. In this frame of mind, the package hawking Grains-Of-Discovery, Organic Whole Grain, AMARANTH, The Traditional Grain of Mexico was too much to pass up. So I brought it home just knowing I would wake up stronger and better nourished than any day previously.

I’ve never cooked with Amaranth. By the way, it’s a seed not a grain. Mexico might call this a grain, but a seed is a seed. The package goes on to say this seed was a staple of the ancient Aztecs, and it is a complete protein. Well…my whole grain guide did not come in the mail for another two weeks, complements of a magazine subscription I ordered. Be careful not to overcook it.

I gave it a stern boiling and I created a viscous gray sludge like substance. When I saw the picture of the individual grains standing up and smiling, I knew what I had done. The next question became what to do with gray sludge? Supper time is fast approaching. Hungry people do not care about expanding the cooks experimental universe. So I tasted it. Ummmmmmm, really earthy taste, along with being gray, I perceive this as a drawback. Gray food is a tough sell at my house.

Okay, time to call out plan B. I put lemon juice in it. I added small amount of maple syrup. I added raisens and almonds. Then I stuffed it into acorn squash just like it was supposed to be there and baked it. It was pretty good. It was eaten. Will try for standing up grains another time.