Friday, December 5, 2008

In the Kitchen with Captain Monkeypants (and Other Random Musings)

I am not awake this morning. Not only is it really early but it looks a bit like Siberia outside. Without the snow. It looks more like that frozen tundra-y thing you think of when you think Eastern Europe. Well, maybe that's just me, actually. I'm sure it's not cold there all the time but every movie about Russia or Siberia shows it as being cold.

I'm glad this week is drawing to a close. It's been a long, tiring week. There's really no cause for complaint unless you count the two rejections I got yesterday AFTER posting about how much rejection sucks. Yes, I'm sure it'll be humourous one day but for now, it's a bit like salt in the wound, to use a cliche.

I did, however, get an email from telling me they were doing their Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Contest again next year. Entries were due in February. I did this contest last year and found it to be a somewhat disheartening and unpleasant experience.The good thing was I got an article published about it in a writing e-zine about my experience. It was one of the few submissions I've made that I was paid for which, as you can imagine, felt fantastic. If you're interested, you can read it here. ABNA was a bit of an chore and it wasn't terribly well organized. I'm really hoping this year will be better. Since it's free to enter, I'll probably put something in but I'll see how my self-esteem goes. On the plus side, they did send us a published copy of our submission. It was my first real book. It looks good. Someone even read it. It was quite exciting. So maybe I will submit again. I figure if I submit every year, eventually all of my books will get published, even if it is self-publishing of a sort.

The rest of the week has been fairly blah. I've been making soup lately. I've decided that since my baking skills always end in some form of hardened rock-like substance, it's probably best that I focus on the non-baking side of cooking. Unless it's in a bread-maker because, let me tell you, that is some fine bread and it takes away the smell of Christmas pudding.

But my soups are actually turning out quite well, surprising. I have an excellent cookbook. I've found if I stick to that, the soup is good. However, internet recipes are hit and miss. Mostly, I like to turn vegetables into soup. You can analyze that if you like but try not to compare me to Dexter Morgan just because I really enjoy chopping the vegetables into pieces and then cooking them to oblivion. I love vegetables. I can spend hours in a good produce section. I have spent hours in a produce section.

I bought a swede (aka a rutabaga) a while ago and didn't feel like mashing it up and eating in the traditional British fashion. I wanted to turn it into soup. So I found a receipe. The finished product looked really pretty. It smelled interesting. I wouldn't, however, advise eating it on a regular basis. A little cup of it would be an excellent appetizer. A bowl of it is a little vile. Ok, fine, it was more than a little vile. It was a little like eating a bowl of baby food. Not recommended. On the other hand, my Green Onion and Forest Mushroom soup was a winner. Now that was good soup. I've had some successes with the soups but also some flops. I cannot make a good pea soup. It usually ends up being so thick, a spoon can stand up in it, unattended.

Anyway, I also made a recipe called Best Cream of Broccoli soup. It was not the best. It was merely ok. It lacked flavour. Next time, I'm adding white wine, provided I don't have to use it to clean a red wine stain off my carpet. I'm actually learning tricks to cooking soup, such as ways to enhance flavour and yet still preserve the natural taste of the veggies. Are you scared yet? I am. I'm not known for my culinary skills though I now own this wicked meat cleaver that a friend so thoughtfully sent to me. I like to hold my meat cleaver and think about chopping things. I have a fondness for things like that. I once found a hatchet in an antique store that felt like it should belong to me in one of those fantastic deja-vu moments. I didn't buy it but sort of wished I had but then, what would I do with a hatchet, honestly?

Ok, so now I've officially terrified you. I think I might like that, actually. I've realized I'm a little bi-polar in my blog One minute, I'm waxing poetical about Christmas lights and, of course, snow, and the next, I'm talking about how much I like really sharp objects. If you think about the fact that I'm Mistress of the Calamity, you might realize sharp objects are not a good idea. Probably not but I still like them. Just as I still love soup even though an unfortunate incident with a little microwavable container Campbells Soup at Hand Broccoli Soup scarred me, literally, for life. I now call it Soup on Hand.

Anyway, on that note, I think I better wind this up since I really don't have much of a point today other than it's the fact that it's Friday and Friday's seem to be about randomly babbling.

Have a great weekend.

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