7 DAYS UNTIL CHANUKAH

pine-tree-md

 

7 DAYS UNTIL CHANUKAH

It’s snowing outside. The gorgeous pine tree, mammoth in size, that I can see from my bedroom window is laden with snow and the flakes are falling like a light mist. We are expecting 8-14” of snow by tomorrow night. Now this is nothing in comparison to what Buffalo experienced, but it’s still too much snow for me. I hate winter. I hate the cold and the ice. I hate cleaning off the car and having to deal with getting the driveway and sidewalks cleared. I’d much prefer being in Myrtle Beach. But, I have to admit, right now it looks like a gorgeous scene that belongs on a Christmas card. Also, it is a perfect day for a cup of tea to relax with. Paul, my better half, brought home some delicious gingerbread men from Wegmans for me last night. I’m going to have one with my tea.

I have to tell you about my tea. Why? Because it ties in with one of the books I am writing which I am currently entitling A Witch’s Match. In my book, my heroine, Teagraine, owns a tea room and her father is her tea blender. Teagraine also blends tea from time-to-time. Anyhow, in doing some research on tea blending I came across a great company on the internet called Adagio.com. At their website, you can actually concoct your own blends. To make it even more fun, you get to name your tea and personalize your packaging with a graphic of your choice and they credit you with the blend right on the packaging. I have made two blends and love them both. You can even purchase my blends at the Adagio.com website. I named my teas “Magical Break Up Soother” and “Magical Date Night Tea.” “Magical Break Up Soother” is my new go-to tea. It has the nicest hint of chocolate in it. I find it very relaxing. “Magical Date Night Tea” is like a wow blood orange tea. Truthfully, I’m not sure it will get your man to desire you, but it tastes great. The best orange-spice type tea I’ve ever had. I actually find it a great wake-up tea. It is so much fun blending teas and incorporating them into my story! I find it helps me set up a scene.  I only wish I could get immediate satisfaction and taste the tea before it is blended. When is someone going to design a computer system whereby you push a button and youget what you want immediately, at the exact moment you press a button? Wouldn’t that  be just super? Just so you know, if you do purchase my tea from Adagio.com, I do not get any compensation. There is a way you can get compensated except sharing a link on social network or via email and then only if someone uses that link.

I am also including recipes in my book, as sharing recipes is something of a passion with me. I found a recipe for my first chapter and have already received permission to use it! Yes, I have started the first chapter, but not sure if it is the one I will come up with after I finish creating the characters and doing my scene outline. A great source for doing scene outlines is How To Write a Novel: A Beginner’s Guide by Sean O’Neill. I am finding this book very helpful. (Again, I get no compensation for these plugs.) I purchased the Kindle edition from Amazon.com. It is helping me see the progression of the story and I find the experience is like a treasure hunt. I think using tools like the character worksheets I spoke about yesterday and the scene outline are helping me greatly. I am finding that since I began looking for help in my writing, I am progressing. I think that many of us beginners need to be shown what to do with our ideas and thoughts. I know that even though I took a course in creative writing in high school, it really taught me nothing. It was a six-week mini-course. I think I should have found a similar course in college but at that stage of my life, I wasn’t thinking about becoming a writer. I wanted to be a drama teacher. Truth be told, I didn’t do well in English in college so I decided that I couldn’t be a drama teacher. Such is life, or at least my life.

Brunch is here and my tea is brewing. I’m having my “Magical Date Night Tea.” It smells so good. So, before I go to enjoy my goodies, I leave you with a recipe for the potato kugel/potato latke recipe which was the recipe my paternal grandmother used and my mother uses. I use it too. I think my mother made the best latkes in the world! Who do you think makes the best latkes in the world?

 

These look just like the latkes my grandmother, mother and I make!

These look just like the latkes my grandmother, mother and I make!

 

Home Cookin Chapter: MARILYN’S RECIPES

GRANDMA SILVER’S POTATO KUGEL AND LATKES

========================================

Ingredients

1 large Onion

4 large Potatoes

1 Egg

1 tablespoon Matzah Meal (or flour)

1 tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 drop of Oil

Pepper to taste

.

Directions

KUGEL

1 Peel and quarter onion. Put into food processor. (Yes, I updated

this recipe just a bit!!) Peel and quarter potatoes. Process the

potatoes with the onion with your steel blade till consistency of

puree.

2 Continue till all potatoes are processed. Put potato-onion

mixture into a strainer to drain off as much water as you can from

it. Then, put the potato-onion mixture into a large bowl.

3 Beat the egg and add it to the potato-onion mixture. Also add 1

tablespoon of oil, and 1 HEAPING tablespoon Matzah Meal(or flour,

if not for Passover!)[Use a regular tablespoon, not a measuring

tablespoon to measure the Matzah Meal.] Add Kosher Salt and pepper

to taste. Mix all together.

Pour into greased 9×13 inch pan and bake at 400 degrees for at

least 1 hour. I like to bake longer because I like it really

crusty!!

LATKES

TO MAKE LATKES:

1 Follow directions above, but instead of putting into a pan and

baking, heat 1/2 inch oil in a heavy frying pan and drop really

full large spoonfuls of batter into the oil and fry on one side

until golden then turn over and fry on the other.

2 Line a plate with toweling or line a counter top with a couple

thicknesses of brown paper bags to drain the fried latkes on.

Repeat till all of the batter is used.

Source:Marilyn Sultar

Recipe Notes:

I use vegetable oil or peanut oil to fry latkes in. When making

latkes you don’t need to add the extra drop of oil to batter, but

you do need it when making kugel. Triple recipe for 12-18 people,

small latkes.

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

 

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT DUE:

Pine Tree Clip Art found at http://www.clker.com/cliparts/i/W/X/6/V/f/pine-tree-md.png

Latkes Graphic found on internet (If anyone knows who owns this photo, please let me know so I can give a link back.  Thanks!)

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