2 DAYS TILL CHANUKAH

NOTE:  This post was written while I was still without a connection to the internet.

 

2 DAYS TILL CHANUKAHWRITING

 

 

I am sorry that I have not posted but I have been having trouble connecting to the internet. For some reason my wireless connection died, so I am waiting for a new unit to arrive and it won’t arrive till tomorrow or Tuesday. So, I stopped writing posts, but today decided that was just plain silly. I could still use my computer for some things, and one of those things is word processing. So, here I am.

I took my the opportunity of my “off-time” to work on my novel, cleaned it up a bit, still only have six pages written. I let my hubby read what I have done. This is the first time he’s seen it. He said it was too descriptive and he almost fell asleep. I was afraid of that. That is why I gave it to him to read. So I reworked it and I think it is much better now. I changed the opening sentence and am much happier with it. No, that was not his suggestion. It was something I’d been thinking about. Now I am taking the day off from writing that book. It’s given me a headache.

I started yet another something…not sure what it is going to be, but I think Flash Fiction. However, truthfully, I have no idea what that means, so it may be a short story, a novel or a trilogy. Also, I’m not quite sure if it is going to be fantasy for adults or children. But I love how it is flowing. I have one page written for that. I let hubby read that to. I have one descriptive paragraph in the story about a city that may or may not exist. Hubby thought that it was too like Brigadoon. He found it to be a turn-off. Would you agree? What would be wrong with a Brigadoonish story? I hadn’t envisoned such a story, truthfully, I just wanted to come up with a fairy-tale city that may or may not be the final destination for my characters. I like the dialogue between the two main characters and I like how the story begins. I’m just going to let it flow and see where it takes me.

This morning I told my sister that I was writing a book. She informed me she is too, although her book will be non-fiction. She told me her brother-in-law and his ex-wife have each written excellent books and have contacts in the publishing world, but have not been able to get their books published. I was disheartened by this news. I know her brother-in-law is a very talented man and if he can’t get published, how can there be hope for me? Then I thought well, there are hundreds of authors who get published, so who knows, maybe I will be one of the lucky ones. But first, I have to write that book!

I have to talk about not being connected to the internet though. It is driving me crazy. I can’t do any research because I’d not connected. I can’t do my thing on Pinterest and Facebook which is my relaxation. I can’t print out the holiday cards I worked hard on creating because the stupid program I use requires you to be on the internet to work with it. I can’t read “Auntie Mame” because that is on Amazon.com’s Kindle app. And for some unknown reason I can’t download the books onto my harddrive, which I used to be able to, so I need to be connected to read all my books, which also means I cannot read my “how to write” books. If that isn’t enough, I can’t play my games or download new games to play. Can you feel my frustration?

Luckily, I just got a shipment of paperbacks that I ordered from Amazon, so I began reading Barbara Ross’ book, “Boiled Over,” which is the second book in her Maine Clambake series. I loved her first book, “Clammed Up,” so much, that I had to get the second book when I found out it was out. I just finished reading “Boiled Over.” Barbara did not disappoint me at all. In fact, I found this book even better. It seems to me that there are more plot twists in this book than in “Clammed Up.” Barbara Ross’ characters are well drawn and the picture she paints of Busman’s Harbor makes you want to pack up and drive there. Of course, I wouldn’t want to go till spring or summertime, because they, like us here in Rochester, get snow in the fall and winter. I’d rather go to Myrtle Beach for the fall and winter months. If only I could. Anyhow, I do recommend Barabara’s books. They are great cozy mysteries.

Now I am going to begin reading a book called “The UnHaggadah: How To Keep The Conversation & Wine Flowing At Your Seder” by Rabbi Mitchell Wohlberg. To me it is never to early to begin thinking about Passover. The holiday fascinates me and I strive to find ways to make the seders more interesting. But, it is too early for me to start writing about that holiday. I skimmed through the book last night and it looked fascinating. I think it may turn out to be the most stimulating book of Seder how-tos that I have read. I collect them. Well, actually, I buy them for my husband to collect them, but it turns out that I’m the one who actually reads the books and then tells him what I found interesting that we should incorporate. More about that in March or April.

I thought I would write another Chanukah poem today for your enjoyment:

 

latke

 

LATKES – A TRUE CONFESSION

by Marilyn Sultar

 

Latkes I could eat for 8 days straight,

If only I wasn’t afraid of what they would do to me.

I can eat a dozen at one sitting, couldn’t you?

I find it hard to stop at only three.

 

The taste, the texture, the smell too,

Like a magnet draw me to them.

Don’t they do that to you?

 

I know that Chanukah is supposed to celebrate the

miracle of the oil and freedom too,

But it’s the taste of the latkes that I celebrate.

How about you?

 

 

In honor of my poem and my love of latkes, here is another recipe for them:

 

 latkes2

 

 

Home Cookin Chapter: LATKES & KUGELS

Latkes: Cheese, Judith’s #1 – Dairy

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

3 Eggs; well beaten

1 c Milk

1 c Dry Pot Cheese

1 c Flour

1 ts Baking Powder

1/2 ts Salt

 

To the beaten eggs, add milk and cheese. Sift the dry

ingredients together and stir into the eggs. Blend to

smoothness. Drop by spoonfuls into hot fat in the frying pan.

Cook to delicate brown on both sides. Serve with syrup or jam.

I have not tried this recipe. It comes from “The Jewish

Festival Cookbook” by Fannie Engle and Gertrude Blair.

Note: The Judith referred to in the recipe title is Judith

Maccabee, the courageous daughter of the Judah Maccabee. It is in her

honor that we eat dairy products during chanukah.

Servings: 0

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

 

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:

 

Quill and Paper clip art – unknown source

Latke clip art – by Gail Copple got from Bitsela.com

2nd Latke clip art – source unknown

 

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!)