12.29.2011

2011 In Review ~ New Foods

Con Book - Steampunk

Yes, I know Gentle Reader, but it is That Time, and upon occasion I jump on the trend. So here we have, 2011, in review.
  • Number of Conventions: 6
  • Number of appearances/signings outside of conventions: 12
  • Interviews (online/offline/podcast/virtual): 28
  • Comedy Shows: 2 (both to see Greg Proops)
  • Books Written: 2
  • Books Published: 8 (includes translation editions)
  • Dear Lord Akeldama Posts: 11
My New Years Goal for 2011 was to eat a new (to me) food each month. Some kind of fruit or vegetable or whatever I had never tasted before. Here's what I ate . . .

1. Black Cabbage
Tastes like very mild cabbage, a little tough. I like that it's dark in color so might be a bit healthier in general. But it's not something I will seek out on a regular basis. I'm not a huge fan of cabbage generally.

2. Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke)
These I loved. In fact I've had it a few times since. They are hard to prepare as you need to peal the awkward shape completely but what you are left with tastes like a mild artichoke heart. Yummy. They can be roasted or boiled.

3. Longon
Like large grape-sized lychee. I'd eat them more except you can only buy them in very large bags, and I can't eat that many.

4. Green Tea Salad
I ate this at Burma Superstar in San Francisco (Inner Richmond) and loved it. I've never considered eating the leaf of the tea before, but why not? I've ordered it twice since and intend to get it anytime I can when I am in town.

5. Jack Fruit
For my adventures with Jack Fruit here's the blog entry on the subject. I've had the flavor before in a bubble smoothie, but never fresh. It tastes like juicy fruit gum and has a very strange texture. You eat the flesh around the seeds, a yellow to dark orange in color. Nope, this isn't Durian, although they are similar looking on the outside. Durian is smaller and, of course, very stinky.

6. Jack Fruit Seeds
A two for one with jack fruit for I learned I coudl also eat the seeds. These I pealed and boiled. A pleasing look to them. They taste like very very mild chestnuts, and were not all that exciting. Interesting for the experience but not exciting.

7. Mangosteen
My favorite of anything I tried this year. I'll be eating the queen of fruit any time I can in future. It's a juicy tropical tangy deliciousness. I'd had it dried but never fresh. Impossible to compare the flavor to anything else, it is it's own taste.

8. Dried White Mulberries
Nasty, sugary and flavorless, I didn't keep the container. Fresh might be better but I'm wary.

9. Green Pea Shoots

Delicious, I sauteed them lightly in a little olive oil and garlic. And I had them fresh on salad, a very mild pea flavor. I'll eat or order them anytime I can, refreshing greenness. Yummy!

10. Finger Limes

These are wonderful! I adore citrus. I've been trying to get my hands on them for ages, finally one of my friends found them at a farmer's market. The insides are like lime caviar. I can't wait for more to hit the markets so I can experiment with recipes.

11. Apfelschorle & Liverwurst


Two for one in Germany, as I don't thin Apfelschorle can really be counted as a new food. It's all processed. But it was yummy, and nice mix of apple juice and spritzer much less sugary than we would get in the US. Liverwurst is like patte, so, of course, I loved it.

12. Huge Grapes

These massive grapes turned up this fall, I'd never seen nor heard of them, nor could I find a proper name. The largest ones were ping-pong ball sized., two or three bites for each grape! I adored them, just like a fire grape in flavor and seedless.

I had so much fun with this goal the AB and I have decided to do another similar for 2012. We will be trying a new (healthy hopefully) recipe each month, perhaps more frequently. I shall try to remember to conical them for the accounting this time next year.

For your amusement, the Bugle's year end summation, Episode 176, The Best of 2011 (most recent podcast) is fantastic.

I wish you all a wonderful New Years, and here's hoping for the best out of 2012.

GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Ah la Greg Proops.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
The Relaxed Writer's guide to setting New Year's writing goals from A Cat of Impossible Color.

Timeless: Now in production. The release date on Amazon is correct.

Etiquette & Espionage: Copy edits done! Awaiting galley. Release date Fall 2012.

The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Prudence floats! Release date fall 2013. She's started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!


Book News:

Japanese cover art for Blameless.

Quote of the Day:
"He had the proper outlook for a young Victorian officer: the belief that 'marriage was ruinous to the prospects of a young officer', a fierce desire for military glory, and the conviction that all English gentlemen were born courageous."
~ Byron Farwell on Garnet Wolseley

Daisypath Graduation tickers

12.23.2011

Alexia Tea A Very Alexia Christmas

Alexia Tea

Miss Tarabotti, as some of you may well know, is rather fond of comestibles. Thusly, the holiday season is one of great joy to her, from a food standpoint if nothing else. (The shopping, it must be admitted, she could very much do without. Her sisters are overly enthusiastic on the subject.) However, she has some tips for coping with the holidays Victorian-style.

1. Mincemeat pie. Sounds awful, looks revolting, tastes spectacular. The Americans have sadly neglected this part of their British heritage but there is much to be said for meat soaked in alcohol and then encased in pastry. If unwilling to venture in the mincemeat direction, how about exploring the fine art of Christmas Pudding? (AKA Plum Pudding ~ and no, there are no plums involved, don't ask.) A dense fruity cake that is covered in alcohol and then set on fire. Fantastic.


2. Cloth wrapped presents. Instead of paper, why not invest in some fabric remnants from a craft shop or colorful little scarves from a thrift store and then tie with a ribbon? All the fun of unwrapping, none of the waste, and perhaps it will encourage others to reuse as well. As an added bonus, cloth wrappers can be used as emergency clean-up towels for the inevitable alcohol-related spill (see: inebriation caused by over-consumption of Christmas Pud, above.)

3. Roast goose. Benefits? Well, a goose is bigger than a turkey and more mean-spirited. Have you ever met a goose? The only bird nastier is a swan and, unfortunately, swans are protected by Queen Victoria (but I bet they're tasty). Thus goose consumption gives one a sense of self-righteousness and satisfaction all rolled into one.

4. Frills and lace. Perhaps not a particular favorite amongst gentlemen for themselves (unless one is of a Lord Akeldama inclination) but for the ladies... Donning a pretty frock and perhaps a corset is bound to make one feel better ~ a little constricted, but definitely better. On the other hand nothing, I am convinced of this, is funnier than a werewolf with a doily on his head.


5. Which brings us back around to drinkies. Lord Akeldama suggests a Pink Slurp (champagne & blood) but he's a vampire and they have questionable pallets. Alexia recommends substituting blackberry cordial for the blood resulting in a truly excellent and festive drink. Alternatively, for those particularly cold nights, one might opt for mulled wine, which can be a most delicious way to disguise the quality of one's vino.

Bottoms up!

GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .


Your Infusion of Cute . . .


Your Tisane of Smart . . .


Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
On writing titles

Timeless: Now in production. The release date on Amazon is correct.

Etiquette & Espionage: Copy edits done! Awaiting galley. Release date Fall 2012.

The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Prudence floats! Release date fall 2013. She's started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!


Book News:
My interview with Fangs for the Fantasy

Quote of the Day:
"Flabbergasted (adj.): Appalled by discovering how much weight one has
gained."
~ Unknown

Daisypath Graduation tickers