Friday, January 08, 2010

Food and literary fantasies

Full of hot chocolate and broccoli and other good things. I don't get as elegant as Bruce Barone when I'm cooking, at least not all the time like he does, but I do put together a few decent meals. I just wasn't interested in a meal last night, so I settled for an omelet with English cheddar on the side, broccoli and a pot of hot chocolate. Since I was out of fresh milk, I went to the backup plan: canned goat milk. Just add water, cream, chocolate, a dash of sea salt and whisk on the stove. Pour into hot chocolate pot already heated and ready, froth and drink, after dropping a vanilla handmade marshmallow in the cup first. Keep refilling while watching Cinderella and The Color of Magic and jotting notes in my journal. It was a quiet evening, but a productive one.

There was also the grocery list to make out before next Tuesday's shopping trip. That always means going through the circular to see what's on sale and through my recipe collection and searching online to decide what to make. Williams-Sonoma online has quite a treasure trove of recipes and I concentrated on eggs: poached, shirred, coddled and made into omelets. The options are mind boggling and, if you're on a budget, the array of egg dishes is enough to make the mouth water. Who knew there was so much to be done with an egg?

There will be one week with no cooking and that's the week of my birthday next month. I'm taking off on vacation, a real vacation, to be pampered, coddled and catered to. I haven't done it in a long time and I'm overdue. As much as I like my cottage, there are times when I need a change of scenery. So I'm out of here on the 13th, Beanie's birthday and I won't be back until the 21st. Late. The destination is a cozy B&B overlooking a castle decorated in Victorian style and near to several haunted spots that will be perfect for the setting of the next book I'm working on after I finish the post-apocalyptic vampire novel. Time to take notes and set the story simmering on the back burner for a while or, in baseball parlance, warming up in the bullpen. Have to keep the stories coming.

That story is a dark tale of lies and intrigue and someone posing as a ghost hunter. Murder, a touch of romance (I can't handle more than a touch), a trail of secrets and all kinds of mystery and mayhem. I thought it was time for a change. I don't like to tie myself to any one type of story or characters, although there's always a piece of me and people I know in all the novels and stories I write.

For instance, in Whitechapel Hearts, one of the villains is based on a real life villain I met and got to know. Some of the most interesting and dangerous people have crossed my path and been filed away for future reference. They stick in my mind in some dark and out of the way corner waiting to fret their moment upon the literary stage. That's the hallmark of an interesting life.

Well, I'm off to the showers and into some clothes because it's cold this morning and I'm going to need all the warmth I can get working in the cold back office that steams in the summertime. I definitely need to see about putting up drapes. The blinds wouldn't keep out a gnat, let alone inclement weather. The roof doesn't keep it out either -- yet.

That is all. Disperse.

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