*clears throat* As you can tell, I’m really happy it’s finally autumn. This is my favorite time of the year to bake, do crafty things, and of course write. I decided to kick off the season by trying a different kind of croissant recipe with a square folded style vs. the traditional rolled style.
In this week’s tribute to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (which I mistakenly call “The House on Haunted Hill”) I made some Blueberry and Honey Cream croissants. They are extremely easy to make and can be varied to include different fruits (and probably chocolate, too). I’m probably going to end up making a number of them over the next few weeks because they were so delicious!
Check out the recipe below the cut if you want to try it for yourself!
Since I don’t intend to have a Video Cooking Adventure up until later tonight, I thought I might share one of my first cooking disasters with you. This, in my mind, pretty much sealed the deal for me to always have some sort of difficulty in the kitchen. I was still in school, though what age I’m not entirely sure. If I strain my brain hard enough, I think I can remember it being middle school. I did not cook at this time. My sensibilities were that I had parents, they knew how to cook, and my extent of knowledge on cooking was limited to a Home Economics class where we made granola and smoothies. Even so, cooking is really not the point of this particular memory. All I had to do was mix two things together and wait. And I failed.
My dad had asked me if I could stir up some pistachio pudding for him. I quickly found the box in the pantry and read the directions…sort of. I ripped open the package and poured the puce-colored powder into a bowl. Looking back at the directions, I read that I needed to add however many cups of COLD… I didn’t actually read the rest. In my head, the only thing I thought it could possibly mean was water. My rationality was this: on a package of cake or muffin mix or anything like that, I’d never seen anyone say to add cold milk. It just said “milk”. And no one ever asks for cold milk on any instructions! So why go to the trouble of bolding and underlining COLD on the package? Why not just write “milk” and be done with it? But water! Often times recipes call for HOT or COLD water. That made more sense.
And so, I added cold water to the pistachio pudding powder. Pushing it into the fridge to set, I waited in the living room, blindingly ignorant of the mistake I’d just made. When the requisite time had passed, I returned to the fridge and pulled out the bowl, expecting a shimmering chilled pistachio wonder. It was not to be. Instead, a liquid with the color and consistency of swamp water looked up at me. I asked my dad what I could have possibly done wrong and after we determined my mistake, he laughed and I felt like an absolute moron. He still tried to eat it, just so I wouldn’t feel so bad. But pistachio soup on top of vanilla ice cream really isn’t the same.
Two weeks ago, I came to the somewhat depressing decision that I needed to rewrite my book (again) from the beginning. And shortly after starting the rewrite, I stopped and started the rewrite again. I’ve probably done this ten or so times with this book. But now, I really feel like I’m in the right place with it. The Wild Dark has been a difficult write for me in many ways that I thought Memento Mori (my latest release) was. The Wild Dark deals most importantly with friendship, loyalty, humanity, depression, and loss. The protagonist longs for a simpler life, a way to lose herself in ordinary routines so that she doesn’t have to face the death of her best friend and failed relationship with her fiance. This all happens in the wake of a supernatural event that brings a strange transformation to the world she knows and loves.
Like all of my stories, I have a playlist of songs that I listen to when working. For this particular story, I have two: one featuring music with lyrics and one without. The without list is long and from the very beginning, has featured music by respected composer James Newton Howard. The most featured of his music is from M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village Soundtrack, which (in my opinion) has some of the most beautiful music ever composed. The undulating violins and contemplative, tranquil piano effectively take you inside a world filled with characters who wish to live simpler lives, characters who are innocent and have trouble even conceiving wickedness. They are terrorized by legendary creatures that live in the woods around their bucolic village, creatures who have decided that the peaceful truce they’ve shared for many years is now void. The Village is not so much a horror film as it is a romantic one and that is reflected in every track that Howard wrote. Just like The Village, The Wild Dark is more about the love and bond between two friends and where that takes them than it is about the apocalyptic events surrounding them. Today, I’ll be sharing a few songs from Howard’s soundtrack along with what I see when I listen to them.
What’s better than some old classic ragtime and a spicy flavorful chicken dinner? Nothing I tell you! Nothing!
Okay, maybe that was a bit overkill. But this Chili Lime Chicken was pretty damn tasty and relatively easy to make. There were of course a few obstacles here and there, such as the fact that my chicken was frozen, the pan was spitting oil like a cobra spits venom, and my fear of cooking with hot peppers was revisited.
But, in tribute to E.L. Doctorow’s classic novel, Rag Time, I pushed on through the obstacles and emerged victorious with a dish that I’ll most certainly be making in the future. Want to know how to make it for yourself? I’ll bet you do. Scroll on down and check it out! You can find the original recipe at Rasa Malaysia!