A Chill is in the Air – Tastes of Fall
Fall is almost upon us and as much as I like the warmth of summer, I really enjoy a crisp sunny fall day. This morning when I looked out the kitchen window at the thermometer it was a cool 10 degrees Celsius in the shade. A little chilly but very invigorating.
Which brings to mind scrumptious comfort foods. I like quick and simple. A couple of my favourites are below.
1 ½lb ground beef or chicken/pork mixture
1 med onion
1 28 oz. can of tomatoes
2 cup water
3 cans French onion soup (I use water and add 3 Tbsp of tomato paste)
1 can tomato
1 bay leaf
3 sticks celery chopped
½ tsp thyme
8 Tbsp barley
pepper to taste
Brown the meat and onions. Drain well. Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Simmer covered at least 2 hours or all day. Serves 10. Freezes well.
HOME STYLE BEEF STEW with dumplings
2 lbs stew beef cubed
4 cups water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup ketchup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
2 cup sliced carrots
3 cup potatoes or half white potatoes and turnip
1 cup frozen peas
1 bay leaf (remove before adding peas)
flour or corn starch to thicken
Brown the meat. Add water, onions, Worcestershire, ketchup, salt and basil. Simmer covered for 1 ½ hours. Add carrots & potatoes/turnip. Cook for 15-20 minutes until tender. Add peas and cook another 5 minutes. Thicken with flour or corn starch.
I add the dumplings after I add the peas.
Dumplings (Dough Boys)
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
Mix flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in milk. Drop over hot stew. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Don’t peak. Approximately 6 dumplings.
And for dessert a delicious apple crisp made with fall apples.
1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup oats (rolled quick oats)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter softened (margarine doesn’t taste the same)
6 apples (Cortland or Gravenstien)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cut apples into slices and place on bottom of lightly greased casserole dish (I use butter). Sprinkle with lemon juice and cinnamon. Mix flour, brown sugar, oats and butter until crumbly and spread over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Writing Challenges – Frame of Mind
In my day job, I spend a good portion of my day writing. It’s a challenge at times to switch hats from legalese and technical writing to non-fiction. Part of the challenge is that I am familiar with writing about what I know. Whether it be an opinion piece stepped in research, advice or a guide on how to perform some function. It’s tethered in the here and now and grounded in known facts.
When I switch to my night job of writing non-fiction the framework in which I write changes drastically. I sometimes struggle with those new parameters because they are so different. The purpose and form have changed and the expectation is vastly disparate.
There is so much to learn and assimilate. A lot of the terminology is new and there are acronyms being used that I don’t recognize. As well as familiarizing myself with style guides that I haven’t opened in a few decades. Then, I learned to my horror that two spaces is no longer the standard after a period. I missed the memo on that one, so much so that I have to search and replace to remove them.
When I sit down to write sometimes the story flows onto the page and then I struggle with the structure and form. Other times the structure flows, but the story lags behind. Regardless of the struggle, I just have to write and forget about whether it is right or wrong and get the story down on the page. The writing and form doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be. So I write.