Thursday, September 4, 2008

What's for Dinner?

Ok, I really think maybe I haven't been eating enough lately. Why, you ask? Well, because I was just noting that just about every single chapter I have written so far has mentioned food of some kind. Haven't noticed that yet? Well, you probably will.

Now I love food, but I have an even more practical notion about why I have made mention of this so often (which I hope will become less as I go on), and this is simply because I don't think enough attention is paid to normal, everyday activities like eating, bathing, and relieving oneself in the course of natural bodily functions in books. I mean, these are things that everyone has to do... so why don't the characters in books do them? Or are the authors just leaving all that interesting stuff out.

For instance, in Syndra's case, she has never had to experience catching, preparing, cooking, etc. her own food. It's always been done for her. She's never had to think about bathing, someone has always come and done it for her. She's never... well, you get the point. She has had a very sheltered life.

Malik, on the other hand, has had extensive practice in living off the land and procuring his own nourishment, and thusly, will usually be doing these tasks. However, keen mind that Syndra has, she wants to know how to do everything, why things are this way, why you do things that way. Really kind of annoying, but she's a smart gal so she catches on quickly and doesn't have to have things explained to her twice.

Now I am going to go back and do a brief re-write, because I read something somewhere recently about how there's never a comment about hairy legs in romance novels. Um, yeah, historical romances especially... like they were shaving their legs back then. So I am going to address this point in my book. Syndra gets waxed, oh yes, indeedy! Ouch, that's a lot of skin that's being subjected to that, but hey, she's used to it. What she won't be used to is wandering around the countryside with all these prickly hairs popping out all over the place. So, it won't be dwelt on, but it will be mentioned, which I hope some readers might find endearing. Makes it all seem more real, yeah?

Ok, ok, back to food. What kinds of foods will they eat in Lunatia? Well, in the palace, you will obviously find lots of rich, succulent foods. Lots of spices, that sort of thing. I am envisioning curries, stews, whole roasted animals, that sort of thing. If you've been reading along, Chapter 5 coming soon has some interesting stuff involving food.... hmmm... But on the road, food is much simpler, they'll be catching fish, harvesting berries and other fruits, greens, catching rabbits, hey, maybe Malik will shoot a deer... Prolly not, awful lot of meat for two people... Maybe when they get some company.

Bread is like my favorite comfort food of all time, and I am seeing lots of fried bread (see: cornbread), flat bread (ie: pita, tortillas), that kind of thing. Best examples of what kind of foods you might eat in Lunatia? Take a trip to an Indian or Moroccan restaurant, and that's what you'll likely find in the palace, on a more subdued scale in the country.

All this being said, I am going to find a recipe for you, so let's have:

Lunatian Chicken (aka Chicken Jalfrezi, courtesy :

Chicken breasts - 1/2 kg
Oil - 1/2 cup
Onion (Piyaz) - 2 no's chopped
Ginger (Adrak) - 1 inch striped
Soya sauce - 1 tablespoon
Vinegar (Sirka) - 2 tablespoon
Ketchup (Sauce) - 1 teaspoon
Tomatoes (Tamatar)- 2 no's diced
Green chilies (Hari mirch) - 2 no's
Red chili powder (Lal mirch) - 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper powder (Kali mirch) - 2 tablespoon
Mono sodium Glutamate - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Wash, clean the chicken thoroughly and cut chicken into long thin strips.
Heat oil in a pan and add onions and fry until transparent, then add ginger, chicken and
soy sauce and fry for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, green chilies, chili powder and salt and cook on medium heat, stirring
occasionally for 5-6 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low, add vinegar, black pepper, mono sodium glutamate and ketchup, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Now, I would imagine it would be ok to leave out the MSG, but you would want to serve this with some kind of bread, I like Parantha (you can find a recipe above), but for a cheap substitute, find some really soft pita and you'd be ok. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Writing For Charity

Hello my fellow bloggers, writers and readers alike!

Pardon the blog silence of the last few days, busy holiday weekend and all that!

I am going to ask you all to do something for me now... See that little link off to the side to "Unleash Your Story"? Well, click on that for me and help raise some money to help the Cystic Fybrosis Foundation.

I have started a team called "Kestrel's Bloggers" so you can help participate by joining my team and become a fundraiser yourself, or you can offer a donation to help me reach my goal.

The way I am understanding this is: I set a goal to write however many words during the month of September (I am going to aim for 10,000), and you can contribute a set dollar amount to help reach my fundraising goal of $150.

If you would like to join my team, send me an email, and I will add you, and then you can set your own writing goal for yourself and add a button to your page to get donations of your own! Add a button to track your progress.

I have no idea if I'll be able to raise my goal, but I thought it was such a wonderful idea, I had to sign up!