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I have two To Do lists at any and all times. The first is a general list. For example:

  • unpack boxes
  • clean the cat litter before the cat stages a coup
  • dishes (for previously stated reasons this pretty much never gets crossed off as I tend to lap loads)
  • sort laundry
  • buy cat food, see above
  • write

That last item never really gets crossed off either, it recycles daily and is really only there to remind me that it is the most important item on any list (except the cats food and litter, she gets cranky).

My second list is dedicated to my creative goals. For example:

  • Edit latest flash fiction
  • Write ‘X’ number of words by ‘date’
  • Outline characters for WIP
  • Do Celtx tutorial in preparation for Scriptfrenzy
  • Learn flash
  • Make 10 second flash cartoon
  • Rough draft art for next webcomic installment (unpublished and on hiatus, like so many projects)

I like lists and I like tracking my progress and crossing things off. I have notebooks dedicated to my lists where items from yesterday can be brought to the next page and you can see the progress (or not) of my industriousness like layers in sedimentary rock. I have such a poor memory that I couldn’t really function without them. They keep me on track.

Sometimes though, I use my lists to procrastinate. I especially use that first list to procrastinate on the second.

Which is crazy right? I look at that second list and there is not one thing listed which fails to get me excited. Just sometimes the steps are a little too large and I get daunted or more often I get everything ready and then my self-doubt kicks in. So I wander off and do something else and if that something lets me cross something else off of a list, any list, then I get to feel like I’ve accomplished something. It’s not the same high I would get from a submission-ready final draft of that flash fiction but it’s easier than facing all that fear and self-doubt.

In my defense I usually come back to the second list and get some work done but I’m certainly less productive artistically than I could be. Than I SHOULD be.

Today I procrastinated by making what I thought would be a time intensive fancy dinner that turned out to be quick easy and delicious. I was done and fed in no time and got a lot of little things crossed off my creative to do list. So to celebrate that quick return to my word processor I’d like to share another author recipe.

 

Vichyssoise (Leek Soup)

This soup is more delicious than you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • butter 2-3 tablespoons as desired
  • 3 cups chicken stock (veggie stock for the vegetarians)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups half and half cream (10%)

Optional Extra Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons bacon bits, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup of Mushrooms, thinly sliced, I like a blend of crimini and mini bellas (technically these are all the same mushroom at different ages)
  • Chives, chopped

Instructions
Steps involving bacon and mushrooms may be omitted.

  1. Saute chopped leaks and potatoes in a large saucepan (mine is 12 inches with high sides) for several minutes. Until it is nicely aromatic.
  2. Once the smell of leeks and butter are making your mouth water add the broth, salt and pepper, and optional bacon.
  3. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. While simmering broth sauté mushrooms in butter until they develop a nice colour. Do not crowd.
  5. Remove both broth and mushrooms from heat and allow to cool.
  6. Add cream and half of mushrooms to broth and mix.
  7. Puree in blender (fills blender twice)
  8. Serve cold or reheat in pan.
  9. Garnish with chives and mushroom.

Serves 6.

Tips

  1. Don’t forget to reheat the garnish mushroom if serving the soup hot.
  2. Keep in mind if you use bacon bits they might be made with dye to achieve their bright colour. You could see this as a disaster or pretend to be Bridget Jones and serve pink soup!
  3. Omitting the mushrooms and bacon I think this would be a highly adaptable recipe. I intend to try several variations.
  • Add citrus and fruit with the broth (veggie), lemon and cranberries perhaps. Nothing too sweet, it should be light and summary. This could turn out horribly wrong. Either way you’ll probably hear about it.
  • Walnuts and almonds, blended into a paste and then blended into the soup. Definitely served cold. It would be so rich and decadent!
  • Stir in some cooked wild rice to the finished basic recipe to add flavour and texture to the creamy soup.
  • Use 35% cream and blend the soup until it stiffens.  Serve as savory mousse appetizer.  (I really want to try this!)

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Sin’s Long Labyrinth.

It’s my working title.  It’s from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage by Lord Byron and the moment I heard the phrase I knew it was perfect.  It reminds me of the classic science fiction titles that promised momentous journeys of the mind.  It is an ambitious title that inspires me to strive to live up to it in my writing.

Aside from being up to date on my nano word count and loving what I’m writing so much it makes me giggle there isn’t much to say right now.  So I will share a recipe I’ve created just this morning.

Aura’s Kale and Asiago Omlette

  • Kale, shredded into little bite size pieces
  • shredded asiago cheese
  • Sunflower seeds (I like roasted and salted for this)
  • Broth (I used leek and it was perfection)
  • Granulated garlic (or real if you’re less lazy then me)
  • Butter or cooking oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • eggs
  1. I put a little butter in the pan and then tossed in the kale and let it cook with a lid on the pan.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as the granulated or real minced garlic.
  3. Once and awhile as necessary add a bit of leek broth.  Let the kale get pretty soft, it takes awhile.  (I learned the hard way not to assume it would cook like spinach!)
  4. Once the kale is almost soft enough add some balsamic vinegar, not too much.  Cook until the vinegar smells a bit sweet like in a reduction (look it up, it’s delicious)  The kale should be good and soft.
  5. Remove from pan to another container and add sunflower seeds and a bit of shredded asiago.  You have a delicious side dish now.  I like to just leave it in the fridge and go nibble some cold when I get peckish.
  6. Oh right, the omlette part!  Grab a few eggs, beat and toss into a pan with a bit of butter to keep it from sticking on med-low heat.
  7. When the bottom of the omlette starts to cook toss in all the kale mixture you can fit in.  I tamp it down gently with a fork to make sure the kale isn’t too raucous and gets egg on top of it.
  8. Add a bit more asiago to the top if you want a bit more cheese, folding over is optional.
  9. It’s not in the ingredients but a little hot sauce on top is yummy.

Delicious and packed full good healthy Kale.  Everything a little novelist needs to start a day of novelizing.

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