Sunday, July 15, 2018

In search of date recipes.

Alert hearth/myth readers will recall that some months back, I signed up for a service called Hungry Harvest. Every other week, I receive a box full of produce that would otherwise have gone to waste -- either the wholesalers bought too much of it, or the item is the wrong size or has surface blemishes that would make grocery shoppers pass it up. And it's all been perfectly fine, and perfectly delicious, so far.

For instance, this week's box included two green bell peppers and a seedless cucumber. I knew exactly what to do with those, thanks to a recipe I'd spotted in the Washington Post for Jose Andres's gazpacho. Gazpacho is a perfect summer soup -- a tasty alternative when it's too hot to cook and you're sick of salads. (Also, it's not spicy. Most Spanish-from-Spain food isn't spicy. You're thinking of Mexican food -- some of which is also not spicy. But I digress.)

I also received some apples and oranges, a bunch of kale (homemade kale chips, yay!), a broccoli crown, some little carrots (not baby carrots -- these are unpeeled and about four inches long each), and a pomegranate. Most of those will go in my lunch bag over the course of the coming week, but I think a bunch of the pomegranate seeds will end up mixed in with Greek yogurt as a snack. 

By the way, getting at the seeds inside a pomegranate is easy. Amy saw it on Facebook -- you make lengthwise cuts along the ridges on the outside of the fruit, then cut off the top, reach into the middle with your thumbs, and pull it apart. Presto! (See? Facebook is good for something, after all.)

Sometimes, however, the selections have me stumped. This week, it's my fault.

Gazpacho, pomegranates in yogurt, and those darned dates.
In addition to the regular box (which varies every time, depending on what's available), you can select add-ons. This week I bought a couple of avocados and an eight-ounce package of Medjool dates. The avocados aren't a problem; I use them in place of cheese in omelets, and there's always avocado toast. (I tried making guacamole once. It didn't end well.) 

The dates, though. I'm not sure what to do with them.

I checked through some of my cookbooks and didn't see anything date-related that floated my boat. I also asked Mama Google, but she wasn't much help. I'm seeing a lot of dates with coconut (which I'm not a big fan of), dates with bacon (honestly, you bacon people...), dates and pomegranate seeds (hey! I have those!) as a salad topper, and dates in various types of cookies and quick breads.

So dear hearth/myth readers, I turn to you: Anybody got a good recipe for dates? 

Thanks in advance. I'll report back next week.

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These moments of bloggy inventiveness have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Transcendence giveaway winners! And some news.

I have been hard at work today on the new series which still doesn't have a name. I got started on it last weekend and then realized I didn't know where I was going with it. So I took a few days off, did some more research, wrote my typical rough outline-ish thing, and went back at it.

This new series is going in a slightly different direction than I originally thought. There will still be river gods. The rest is morphing -- for the best, I hope.

But enough about a book that's not even been written yet. I know you're all here to find out who won the contest. And I am here to tell you that the winners of the paperback copies of the Transcendence trilogy are Cassandra Darensbourg and Suzanne Given. Congrats, ladies! I've sent each of you an email. Please check your spam folder if you haven't received it. 

Thanks to everyone who participated. I can't tell you how happy I am to be getting these books out of my house.

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Quickly, some other news:

* Mom's House is getting some recognition. I had two positive reviews that I forgot to mention last week (bad author! No donut!). In addition, this past Thursday, the memoir was featured on Book Doggy for 99 cents. Hint: it's still 99 cents through tomorrow at Amazon's US site, and also through tomorrow, it's 99 pence (that's how y'all do it, right?) at Amazon UK. So if you haven't had a chance yet to pick up a copy, now would be a good time to do it.

* I keep forgetting to mention that I'm going to be at an author signing event in Las Vegas on November 8th from 3pm-5pm. I'll be one of 100 authors in the same place, signing books and meeting readers. This is a free event for fans, and you're welcome either to bring your own books or purchase some in person (although I won't have a ton of inventory, so bringing your own copy might be better - just saying). Three lucky fans of all those who attend will win a Kindle Paperwhite!

The place is Sam's Town, 5111 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas, NV, in the Sam's Town Live! room on the main floor. If you live near Vegas or if you happen to be in town that day, come on by. Hope to see you there!


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These moments of promotional blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. (Vegas, baby!)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Great Transcendence giveaway.

I promised last week that there would be a giveaway this week. So here we go.

It's hard for me to believe that so much time has passed since the idea for the Transcendence trilogy germinated in my mind. It started with a random stop at the Great Circle Earthworks in Newark, Ohio, in the summer of 2016, and ended at my desk in our old apartment in October of last year. During that period, the events I wrote about in Mom's House came to a head. You could say the Transcendence books were as transformative for me as they were for Maggie.

But enough about me. Here's the scoop on the contest:

I'm giving away two -- count 'em, two -- sets, signed (naturally), of the trilogy, which is comprised of:

Maggie in the Dark
Maggie on the Cusp
Maggie at Moonrise

Down below is the Rafflecopter thingy, which you all know how to operate by now. The contest is live as we speak; you have until midnight Saturday, July 7th, to enter. I'll announce the winners next Sunday, July 8th, at the usual time. Anybody anywhere can enter -- I'm pretty sure I can front postage to wherever in the world you are.

The question I want everyone to answer is a sort of preview of the next series, which is on my mind because I wrote the first words of the first draft of the first book today. Alert hearth/myth readers know this series will have something to do with river gods. But my initial idea is expanding as we speak, and may end up involving more than just the element of Water. So please let me know in the comments what your favorite element is -- Earth, Air, Fire, or Water -- and maybe a little bit about why, and I'll see whether I can work any of that into this next series of books.

Oh! The prizes!
One each of these can be yours! Enter below!
As always, the usual and customary rules apply:

1. Friends and family may definitely enter.
2. Winners of previous contests may win again.
3. There will be a winner. I am getting these books out of my house, one way or another.
4. As always, the judge's decision is arbitrary, capricious, and final.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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These moments of bloggy Transcendence have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell.