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Quote Monday is coming from the sewer (as usual)

Ollie: “When I was taking a shower, I was hollering down the drain so the people would hear voices coming out of the sewer.”
Me: “Oh yeah? And what were you saying?”
Ollie: “Just regular sewer stuff. Like, ‘Hey, I can’t sleep down here because all this pee pee and poo poo is touching me!’ And Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

::Ollie choking::
Me: “Ollie, are you okay?”
Ollie: “Something went down the wrong tube. So I took it out and put it down the right tube.”

Ollie: “Evie and I slept in the same bed. We snuggled. She told me to, even when I had a diaper full of pee pees.”

There are zombies in Lake Michigan

This is not a drill!

Actual headlines: “Crews Have Been Pulling Zombies Out of Lake Michigan” and “Coast Guard finds zombie floating in Lake Michigan

The Coast Guard never gets enough credit for their zombie fighting powers.

It turns out there might be a logical explanation. We had some truly ridiculous weather here on Halloween, and it sunk a haunted house barge floating off of Navy Pier. The barge was full of Halloween props, including some realistic looking zombies, and they’ve been washing up on shore here and again, giving people a bit of a fright.

At least, that’s what the “authorities” are “claiming”. Be on your guard people!

Quote Monday considers Egg-o-pot

Me: “Ollie, I don’t want to hear potty words.”
Ollie: “I said, ‘boot’.”
Me: “Did you? It sounded like you said, ‘poop’.”
Ollie: “Well, I *wanted* to say ‘boot’, but it might have come out wrong.”

Ollie: “If you cut your hair, you look like Uncle Nathan.”
Me: “I do?”
Ollie: “Yeah, when you have less hair.”
Me, laughing.
Ollie: “Well, Uncle Nathan’s hair is more…white.”

Me, looking at Evie’s book: “So, what’s the secret of the museum?”
Evie: “The secret is that they’re opening an exhibit on ancient egg-o-pot.”
Me: “Can I tell you a secret? I think it’s ancient Egypt.”

Fried Green Tomatoes

The first Friday of the month is reserved for recipes. You can see additional First Friday Food posts here.

The Reason:

I’m not sure I had a single post on the garden this year. However, we recently tore out all the tomato plants to start getting ready for winter, which left us with lots and lots of green tomatoes.

And, quite frankly, what’s not improved with a little breading and frying?

2014_10_19_0293

The Journey:

The plants were still green and flowering when we pulled them out, but we have already dealt with our fair share of tomatoes. We processed and canned over 100 lbs. this year! Mostly salsa and marinara, and a few other things.

There are only so many things you can do with green tomatoes. We pickled some, made chutney with some, but you only need so many jars of pickled green tomatoes (possibly 0 jars; we’ll see when they’re ready!)

I’m not from the south, and this wasn’t something we ate growing up. When Sara lived in North Carolina, I remember ordering them at a restaurant somewhere. Sort of a “when in Rome” kind of thing. They were *amazing*, and all these years later, I’m still chasing that dragon. I’ve never had any since that were quite as good.

2014_10_19_0294

The Verdict:

Well *I* think they are delicious. The kids don’t care for them at all, and Sara likes to have a few as an appetizer here and again, which left lots and lots of helpings for me (like, all I could eat plus another 2 lunches or so).

There are lots of recipes online for fried green tomatoes, but the key to me was the cornmeal. That’s what really gives them that flavor I was looking for. Sara likes to make up her own sauces, but a little spicy & sweet mustard is my favorite.

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The Recipe:

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes:

  • 4 large green tomatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying
  1. Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
  3. In a large skillet, pour oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.

I’m going to be in a year’s best!

So, the table of contents for “The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction 2013” was released today…guess who’s going to be sharing a TOC with Neil Gaiman?

That’s right! My story “Random Play All and the League of Awesome” from OOMPH: A Little Super Goes a Long Way was selected as one of the best young adult stories printed in 2013. Obviously that feels pretty good (especially receiving the email out of nowhere), but now that I see the full table of contents, it’s a little overwhelming! People I know, people I admire, and people I didn’t think to have my name alongside.

Did I mention Neil Gaiman? I am *literally* listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane RIGHT NOW.

Here’s the full table of contents:

Selkie Stories Are For Losers  -  Sofia Samatar
By Bone-Light  -  Juliet Marillier
The Myriad Dangers  -  Lavie Tidhar
Carpet  -  Nnedi Okorafor
I Gave You My Love by the Light of the Moon  -  Sarah Rees Brennan
57 Reasons for the Slate Quarry Suicides  -  Sam J. Miller
The Minotaur Girls  -  Tansy Rayner Roberts
Not With You, But With You  -  Miri Kim
Ghost Town  -  Malinda Lo
December  -  Neil Gaiman
An Echo in the Shell  -  Beth Cato
Dan’s Dreams  -  Eliza Victoria
As Large As Alone  -  Alena McNamara
Random Play All and the League of Awesome  -  Shane Halbach
Mah Song  -  Joanne Anderton
What We Ourselves Are Not  -  Leah Cypess
The City of Chrysanthemum  -  Ken Liu
Megumi’s Quest  -  Joyce Chng
Persimmon, Teeth, and Boys  -  Steve Berman
Flight  -  Angela Slatter
We Have Always Lived on Mars  -  Cecil Castellucci

I am so excited right now, you have no idea. I guess you’re supposed to act all gracious, like you’ve been there before and whatnot, but screw that! I’ve got over 300 rejections, I’m savoring the wins for all they’re worth.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over here, shouting from the rooftops.

The Distant Architect

A fellow writer and Chicagoan (and *most* importantly, reader of this blog) Clara Alcott, is currently running a Kickstarter to fund her “Science Fiction Noir” film, The Distant Architect.

The Distant Architect centers on a young architect named Karen who begins to question what she knows about herself and her body. Are there parts of her that are cybernetic? Does it matter? Can she still be considered a “normal woman”?

If you watch the preview, you’ll see Chicago all over this thing.

The real reason I think you should back this, however, is because they have the cutest reward ever: at the $35 level, Clara’s dad will bake you a cake. This is not just any cake, however. This is his special white chocolate cake he makes for special occasions. How cute is that? Not to mention the fact that $35 for a cake, a DVD of the movie, and a pass to the screening (if you live in Chicago) is a pretty sweet deal (no pun intended).

They only have until Saturday to reach their goal, so if you like Indie cinema, Science Fiction/Noir, or helping artists, drop them a dime over at Kickstarter, or help spread the word.

Quote Monday is rescued by DST

Sara: “I suppose I should get dressed.”
Me: “Hey, it’s before noon.”
Sara: “Daylight Savings Time to the rescue!”
::Later::
Me: “In your pajamas by 3:30? Wait a minute, didn’t you just get dressed at noon?”
Sara: “It was 11:30!”

::talking about meat::
Sara: “Well, what do you think we’re made of?”
Evie : “…”
::time passes, we move on to other topics::
Ollie: “CHICKEN!”
Everyone: “What?”
Ollie: “Is that what we’re made of?”

Ollie: “I’m thirsty, I need a drink.”
Sara: “Well, would you like water, or milk?”
Ollie: “Actually, what I would like is syrup.”

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