“To edit a half-written book, is like a pilot reconstructing the fuselage while airborne”
I’m all about making goodies from scratch, but sometimes speedy shortcuts are the way to go. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, after all.
This apple pie comes together in about ten minutes. The big shortcut element is a can of pie filling. Mind you, I haven’t used pie filling in about a decade, and I was amazed at how much faster the process went. Peeling, coring, and slicing apples takes up time.
I used a Comstock apple caramel can. I did miss the firmer texture of fresh-cut apples, but the overall pie was just fine.
My husband described it as being “like a big oatmeal-apple cookie.”
I used my homemade crust recipe–shown below–but use a store-bought type if you need to. It’s holiday time. Time is precious.
Pie is precious, too.
Modified from Caramel Apple Crumble Pie at Averie Cooks.
I turned in my Breath of Earth edits to my editor last week. That took a huge burden off of me, but I haven’t been able to take it easy. Revisions ate my brain and my time, so I fell behind on everything else: short story and poetry re-submissions, story edits for myself and for other editors, my web site, general organization… and let’s not even talk about the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of my house. It’s a good thing we have therapists here a few times a week since that forces me to keep the main living areas in decent shape.
I have also, belatedly, jumped into Thanksgiving prep. I made and froze a couple batches of my soft dinner rolls and soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie dough and compiled ingredients for two different kinds of dressing and some other sides to feed company. I love doing all this, but I confess, this year I feel flustered and frantic as I ready myself for the holidays and catch up on everything else.
As part of that catch up, here are my latest publications and tour spots:
SFSignal interview with Beth Cato, by Patrick Hester; recorded at Sasquan/WorldCon
Reading and Writing Podcast discussion with Beth Cato
“Riders of the Apocalypse: Death” and “Hera Herself, at 8’clock Tonight,” Grievous Angel
Reminisces of a Kraken Caretaker, Devilfish Review
Holy Taco Church:
Yummy Marinade for Chicken
Advice for NaNoWriMo as Posted on Twitter
As part of the Wings of Sorrow and Bone tour:
GeekMom’s Geek Speaks… Fiction! with Gremlins Galore! Geeking Out About Hideously Adorable Sidekicks
The Writer’s Life eMagazine interview with me
Today I am happy to welcome Bishop O’Connell as my Bready or Not guest. He’s delivering a perfect winter recipe: Beef & Guinness Vegetable Soup! He’s also about to deliver his third book published through Harper Voyager Impulse. Three Promises comes out on December 8th! That gives you plenty of time to read the first two books in the American Faerie Tale series so you’re ready for the next.
Promises bind, but some promises break…
From the author of The Stolen and The Forgotten comes a collection of stories between the stories, a glimpse of the American Faerie Tale series characters in a whole new light.
For more than fifty years, Elaine has lived the life of an outcast elf, stripped of her rank and title in the fae court. Surrounded by her beloved collection of stolen artwork, we may just learn the secret behind her exile, and the one promise too important to break…
It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for – Caitlin and Edward are getting married! But few weddings ever go without a hitch. Old promises were broken, and new vows will be made…
In The Stolen, Brendan vowed to help Caitlin rescue her young daughter from the Dusk Court, even if it meant sacrificing himself. Alone and in torment, he has come to accept his fate. Until an unexpected visitor finds her way into his life…
Plus, an exclusive bonus story about the mysterious Legion of Solomon.
Beef & Guinness Vegetable Soup
This could very easily make a stew, but I prefer it as a soup. It’s hearty and great to freeze and reheat when you want something tasty on a cold day. You can use a 6 quart soup pot, but it will fill right to the top, so be careful, 8 quart is ideal.
1 lbs stew beef – cut into small pieces
2 medium sweet white onions – diced
1 lbs new potatoes – cut into quarters (even small ones should be cut in half)
1 lbs baby carrots – cut into small pieces
6 celery stocks (no leaves) – diced
1 lbs bag of frozen peas
1 lbs bag of frozen sweet corn
1 large can (16oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
16oz beef stock
16oz vegetable stock
Optional: dill, celery salt, garlic salt, chives.
3 pints of Guinness – at room temperature
It’s best to use the Guinness that doesn’t have a widget in it (see image). If you can only get the bottles or cans that do have the widget (nitrogen injection device) then open the bottles/cans and let them sit for a while before starting.
Put the soup pot over a medium high heat and add a couple teaspoons of olive oil and cook down the onions. When they start to turn translucent, add the stew beef, stirring regularly. By the time to beef has browned on the outside, the onions should be starting to caramelize. Add the Guinness and let it reduce to 1/3. Yes, 1/3, this will take a while (30 mins or so).
While this is happening two things will happen. First, you’ll see a thick froth develop and it will get large, especially if your pints had the widget. Don’t panic, this is normal and you can reduce it by stirring. The second thing that will happen is you’ll notice a very strong barley smell from the pot. Again, don’t worry, it will taste much better when it’s done than it smells at this stage.
When the Guinness has reduced add all the remaining ingredients, but add the stock last. Elsewise you’ll get a LOT of splashing. Once everything is in there, stir and bring to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, and enjoy the wonderful smell that will fill your kitchen. Add salt and pepper to taste, but keep in mind potatoes absorb salt and there are a lot of them so don’t worry if it seems like you’re adding a lot of salt. You can also, obviously, hold off and season when served to individual tastes. When finished, it freezes for 6-8 months without any concern, probably longer than that but I’ve never gotten it to last longer than that.
Goes great a cold hard cider and some fresh, crusty bread (buttered of course). You can go “full Irish” and have a Magners Cider (Bulmers in Ireland) and some soda bread. I’m actually not a big fan of soda bread (don’t tell!) but the cider compliments the flavor of the soup nicely.
Bishop O’Connell is the author of the American Faerie Tale series, a consultant, writer, blogger, and lover of kilts and beer, as well as a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Born in Naples Italy while his father was stationed in Sardinia, Bishop grew up in San Diego, CA where he fell in love with the ocean and fish tacos. While wandering the country for work and school (absolutely not because he was in hiding from mind controlling bunnies), he experienced autumn in New England. Soon after, he settled in Manchester, NH, where he writes, collects swords, revels in his immortality as a critically acclaimed “visionary” of the urban fantasy genre, and is regularly chastised for making up things for his bio. He can also be found online at A Quiet Pint, where he muses philosophical on life, the universe, and everything, as well as various aspects of writing and the road to getting published.Read More
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
~Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft