Three Ingredients II – 7: Baby Bok Choy, Barbecue Sauce, Aluminum Foil

Cosmo cowgirl vintageIsn’t it just the berries when with no planning at all, things just come together? Everything about our 1920’s serial is unplanned “panster” fun — even the timing of when you all send ingredients.  So I was tickled when I learned that the next set of ingredients coincided with something important for the reader who is featured this weekend.

Mary J McCoy-Dressel, who sent the ingredients for this episode, heycowboy_medjust happens to have just released a new cowboy romance novel — and you are among the first to know!  Sheiks and Shebas in Mary’s books are “Gentlemen cowboys (with a touch of bad) and their feisty heroines,” as the author describes them. So get ready for the sequel to Howdy Ma’amthe long awaited Hey Cowboy.  

Furthering the synchronicity, the fourth Saturday of every July is the National Day of the American Cowboy. I know this is unnecessary, but indulge me.  With ghosts in the story, and the cowboy references… I just can’t resist.

Right up to the very last minute, I didn’t know what I was going to do with this set of ingredients. I’m not sure what had me scratching my head more, barbecue sauce or baby bok choy.  Oddly enough, I wasn’t worried about aluminium foil. So I started writing this introduction rather than the story…  Then, after I went to bed, I remembered the Jar of Spooky Things. Naturally, with Ghost Riders in the Sky still playing in my head, I took a random ghostly ingredient from the song, rather than from the jar.

Now, hang on tight.  Here we go by the seats of our pants again!  Bon appétit!

 

7.  Baby Bok Choy, Barbecue Sauce, Aluminum Foil

With Ghost-rider

“So Andy, tell me all about Hollywood!  All the crazy stuff with the haunted wine bottle from the old factory and the ghost chef… All that started up before we ever got to talk about your new home,” I said to my old friend, Andy the Astronaute-man.

Pug episode-7Andy Avis was one of my group of friends back in a tiny town near Santa Rosa Sound, Florida.  I nicknamed him the Astronaute-man because he wrote science fiction stories and even screenplays.  I expected him to begin by telling me about his work at the movie studio, but apparently food was on his mind.  He told me about his favorite restaurant, a Chinese place.

“They really put on the Ritz!  It’s an amazing looking restaurant.  And they make this baby bok choy dish, with garlic.  I had never had it before, but it’s turned into one of my favorite foods,” he said enthusiastically.

I told him about Alastair and Arabella Wong and their restaurant, Wong’s Chinese.  “Oh yeah, he said.  “That’s the lady you said owns Wriggles, the little pug dog.  Mrs. Peabody is just dog-sitting until she gets back from vacation, right?”Vintage Asia mag

“Yes, that’s the one.  Funny isn’t it, the way this kind of thing seems to happen?” I commented.  “Alastair and Arabella leave here to visit California, while you come from California to here.”

Andy chuckled.  “Yeah, it’s like the hand of Fate making sure things stay in balance.  If one thing or person leaves a realm, then another must take its place,” he said, talking like he would in one of the science fiction stories he wrote.

The black Dodge Roadster puttered along toward the abandoned factory.  Andy had put the tan colored ragtop down when we started out, but he looked up at the clouding sky in concern.  “Do you think we should stop and put the top up?”

The old factory that Andy had bought on behalf of a studio executive was only a little further down the road.  “We’re almost there.  Why don’t we just take our chances?” I suggested, knowing Andy was probably more concerned about me getting rained on than himself or the automobile.

“So why in the world would Manny Mayer the Movie Maker want an abandoned factory in Savannah, Georgia?” I asked Andy about the executive.

Cowgirl valentineAndy Avis gave an exaggerated shrug.  “I sorta wondered that myself.  I was bragging.  Goading him a little you know.  He can be kind of a blowhard.  So I was telling him about how much better the barbecue sauce is here in the south, and how much better it is than anything he’s ever tasted.  So maybe he wants to open a huge barbecue place,” Andy said jokingly, which earned him a look from me.  “Okay, so maybe not.  To be honest, I didn’t want to ask too many questions, since he — or the studio was paying for my trip.  To me, it was as much for pleasure, for rest and relaxation, as for business,” he said and gave me a quick one-armed hug while he drove.

Something about his tone and a sad look in his eyes made me concerned.  “Are you okay?  Out there all the way across the country, by yourself?” I asked.

Andy grinned like his old self.  “Hollywood is the cat’s pajamas!” he said, though his smile waivered a little.  “But I admit it’s a big adjustment.  Everything is so different, whether I’m at the studio or just walking down the street.”

The sun came back out, clearing away the clouds.  Soon we were at the abandoned building.  It predated the Civil War.  The factory-warehouse was a sort of hideout for blockade runners back then.  We knew there might be all kinds of interesting stuff still inside because it was supposed to be haunted, and that would have kept away many thieves and vandals.

However, there wasn’t much of anything within plain sight.  There were plenty of crates
and even old trunks.  Plus the windows didn’t let in much light.  We had our work cut out for us, 1920s cowgirl grapefruit adbut we were armed with flashlights and dust-rags, and Andy had a crowbar for opening crates.

After a few minutes of stirring up dust, we spotted an old document lying on top of a tall crate.  We moved sturdy looking smaller crates to stand on, so we could see the top of the tall wooden box.  The paper was crumbling with age.  We were afraid it would fall apart into useless bits if we picked it up.  “If we just had something to put it in,” I muttered half to myself.

“It’s probably just a shipping manifest, but you never know.  Heck, even that could be interesting.  Oh!” Andy exclaimed.  “Granny is always determined to send food back with me, so I bought some aluminum foil… but I forgot to give it to her.  It’s out in the roadster.  That would work.  We can make a foil envelope around this paper.  If we’re real careful, it should hold together,” Andy said and headed back to the Dodge.

As I watched my friend’s form disappear into the dank building, I gulped.  Knowing I was alone in the abandoned factory gave me a creepy feeling, even though I knew Andy was only a shout away and would be back quickly.  Then a long roll of thunder filled the building.  It sounded close.  I realized Andy would be a little longer, since he’d need to put the top up on the ragtop two-seater.  I wondered if I should go help him.

Tom Mix poster“Just stay there, Pip!” I heard him call back to me, though he was out of sight.  “Sounds like the rain’s coming back.  There’s no point in you getting wet too.  I can put the top up on the roadster,” he said, voice fading into the distance.

A low whistle caused me to turn with a start.

“Well now, ain’t you a pretty little filly,” said a man wearing a Stetson hat.

He looked like he’d walked out of a Tom Mix movie.  Actually, he was tall, well-built, and a real looker.

“You startled me,” I gasped, stating the obvious.

He looked abashed and removed the Stetson with a sort of bow.  “Howdy, ma’am.  Pardon me. I seem to have forgotten my manners.  It’s been awhile since…” he began but his words trailed away as thunder rumbled again.

The room shook and it felt like the thunder was right beside me.  I felt the man’s hand around my waist, and he roughly pulled me against him.  My breath caught in my throat as I gazed up at his bright eyes, which shone with an emotion that I couldn’t define or even describe.  Suddenly a couple of huge red-eyed cows careened past.  They had long shiny black horns that missed me by an inch.  I realized that one of those horns would have gored me if the cowboy hadn’t pulled me aside.

“What… was that?” I said, pulling away from him.

Then I noticed a large lariat was in his hands.  I was sure it hadn’t been there before.1933 Macleans

“Dang it all…” he muttered and then sighed with frustration.  “I wouldn’t have caught them anyway,” he spoke words that rang of defeat.

He shook his head, looking after the longhorn cows, which disappeared as suddenly as they appeared.  Then he turned back to me. “Caleb Colman, ma’am,” the cowboy said and put out his hand to shake mine.

I might have giggled about the name Caleb Colman the Cowboy, but I didn’t.  Because the moment I shook his hand was when I realized how cold his touch really was.  I’d felt it all the way through my dress too, when he pulled me out of the way of the cattle.  I knew what he was.  By then, you’d think I’d have been used to meeting ghosts, but I introduced myself awkwardly.  He finished what he had been about to say before the red-eyed cows interrupted us.

“It’s my curse.  Me and all the riders.  We chase that herd of red-eyed cattle, but we never get any closer to catching ‘em.  And we’ll chase them ‘til the end of time,” The ghost-rider said seeing the expression on my face.

Caleb bowed his head, Stetson hat in hand. I didn’t know what to say.  Nothing seemed sufficient compared to the thought of an unwilling and futile chase that went on forever.  There was deep sadness and regret in the ghost-rider’s eyes.

Wild west weekly“I know I did some bad things during my life.  Some truly horrible things,” he said, shaking his head remorsefully.  “I only wish I could be allowed to make up for it, to redeem myself somehow.”

That was when everything started to happen at once.  I heard a distant rumble like thunder.  I felt Caleb’s cold hand at my waist again.  Andy called my name.  He had just come back into view, at the far end of the poorly lighted factory floor.  The room began to shake violently.  A dozen red-eyed cattle with long sharply pointed black horns charged past.  The Devil’s Herd was headed straight for Andy.

Caleb yelled at Andy to take cover, as he pulled me to the floor and out of the way.  Even if Andy hadn’t been frozen in shock, he wouldn’t have had time to move.  Immediately behind the cattle were two more ghost-riders, their horses snorting fire.

Their lariats spun circles of burning light as they tried to lasso the cattle.  One cowboy’s lariat went around a set of shiny black horns, but the beast managed to shake it off before the ghost-rider could tighten the rope.  The lasso went back into the air — and landed around Andy!

Glowing-Longhorns copy

As if by magic, a fire-snorting horse appeared and Caleb leapt into the saddle in a single motion.  He charged after the other ghost-riders, yelling at them to stop.  However, the lasso tightened around Andy, lifting him into the air as the riders thundered past.

Then with the sound of a thunderclap and a flash of fire, they all disappeared.

***

Recipe:  Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Garlic

by Lillian Chou on Epicurious.com

Baby bok choy

Recipe and Photo Credit:  Epicurious.com

Yield:  8 servings

Active time:  35 min

Total time:  35 min

Ingredients

1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic (about 8 cloves)

2 pounds baby or Shanghai bok choy, halved lengthwise

2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil

Equipment: a well-seasoned 14-inch flat-bottomed wok with a lid

 

Preparation

Stir together broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until cornstarch has dissolved.

 

Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly.  Pour peanut oil down side of wok, then swirl oil, tilting wok to coat side.  Add garlic and stir-fry until pale golden, 5 to 10 seconds.  Add half of bok choy and stir-fry until leaves wilt, about 2 minutes, then add remaining bok choy and stir-fry until all leaves are bright green and limp, 2 to 3 minutes total.  Stir broth mixture, then pour into wok and stir-fry 15 seconds.  Cover with lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes.  Stir in sesame oil, then transfer to a serving dish.

Chef’s  note:

Baby bok choy can be washed, dried, and halved one day ahead.  Chill wrapped in paper towels, in a sealed bag.

***

 Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

 

 

 

Awesome Image from Ileana

As I had my morning coffee, the news caster told about a community who’s quiet home-life is to be shattered by the installation of a shooting range. Ever a multi-tasker, I was also looking at my online things — and I saw this powerful image.

From Romanian to English:

One word, signifying what each wants in life, there is love and there is no hope, we seek, we’ll find when we know we have to cherish, and when we find hardly disappears. When we could say well, we know what it means …

*Un Singur Cuvant…*.

Three Ingredients II – 6: Turnips, Onions, Sauerkraut

Casper cookingWelcome back everyone! I’m pleased to tell you that today’s ingredients were sent by a reader who hasn’t always been with us here at Teagan’s Books — Jo Robinson.

Jo lives in beautiful South Africa, and has written quite a remarkable collection of stories.  She has a wonderful imagination.  For instance in her novel “The Shadow People, The Finding” characters are hurled across time and space, and find themselves on Lapillus, a beautiful world made up of precious gems.  (If you had any idea what a self-proclaimed “rock geek” I am, you’d understand that is a huge attraction. I have such a thing for semiprecious gems…)

Jo says all creatures feathered and furred inspire her writing, so I’m curious to know which of the “critters” in our serial she likes best.

Jo Robinson bk

This week’s ingredients have remarkable health benefits.  I never knew that about sauerkraut!  Another reader, Sally at “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” told me she recommends onions (among many other vegetables) for their healthfulness in her book on nutrition and emotional health. Check out Sally’s nutrition book, “Turning Back the Clock.”

Episode 6Maybe I need a nice “dose” of sauerkraut myself — to energize me. But on with our “interactive” serial instead! Without further lament, here is Episode-6.  Bon appétit!

6.  Turnips, Onions, Sauerkraut

A scent of mint was on the breeze and I inhaled with pleasure.  I sat on the ground in Granny Fanny’s garden wiping dirt from a turnip and an interesting idea popped into my head.  “I wonder how turnips would taste cooked with some mint,” I pondered aloud.Vintage rabbit driving

Cinnamon Bun, Granny’s Flemish Giant rabbit, looked at me quizzically and twitched his dirty nose.  I could have offered the huge bunny a turnip, but he clearly enjoyed digging up his own.  Just as we both went back to the dirt, a loud noise cracked the air.  I jumped half out of my skin, and Cinnamon Bun dashed to the security of his hutch.

The loud sound was followed by the beep-beep or a horn.  I looked down toward the road and saw a Dodge Roadster.  It wasn’t new.  I guessed it was about a 1921 model.  It was a black two-seater with a tan rag-top and tan spoke wheels.  The automobile was not familiar to me.  However, it pulled into Granny’s driveway.  A moment later Andy Avis jumped out and hurried to the back yard, where I sat in the vegetable garden.

I shook my head and chuckled to myself.  It seemed like every automobile Andy ever drove backfired like that.

“What do you think?” Andy asked motioning to the Dodge.

“It’s the berries,” I told him, because it really was a cute little vehicle.  “What happened to your Studebaker?” I voiced my thought.1921 Dodge Raodster

“Oh, it wasn’t worth the cost of shipping it to Hollywood, so I had to let her go,” he said with a touch of regret in his voice.  “Garth Gilley, down at the garage, let me rent this roadster from him.  If I knew more about how long I was going to be in town, I’d just buy it,” he said and I chuckled.  “Yes, Pip. I’ve already succumbed to the charms of a new vehicle, before the dust of the Studebaker has even settled,” he said, taking off his hat and placing it over his heart in pretend drama.

Garth,owned Gilley’s Garage.  Garth’s brother Godfrey owned Gilley’s Grocery where my grandmother and I bought much of our food.  Godfrey was attentive to Granny Fanny’s preferences for just the right produce, and Garth handled her Model-T with kid gloves.  They were good people, the Gilleys.

I took my basket of turnips, and on impulse plucked some fresh mint.  Andy followed me to the side of the cottage, that’s where the water pump was.  Always thoughtful, Andy got the water going and I rinsed off the vegetables and cleaned my hands.

Vintage Water PumpThe pump was near the open kitchen window.  An unexpected sound caused me to be immediately concerned.  Andy asked me if I needed any more water, and I shushed him.  Then I apologized in a whisper and motioned to the window.  Had I heard sobbing?  Granny was the only one inside the cottage.  Or was she?

I strained to hear, but Wriggles the pug was whining at Cinnamon Bun’s hutch, trying to get him to come outside.  I didn’t worry about Cinnamon with the dog, because the rabbit was much larger.  Besides, they seemed to be friendly with each other.  They weren’t making much noise, but it was enough to prevent me hearing what was happening inside the cottage.

Yes, yes… I know I shouldn’t listen that way, but I felt awfully protective of my grandmother.  Suddenly I heard a consoling voice.  A male voice.  Quietly I moved to the house and stood below the kitchen window.  Andy was right behind me.

“Holy Hannah,” Andy whispered.  “It can’t be.”

I scrunched up my face and gave Andy a look because he wasn’t making any sense.  Then the voices became louder.  The man had an accent.  Applesauce!

“No, no, no bella.  A flower like you should not cry.  Dry your tears and tell the Maestro all about it.  This will make you feel better, no?” the ghost chef consoled my grandmother — and she let him, despite the fact that she kicked his posterior into the refrigerator and slammed shut the door the first time she saw him..

My jaw dropped open.  I heard Granny mumble something about onions.man_ray_tears

“No, no, Luce dei Miei Occhi!  Light of my eyes, you do not fool the Maestro.  These tears are not from the onion.  Someone has broken your heart, I can see it.”

Suddenly the sobbing grew louder.  Poor Granny!  She was bawling her eyes out.  I moved to go inside and make sure she was okay.  However, Andy held me back.

“Actually Pip… the ghost seems to be doing a good job of comforting her.  There might be things that she needs to get off her chest that she wouldn’t necessarily want to tell her granddaughter,” my friend whispered.

I had to admit that Andy had a point.  My thoughts went to the big shindig where we had cornered the gang of bootleggers, and moments before I had accidentally found Dabney Daniels and Granny in a passionate kiss.  Granny had rejected him because she1920s Arrow couple couldn’t accept being older than the handsome detective.  I figured she was probably no more than a dozen years his senior, and I couldn’t understand why she let that bother her.  But it did, and it was her choice, so I didn’t try to convince her otherwise.  Anyhow, when you consider Granny’s mixed feelings for Detective Dabney Daniels, maybe the ghost was right.  Maybe her heart was breaking.

I heard indistinguishable words in between sobs.  Then finally she spoke clearly.  “I don’t know if it was the right thing for me, but it had to be the right thing for him.  It just had to be.  A beautiful man, still in his prime shouldn’t be saddled with an old woman,” she said, though Maestro Martino protested.  “But just because I turned him down — it didn’t mean I wanted him to move halfway up the east coast!” she cried.  “And I surely didn’t want him to run off and do something so dangerous!” she wailed.

In between a lot of blubbering we learned that Dabney Daniels went to Washington DC to become part of a special taskforce.  Granny also felt a little betrayed, because her old friend, Federal Marshal, Moses Myrick gave Daniels a glowing recommendation for the new position.

“So he’s gone for training with the U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Taskforce.  That’s even more dangerous than his work as a police detective.  If anything happens to Dabney I’ll never forgive myself,” Granny sobbed.  “It’s my fault.  I pushed him into it by rejecting his romantic advances.”

Martino continued to console Granny Fanny.  Once she seemed calmer, Andy and I went to the back porch and inside the cottage.  As I opened the kitchen door I heard Kitchen Maid adbustling sounds.  To my surprise, it wasn’t Granny moving around her kitchen.  It was Maestro in his white chef’s apron and hat, along with those odd looking Renaissance era boots.  His back was to us, but he appeared to be making tea and a snack.

I couldn’t believe Granny would sit still for the ghost to be cooking in her kitchen — not after the way she had acted the first time she saw him.  I supposed that was testament to how distraught she was.  I also didn’t know what to expect the ghost chef to do when he saw us.  I thought maybe he’d wink out, disappear; whatever you’d call it.

“Ah! Signorina o Signore please do make yourselves comfortable.  The Maestro, he will soon have prepared something nice to make everyone feel better, no?” the spirit said.

Granny avoided looking at us.  I knew she didn’t want me or Andy to see her tear stained face.  She excused herself and went to wash her face.  She gave a sidelong, annoyed glance to Maestro for daring to do anything in her kitchen, but she hurried out of the room without saying anything else.

Maestro Martino turned to watch her retreating form as she went down the hall.  He was humming a tune that I recognized for a madrigal, It Was a Lover and His Lass.  So intent was the ghost on watching my grandmother’s backside that he overfilled a teacup and didn’t notice, even when the liquid spilled over the countertop to the blue and white tile floor.

It Was a Lover and His Lass – Highland High School Madrigal singers 20131215

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTvcDjOrA9A

I cleared my throat loudly and then got a dishtowel and mopped up the mess.  The Maestro acted as if nothing had happened.  He served tea and sat down at the kitchen table to join Andy and me.  There was something different about his face.  I looked at him closely.  The corner of his lower lip was swollen and inflamed.  He seemed to sip his tea very carefully.

It was puzzling to me… after all, he was a ghost.  “Maestro, is everything okay,” I said pointing to the corner of my own mouth to show what I meant.

He sighed unhappily.  “No, Signorina.  It is only …” he paused, searching for the correct term.  “It is only a canker sore, I think you call it,” he said sardonically.

“Oh, that can be miserable,” I said sympathetically.

I moved to the refrigerator.  I took out a dish of sauerkraut and got a fork from the drawer.  “Here.  Get a wad of kraut Sauerkraut adand put it against the mouth ulcer for a minute or two.  Then chew it up and swallow it,” I instructed him in the same remedy Granny had
given others in the past.  “It works, I promise.”

He did as I said.  After a moment he chewed and gulped, then washed down the sauerkraut with his tea.  Andy looked at the ghost chef with a speculative expression on his face that probably matched my own.  My friend seemed to weigh a couple of options and then discard them.  Finally Andy cleared his throat and questioned Maestro Martino.

“Pardon me, but how can a ghost have a canker sore?” he asked what might have been an impertinent question as politely as he could.

“Ah Signore,” Maestro began and shook his head remorsefully.  “When first I met you two lovely young people, I told you of my predicament.  Through no fault of my own, I pissed off the Pope and in short the point of the parable is now I am a poltergeist,” he said and waited for us to confirm that we remembered.  “Perhaps I postponed providing the piece where my predicament also presents another problem,” he said looking embarrassed.

Had the spirit really used that many Ps?  I blinked and gave my head a shake to make sure I was keeping up with him.

Vintage kitchen bouquet ad“Well, part of the predicament is…” he paused and winced as apparently the ulcer pained him when he moved his mouth a certain way.  “Whenever I lust after a beautiful woman… I get the canker sore.”

Andy chortled and I gave his ankle a little kick under the table, and told him he was being insensitive.  However, Andy just laughed again.  “Pip, don’t you realize?” he asked, though I didn’t understand what he meant.  “The beautiful woman he was lusting after was your grandmother,” he said as he leaned his chair backward and
 rocked it on two legs while he chuckled at me.

My eyes popped open wide as I looked at Maestro Martino accusingly.  The ghost looked down at his teacup and nodded penitently.  I got up but I didn’t know what to do with myself.  When I rested my hand on the countertop it landed on the dishtowel, sopping wet with tea.  I threw the towel at Maestro’s face.

The ghost immediately became transparent, and the wet towel went right through him.  It plopped wetly across Andy’s face.  Apparently I threw it pretty hard.  Andy was still leaning his chair back on two legs, and he toppled over when the wet towel landed, covering his face.Lon-Chaney_London_after_Midnight poster

When Andy sat up, wet white towel still covering his face, he looked like a ghost out
of a Lon Chaney movie.  I made a comment to that effect, and Andy proceeded to make monster-like motions and chase me around the cottage, with the towel still covering his face.  It was amazing that he didn’t run into more furniture than he did.

Wriggles the pug’s sensitive ears picked up the excited noises of play and he barreled into the game.  The little dog barked as he chased behind Andy.  I ran into the parlor and both of them followed.  Granny Fanny must have been “on a mission” to learn something again, because there were several stacks of newspapers and other periodicals from the library around the room.

Unable to see very much, Andy stumbled over a stack of newspapers.  Our laughter subsided, but Wriggles hadn’t given up the game.  The pug bounced around on the strewn papers and in a moment the entire floor was covered.  Andy and I set about collecting the pages and putting them back into the right order.

I noticed that they were very old issues of the Savannah Tribune, from before I wasVintage Pug even born.  Andy was on his hands and knees trying to get newspapers away from the dog without tearing them.  Something caught his eye, and he shifted from his knees to a sitting position to read a page.  He scratched his head and made a humpf sound that I’d often heard him make when he was thinking about an idea for one of his science fiction stories.

“What is it?” I asked.

“This name is familiar, but I don’t know why.  It’s an announcement article about a local boy rising up in the organization of the Church here,” Andy said as he continued to browse the write-up.  “Two brothers had been on scholarships to some hoity-toity business university, but during summer break, back home in Savannah, one of them suddenly joined the priesthood.”

“Do you mean the Binghamtons?” I asked

“Yepper,” he said and then smacked his palm against the polished oak floor with a loud smack that started the pug barking.

I shushed the dog by scratching his back.  Wriggles lived up to his name.  That little dog loved getting his back scratched.  He stuck out his tongue to lick his little pugged nose and wagged his tail until I thought he’d tip over.

Andy continued. “Now I remember where I’ve seen that name.  I saw it when I was researching the ownership history of the abandoned factory Manny Mayer had me buy for him.  I don’t remember the first name, except that it started with a ‘B’ but the surname was Binghamton for sure,” he said.

I remembered the old photograph I had seen at the Kingston mansion during the big shindig. It seemed like Daisy wanted me to see something in it.  I remembered it clearly.  I saw Daisy step through the broad French doors.  She went to a large framed photograph and placed her hand on it.  She nodded to 1917 Vogueme.  I knew there was information in that photograph. But then Daisy vanished.

He handed me the yellowed page.  It had a much smaller version of the same old photograph.  However this one had the surnames of the men listed under it.  Sure enough, one of them was Binghamton.  The image was so small, that it was hard to tell if one of them was a much younger version of the man who was now a bishop.

Looking closely, I realized there were two men who were thinner than the others.  The bishop was a very slight man.  So those must be the Binghamton brothers.  However, I couldn’t make out much about their faces from the old newsprint image.

Andy and I sat back and looked at each other.  One of the Binghamtons had owned the factory where Daisy the ghost girl said something happened to her.  It was something so horrible that she blocked it out of her living memory and she was afraid to go inside the place even as a ghost.

“We need to make tracks back to that factory and look around,” I said.

***

How to Preserve Onions

Next time, Barbeque Sauce, Baby Bok Choy, Aluminium Foil

 

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Cover Reveal (Double Dutch Ranch: Love at First Sight #2)

teagan geneviene:

On a sleepy Saturday morning… a little romance is a good thing! Keep your eye out for this one — available soon.

Originally posted on Author Mary J. McCoy-Dressel:

#WesternRomance #Romance #BYNR #CoverReveal

~Cover Reveal

Double Dutch Ranch Series:
Love at First Sight #2

Summer 2014

Meet Jase and Brenna

HeartbreaksReward_LRG

Heartbreak’s Reward

Blurb

Rancher Jase Carlson doesn’t understand the ache in the hollow of his chest, since his ex-wife ripped his heart out. To add more devastation to his life, she doesn’t follow the court rules where his kids are concerned. Harboring an attitude and a grudge, he accepts that life goes on. Months later, not much has changed—except now Jase is lonelier and even more pissed off. When he comes to the aid of a woman in distress, he’s sorry he was raised to be a gentleman. To make matters worse, he’s coerced into spending time alone with her. No matter how tight her jeans and sweet her smile, he insists this sexy blonde is not what his broken heart needs. But will he feel the same way…

View original 205 more words

***** Star Review

teagan geneviene:

Not the usual children’s book — adults will love it too. Check out “Tall Animal Tales for Toddlers & Up” http://www.amazon.com/Tall-Animal-Tales-Toddlers-amp/dp/1291756825/ref=la_B004I7CFTU_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405769062&sr=1-5

Originally posted on barsetshirediaries:

What an absolute treat to find Reuben’s book has been given such a lovely 5 star review- his first- since the book went on Kindle this week.
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly delightful! July 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Sweet, witty, mischievous… For the first time, David Prosser, the author of the gloriously funny Barsetshire Diaries, brings his well-known sense of humor and kindly disposition into the world of children books. Well, it’s about time, I say, since the result is an enchanting book of poems about delightful animals who lead very active and interesting lives. Children will adore them, and the adults who might read it to them will giggle over them because not everything is as it seems… The book is available as both a print book and an e-book, both are lovely and eminently suitable as a gift. Enjoy!

View original 44 more words

The Sunday Show – ‘Egokiller’ a band committed to 52 singles in a year for charity.

teagan geneviene:

I’m delighted to return the favor to Sally, for re-blogging my recent Episodes of “Three Ingredients, Cookbook-2.” Besides this is so worthy. Enjoy

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

This week my guests are a band who have put their music on the line to increase awareness of the growing homelessness on our streets in addition to many of the social issues that impact many of us at some point in our lives.

Some people mutter about charity overwhelm and complain about big charities who are run more as businesses with high salaries and reduced commitment to those they were set up to help. I believe there is still some great work being done every day on our streets and behind the scenes. There are also hundreds of thousands of caring individuals who do what they can to help people, animals, environmental causes and equally importantly their own families who might be struggling.

It is clear from reading some of the interviews that the band have done that there is a strong sense of family between the three key…

View original 1,755 more words

Three Ingredients II – 5: Apricots, Eggs, Wheat Flour

Cat_menu_Episode-5Recently Siobhan took up the torch and continued the “Meet My Main Character” blog tour.  (Thanks again Siobhan!)  She also gave us the ingredients for this week’s episode of our interactive culinary mystery.  Thanks to Lord David Prosser as well.  He gave us some ghostly ingredients for the Jar of Spooky Things, including Smoke and Mirrors.  I hope everyone will visit their websites and learn more about wonderful books of these two writers.

I can’t believe we’re already at Episode-5.  By now, several of the characters from the previous serial have made appearances.  New readers, you might find the Character Recap post from Cookbook-1 helpful to get you acquainted with the personalities in the story.  Also remember, there is a button at the top of this page (Cookbook-2 Three Ingredients Serial Home) where all the episodes are posted in chronological order, sans the introductions.

 Wishing all of you a satisfying weekend filled with the kind of things I try to include in these stories — good food, friends — and hugs.

Bon appétit!

5.  Apricots, Eggs, Wheat Flour

 With Smoke and Mirrors

1920s man w-goats

Greta the goat gave a coarse behhh and lowered her head, ready to charge right into us.  My old friend Andy Avis and I both took a step backward, but there wasn’t anywhere to go in the timeworn shed.  We stumbled into each other before we got to the door.

If the goat was going to be that cantankerous, I wasn’t too excited about trying to take her back to Doc Vale.  “Greta, you just simmer down now,” I told her in what I hoped was a soothing voice.

The goat looked up at me curiously.  I couldn’t imagine what was causing her phosphorescent glow, but she was a scary sight.  There was a mean look in her eyes, and I wondered if she still might charge into us.  Then something else caught my apricotsinterest — something white was tucked into the rope around her neck.

“Is that a daisy caught in her bell?” I asked Andy, tilting my head as I tried to get a better look.

“Yeah, it looks real spiffy,” Andy quipped as he took another step toward the door, which
hung askew, dangling from one hinge.  “She can wear daisies or roses, or apricots in her bell.  She can put on a fringe dress and do the Charleston for all I care, as long as she doesn’t attack us!” he added in a hiss.

“No Andy, it is a daisy.  A daisy,” I said, thinking I was probably off my nuts.

I inched forward.  Andy reached out and caught my sleeve. He whispered for me to stay put.  I stooped down, getting eye-level with the goat.  It was definitely a daisy with the stem going through the loop that held the bell to her rope collar.

“Daisy, is that you?” I asked as I gazed at Greta, unsure of what result I expected from my questions.  “Are you here somewhere?” I questioned, casting my eyes around the dark shed.

Greta answered me with “Behhh!”

Then the goat abruptly plopped back onto her glowing haunches with a soft thud.  A human voice spoke my name.

I wasn’t sure if it came from the goat, or if the voice was just there in the shed somewhere.  My 1920s facehair stood on end.  Andy moved close enough to take a firm hold on my arm, ready to pull me out of the shed and into the comforting light of day.

“Pip,” the voice said.  “Something bad happened to me in that factory.  Something so bad that I blocked out the memory even when I was alive.”

“Daisy!  It is you!” I cried.  “I’ve tried so hard to help you,” I apologized to the ghost.  “I haven’t been able to find out anything, but I won’t stop trying.  I promise.  And I’m sorry… for whatever happened to you there,” I said and motioned toward the abandoned building Andy and I had been on our way to investigate for his employer.  “Are you saying that it’s connected to your… your death?”

“I know you’re trying, Pip.  And I am grateful,” the voice of Daisy said.  “I was drawn back to the factory but I was too afraid to go inside.  Yes, I feel like it’s related — not the place actually, but there is a tie.”1920s fireworks

I jumped when Greta, the phosphorescent goat sneezed and shook her head.  Then she shook her entire body, in much the same way a wet dog would, a head to tail shimmy.
The glow burst out around Greta in thousands of tiny shimmering specks, and then it was gone.

Greta had a confused look in her eyes.  She walked up to me docile as a lamb, no longer a mad-eyed goat.  Andy mutely handed me the rope he was holding and I tied it around Greta’s neck.  Neither of us spoke as I led the goat back to Granny Fanny’s yellow Model-T.

We put Greta in the back.  The goat was still meek and didn’t even try to chew on anything in Granny’s pristine automobile, which I thought was not goat-like at all.  Andy kept casting surreptitious glances at Greta, but she didn’t start glowing again, or anything else.

Finally, Andy cleared his throat.  “Err Pip?” he began hesitantly.  “Did that goat…  I mean when we were back there in that shed, did that goat umm glow?” he asked and I
nodded my head in answer.  “And did she umm… Did the goat talk?”

So, I thought, that was what had gotten his goat — har-de-har!  I wasn’t sure of the answer myself, and I said so.

1920s French egg ad“Whether the voice came from Greta or somewhere else, it was Daisy, the ghost girl I
told you about.  It wasn’t just smoke and mirrors,” I told him.

We decided not to mention anything to the doctors Vale when we returned Greta to them.  Neither Andy nor I had much to say on the drive there.  Heck, what could you say after witnessing a glowing goat and talking to a ghost?

As soon as we arrived, Veronica insisted that we come inside for a bite of lunch, or dinner as we called the midday meal back then.  I don’t know if it was an emotional reaction to what had just happened, or if we were really hungry, but neither of us could refuse.

One of Vincent’s veterinary clients had paid them in eggs — lots of eggs.  Veronica had cooked several quiches made with freshly caught crab-meat.  It was a delicious meal.  The Vales insisted on sending an entire basket of eggs back home with us too.  Like I said, it was a lot of eggs.

Marshal Moses Myrick was still convalescing at the Vale residence.  Veronica said he could have a visitor for a few minutes.  The last time I saw him, the marshal was a frightful sight.  He truly had been at death’s door.  I wanted to introduce Andy to him.  Andy wrote science fiction stories, and now screenplays out in Hollywood.  He  had already expressed an interest in the G-man from a screenwriter’s point of view.  However, Veronica seemed concerned about overtaxing her patient.  So while I went upstairs to visit the marshal, Andy took the basket of eggs out to Granny’s Model-T.1920s SheetMusic Parrot

As soon as I entered the cheery bedroom, Moses Myrick gave me a bright smile — and Cracker the parrot squawked and scolded me.  Mr. Myrick laughed and said the parrot missed me.  That touched my heart and I quickly brushed away a tear.  I missed Cracker terribly, but didn’t want the marshal to feel bad about the fact that she chose to stay with him rather than me.

Veronica, in doctor form, shushed the bird out of concern for her patient.  Cracker alighted on my shoulder and started preening a strand of my bobbed hair.  That was something she used to do when she was concerned or agitated about me in some way.

“Bad bird!” Cracker chirped loudly, apparently scolding me for not being there with her as she maintained her watch over Marshal Myrick.

To the parrot everyone was a bad bird if she scolded them, no matter their species.  The admonition got a chuckle from me, and a loud laugh from Moses.  The G-man grabbed his middle when he laughed though.  He winced with pain that was sharp enough to cause his face to blanch.

As you might imagine, considering she could fly, it was difficult to get the parrot to leave a room if she was not of a mind to comply.  Cracker was still on my shoulder, so Veronica gave me a meaningful look with a motion of her head.  I knew what she meant.  Quickly I blew a kiss to the marshal and stepped out of the room.

Cracker gave an irritated sounding whistle.  “Come on sweetheart,” I told the bird nonchalantly.  “Let’s go to the kitchen and find you a treat.”

1940 Webber Poodle hoopI hurried down the stairs, hoping the parrot wouldn’t fly back to the marshal’s room and make a noisy protest.  The door was shut, but the parrot could make an extremely loud commotion if she chose.  However, Cracker lifted her wings a bit to keep her balance, but she didn’t try to go back to the sick room.

She cut her eyes over to me when I reached the bottom of the stairs.  “Sneaky, sneaky,” Cracker muttered, letting me know I hadn’t fooled her a bit.

“Maybe there are sunflower seeds,” I suggested consolingly, and the mention of her favorite treat kept the parrot quiet.

Once in the kitchen, Cracker glided to a cabinet that had shiny new and complicated latch.  I chuckled.  That must be where her treats were kept.  The parrot had proven devilishly clever, and able to open almost anything she chose — particularly her cage!

A soft yip caused me to look down.  I hadn’t heard Veronica’s poodle come into the room.  Cotton seemed to recognize the treat cabinet too and she stood on her back feet and did a little pirouette.  That encouraged Cracker’s impatience and she started pulling at the latch with her beak.

“Now Cracker, you leave that alone,” I chided the parrot.

She fluttered to the floor and sat beside Cotton.  Then she gave an imploring squawk. “Who’s your daddy?” she repeated her favorite phrase while bobbing her head.

Vincent had done a good job with the parrot-proof latch.  I had to figure out how it myself, since I’d never seen one like it before.  As I fiddled with the odd latch, I was distracted by the voices of Andy and the veterinarian outside.  I turned to look out the kitchen window.  Vincent was showing Andy his motorcycle.edmonds-ads

Cotton became over excited upon hearing the unfamiliar voice of Andy.  I didn’t see the poodle when we came into the house, so she hadn’t met Andy yet.  I tried to quiet the dog, but she just yapped that much louder.

The agitated dog got the parrot excited and one of their games ensued.  They vigorously chased each other around the kitchen.  Their antics were entertaining, and I couldn’t help laughing.  However, I knew it was only a matter of time before they broke something, or worse, disturbed Doctor Veronica’s patient.

I tried to shush them, but to no avail.  I gave Cotton a dog biscuit.  She broke it in half with her teeth, but dropped it on the floor in favor of chasing the parrot.1920s Flour ad

Then it happened.  Cotton leapt amazingly high into the air, nipping at the parrot’s

tail feathers.  She actually had her mouth on the brightly colored plumage, but it
slipped out as Cracker flew.  The bird looped around the room.  I don’t know what she had in mind, but Cracker skidded the length of the longest countertop.  Then she collided with a canister of wheat flour.

The metal container sailed heavenward.  I moved toward it, arms out to catch the summersaulting canister.  I almost had it.  Then I stepped on a piece of the dog biscuit and slipped.  My bottom hit the floor around the same time the flour container hit my head.  The aluminium canister might have hurt me if it hadn’t been empty by then.  Yes, it was empty because its contents had poured all over me.

However, as the canister struck, so did inspiration.  Doused in wheat flour, I lay prone on the floor.  I didn’t even twitch.  My motionless body immediately got the attention of the cavorting animals.  I felt Cotton’s cold nose sniffing my ankle.  Cracker pulled my hair and chirped, “Whose your daddy?”

Fortunately my face was turned toward the doorway that opened onto the rest of the house.  I cracked open one eye when I heard footsteps.  Veronica appeared and gasped.  However she saw me wink at her and knew I was unharmed, albeit flour covered and unmoving.  I saw her mouth twist as she tried not to smile at the poodle and the parrot.  They continued to sniff and investigate my immobile form.

When I heard the kitchen door open, I figured the game had gone on long enough.  Vincent and Andy came into the room.  I slowly rose from the floor, a white covered mess.  Vincent gave me a puzzled expression.  I hadn’t thought about what I must look like, all dusted in white, until I saw Andy’s face.Vintage ghosts several

Wide-eyed and white as a sheet, Andy Avis screamed.

Veronica gave my friend an understanding smile.  I was thankful that she controlled the laugh that was undoubtedly on her lips, because I wouldn’t want Andy to be embarrassed.  After all, he had shrieked like a schoolgirl when he saw Maestro Martino. And there he was, coming close to repeating that performance.

Vincent gave him a lopsided grin.  “Calm down man.  Anybody would think you’d seen a ghost.”

I didn’t know what to say to that.  Apparently neither did Andy.  He, Granny, and I agreed to keep the existence of the ghost chef to ourselves.  However, I suspected Veronica might know something about Daisy.  I knew Granny had been upset about things after the big shindig when Daisy last allowed me to see her.

1917 VogueFor most of her life, Granny Fanny had been in denial about her gift for seeing spirits.  She had probably said some things to her friend Veronica as she tried to understand what was happening to her as she realized there was something “odd” about Daisy, the ghost woman.  Veronica might have pondered enough possibilities to make her inquisitive.

Andy and I stared at each other guiltily.  Veronica looked from him to me and back again.  Surgeon and researcher, her eyes narrowed as she considered us.

Cracker fluttered to the table and looked up at me covered in white flower.  The parrot tilted her head to one side curiously.  “Dainty Dish!” she squawked the other name for Daisy.

Veronica’s eyebrows went nearly up to her hairline.

***

Video:  Easy Grilled Fruit-Food Network

Roasted Apricots with Ginger

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3_vWZ3XWW0

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.