Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 

It has been downright chilly for the past several mornings, but today was different. The smell of the air had changed. It had that crisp quality of air coming from the north. Do you know what I mean? For me it’s a sign that fall is here to stay. Yes, we will be hitting eighty again by the end of the week, but for all intents and purposes, summer is finished. Bittersweet really, but hey, at least we’ll have some good sleeping weather, right?

Yesterday I did manage to get a pot of stuffed cabbage done, but I’m not overjoyed with the end result. They no longer make the brand of tomato sauce my grandmother always used, so I had to use a different brand and it just doesn’t taste the same. It’s not like the company went out of business, they have other products on the shelf; they just stopped making tomato sauce. Can someone tell me what sense that makes? I even had the grocery store check for me and nope, it wasn’t even available to order. Weird. If I had known, I would have stocked up last Easter when I made the last batch. Oh well, what are you going to do? The next several batches will be trial and error until I can find a good substitute brand. If any of you have a favorite tomato sauce, please feel free to chime in. Please keep in mind, I need plain canned TOMATO sauce, not spaghetti sauce.

I also made two stuffed peppers which were a disappointment as well. I guess the skin on the peppers was too thick in spots so the moisture did not penetrate evenly and some of the rice was crunchy. The one thing that did come out good was something I hadn’t planned on making. We have an old apple tree in the back yard which is primarily a source of deer food in the fall. For years the apples have been about the size of an average crabapple and were full of worms. I haven’t been able to use any of the apples for at least ten years, so I usually don’t pay the tree much mind. However, yesterday I was taking out the trash and I looked over at the tree and noticed a fairly good sized apple – think Macintosh size. I went over to inspect it and it was in pretty good shape. Then I saw several others that didn’t look half bad. I picked the eight or so apples, brought them in, cleaned and cut them up, and made a small batch of applesauce. Although my cinnamon has gone mysteriously missing so I couldn’t put any in, the applesauce came out rather tasty if I do say so myself.

Today on my agenda is another batch of plum dumplings and then I may just try my hand at making pierogies. No recipe, I’m just kinda going to wing it. I’ll let you know if they are a hit or an epic fail. That is if I even get to them. I may just have time to make the filling (I need mashed potatoes for the dumpling dough) and leave the actual pierogi making until tomorrow.

I have critique group tonight and then tomorrow night is back to school night. I HATE back to school night at the high school; that is why I have gone to exactly 1 of the last 8. It starts at 7 pm. There is NEVER enough parking. You are in each of the classes for twenty minutes – times ten periods, you do the math. You have 3 minutes to find your way from one class to the next. You end up getting lost and frustrated, then late for the next class. There really is no time to talk to the teachers, so what’s the point? Yet for some reason my husband is insisting I go this year. I have been to every K-8 back to school night for the past 17 years and the one year I went to the one at the high school was my 3rd back to school night that year. I think I have done my dues, especially since I know Wednesday night will be exhausting and virtually worthless. I may still just not go. Maybe if I don’t mention it, my husband will forget all about it. Think it will work?

OK, off to cook. I hope you have a wonderful day and happy writing!


Your Last Challenge was:


The early morning fog still clings to the ground as I climb my way up the rock strewn path to the home of Cormac McCarty. The trek is slow. Not because of the significant incline, but because I pause often to absorb the thousands of years of history surrounding me. Ghosts of Robert the Bruce, the Earl of Leicester and even Queen Elizabeth I are sharing images of their pasts with me.

I make my final assent up the weather worn stone stairs and catch my first glimpse of the Stone of Scone. I pose for the required photo, but know better than to actually kiss the stone, for I know what the locals have been rumored to have done to it; and let’s face it, the last thing I needed was a greater gift of blarney anyway.

The view from the top is breathtaking, for at this great height I have risen above the fog and the sun is shining causing the ground below to shimmer and sparkle. Through the trees to the south I can see Colthurst Castle and I begin to dream what it would be like to live there, to wake every day in this magical mystical place.

Your Next Challenge is:

Something strange was about to happen at the grocery store

(Thanks to K. Fritz, friend and fellow author, for this challenge)


You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.