Friday, September 29, 2006
  Hot Root Soup
My twins have been totally absorbed by Brian Jacques Redwall series. They do the typical things kids do... pretend they are characters from the books, act out scenes, write stories from the books, shout slogans from the book while diving off the diving board, and (much to their mother's astonishment and pride) set the songs in the books to music. (I am unable to compose even a simple tune without slipping into familiar melodies, so their ability to write tunes for these songs truly astounds and thrills me.)

I've even joined in the fun, making recipes from the books...

Strawberry Fizz (one can frozen strawberry daquiri base, and one bottle of non-alcoholic strawberry champagne. It's delightful!)

Recently I've made hot root soup (a selection from the onion family -- a yellow onion, several cloves of garlic, scallions, leek, shallots, what have you -- chopped coarsely. Carrots, celery, parsnips, cabbage, and other such vegetables, chopped in bite-size or smaller pieces. shrimp -- I use raw with the shells on, peel them and save the shells to make stock. Paprika (hot root) and cajun spice blend. Fry the onion family in butter till the pieces are translucent. Add strained stock made by boiling the shrimp shells in a quart or two of water (depends on how much soup you want to make). Add carrots, celery and other hard vegetables, and the spices. (Spice to your taste; we like spicy and hot food, so I put in a lot!). Let boil til the veggies are soft. Add cabage and shrimp. Cook till shrimp is pink and curled. (Note you can use pre-cooked shrimp, in which case you want to hold off adding the shrimp until the cabage is limp, then you add the shrimp and cook just enough to heat the shrimp through.)

It's yummy and the leftovers save quite well.

Most of all, it's fun to encourage the kids in their fun. And it brings up memories of when, as a young girl, I acted out stories I had read or movies I had watched. I remember quite distinctly a whole Lassie phase that I went through. (Of course, I wasn't the boy, I was Lassie!)

I wonder how many authors go through phases of fandom as youngsters, and when they make the leap into their own stories. My pretend games were very much fanfic in life. I never wrote the stories down, creating my own (heavily inspired by a variety of sf tv shows) worlds when I started writing. I suppose it makes sense that writers/artists/creative people would have an active imagination as kids and that the things that engaged their minds -- books, movies, tv shows, pictures -- might serve as fodder for those imaginations. But you don't often hear it mentioned. Might make for an interesting panel in a conference some day...
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

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This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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