Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for WILDBERRIES ATOP ICE CREAM IS . . . well . . . the Berries #AtoZ

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
My daily #AtoZ posts combine two concepts in under-300-words per day:
an appealing food choice along with thoughts that spring to mind.
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Children love berries: especially ones they can pick straight from the vine, whether blue- or rasp- or huckle-berry. Sprinkle a few over a scoop of honest-to-real Wisconsin ice cream, and even old folks act like kids.
Growing up in the country meant harvesting wildberries during June and July. Raiding the relatives’ backyard gardens wasn’t frowned upon, once they'd grown weary of berry-filled jam, syrup, muffins, and pancakes. I did learn early not to mishandle berries or they'd stain my clothes. And  thorns on blackberry branches always made me think twice before helping myself to a quick snack.
When writing a story, I sometimes compare choosing my words to picking berries. Each choice is made judiciously. Like sprinkling only a smattering of berries atop a scoop of ice cream, one learns to be frugal with colorful words sprinkled into a story, making sure every word has purpose.
Words are there for the picking, but a mishandled word can stain your entire story.
Repetition is another prickly point to watch for in writing. When people hear the same words over and over, they become weary like they feel after too many helpings of raspberry muffins and blueberry pancakes. Sometimes words used to often begin to feel like thorns in the reader's side, and that could get an author into an even worse jam.
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for VANILLA ANYTHING and EVERYTHING #AtoZChallenge

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
My daily #AtoZ posts combine two concepts in under-300-words per day:
an appealing food choice along with thoughts that spring to mind.
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Vanilla is a flavor derived from orchids. The vanilla orchid is a vine-like plant that grows up trees. Most vanilla today comes from Madagascar and the island of RĂ©union. The rest comes from Mexico and Tahiti. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, after saffron. The production of both is labor intensive - hummingbirds and bees are involved. With the flowers open for only a short period of time, that makes it too difficult to predict, meaning plants need to be hand-pollenated. Intense.

 
 
 
 
 
So many of the foods and liquids I like have vanilla as an ingredient. Chocolate Chip cookies are flavored with vanilla extract. There's vanilla latte, vanilla milk shakes and hot fudge sundaes made with scoops of vanilla ice cream, vanilla- flavored powered protein and weigh-loss drinks.
 
 
Everything vanilla is beautiful and/or delicious.
 

 
Do you have a favorite recipe that calls for vanilla in one form or another?
 
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for UDON NOODLES AND UGLI FRUIT

FOOD FOR THOUGHT
My daily #AtoZ posts combine two concepts in under-300-words per day:
an appealing food choice along with thoughts that spring to mind.
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Udon Noodles Stir-fry

"What's the difference between Udon, Soba, and Rice noodles?" I wanted to know. After trying all three, it didn't take long to decide I didn't like long-rice noodles. To me, it was like eating rubbery cellophane and probably the reason I never order chicken long-rice.
Soba noodles are made of wheat flour and have square surfaces, odd for someone who grew up in the Great Lakes area eating plain ol' white-flour spaghetti. 
This brings me to Udon noodles, much closer in shape to spaghetti. But I prefer angel hair spaghetti,  and Udon noodles are "fat" in comparison. They're fine in a good stir-fry, though, using plenty of vegetables, soy sauce, and adding onion and ginger to taste.
Noodles come with their own personalities. Shell noodles, for instance, blend well in a cold tuna salad. Bohemian goulash needs fat egg noodles; chicken soup requires finely cut, homemade egg noodles. My mother, and her mother, always made chili with elbow macaroni noodles. I thought it an odd tradition to serve rice with chili. Now I often eat it with rice, or even polenta.
What is your favorite noodle dish?
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Ugli Fruit
It is no wonder people refer to the Ugli as an ugly fruit. Not nice, just understandable.
Grapefruit, Orange, Tangerine Fruit
The Ugli is a Jamaican form of the tangelo, which in turn is a cross between a grapefruit, an orange, and a tangerine. Why anyone felt a need to create a hybrid of these three fruits is beyond me. Especially when the result was, well, an Ugli fruit. I would much prefer to experience each of these fruits separately.
 
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