Sunday, August 21, 2011

Writing Books about herbs?

I always wonder if kids who are diagnosed with ADHD today are really suffering from an illness or are they many times more like me.  My life as a youngster was boring, growing up in a small town where we lived on the fringe of that small town meant I was isolated even from the friends I made in school. 
There were few kids in our neighborhood which meant making up friends in my head instead.  My deeply inventive imagination created people I could have a conversation with.  When I was in school I still had those conversations, just not out loud, so I seemed to be day dreaming or distracted when I was actually talking to my friends about what was going on in class.
 It wasn’t like I was not learning; I think it actually enhanced my problem solving to discuss my work with my imaginary friends.  But class size was smaller and teachers noticed and gave me more work to do to keep me occupied.  The fact that no one really knew about these friends, meant no one ever suggested I put them into a book.  I had to find a real friend to suggest that. 
My best friend Donna and I spent years writing down the conversations we made up in our heads that created a pantheon of characters with individual personalities and amazing back-story.  Sometimes we think about preparing them for sale to a publisher, but we never seem to find the time.  I get serious about it about once every 9 months and review and edit things, send them to her for fine tuning and somehow they languish and we never make the final leap. 
It’s a shame actually; the characters we created are rather good and the life situations appropriate.  This month I have been more avid about completing a book.  Last November I joined National Novel Writing Month. I was unable to finish a novel in month I did write 50,000 words, but the book was not finished. 

When the summer came and they created “CampNaNoWriMo” a month for both July and August to write a novel in a month, I decided to try again.  It has been light hearted and fun and I have been enjoying it.  The first month (July) I did not get to 50,000 words, but this month I am ahead of schedule and should finish my book and reach 50,000 words.  I am very thrilled to be in a place where I can say a book is finished.  Now I think I might actually write that Herb book that has been floating around in my head.
Here are a couple recipes from my current published cookbooks, The Amazing Herb Cookbook and The Herb Cookbook:

Chicken with Herbs & Tomato (Serves 4)
4 chicken breast halves, boneless & skinless
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 Tbls. olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
3/4 tsp. tarragon herbal vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 egg whites
1 Tbls. safflower oil

In medium saucepan, cook garlic and tomatoes in oil until soft.  Add stock, vinegar and 1 Tbls. herbs and simmer to create sauce.  Mix remaining herbs with salt, pepper and bread crumbs in a shallow bowl.  Beat eggs in a separate shallow bowl.  Dip chicken cutlets in egg and then in bread crumb mixture.  Cook in large skillet on medium/high heat until juices run clear.  Serve with sauce.
From “Amazing Herbs Cookbook” by Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh

Delmonico Sauce (makes 2/3 cup)
A wonderful vegetable sauce for fresh broccoli or green beans.  Also makes a good salad dressing.

1/2 cup prepared Backyard Patch French Dressing
     (made with Patch French Dressing Herb Mix)
1 tsp. ketchup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. chopped green peppers
1 hard boiled egg, finely chopped (or rubbed through a sieve)

Mix ingredients in order given and serve.
This recipe excerpted from "The Backyard Patch Cookbook" by Marcy Lautanen-Raleigh

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