Saturday, November 30, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
by Bryan Taylor
About The Author
Author LinksWebsite: http://www.threesistersnovel.com/ Blog: http://www.threesistersnovel.com/blog/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BryanTaylorAuthor
About The Book
Genre: Humor, Satire
Publisher: Dragon Tree Books
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Writing Satire in hopes the reader will understand the humor
and NOT crucify you after reading it
The Three Sisters is a novel about three former nuns who refuse to follow the rules and eventually get in trouble with the law for their transgressions. When they escape from jail, they become nuns on the run, and get themselves into even more trouble when they return to Washington D.C. In the novel, they do end up in confession at one point, and as I point out in the novel, if you added up all the Absolution they would have to do for the sins they confessed to, it would take them about thirty years to say their seven million, four hundred fifty six thousand, two hundred and forty seven Hail Marys, the … it would take several pages just to list the Absolutions they would have to do.
You have to understand that the reason for writing a satire is so you can write things you normally couldn’t put in a novel. Though fiction is fiction, it has a verisimilitude that enables the reader to identify with the characters and the plot. Satire makes fiction look realistic, so you might describe satire as fiction squared, or cubed or quadrupled depending upon how far the book departs from reality. The Three Sisters would have to be fiction zillionthed.
Voltaire wrote about Candide who thought he lived in the best of all possible worlds, and Jonathan Swift wrote about eating children and visiting distant lands filled with giants or thumb-sized people. So I decided to write about three nuns who do things most nuns would never even think about doing, in order that I could make fun of organized religion, the government, the media, and capitalistic greed.
Some of my best friends who have read the book are devout Catholics. They’ve known me for some time, so they’ve grown used to my bizarre sense of humor and tolerate my sacrilegious inclinations. One of them promises me that despite having written The Three Sisters, God will still allow me to be in Heaven after I die because I’m basically a good person.
On the one hand, this is reassuring, because you always want to hedge your bets when the grim reaper comes, but on the other hand, I feel like I’m being treated like someone with a mental disease called sacrilegious behavior. I am not sure whether this spiritual disease is in the Catholic version of the DSM, but if it gets me into Heaven, I’ll take it. Who knows? Maybe there is an Americans with Spiritual Disabilities Act that qualifies you to go to Heaven, even if you are a sacrilegious Atheist, as long as you write funny books.
I know that in the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as being very serious, but what if Jesus was really the first stand-up comedian? Maybe Jesus liked to play practical jokes on the Pharisees, making them pregnant so they could sympathize with the women they oppressed. Let’s face it, anyone who could raise someone from the dead or turn water into wine should at least be able to tell a joke.
Since the novel is sacrilegious, and I knew that might make some of my readers want to crucify me, I figured my only salvation was to make the novel so funny that even the devoutly religious would be too busy laughing to have time to crucify me.The fact that I have been able to write The Three Sisters without being crucified (so far) can only mean either God is really tolerant of those who make fun of Him (or Her), or God has a much better sense of humor than most of his followers, or probably both. On the other hand, if I come home and see someone has planted a cross in my front yard, I’ll know someone didn’t find my novel funny, but until then, I’m saying a few Hail Marys just in case.
The college I was at had a small Newman Club for committed collegiate Catholics, who still spent most of their youthful years behaving more like St. Augustine than Cardinal Newman. Some of my friends and I set up a Joyce Club as a refuge for lapsed Catholics, and during our years there, we successfully filched several members of the Newman Club and got them to join our own. Whenever this occurred, I could share the great joy the father in the Bible must have experienced when the Prodigal Son returned home, or the shepherd had found his lost sheep. Working with this close-knit group of friends and learning from each other made college worthwhile. Moreover, there were hundreds of naïve young freshmen each year ripe for corrupting whom I could gird up my loins for, exchange jelly for juice, and turn them into cynics with amazing ease.
Academic life also gave me the opportunity to express my artistic talents in ways that impressed my coterie of college friends. When it snowed, a not infrequent event in Chicago, we created chionic masterpieces that lasted until the sun melted them away. Some were conventional, like Marie Antoinette Gets the Guillotine, but when the college was too cheap to build new sidewalks for its students we put together a column of legless snowmen and snowwomen sitting on their carts and pushing themselves along with paper signs on them saying, “Chicago’s disabled demand new sidewalks!” Thus we married the avant-garde to social activism.
We would also create living art, recreating and transmogrifying great works of the past. The one that got me and my fellow artists into real trouble was when we recreated Da Vinci’s Last Supper with me in puris naturalibus as The Naked Maja recumbent upon the table in front of Christ and his disciples. If the college officials had complained about the anachronistic juxtaposition of Da Vinci’s Cenacle and Goya’s Ode to Pubic Hair as the Christ and his disciples argued over who was going to pay thirty pieces of silver for me, I would have understood their objections, but instead they complained about my full frontal nudity, even though I was as faithful to Goya’s original as I could be. Sure, Billy Sunday wouldn’t have liked it, but he had died decades before. We referred to our masterpieces as Mama Art, the indirect descendent of Dada Art.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
"The perfect gift with great recipes for the holidays!"
~BK Walker, Author of Wolves of Shadow Falls Series
About the Author - Joan Porte
Joan started "playing" with Astrology when she was in grammar school. She always had a fixation with the planets - Pluto being her favorite (surprise she is Scorpio Sun!) Yes, Pluto is still a planet to her! She put her astrology "toys" away when she grew up and went into the "real world," sadly convinced that it was time to do more important things. The universe and her North Node in Sagittarius woke her up in her mid-thirties after which she began an intensive study of Western astrology.
According to Joan, "Modern Man takes for granted the Sun and how its energy propels and sustains life. Moon energy controls the tides yet we ignore the other more personal influences it has on our bodies and lives. We have lost the art of appreciating and reading the stars as messengers from the god and goddess. Humanity has disconnected from its source
and consequently suffers emotionally, spiritually and physically."
"Each person is born with a map - a soul map - that is his or her astrological chart. It is a map through the maze of life that shows the karma we need to balance our soul's desire for a life that leads to enhanced soul growth. I simply read the map - illustrating where you have been and where you are going to make your journey through life less bumpy." With this cook book Joan is combining her astrological knowledge with her lifelong love of cooking in her own inimitable way.
She is the author of the blog Karmic Astrology.
Her other book is Fortyish: Lessons For the Ages From a Baby Boomer.
Website | Signs Of The Tines FB | Karmic Astrology by Joan Facebook | Blog
AUTHOR GUEST BLOG
“Signs of the Tines: The Ultimate Astrological Cookbook” available at www.signsofthetines.com, Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com.
When I decided to write an astrological cookbook, I had to come up with recipes that matched the signs. Happily, it was easier than I thought. I started walking back through the years and to the recipes my mother had left us. Amazingly, these family specialties were a good starting point. For instance, her Italian Spaghetti Sauce with Hard Boiled Eggs (see below) would be perfect for the homey Cancers.
Then I tapped my friends. I needed some “international dishes” for Sagittarians so I went to my friend Marge whose husband served in Korea for the Peace Corps and got a wonderful biminbap recipe. My friend Linda offered her French Canadian tourtiere.
Suddenly I had too many recipes and had to cull them down! Therefore, if you are thinking of writing a cookbook – even one that seems too disconnected like marrying Astrology and cooking – don’t fear, the ideas are closer than you think.
Jean Garofalo Porte’s “Gravy’ Spaghetti Sauce with Hard Boiled Eggs
Serves 6 -8
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound of ground beef or pork*
1 medium white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, stemmed and chopped
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes (or 3 cups of my roasted tomatoes below)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch red pepper flakes
8 hardboiled eggs
½ cup fresh basil, gently chopped
In a large soup pan, over medium heat, warm the oil olive. Add the ground meat and onion and sauté until the meat browns and the onion is translucent about 8 -10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the herbs, tomatoes, salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a boil, while stirring often. As soon as it boils, add the eggs (and any other precooked meat- see below.) Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Just before serving add the basil and stir.
*Mom didn’t stand on ceremony when it came to the meat in her sauce. Sometimes there would be a left over pork chop in the refrigerator, a piece of steak of spare ribs and they would find their way into the Sunday gravy. It is a great way to clean out the refrigerator and “recycle.” Put these in at the end of cooking with the eggs not when you are browning the chopped meat.
I love to scour the farmers markets in June and July for tomato “seconds.” These are tomatoes are a bit bruised or damaged in some way that make them unappealing to the American consumer. I get several baskets and head to the kitchen! These tomatoes are easy to freeze and it is great to taste the goodness of summer in the dead of winter.
This makes about 3 cups.
5 pounds fresh tomatoes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons kosher salt
5 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
5 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1-cup fresh basil leaves.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Pour the tomatoes into the sink or a large basin filled with cool water for a nice bath. When washed, core and remove any major blemishes. Don’t skin them –there is a lot of flavor and many vitamins lurking in that skin.
Cover the bottom of a roasting pan with a quarter or an inch of olive oil. Place a single layer of tomatoes in the roasting pan- don’t heap them in – even if you have to use several pans just make one layer per pan.
Sprinkle the tomatoes with the herbs and spices except for the basil.
Turn the tomatoes with a large spoon – or for more fun, with your hands – until coated with the oil and spices. If they seem dry, pour some more oil on top. You don’t want them swimming but you want them coated well.
Place the roasting pan into your oven and let them slow cook for 2 -3 hours. The tomatoes should be just starting to shrivel. Once they are cool, add the basil leaves to the pan, and stir well.
Place the tomatoes with the oil and herbs still in the pan in plastic containers and freeze!
Watch Media Videos with Joan
Genre: Astrological Cookbook
Publisher: Soulsign Publishing Company Ingraham Press
Release Date: April 2013
A new breed of cookbook that combines personal astrology with a love for preparing and sharing delicious meals. Astrologer and gastronome Joan Porte brings a new, fun twist to cooking by showing anyone who loves to cook how to personalize a menu for your family and friends. Beautiful photographs complement the more than 120 featured recipes organized by zodiac sign. Choose a dish or plan a multi-course meal with selections from: Appetizers, Soups, Pasta, Veggies & Fruit, Meat & Fish, and Dessert for each of the twelve signs. SIGNS OF THE TINES is a heart-warming and mouth-watering invitation to eat in alignment with our stars!
– Adam Gainsburg / Soulsign
The 295-page book with more than 120 recipes is written to celebrate a unique pairing of food and astrology.
• Scorpios have a craving for pasta puttanesca
• Librans feel grounded when they dig into a chocolate mousse parfait
• Cancerians stand tall with their bowl of Brunswick stew
• Virgoans set aside their healthy-conscious habits when faced with chocolate raspberry ramekins
• Aquarians respond to the sustainable fish used in Pollock with berry prosecco sauce
• Pisceans beat a common ailment when feasting on quinoa with roasted root veggies.
"These recipes are taken from a number of sources; some are family gems, others I've concocted and tweaked over the years," says author Joan Porte.
The home cook will discover how astrology as a source for new food ideas and new ways to entertain friends. And the astrology enthusiast will discover how cooking can be a new use for astrology as a way to add more meaning to the daily ritual of eating we perform to survive and thrive.
Tomatoes Stuffed With Artichokes & Feta
Taurus is a bit confusing when it comes to color. Bulls are drawn to the color red; however, the color associated with Taurus is emerald green, symbolizing the pastures in which they love to laze comfortably. Therefore, I offer here a very red veggie dish with a dash of green.
One of the first dishes I made when I was a kid were tomatoes stuffed with chicken and tuna salads. I thought they were just the neatest things. As I grew as a person and a cook, I encountered many recipes that stuffed tomatoes with some kind of creamy spinach messes or ones that were all breadcrumbs and cheese.
This recipe is my grown-up version of the stuffed tomato that embraces the artichoke as well and is easy enough for the sometimes lazy Taurus to make. (Did I say lazy? Oops. I hope they don’t stampede.)
6 large firm tomatoes*
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 14-ounce cans un-marinated artichoke hearts, diced
3 shallots, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
Juice of ½ lemon
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
10 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
6 big basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the stems off of the tomatoes and scoop out the pulp, leaving the shell. Set the pulp aside in a small dish. Drain the artichoke hearts in a colander.
Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Rough chop the tomato pulp and add to the pan; cook down until most of the moisture of the tomato is gone. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté until soft – about 2 minutes. (You may have to drizzle more olive oil into the pan to keep the veggies from sticking.)
Remove the cooked vegetables to a small dish to cool and add the artichoke hearts to the pan. Cook until they begin to turn golden brown. Squeeze the juice of the lemon in a small dish (watch the pits) and pour over the hearts. Let the lemon juice cook down and add the olives. Stir in the oregano and remove immediately from the heat. Add all of the vegetables together in one dish and let the mixture cool to the touch.
Fill the tomatoes ½ way with artichoke mixture, add a layer of feta, fill the tomato to the top with more artichoke mixture and top with more feta. Place a basil leaf on top of each tomato.
Place tomatoes on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. The cheese should be melted and lightly brown.
Place tomatoes on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. The cheese should be melted and lightly brown.
*Depending on the size of your tomatoes you may have some artichokes left over. The mixture is great reheated and used as a topping for steaks or salads.