Saturday, June 26, 2010

A really good dinner, if I do say so

Tonight friends Jean Walbridge and Jim Clark came for supper, and I made a recipe from the Star-Telegram series of burger recipes. I used to get great recipes from the newspaper until it cut back dramatically on its food section, so this was a special find. The recipe was for Japanese chicken burgers, which led Jean to say she'd never had a chicken burger. I have several other recipes for them, but this was really unusual and turned out to be terrific. Obviously I can't give the exact recipe for copyright reasons, but I'll say that the burgers had, along with ground chicken, grated fresh ginger (I thought that was going the extra mile--I needed two teaspoons but you can't find small pieces of ginger, so now I have a large piece left in the fridge), garlic and soy sauce. You pan fry them in vegetable oil and serve with cucumber-shallot pickles, made with picked ginger, rice vinegar (okay, I got home with rice wine instead of vinegar so used the chardonnay vinegar I had in the cupboard and will return the rice wine), sugar, water, peppercorns--an English (seedless) cucumber and a shallot. Great with the burger, but the cukes still tasted a lot to me like the ones my mom used to make in cider vinegr and water. The burgers were also served with wasabi mayonnaise--mayo mixed with wasabi powder, which turned out to be white (even though the powder was white I somehow expected it to magically turn green when I mixed it with the mayo; it didn't, so now I'm wondering why wasabi in sushi places is so green). Great combination of tastes. That, with some corn on the cob and a terrific salad Jean brought, was dinner--with hummus and pita chips for an appetizer. Okay, I was mixing cultures, but it worked. Also a good visit. Jim prowls through my books and ignores Jean and me, while we visit. I'm afraid someday he'll have run the gamut of my books--he likes illustrated books of the American West--and won't want to come to dinner any more! But a pleasant evening.
Nice email correspondence with my agent today, mostly about how to get my old books on Kindle, especially since I have no digital copy of the ones fro the '90s--who back then thought to save digital copies once the book was in print. He asked me for my last emails with the editors and again I said, "Duh. I don't have them." Clearly I've cleaned my mailbox out many times since then, and my files on those books have gone to the archive at the Southwest Writers Collection at Texas State University-San Marcos. I do have digital files of my short story collection and permission to turn them into ebooks from the publisher, so maybe that's the place to start. I hear if you sell books for 99 cents to $1.99 on Kindle, you get a lot of orders. What fun! My goal is to have all my older novels, about women of the American West, in Kindle format. Meantime, I'm working away on the new novel--and having fun with it.

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