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Archive for October, 2011

Magpie's Selection of All Hallow's ReadingsSweet dreams, and happy reading.

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Caramel Apple Wedges

Honeycrisp apple dipped in caramelHere’s one of my favorite tricks for a quick treat on Halloween (or anytime I get the urge): Caramel Apple Wedges.  Three ingredients—caramels, milk, and apples; scale according to need.

Unwrap the caramels, and put them in a microwave-safe dish (I use one of the kind that has a lid for easy storage).

Caramels and Apple

Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk per dozen caramels.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir, microwaving for 20 seconds at intervals to soften.

Stirring partially melted caramelKeep stirring and microwaving until smooth.  Keep the microwave times short—you don’t want the milk to curdle or the caramel to burn.

Cut apples into wedges, and serve with caramel to dip.  My favorite eating apples lately are Honeycrisp.  I like a tart, crisp-textured apple, and these (as their name implies) are nice and crisp, but they are also juicy and full of flavor, and not (despite their name) too overly sweet.

On second thought, don’t worry about a lid; storage isn’t likely to be a problem!

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E (Trick or Treat)

From: Trick or Treat!

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E (Trick or Treat)

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velyn exhaled in exasperation.  Ectoplasm was everywhere. Even her evening wear had not escaped.

“Ethan,” she enjoined the empty ether, “when you expired—so expeditiously—I expected that would be an end to our engagement.”

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Affehaus of Jaded Monkey was inspired by my All Hallow’s Read eBook, Bedtime Story, to write one of his own, but suggested (correctly) that turning it into an eBook sounded like a lot of work.  I thought it was a cool story, and offered to do the design and formatting in exchange for bananas promotional considerations (and hey, look, I’m not just using that Graphic Design degree for cultivating mold in the shapes of letters of the alphabet)!

The story is called Jackanapes, and you can pick up your very own digital copy over at Jaded Monkey.

Edit: It seems Jaded Monkey is having some technical difficulties.  Meanwhile, you can download you copy of Jackanapes here. (He’s baaaack.)

Cover art for Jackanapes (design by M.J. Pyle)Artwork by M.J. Pyle for the short eBook, JackanapesArtwork by M.J Pyle for the short eBook, Jackanapes

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Harvest ChiliWhen the weather begins to turn cold again, I get a hankering for all those cold-weather dishes that I haven’t had in a while.  Today, with great, wet snowflakes falling outside between freezing raindrops, is certainly crying out for chili.  Fortunately for once, I was ahead of this particular weather trend.

While we were still enjoying warm sunny days during the past week, I was plotting ways to use up a whole mess of end-of-season peppers. And one of my favorite things to do with a big, unruly pile of assorted use-it-or-lose-it produce is to throw it all into my largest pot, with a bunch of spices, and let it simmer for about a half a day.  (See where the cold-weather bit comes into the picture again?)

Anaheim, Poblano and Cherry Peppers

Start with a Big Mess o' Peppers

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Here’s a bonus Halloween edition of Wall and Sundry—a ghostly trio of butternut squash.

Trio of Butternut Squash Ghosts

Boo!

click for desktop wallpaper (iPod wallpaper below the fold)

 
 

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Unpredictable and unrepentant, Halloween also remains stubbornly unofficial and underground, and this may be the key to understanding the tumult that regularly erupts in its name.  Despite the considerable cultural space Halloween now occupies, despite the billions of dollars it annually spins, and despite the passionate commitment millions devote to the holiday, no legislative body has ever seriously considered making it legal.

-David J. Skal, Death Makes A Holiday,
A Cultural History of Halloween

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