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February 2016



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My New Year's Goal for this year is to cook a new recipe each month. I tried to find and eat a new food (to me) in 2011. Well 2012 is the year of learning some new and exciting recipes. I already enjoy cooking quite a bit but the AB and I fall into patterns and tend to keep cooking the same ten dishes over and over. The AB ads to the resolution that these are also to be healthy recipes.

My delicious and easy new almond cake of yum, for example, does not count.

So, the first attempt . . . Vindaloo!

For New Years I made a big pot of my infamous annual Lamb Stew (it has a sordid origin story to do with rabbits and hobbits, but I digress). Yet there was so much good food at New Years the stew hardly got eaten. Sick of having it reheated every day for a week, we decided to try to turn it into a vindaloo.

Now, I don't normally cook Indian food. Thai ~ certainly. Mediterranean, Mexican, Latin American ~ absolutely. British ~ all the darn time. But Indian has always seemed a little overwhelming to me. So many spices! All at once! Don't get me wrong, I adore eating it, but cooking it?

Well the adventure was on.

I took this recipe and limited it down to proportions correlated to the amount of stew we had left, and then tinkered with it because I didn't have all the spices required. I estimated we had about 6 cups of stew left, with about 1 pound of deboned meat. So I used 1/4 the recipe. This means all my measurements bellow were converted to 1/4 table spoons, but I'm recording everything in whole measurements to make it easy to size up or down. I know, it's so Victorian of me.
  • 3 of dried cilantro
  • 2 powdered cumin
  • 1 ground black pepper
  • 1 ground cloves
  • 1 ground chilli powder
  • 4 brown mustered (just the sandwich kind)
  • 1 powdered cinnamon
  • 1 cayenne pepper
  • 5 crushed garlic
  • 1 fine granulated sugar
So remember these are all 1/4 tbsp measurements

To this I added:
  • 1 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of Topal 2% yoghurt (the creamy Greek kind)
  • 1/4 cup malt vinegar (What can I say? It's the British in me, it was what I had) Next time I'm going to take this down to 1/8, it was pretty strong and vinegary, and there was red wine in the stew already.
Mixed all spices together with liquids.

Bay leaves, lamb, potatoes, carrots, and salt were already in the stew in sufficient quantities. (Things I was missing: 1 cardamom, 1 turmeric, 1 nigella, 3 fresh ginger.)

Put on some rice to cook.

Heated up stew, removed some of the broth (I might not bother removing broth next time).

Fried up a small onion and small green bell pepper in a little olive oil on high heat.

Turned veg down to medium and added the prepared sauce. Waited until fragrant.

Then dumped all of this into the stew.

Let it cook on very low for about 30 minutes while I waited for the rice. It darkened nicely, and was quite thick. Added in a handful of baby spinach leaves near the end, because I pretty much put spinach into everything.

Came out pretty good. The AB loved it. Not exactly the best vindaloo but definitely Indian in flavor, made six me-sized potions.

Now, I know this is not exactly relevant to the writerly life and times you, Gentle Reader, may wish to read here. But honestly life as a writer is mostly rather dull, and the most exciting thing to happen to me each day is food. (Yes, Alexia got that from me.)

Next month's new cooking adventure is going to be all Victorian based. One of my betas and I are getting together to cook a feast for friends out of "Things a Lady Would Like to Know," Henry Southgate's 1876 masterpiece (and often used primary source for the Parasol Protectorate books). Since Victorian cookbooks don't relay proportions, times, temperatures, or any fiddly little details like that this is going to be fun! Possibly deadly, But fun.


Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Macy's NY Steampunk Themed Holiday Windows

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Where is steampunk going in 2012?

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Targeted PR, Cross-Promotion, and Knowing Your Audience

Timeless: Now in production. The release date on Amazon is correct.

Etiquette & Espionage: Copy edits done! Awaiting galley. Release date Fall 2012.

The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Prudence floats! Release date fall 2013. She's started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

Book News:
An aggregate of videos featuring self.

Quote of the Day:
"An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh."
~ Will Rogers

Daisypath Graduation tickers


1. Thanks for the recipe - that looks delish!

2. Thrilled to hear you're coming to D*Con! Last year was the first year I went and I had a lot of fun (though the weather left something to be desired - wear lots of light fabrics because even with the A/C at full blast, add in thousands of people and the A/C can't compete/compensate, so it is inevitably hot everywhere) so looking forward to finally getting to one of your events this year :o)


I shall have a steampunk costume that I think you will like :D (Last year I was a steampunk pirate, this year I'm doing a steampunk version of a sci-fi character.)

Have you been to D*Con before? It's fabulous- Wil Wheaton described as bacchanalia last year. I've only been to Dragon*Con and Comic Con, and Comic Con was neat, but it wasn't nearly as much of a party.
Woohoooo!!! So excited that you've decided to give D*C a shot! :D
I was wondering how long it would take you to come down for D*C. :) Unfortunately, this may be the first year I miss the con since 1998 (we may be in the process of moving to another state) so I may not get the chance to see you in person. C'est la vie.
aw, that's excellent! I'm actually local.I have only been to DragonCon once and it was a bit much. If you do a hotel meetup though would love to come by . Or if you don't, let us know if there's a way to drop pictures and sketches! Would love to drop off fanart :)

Indian cooking is always a bit daunting to me, as well. Not because of the many spice, but because you have to get the measurements right with them and I mainly am a "throw it all in, see how it turns out"-person.

The real reason for my comment, however, is another one. A question that has been bothering me for a while now. The question is:

What is your fanfiction policy?

I have not until now actively searched for fanfiction on your work because the canon has everything for me, and I don't want to actively write it because I don't write fanfiction (anymore *ahem*), I'm just being curious.
Funnily enough I have blog post for that. Here you go: http://gailcarriger.livejournal.com/136922.html
Thank you so very much for pointing that out to me. My question is completely answered. And while no fanfiction will ever come from it, now less than ever, I still have to thank you because your work inspires me to write more myself in my own stories and universes and that's wonderful. So, thanks a lot!
Oh you can write it if you like, I just can't read it, sadly.
I squeed when i saw that you tried an Indian recipe. I'm Indian, I live in India, and a vindaloo is difficult and complicated even for me - so congrats on getting it right!
Looking forward to your Victorian recipes...