Cooking With Mustard … Seeds and All …

Mustard provided a flavorful spice to our medieval ancestors. As a condiment, mustard is a mixture of black and white mustard seeds. The Germans like their mustard from black mustard seeds as do the French but the English differ and go for yellow or white seeds, which are milder. If you’re wondering how to be creative with this spice, buy a package of mustard seed, open it up and taste one or two in your mouth. They are tasty and tangy. To my taste, I could see adding a pinch of the seeds into gravy,  soup Italian dishes and especially to potato or pasta salad. The release of the oils when one bites into the occasional mustard seed equals a culinary delight.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Advertisements

Thought you might enjoy this. Suellen

Kathy's blobservations

The morning hours just before I wake…it’s when I have my most vivid dreams. Perhaps it’s because I’m so close to waking that my dreams still lay on the surface of my consciousness. There’s no opportunity for them to be fuzzied and muddled into obscurity by another sleep cycle.

This one has moved me in a way that makes me inexplicably sad. I’m traveling to the coast—a strange and foreboding coast. Something is amiss. It’s obvious that something significant is going to happen. I’m attending a meeting inside a glass walled building which overlooks the sea. The waves are large and growing even larger. They are ominous, threatening. They are pregnant with meaning. An enormous wave crashes through the glass wall and overtakes everyone and everything in its path but I somehow manage to escape. Then I’m in my car preparing to leave the scene of devastation. I look out…

View original post 495 more words

What Does Vernacular Mean?

Speaking in the “vernacular” means to use the jargon of a particular place or region, using the language of the people who reside there. Say for instance a young man traveled from a village in Africa and visited California. On his return home if he used common slang words he learned while hanging with surfers or rappers, he would be speaking in the vernacular. The vernacular language could also be “one’s mother tongue.” Speaking in the vernacular could also refer to special words used by a profession.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Lies of the Lion Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Lion-Lions-Trace/dp/0965114074

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

eBook at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lies-of-the-lion-suellen-ocean/1102338550?ean=2940016618999

TheLiesoftheLionFrontCover

 

What is the “Midwest”?

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the word “Midwest” and even though my mother is from Kansas, when I hear the term it makes me think a dozen different thoughts. Cornfields blowing in the breeze, farmers and friendly people who cherish hard work, good food and families and my favorite thought … where exactly is the Midwest? Geographically, the Midwest (also called the Middle West) is considered the area from the Rocky Mountains to the Allegheny Mountains, north of the Ohio River and the southern boundaries of Missouri and Kansas.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River. Available here:

Gold River: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-River-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484094042

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

Flour, Butter and Sugar … Until You Get to New Orleans

I’m reading an old cookbook written before WWII, showcasing different regions in the United States and sharing their traditional recipes with us. I’ve read pages and pages of recipes so far, and one thing most of the recipes have in common are flour, butter and sugar, over and over again. Until you get to the section on New Orleans. The various cultures who called Louisiana home (African, French, Spanish, Native American, etc.) combined with the availability of game in the swamps, a climate enabling early fruits and vegetables in great varieties and an array of seafoods, are why New Orleans became delightfully world famous for it’s delicious foods when a lot of the rest of America was figuring out twenty different ways to make flour, butter and sugar taste different. But we’ve been hearing for years that Americans eat too much sugar and how it isn’t good for us. Olive oil is being substituted a lot for butter and those on low carb diets desire cutting back on bread and flour. Butter and sugar are two ingredients we need to use moderately (some people not at all). It isn’t always easy but we’ll probably maintain better health if we do.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

What Does Esoteric Mean?

Esoteric refers to abstract, profound, hidden ideas and concepts. Someone who speaks of seeing the human aura or communicates with spirits is delving into the esoteric world. Esoteric is also used to describe something that is only understood by those in the inner circle, the initiates. Topics that the mainstream considers “out there” often fall into the esoteric realm.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River. Available here:

Gold River: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-River-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484094042

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

Alex Jones Disagrees With My Definition of Paganism

I’m not a Pagan but when I stand around the bonfire with friends as they celebrate the Solstice, I get a sense of what the lives of the ancient Pagans could have been like. Pagans got a bad rap from the early Christians and for all we know, many Pagans were probably leading more of a peaceful, spiritual, be kind to your neighbors lifestyle than some who profess otherwise. I said that the definition of Paganism was: “One who is neither a Christian, a Mohammedan, nor a Jew; a heathen”. Also, “an irreligious person” and “idolatrous”. While the Latin paganus means “heathen” the French Latin paganus means “civilian” or “peasant” and the French pagus means village or district. But Alex Jones took the time to write me and express his view. “PAGANISM: a way of life; where self, others and nature are experienced and engaged in a spiritual, practical and holistic way.” Alex can be found at: http://liberatedway.wordpress.com

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Celtic-Prince-Before-After/dp/1484086392

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/celtic-prince-suellen-ocean/1102338307?ean=2940016618968

Sit Down, Relax and Read a Cookbook

I’ve found that the act of merely reading a cookbook will make you a better cook. It’s a lot like looking at a fashion magazine. You get ideas. Trust your mind to store enough elements of that spicy Spanish rice recipe and trust it to remember the way the Italians threw an egg in the middle of some dough to make egg noodles. I have a whole shelf full of cookbooks and you may too. There is no way that I have the time to make all the tantalizing recipes in those books but I do have the time to now and again put my feet up and read about how others spend their time in the kitchen. What spices do they use? How high do they turn up the oven up for desserts? What fruits do they throw into salads and what type of greens do they use? When you’re cruising through the produce isles, a red light will go off and you’ll grab that green pepper for stew, the mango for salad and the sweet potatoes for a different piecrust.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

What Is Polygamy?

Polygamy is the state of having a plurality of wives or husbands at the same time. Most of the time it is used to refer to someone who has more than one wife. The history of the Mormons comes to mind because in the early development stages of their religion polygamy was practiced. I have a close friend whose Mormon ancestry dates back to the 1800s. She told me that when they have family reunions she sees distant relatives who are descendants of the various wives. She said that one of the reasons the men took plural wives is that because of war there was a shortage of men.

I was able to visit with someone who shared a husband with another woman during the 1970’s and she said they used to show up together in Protestant church, the husband with his two wives. The key phrase here is “used to”. I also knew a woman who lived in the woods with her husband and another man who she took as her “husband” as well. Later, after the relationship fell apart when the second “husband” wanted to bring another woman into the relationship, the original “wife” told me that she did not recommend two husbands. My husband has a high school friend who has two “husbands;” I believe she has a child from each husband. The three have been together for years and though I don’t know the intimate details, it seems to have worked out for her. The term used for a woman possessing more than one husband at the same time is polyandry.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River. Available here:

Gold River: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-River-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484094042

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

Bread Is Expensive, Make Wholegrain Chapattis Instead

A good loaf of bread in California is four to five dollars. That’s a chunk of cash for what many think of as “the staff of life.” But what surprises me is how many people today don’t know that for pennies you can make delicious quick breads. If you have a good cast iron skillet you can make delicious chapattis out of flour and water. It takes experience to get it right and even pros can burn them but they are delicious and you turn a tight budget into a gourmet opportunity. The key is to use cast iron and to have it warm before you put the flour mixture in it. The flour mixture is just flour, water and a tiny bit of salt and it is made up just like kid’s play dough but it is a bit “dry.” You can roll them out on a floured board or have a little flour in the skillet and pat the dough into it. Be careful that you don’t get burned. Cook it on medium heat, flipping it after a few minutes depending on how hot the skillet is. If you incorporate herbs and seeds into the dough it is very tasty. Sesame seeds, caraway seeds and herbs and spices make these chapattis a treat. Have them with anything from shredded carrots, sprouts, hummus, beans or sour cream and cheese.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609