It's been a great past couple of weeks for me in terms of feeding my addiction! Just today I received Brent Weeks' The Blinding Knife (the sequel to the fascinating book, The Black Prism which was chock full of unexpected twists) as well as Susan Squires' He's A Magic Man (which I won at a recent Writerspace chat!).
I have also won J.A. Garland's Instinct, Kassanna's Keep Me Satisfied, and Terri Molina's Dark Obsession (adult titles)
The only drawback is I still have reviews to write up for Kate Pearce's Simply Voracious (definitely an adult title!), Tina Donahue's Claiming Magique (also an adult title), Jessica Scott's Because of You and Until There Was You (yum, military romance) and to finish reading and reviewing Violette Malan's Shadowlands, Laura Wright's Eternal Beast and Jack Campbell's Tarnished Knight by October 8th. Hmm...better get to work, lol.
I had the pleasure of having my 95 year old great-aunt help me make lumpia last week (which translates, as usual, to her making it while I watched). This is a Filipino eggroll which has always been one of my favorite things to munch on but it's been years since I've eaten them because my mom declined in her later years and stopped cooking much over the recent years before her death. The challenge was finding the authentic store to obtain the wrappers from as this very spry elder in our family is used to riding public transportation so she is less than accurate about giving directions to someone who is driving. I am very insistent on wanting to know which way I am turning well before I reach the corner as I really don't like trying to scoot across three or four lanes of traffic when I am in the wrong lane! We finally reached the store which was chock full of ethnic food (I tried not to look too hard at the bins full of chicken feet or the tentacled appendages) but I definitely will return there to get some of the other wonderful things that they had.
I now know why my version never tasted like the 'real' thing...I neglected several ingredients! The filling was made of seasoned ground beef, sauteed with minced garlic, onions and celery. It was set aside in a large pan to cool and mixed with shredded carrots and french style string beans and lightly sauteed bean sprouts. It was a very picturesque sight when all of the ingredients were combined. My great-aunt told me that it could be mixed with cabbage or other veggies and that she actually just eats that mixture with some steamed rice occasionally but we persevered (no, I did not have to start pouting!). Patience is required to separate the lumpia wrapping since it starts out frozen and 30 separate sheets are compressed into a small package. There is a nice diagram on how to make the eggroll itself on the package and we commenced making tidy little packages, sealing the ends with egg whites. A quick fry in hot canola oil....and wow! What a yummy treat. A dip into apple cider vinegar and I was brought back to my childhood. (I personally refrain from adding fresh minced garlic to my bowl of vinegar--one of countless reasons I was looked at strangely by the relatives, lol) The biggest challenge is trying to cool the eggroll off enough to avoid burning one's tongue (a useless endeavor). What a fun afternoon!