Winter Kissed – I wanted to add a new short story to Thorn in Red, the novella I’m publishing on the 21st. I was getting worried… I finished the short story in November, but for some reason it didn’t work. I did a lot of things trying to make it fit smoothly with the existing tale: I changed the point of view (nothing), changed the perspective (nothing), altered the conflict (more nothing). I gave it the finger, and that didn’t help either. So I let it sit for a while…
I spent days thinking about it. Reading and rereading the tales from different angles; nothing was working, my Wicked Luvs, and the whole thing was driving me bonkers. I got so frustrated that I started working on something else. If worse comes to chaos, I thought, I will just tell my Wicked Luvs that story kicked my witchy writer behind. Then the solution came to me in the middle of the night. The short story didn’t fit because it wasn’t a short story—it was a chapter! I had to rewrite a few things, restructure the epilogue (turn it into a chapter), add a bit of information here and there, and at last, “Winter Kissed,” the 17th chapter of Thorn in Red was exactly what it needed to be.
Snow-Crafting with the Little Princess – the Little Princess wanted to build a snowman. There wasn’t enough snow on the ground and what was there wasn’t sticking… so we made snow-angels and a snow-mermaid. Then we got home half-frozen. She
screamed sang The Bloodmobile in the shower. I made thick hot chocolate with star anise.
This is not a traditional Dominican holiday recipe. In truth, we ate a lot of it at my childhood home because the ingredients were economical, and the result was filling and tasty. But it was a favorite of my grandma (she loved to dip bread in it), so I started to make it for special occasions. Its sweet warmth makes it perfect for the winter holidays, and for Ms Misantropia’s “How do YOU celebrate?”
Thick Hot Chocolate with Star Anise –
3 ¼ cups water
2 large cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
1 cup evaporated milk
1 Abuelita Chocolate circle (follow the link to see, please)
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Add the cinnamon and anise to 3 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and lower the heat. Simmer at low temperature, stirring often, until the chocolate dissolves; add sugar. Whisk the cornstarch in the remaining water. Add the evaporated milk and the cornstarch. Stir constantly to avoid lumps; continue doing so until it’s all creamy and delicious.
* Preparation time should be 20-25 minutes… unless you have a little imp demanding to lick the spoon every minute or so. In that case, it takes about 35.
* When I was young, I used to eat this with crackers or fresh bread. But I’m not young anymore, so my arteries and I only wish we could still have cracker and fresh bread.
* It yields 3 servings… unless you are as greedy as the Little Princess and I, in which case you get only two servings and lots of happy grinning.
Spices Playing Cards, Visions of Plums and a Skully Smile Giveaway – Did you enter? If not, go for it, Luvs. Let’s celebrate Friday the 13th all the way until December 18th, and get lucky ;-)
Snow-Mermaid and Snow-Angels ;-)