Tagged food

Gail Talks About Food: Her Perfect Meal (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

A little while ago, Gentle Reader, I threw the door open to the Parasol Protectorate Fan Group for questions and Amber asked me a doozy.

If you could assemble an ideal x course meal, what would you want it to be? And if you had to prepare it, would it change significantly?

So, first of all I answered part of this for Lawrence over on his:

Eating Authors series

 

1925 Esther Borough Johnson (British artist, 1867-1949) Tea Table in the Garden

My Best Meal Ever

The best meal I ever ate was in Monterosso al Mare, (one of the five tiny towns that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Riveria). I was there on the four day break we got in the middle of excavation season (July 1995) with three other archaeology undergraduates.

We wandered into this little restaurant, I don’t recall the name. All I remember is we walked down, so the windows were at street level and we got a view of everyone’s shoes as we ate. We started with prosciutto e melone (which was more amazing than any before or since) and then we ate this risotto seafood dish ~ fruite de mar. It was as if they had taken a net and scraped it across the sea floor ~ crayfish, clams, mussels, oysters, white fish, salmon, and fresh veggies scattered over this amazing rice. The seafood was cooked perfectly, fresh and glistening. The onion and tomato rice was gooey in the center and backed crisp and crunchy on the top. We had a bottle of cheap Chianti to go with… magic.

My Comfort Meal

My all time favorite comfort meal is the peppered alpaca stake at Cafe Manu in Cuzco, Peru. Alpaca is like the Kobe beef of the pork world. It is amazing when cooked correctly. This is a non-traditional preparation, served wrapped in bacon with a French peppered cream sauce and a simple baked potato. I ate it with a pint of maracuja juice (passion fruit) and life was good. Anytime I excavated near Cuzco I always tried to visit to eat this dish.

This would be what I asked for as my last meal.

My Desert

Layered Raspberry Pavlova at the Lord Nelson in Topsham, Devon. Meringue cooked the British way, crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle, with fresh raspberries and clotted cream sandwiched in between the meringue layers and a raspberry sauce reduction drizzled about. With a nice pot of tea? Heaven. Pure heaven.

My 4 Courses

  1. The prosciutto e melone from Tuscany with a glass of prosecco.
  2. Appetizer portions of the rice and seafood from Monterosso with cold fresh water.
  3. Alpaca pepper steak, wilted chard, and papa rellena with passion fruit juice.
  4. Raspberry pavlova to finish with a perfect pot of tea.

As I told Lawrence, there are some who speculate I chose a career as an archaeologist so I could eat my way around exotic locations. Now I often decide whether I should visit a city for a book event based on the local food scene.

Would this meal change if I had to cook it myself?

Absolutely. I can’t get many of the ingredients and I accept no substitutes. Generally speaking I already cook for myself the things I want to eat and have the time to make (excepting deserts) so yeah…

I’d rather eat out, tho.

I love eating out.

{Coop de Book: Gail’s monthly read along for July is The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.}

SCRIBBLES ROUND UP

  • Meat Cute ~ A Parasolverse Short
    Status: Rough draft complete. Layaway.
    Possible anchor short story for Secret Project A or SS collected/omnibus in 2018 or 2019.
  • TOC ~ San Andreas Shifters #2
    Status: Writing Rough draft.
    The werewolves are back. There’s a bartender with a mysterious ability and a big scruffy man mountain with a powerful crush. The pack’s started a business called Heavy Lifting. Gail is contemplating shifter food trucks ~ Do it raw! Sometimes we wiggle, sometimes the food does.

NOW IN DIGITAL, PRINT & AUDIO!

The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1 by G. L. Carriger, now also in audio.
Contemporary m/m paranormal romance featuring a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

Boy Meets Boy says:

“If you like a good shifter story, this is the book for you. If you like witty banter and shenanigans, this is the book for you. If you like a story with depth and angst and romance, this is the book for you. Hell, if you like to read, this is the book for you. Cause, really, you can’t go wrong with this story.”

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Allen & Ginter (American, Richmond, Virginia) From the Parasol Drills series (N18) for Allen & Ginter Cigarettes Brands, 1888

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Steampunk Curse Generator

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Back Up Your Work

Book News:

10 Top Summer Reads for Middle-School GirlsEtiquette & Espionage made the list!

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!


Gail Carriger’s Pie Day Video & Links (Q&A with Gail Carriger)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Good morning Gentle Reader, below is a video of a FB Live Q&A that I did on Pie Day. Accordingly, I talk about my favorite pie, drop some accidental teasers, get cagey about the evolution of the Parasolverse, and much more.

Links pertinent to the video in chronological order

Find this Video on:

Gail’s Youtube

Gail’s Amazon Page

Meanwhile if you want to hear me blather on about marketing, I was also on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Marketing Podcast.

{Gail’s monthly read along for March is Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith.}

PROJECT ROUND UP

  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel by G. L. Carriger
    Status: Beta read (fifth draft).
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My Office Reading Nook

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

How to Speak New World Victorian

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility

Book News:

Quote of the Day:

“I don’t at all like knowing what people say of me behind my back. It makes me far too conceited.”

~ Oscar Wilde

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!


A Very Alexia Christmas (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

Lady Maccon, as some of you may well know, is rather fond of comestibles. Thusly, the holiday season is one of great joy to her ~ from a food standpoint if nothing else. (The shopping, it must be admitted, she could do without. Lord Akeldama, however, is overly enthusiastic on the subject.) However, she has some tips for coping with the holidays Victorian-style.

1. Mincemeat pie. Sounds awful, looks revolting, tastes spectacular. The Americans have sadly neglected this part of their British heritage but there is much to be said for meat soaked in alcohol and then encased in pastry. If unwilling to venture in the mincemeat direction, how about exploring the fine art of Christmas Pudding? (AKA Plum Pudding ~ and no, there are no plums involved, don’t ask.) A dense fruity cake that is covered in alcohol and then set on fire. Fantastic.

Via NPR

2. Cloth wrapped presents. Instead of paper, why not invest in some fabric remnants from a craft shop or colorful little scarves from a thrift store, and then tie with a ribbon? All the fun of unwrapping, none of the waste, and perhaps it will encourage others to reuse as well. As an added bonus cloth wrappers can be used as emergency clean-up towels for the inevitable alcohol-related spill (see: inebriation caused by over-consumption of Christmas Pudding, above.)

3. Roast goose. Benefits? Well, a goose is bigger than a turkey and more mean-spirited. Have you ever met a goose? The only bird nastier is a swan. Unfortunately, swans are protected by the queen, so we can’t eat them. Thus goose consumption gives one a sense of self-righteousness and satisfaction all rolled into one.

Roast Goose with Giblet Stuffing

4. Frills and lace. Perhaps not a particular favorite amongst gentlemen for themselves (unless one is of a Lord Akeldama inclination) but for the ladies… Donning a pretty frock and perhaps a corset is bound to make one feel better ~ a little constricted but definitely better. On the other hand nothing (I am convinced) is funnier than a werewolf with a doily on his head.

5. Which brings us back around to drinkies. Lord Akeldama suggests a Pink Slurp (champagne & blood) but he’s a vampire and they have questionable palates. Alexia recommends substituting blackberry cordial for the blood, resulting in a truly delicious and festive drink. Alternatively, for those particularly cold nights, one might opt for mulled wine, which can be a most excellent way to disguise the quality of one’s vino. And one can never go wrong with hot apple cider.

Bottoms up!

Lord A at Christmas nennesis via tumblr

“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.  Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.”
~ P.J. O’Rourke

FIX WORD COUNT

{Gail’s monthly read along for December is Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Rough Draft.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: First draft done. Resting before second draft.
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Fashion plate, 1875, France shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Fashion plate, 1875, France shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

The Camelback Library

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

9 Rules for Female Travelers from the Victorian Era

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

The Hybrid Author: Everything You Need to Know

Book News:

Full Length Radio Interview with Gail Carriger on Sex, Please! iTunes

Quote of the Day:

“If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”
~ Japanese Proverb

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!
Share & Enjoy!

 

 


Singapore The Food

Posted by Gail Carriger

Meanwhile – in the USA we just gorged ourselves on turquay, Gentle Reader. So here’s my post all about food in Singapore! Yes yes yes (and one great big NO).

Singapore Food: The Bad

I’m an incredibly experimental eater. You can take a look at some of the wide ranging Things I Have Stuck in My Mouth on my Ate It Weird Pinterest board. If I can, I’ve likely tried it: ostrich, alligator, crocodile, frog, snail (both types), Morton Bay bug, guinea pigs, alpaca, haggis, horse, head cheese, sweetbreads and other offal, homemade chicha beer (yes, THAT), any fruit I can get my hands on (generally I know the Spanish word for it), and so much more.

My general philosophy is I will try anything 3 times (on the theory that the first two times it might have been ill prepared). Until Singapore I had only 2 exceptions to this rule:

  1. Raw sea urchin (or uni) and yes I am willing to try it cooked.
  2. Andouillette sausage, the traditional pig colon kind. Yes it tastes EXACTLY how you would expect.

And now:

3. Durian

Durian Ice Kacang = Disgusting

I am terribly sad to say I have added durian to the list of NEVER AGAIN. Look, yes it tastes a bit like custard apple (cherimoya) meets passion fruit (maracuya) and I LOVE both those fruits, but frankly, mostly, it tastes like baby poop mixed with gasoline. And I can’t imagine any circumstances where that will change.

No, not even Durian Baked Alaska

The worst part?

It repeats on you. Or it did me. It’s been weeks and I am still terrified to burp. A durian burp is like that scene from Thelma & Louise where they explode the gas station. With added vomit.

Singapore Food: The Good

Now that I have totally grossed you out, I’m going to wax poetical about all the actually amazingly yummy  food in Singapore.

First of all, there are fresh fruit juice stands everywhere and I learned real quick not to ever pass one up. Sometimes they frap it with ice, sometimes they whip it so there’s a fruit foam at the top, and sometimes it’s more like a single-fruit smoothie. Not matter what, yum!

Hotdog Juices

Okay, maybe not hotdog juice.

Secondly, lets talk kaya (coconut jam of deliciousness). I liked the green kind with pandan best. Why is this not a thing EVERYWHERE? Why? Watch Gail wail into the deep. I want to buy kaya at my local supermarket. And while we are at it, can we add Apple Banana Butter (as in from the Apple Banana, not a mix of apples and bananas) and Passion Fruit Curd to this list? Look, I’m telling you there is a wide world away from stupid old strawberry out there. (Not that I dislike strawberry jam but COME ON.)

Kaya Pau

Kaya Pau – the steamed sweet bun form of kaya

Finally, can we talk desert?

Oh, were we already? Okay but look, look at all the gelatinous deserts! I love them so.

buffet-deserts

Singapore Food: The Ugly

I was a wiggly delighted Gail the first morning in Singapore because after breakfast I got to proudly bop along and claim I’d stuck 6 things in my mouth and I’d no idea what they were. Still don’t. Came from an unlabeled pickled-things bar. I adore pickled things.

Anyway, the first place we stayed at offered this amazing breakfast buffet with All The Things.

Around the World Breakfast

Around the World in One Breakfast: Top, L-R: Italian marinated tomatoes, Indian upma, Korean pickled items, Scandinavian smoked salmon on American hash brown patty in the Jewish fashion, Chinese red bean paste pau, French cheese and bread, egg white omelet with Thai spices & chili sauce.

What a food looks like doesn’t bother me much. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to try Singapore’s fish head curry. At first I avoided it because it thought it’d be just like a normal Thai red or yellow curry. Turns out it traditionally comes with more tamarind in it than other curries and it has more Indian spices. After learning that, I tried hard to get hold of it, but I’d left it too late. So I have a good reason to return to Singapore.

Singapore Hawker Center Food stand

Singapore Hawker Center Food stand

I also never got to try the chili crab. I tried the local crab at a raw seafood bar, which tasted a bit like a mix of Snow and Dungeness. I’m a crab fan, but the chili crab I found to buy was always too expensive, I suspect I was there off season.

In Singapore Corn & Beans are a desert. So there.

In Singapore Corn & Beans are a desert. So there.

So what was the first hing I ate when I landed to remind me I was home? The first thing I always eat, Pinky, fish tacos nor cal style.

“It is hot — so hot! — but not stifling, and all the rich-flavored, colored fruits of the tropics are here — fruits whose generous juices are drawn from the moist and heated earth, and whose flavors are the imprisoned rays of the fierce sun of the tropics.”

~ The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither by Isabella Brid, 1883

{Gail’s monthly read along for November is Romancing the Inventor by Gail Carriger. Oh don’t look so shocked.}

PROJECT ROUND UP  

  • Romancing the Werewolf ~ A Supernatural Society Novella
    Status: Outline.
    LBGTQ reunion romance featuring your favorite reluctant werewolf dandy, the return of a certain quietly efficient Beta, and a very unexpected gift.
  • Secret Project SAS ~ Novel
    Status: First draft done. Resting before second draft.
    Contemporary m/m paranormal romance between a snarky mage and a gruff werewolf. Hella raunchy. Super dirty. Very very fun. Spin off of Marine Biology.

OUT NOW

Romancing the Inventor

Romancing the Inventor: A Supernatural Society Novella

A steampunk lesbian romance featuring a maid bent on seducing a brilliant cross-dressing scientist who’s too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Les Modes Parisiennes Saturday, July 1, 1865 v. 45, plate 5

Les Modes Parisiennes Saturday, July 1, 1865 v. 45, plate 5

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Ruffles Chicken & Seawed

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

A Fashionable Coiffure: Rolls, Plaits, and Other Popular Hairstyles of 1863

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”
~ Gustave Flaubert

Book News:

The Parasol Protectorate made this list of 16 Complete Urban Fantasy Series to Binge-read all the way through.

Quote of the Day:

“Cheese – milk’s leap toward immortality.”
~ Clifton Fadiman

Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!


Gail’s Favorite Recipes to Cook & Bake (Miss Carriger Recommends)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

I consider myself an experimental eater and I love all food, so long as it is well prepared. So Gentle Reader, when this question came I knew it had to have a whole blog post.

Do you think a cook book might be in order down the trail?

I would love to write a cookbook, or help out with one. The food blog, Tentacle & Treacle was a hope to lean in that direction. Unfortunately, the force behind the blog kind of disappeared onto other things, the blog is no more, and I don’t have the time to do it alone. (I won’t partner like that again, I’m now quite gun shy.) So it’s unlikely.

Some of the food sounds quite yummy.  Others, do not.

That’s pretty much the story of Victorian cuisine if you ask me.

Where did you find the interesting Victorian food examples for the books?

Mostly in my 1870s copy of Things a Lady Would Like to Know Concerning Domestic Management and Expenditure, Arranged for Daily Reference With Hints Regarding the Intellectual As Well As the Physical Life by Henry Southgate. You can buy actually buy a physical copy for $13. But it has been digitally cataloged and is in the public domain.

 

I’d love some of your favorite recipes or food/restaurant recommendations or reviews.

Restaurant recommendations:

I post restaurant reviews to my Yelp (you can find me as Gail C. “Retro Rack” since I review lots of clothing stores too). And since eating out is location specific, you are probably better off going there, to see if I’ve loved something in your area. I do try to update it after I’ve visted a city.

“Great restaurants are, of course, nothing but mouth-brothels. There is no point in going to them if one intends to keep one’s belt buckled.”
~ Frederic Raphael

Recipes!

Book related:

 

 

Some Perennial Favorites

The only thing you really need to know…

Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake (the original UK recipe)

Without a doubt the best recipe I tried in 2012. I loved this cake. LOVED IT! I made it four more times, including as my Thanksgiving Offering. Interesting to note the AB, who is the chocoholic in the family, is a tad sniffy about this cake as he finds it almost too orangey, and prefers a more honest chocolate and nut with flour combination, like a brownie. I, and my gluten intolerant friends, adore it.

2 small thin-skinned oranges, c. 3/4lb total weight (or 1 large)
6 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup heaped almond meal
1 cup fine sugar, or slightly less
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
orange peel, for decoration

Directions:
1 Put the whole oranges in pan + cold water, bring to the boil, cover, cook for 20 minutes until squishy to touch
2 Drain, and when cool, cut the oranges in half and remove big pips + green ends.
3 Pulp everything gently – pith, peel and all – in food processor.
4 Preheat the oven to 350. Line bottom with wax paper then butter a 9 inch spring-form tin.
5 Add eggs, baking powder, baking soda, almond, sugar, and cocoa to the orange in the food processor. Run until you have a cohesive cake mixture, but slightly knobbly with the flecks of puréed orange.
6 Pour into the cake tin and bake for 45 min, by which time a cake tester should come out pretty clean.
7 Leave the cake to cool in tin, on cooling rack. When cake is cold, remove from tin. Decorate with strips of orange peel or coarsely grated zest if want, but is darkly beautiful in its plain, unadorned state.

This recipe is magic. It works for everything. You can leave out the chocolate for orange almond. You can substitute the boiled oranges for any number of wet ingredients of a similar weight: we have made an apple spice version using applesauce & cinnamon, a lemon curd version, and a strawberries and cream version. Adjust sugar to compensate for sweetness of the wet ingredient (do not use fresh citrus juice or whole lemons/limes). It will also work for cupcakes, even mini ones. Use liners and lower cooking time. 18 for regular cupcakes, 15 for minis. I have one friend who will make half the batter with chocolate the other half without and then swirl the two into beautiful patterns. This is, as far as I am concerned, the only cake you need in life.

“My soul is dark with stormy riot,
Directly traceable to diet.”
~ Samuel Hoffenstein

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane.}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Le Bon Ton Friday, June 1, 1860 Item ID-  v. 41, plate 29

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Those Tiny 1890s Waists & What Adorned Them

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
One Woman’s Stunning Collection: Lesbians of the past 150 years

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Adding Humor to Your Writing is as Easy as 1-2-3: The Rule of Three to Be Exact

PROJECT ROUND UP 

  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. In production. Releases July 19, 2016 in print & eBook to US.
  • Poison or Protect ~ A Delightfully Deadly Novella.
    Status: Release date to come, almost there.
    Gail’s first foray into hybrid land, romance featuring a several-times widowed Preshea and the gentle Scottish captain who could change everything.
  • Romancing the Inventor ~ A Supernatural Society Novella.
    Status: Awaiting first pass edit. Cover art photo acquired!
    Gail’s second foray into hybrid land, LBGT romance featuring a parlormaid bent on seducing a certain cross-dressing inventor whose too brokenhearted to notice. Or is she?

 

Gail Carriger’s Scribbles! 

 

 

 The Custard Protocol Series (1890s ~ ongoing)
1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence (July 19, 2016)

 
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only)
Marine Biology; My Sister’s Song; Fairy Debt;
The Curious Case (featuring Alessandro Tarabotti)

Book News:
Tea & Manners: A Short Interview with Author Gail Carriger

Quote of the Day:
“Soup and fish explain half the emotions of human life.”
~ Sydney Smith

Want Gail in you inbox once a month? Get the Chirrup!
Gail on Facebook & Twitter & Goodreads & Tumblr.
Gail’s fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
Questions about Gail’s steampunk world? There’s a wiki for that!

The Kiwi Files ~ Auckland and the End of the Road

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

The good news just keeps coming in, Gentle Reader. I just found out Waistcoats & Weaponry is in the finals for a Locus award, along side Paolo who’s a friend of mine (not to mention Joe, Ian, and Garth who I greatly admire). What an unexpected pleasure!

And now on to your regularly scheduled blog post…

After an epic drive around the South Island, the AB and I headed to Auckland, where we spent four days exploring the city. I visited lots of thrift and consignment shops and rather fell in love with the modern meets artsy Auckland aesthetic. I didn’t buy anything though, because I hadn’t any luggage space. All my free space was filled with L&P and Tim Tams.

Auckland put on quite the show for us. It’s a lovely city and we spent most of our time there just wandering around.

We decided not to visit (yet another) vineyard and thus never got to any of the islands. Perhaps next time we are in town we will hop a ferry. Instead we gloried in the urban world, having just spent a great deal of time driving across vast tracts of rural land.

Look at me getting all artistic with the pictures.

“Getting urban” for Gail means eating all the things. And we did. There was a tasting menu at a Japanese restaurant (WHY IS THIS NOT A THING?), gourmet ice cream (overrated), a truly special farm to table experience at Ortolana involving lamb, and a disappointing and ultimately unsuccessful hunt for the perfect pavlova. (The Pavlova: The Story over on The Old Foodie.)

The Pavlova that wasn’t right.

In the interest of getting myself away from a food report, I should also say that I wasn’t a total slacker. The AB’s definition of “getting urban” means art shows and museums and the like. Also, we did stop by my Kiwi publishing house. They were utterly charming and stuffed us silly with New Zealand cheese and wine, of which they are justifiably proud. It made me think that my US editor, Devi, really ought to be made known to them: cheese and wine are two of her favorite things.

And that’s it for this long run of hijacking the blog for travel posts.

Or you think it is… wha ha ha! I have another trip right around the corner. I’ll have my programming stuff up the Wednesday before I leave for New Jersey and the Steampunk World’s Fair and then there will be a report on the event, and then we will return you to your regular Gail blogging warbles.

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Parasols on display in the Auckland Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Auckland Gull

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Think Your City is Dirty? Try Living in 19th Century London.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Pottle is my new favorite word.

PROJECT ROUND UP 

  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.
  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:

Frini Georgakopoulos via FB: Cosplaying Alexia

Quote of the Day:

Virgin Radio Lebanon  FB
Like Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

The Kiwi Files ~ Tea in Kaikora & Flat Whites in New Zealand

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

On one of our various stop-overs on our driving tour of the South Island, we made our way to Kaikoura. We had intended to swim with dolphins but weather did not permit. However we saw some truly adorable seal pups playing in a waterfall which made it well worth the trip. Perhaps almost as good as the seal pups was this tea experience I had soon after.

Throughout New Zealand, the AB and I were charmed by the beverages: coffee and tea alike.

A brief aside… You see the AB is a coffee drinker.

Now let us be clear here, coffee is as serious a business to the AB as tea is to me. There is a complex mixology procedure involving three different types of beans: a dark roast (for depth), an Italian (for flavor), and a peaberry (for earthy notes). Then there is a special burr grinder and a special Frisbee French press or whatnot. It takes forever and is very complicated. One of the reasons I opt for tea is that, even with a pot and loose leaf, it is the lazy woman’s beverage.

So the AB is a drip drinker by trade, with a splash of milk, but an espresso drinker by necessity. (For it is a truth universally acknowledged that a cafe with good espresso will ever be in want of good drip coffee… and visa-versa. And I always choose to build alliances with local cafes that have good espresso. So at home in cafes we will both drink espresso.)

Yes, me, I do drink coffee. Frankly, in the good old USofA espresso is safer than tea. Rarely is the tea at all good here. I’m just as snobby about espresso (having lived in Italy for two years way back at the dawn of time). I prefer lattes and the AB likes cappuccinos. Both of us are obnoxiously strict about our standards and opinions. I will throw away an entire latte if the bean is gritty, burnt, or too French, not to mention if the milk has been scalded! (Here’s the thing: if you must put sugar in your tea/coffee, you aren’t drinking the right tea/coffee. There should be a bean or a roast or a blend out there for which milk will add just enough sweetness to cut the bitter for anyone’s taste. I really believe this. Or you have a mad crazy sweet tooth. Or you’re from the South.)

 

Now where was I? Oh yes. So the Kiwis know their bean. They lean heavily towards the Italian (as one should!) and they do something with it called a flat white. Now, there is endless contention over the exact definition of a “flat white” but essentially it is a midway milk allotment between latte and cappuccino. Because the bean choice is so good, this means there is enough milk for me, but it’s also strong enough for the AB.

We drank a lot of flat whites.

However, because they have their roots in the UK and still feel them, the Kiwis ALSO offer up some truly serviceable Assam-heavy English Breakfast teas. At this cafe in Kaikoura, I actually encountered a full on tea menu! It was thrilling.

I didn’t even bother to dither. You know my feelings, Gentle Reader: give me that strong smooth Assam.

I’m pleased to say that despite the description, it wasn’t brisk. It was soft (sigh, why do people get that wrong?) but was malty, mellow, and delicious. And look at the beauty of the leaf?

I know you might not think that a thing of beauty, but trust me it’s stunning. STUNNING. Big as my thumb, some of those leaves. I was charmed. I waxed poetical. The AB was most embarrassed.

We were left with the feeling that we might have to move of New Zealand. So far it’s the only nation where tea and espresso are accorded equal respect in the eyes of the picky. Then again we would have to have a major discussion on the subject of condiments into which sugar is added in a most whole irresponsible manner. (There was excess sugar not only in the ketchup but in the Marmite.)

I believe the tea/coffee experience is helped along by the fact that the dairy is so amazing in New Zealand. It always helps if the milk is full fat and delicious. Mmmmm.

{Gail’s monthly read along for May is The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

via centuriespast tumblr

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

To get Marmite without sugar you must go Mighty

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
A Bachelor’s Bill of Fare (1857)

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
25 Ways To Be A Bad-Ass Maker Who Makes Bad-Ass Stuff

PROJECT ROUND UP 

  • Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last. Releases Nov. 3, 2015. Available for pre-order! Awaiting proofs.
  • Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First. OUT NOW!
  • Imprudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the Second. Working rough draft, about 1/2 way.



The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence, 2 Imprudence
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
The Novel Strumpet says of Prudence “This novel was chocked full of all the wit and Victorian decorum we have come to expect from a Carriger novel. And the wonderfully described fashion – particularly hats.” ( Includes a video review as well.)

Quote of the Day:
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
~ Plato

Like Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

This Month’s Book Pick ~ Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

So this month’s book group pick is Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear. No sneaky reading ahead for me this time, it is totally new to me as well. I haven’t read a lot of Elizabeth’s stuff either. So why did I pick it? Frankly, I love the cover.

 

Also I hear nothing but good things about her work, she’s an awesome person, and the blurb looks right up my alley. Also I wanted to jump to something more adult and steampunk after last month’s read.

“You ain’t gonna like what I have to tell you, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. See, my name is Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, and I’m one of the girls what works in the Hôtel Mon Cherie on Amity Street. Hôtel has a little hat over the o like that. It’s French, so Beatrice tells me.”

Set in the late 19th century—when the city we now call Seattle Underground was the whole town (and still on the surface), when airships plied the trade routes, would-be gold miners were heading to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront, Karen is a young woman on her own, is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, beggin sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions.  And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper yarn of the old west with a light touch in Karen’s own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science.

The book actually doesn’t drop until tomorrow (Feb 3., 2015), but you pre-order now and it will wing its way to you shortly.

Here’s a fun interview with Elizabeth about the book if you want to know more.

Details details!
Title: Karen Memory
Author: Elizabeth Bear
Series: Unknown
Publisher: Macmillian (Tor)
Release Date: 02/03/2015
Format Gail’s Reading: ebook
How Gail got it: Preordered

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for February? Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1832  The McCord Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Women Working: 1900-1930

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
My local bookshop, Borderlands, is closing (Locus article). I will let you know how this effects my March 22 event. Likely it will be cancelled or moved. Right now, remaining Gail Carriger stock is signed, get it before it’s gone. Until I build a new relationship with a different local indy, there will be no way to order my books signed (except with at risk online special offers and from stores on my tour stops). I will try to fill this void as quickly as possible, but right now, I’m grieving. I ADORED Borderlands. They hosted my first author event. I met my first fan in those hallowed halls. They have been unfailingly sweet to every genre author I know. They were early, loyal, and HUGE supporters of my books. They will be profoundly missed. It’s unlikely I, at least, will ever have cause to visit that part of San Francisco again. Shame.

PROJECT ROUND UP 

Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last Releases November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.

Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First Release date March 17, 2015 available for pre-order!


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
The Tentacle & Treacle site has been revamped.  
To celebrate the lovely new appearance, we are giving away a signed advanced copy of Prudence, and a signed copy of my cookbook, A Feast of Ice and Fire.
To enter the competition, you must complete the following steps:
1) Visit the shiny new website, and sign up for the monthly newsletter (scroll down for sign up box). New recipes, household hints, and how to seat a vampire and a werewolf at the same dinner party.
2) Comment on the giveaway Facebook post with your favourite food item from the Parasol Protectorate.

The winner will be announced on Tentacle & Treacle on February 8th. Regretfully, this competition is only open to those in the continental United States.

Quote of the Day:

Like Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Food! Gail’s 9 Favorite Dishes, 1864 Etiquette & Victorian Food Euphemisms (Behind the Magic)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Something a little different today, Gentle Reader. As many of you know I am a bit of a glutton, I love me my food. Hence the reason food always gets into my books. One of my favorite compliments is when someone tells me that reading my book made them hungry.

So I’m a Bay Area girl, born and raised (then escaped and returned multiple times). Here are my 9 favorite things to eat in this area, if you are ever in town.

  1. Fish tacos from El Caballo Wraps, Alameda
  2. Tea leaf salad, spicy okra and tofu, lamb kabat followed by coconut fritters from Burma Superstar, San Francisco
  3. Roasted pork loin with fontana cheese sandwich with hot chai (no milk) followed by lemon curd potted cake from The Tea Room Cafe, Petaluma
  4. Cod salad with fennel, romaine, and a lemon dressing followed by a flat white with pear polenta upside down cake from Little House, Alameda (sadly no longer on the menu)
  5. Thom yum soup followed by dancing prawns and banana leaf wrapped salmon from Royal Thai, San Rafael
  6. Pulled confit pork with orange, jalapeno, and avocado sandwich and a side salad followed by a latte from Cafe Q, Alameda
  7. Fig champagne cocktail with the full cheese sampler followed by confit duck with new potatoes and arugula salad from Girl & Fig, Sonoma (they no longer do this version of the duck, sadly)
  8. The Bento Box meal with salmon sushi dominating from Balboa Sushi, San Francisco
  9. Fresh OJ with Eggs Alexandra and a massive cinnamon bun (to share) at Los Gatos Cafe, Los Gatos

To “cut the eggs,” instead of to beat them. The motion of beating eggs does not cut them. “Braiding eggs,” is still worse.
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

1811 Fun Euphemisms Around Food

  • Bow-wow mutton ~ Dog’s flesh.
  • Devil’s dung ~ Assafoetida.
  • Field lane duck ~ A baked sheep’s head.
  • Hasty pudding ~ Oatmeal and milk boiled to a moderate thickness, and eaten with sugar and butter.
  • Rum ruff peck ~ Westphalia ham. http://www.schallerweber.com/product/westphalian-ham/
  • Salmon-gundy ~ Apples, onions, veal or chicken, and pickled herring, minced fine, and eaten with oil and vinegar.
  • Sandwich ~ Ham, died tongue, or some other salted meat, cut thin and put between two slices of bread and butter: said to be a favorite morsel with the Earl of Sandwich.
  • Sweetheart ~ A term applicable to either the masculine of feminine gender, signifying a girl’s lover, or a man’s mistress: derived from a sweet cake in the shape of a heart.
  • Yarmouth pye ~ A pye made of herrings highly spiced, which the city of Norwich is by charter bound to present annually to the king.

~ 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue 
 

We advise our New-England friends to eschew, both in speaking and writing, all Yankee phrases that do not convey the exact meaning of the words. For instance, to “turn out the tea,” instead of to “pour it out.”
~ The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864)

  • When eating fish, first remove the bones carefully, and lay them on the edge of your plate. Then with your fork in your right hand, (the concave or hollow side held uppermost,) and a small piece of bread in your left, take up the flakes of fish.
  • Pouring butter-sauce over any thing is now ungenteel.
  • It is an insult to the company, and a disgrace to yourself, to dip into a dish any thing that has been even for a moment in your mouth. To take butter or salt with your own knife is an abomination. There is always a butter-knife and a salt-spoon. It is nearly as bad to take a lump of sugar with your fingers.
  • In fact, nothing should be sucked or gnawed in public; neither corn bitten off from the cob, nor melon nibbled from the rind.
  • Ladies no longer eat salt-fish at a public-table. The odour of it is now considered extremely ungenteel, and it is always very disagreeable to those who do not eat it.
  • Champagne is very insidious; and two glasses may throw her into this pitiable condition.
  • Having unfolded your napkin, secure it to your belt with a pin, to prevent its slipping down from your lap, and falling under the table.

~ Further etiquette advice around food from the The Ladies’ Guide to True Politeness and Perfect Manners or, Miss Leslie’s Behaviour Book by Eliza Leslie (American 1864. I bet there are some things following that you didn’t know about how to eat like a lady. I was certainly surprised!

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for January? Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

thehystericalsociety-tumblr Cora Urquart Brown-Potter, American stage actress – c. 1880s

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

backstoryradio tumblr Lantern slides showing movie theater etiquette and announcements, circa 1912.
via Library of Congress.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
The mechanical leech, the anti-crime bowtie, and seven other preposterous Victorian inventions

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Convention Tips, Tricks and Guides

PROJECT ROUND UP 

Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last Releases November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.

Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First Release date March 17, 2015 available for pre-order!


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
Reads 4 Tweens says of Waistcoats & Weaponry, “This is a swashbuckling installment in the always amusing series. Some readers may miss the school and wish for less romantic angst, but overall it’s light and amusing even as the world as they know it is threatened.”

Quote of the Day:
“No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention.”
~ Christopher Morley

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

5 Fun Bits From Gail’s Reddit AMA (Q&A with Gail Carriger)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Yesterday, Gentle Reader, was utterly consumed with a Reddit AMA, book tour itinerary madness, and Prudence proofs. But I did get some great news…

Etiquette & Espionage wins French award for best translated young adult novel!

Le squee!

Also Tentacle & Treacle is back from hiatus, with more recipes from the pages of my books paired with tea by yours truly. This week it’s Cucumber Sandwiches.

 

And now here are 4 fun bits and 1 serious craft question from yesterday’s AMA:

1. Which superpower would you choose?
Gills. Always and forever. I want to swim underwater without having to come up for air. I’m a simple girl.

2. Favorite sport?
To play? Water polo. I was on the swim team for years, I’m a vicious little fish. To watch? American football. I can’t help it, it’s like Roman War tactics on the field. When I lived in the UK, I’ve was seen to watch the occasional bit of rugby. I am ashamed.

3. If you could would you let Lord Akeldama dress you?
Yesssss, but… only the once.

Ensemble 1790s Los Angeles County Museum of Art

 

“Nevertheless we favor every effort to stop the extravagant use of dry goods and millinery.”
“As it is, many of our young men are padded to a superlative degree, and 
have corns and bunions on every separate toe from wearing shoes too tight.”
~ Around the Tea Table by T. De Witt Talmage (1875) 

4. Do any teas remind you of certain characters?

Well I always think of Alexia with Assam. And I imagine Sophronia is kind of a Lady Grey type. Rue has a rather epic encounter with chai in the first Custard Protocol book, she likes it but her preference is probably for something even more daring… and alcoholic.

5. When you put in Easter eggs or foreshadowing, do you write them in on first draft, or does it come later?

Some of them come out in rough draft, although I write them not really knowing why. Some of them come in rewrites as intentional foreshadows for the end of the book or series. I recently just did my 6th draft of the final Finishing School book and only then realized why one character, from book 2, had behaved in a specific way! Often it’s like that, the characters surprise me.

Occasionally, I will drop in a thread knowing I might need it, usually I have it planned, sometimes I go overboard and drop in too many (that happened with Changeless and is one of the reasons Biffy never got his HEA). As for other Easter eggs, or cookies, I call this “rewarding the careful reader.” I’ll drop in a side character or a call back pretty often in one book referencing an earlier appearance ~ these days it could be from one series to another. Usually it’s not super relevant to the plot of that particular book, just for fun if you’re a devoted fan of the world, and kind of gives a nudge nudge wink wink moment to the careful reader. But if you aren’t a big fan, I don’t want you to feel like you are missing something. It helps that I write comedy. So what in one book can simply be a character for amusement, in a later book can have unexpected significance in retrospect. It makes me seem very clever when really, initially, I was just after the laugh. As a writer, it only really works with side characters who have little screen time and fewer tapestry threads to mess with. Does that make sense?

As for the world call backs, I’m a rereader, myself so I write with the intent that after each new book comes out, if you go back and read any of the previous ones, new things about the world are revealed in light of the latest revelations.

All of this has had some fun results where some of my readers are taking bets on which Finishing School character is (blood) related to which Parasol Protectorate character. Because they know I couldn’t resist such a temptation. They are currently employed trying to figure out ages and such to make certain the timing works. I just sit back and smile evilly.

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for October? Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1903 tumblr fleurdulys-      Portrait of Lydia Vasilyevna Sychkov, the Artist’s Wife – Fedot Sychkov      1903

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

 

Robe à Transformation  Worth & Bobergh, 1862-1865  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
On Morning Calls and Hosting Dinner Parties, Balls and Routs in the Late Regency

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
Why and How to Outline (given some of the Reddit discussion yesterday)

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Releases March 17, 2015 now available for pre-order! Proof stage.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Release date November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order. Edits stage.


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming soon: November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels

Book News:
Audiobook Review of Curtsies & ConspiraciesThat’s What She Read – by  Michelle says,
“Moira Quick returns as the narrator for this quirky series, and she is delightful. She has an adorable way of modulating the volume of her voice to fit the sneakiness of a scene. Also, she delivers the most satiric sentences with an innocence worthy of an award. She capitalizes on the spirit of the novel to create a performance that breathes even more life into Ms. Carriger’s eclectic world.
As always, Ms. Carriger’s balance between satire and earnestness is laugh-out-loud funny.”

Quote of the Day:
“She looked away. Her attitude seemed to suggest that she had finished with him, and would be obliged if somebody would come and sweep him up.”
~ P.G. Wodehouse

Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

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