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It just won't stop, as I type the snow is falling again. The constant sound of snow plows dropping the blade and scrapping along. Now the harbor is freezing up. Small boats especially the lobster boats are stuck at their docks which means no lobster any time soon. East Gloucester Elementary School.  Dug out mail boxes!  Jewelry store on Rock Neck!  No Parking!  A stroll on Good

I am going cowl-crazy these days-- I made this from 1 skein of Lion Brand Hometown yarn in a color called Seattle Sea Mist. 





I just happened to have a Czech Glass button in my button box that was an exact match.



Cast on 24 stitches (on size 10 needles).
Row A. K3, ( P2,K2) 3x, P2, K3
Row B, P3, (K2 P2) 3x, K2, P3

Repeat 4 times.
Row C: P3, (K2 P2) 3x, K2, P3
Row D: K3, ( P2,K2) 3x, P2, K3
Repeat 4 times.
Keep doing that until it reaches the desired length. Before the last patter repeat bind off 3 in the middle to make buttonhole.


And speaking of gorgeous cowls, have you seen the new Outlander inspired ones floating around the internet. I am going to try my own versions of them and will post when I do.

Thanks for reading.


At least this knitter can't. This is in reference to my on-going failure to thin my yarn stash. Several years ago, when I wrote The Mermaid Shawl and other Beauties: Shawls,Cocoons, and Wraps, (it has stayed on an Amazon Best Seller list for 5 straight years) I knit up a mountain of patterns to use in the book. The book was very successful and I followed it up with a few smaller knitting instruction books under the Knit Your Tail Offseries. They also sold well. But then something happened—I kept knitting but I started seeing so many new knitting patterns being published that I pretty much lost interest in writing any more knitting patterns. I had other books to write.

Consequently, I soon had a mound of knitted garments with no particular plans for them. In December, when I was packing my bags to drive to Pennsylvania for a family Christmas party, I filled up 2 shopping bags with scarves, headbands, cowls, shrugs, etc. and threw them in the trunk of my car. The day of the party, I spread all my stuff out on a table and told my family that they could just help themselves. It was so much fun. My sisters and nieces had a ball trying everything on and deciding what they wanted. Everybody claimed what they wanted and I was relieved that I didn't have to take that stuff back home.
Nieces Erica, Mia, and Abby--Erica and Abby wearing their new cowls.
So, I come back to Gloucester, determined not to buy any more yarn until I used up what I already had—right, like that would happen.
Four colors of Pelt

Normally, I knit in all natural fibers using lace-weight or fingering weight yarns. But I had seen a very cute cowl knit in Lion Brand's “Pelt” which is an acrylic yard in their Fun-Fur line. I decided I wanted to experiment with it so ordered a few skeins and that was the beginning of the end of my plans to clear out my stash. I made an ear warmer/headband out of the Fischer fur and then a cowl out of the Chinchilla and the next thing I knew Lion Brand had me hooked. They did something sneaky—they kept sending me discount codes and I kept using them. My stash is growing out of control again—and all with these adorable, funky, furry yarns.

The patterns I invented were simple. All of these cowls are knit on Size 6, 16” circular needles. The lavender one is knit in the yarn called Romance which looks more like feathers than fur.


Cowl in Romance, color "Sachet"

Feathery Cowl (2 skeins Lion Brand Romance):
Cast on 80 stitches. Knit in the round.
For the first 8 rounds alternate a K round with a P round (Garter stitich).
K next 25 rounds. (Stockinette stitch).
Repeat first 8 rounds (Garter stitch).
Bind off.
Cowl in "Chinchilla"

Furry Cowl (2 skeins Lion Brand Pelt):
Cast on 80 stitches, Knit in the round.
K2, P2, repeat for every round (2 stitch rib.)
Bind off.
Cowl in "Mink"

It's really pretty simple but I love the way these furry yarns knit up—I can make a cowl in 2 or 3 evenings. I have no idea what I'll do with them but they may wind up going to next year's family party with me again. I had a great time last year and it gives me an excuse to keep buying yarn.

Like I need one.


Thanks for reading.
Another week another snow storm, it's like being under the end of a conveyor belt delivering snow! Though it's a pain and can be dangerous for many reasons including roof collapses, it does bring scenery of wonder. Here is a random collection and the first post using my new Nikon D7000 camera. East Gloucester Elementary School  Allie has got to go!  Buried Hammond Castle!  DO NOT!  

Beer Cupcakes with Candied Bacon Frosting

beer cupcakes with candied bacon

 

 

No one goes to school or work anymore. We shovel, and find ways to be together in our homes through what feels like one constantly barren and howling day. Snow days blur into weekends. which have now blurred into school vacation; our plans for which have been cancelled because this time the blizzard is in Washington D.C.

 

winter

shoveling

 

We almost enviously watch the lights of the plows tunnel through another storm: the plows can go anywhere. Our appointments have been cancelled. Our stores are closed. We’ve been banned from parking anywhere, banned from driving, banned from taking trains, sentenced to shovel egresses, to unburden our roofs and decks, to free our cars, and to do it all over again when the contemptuous winds raze it all in three gusts.

I toss logs in the fireplace to cheer things up. I make soups and stews, telling my family “this is just the weather for it!” We eat by the fire, because that feels so elemental. When stew is too much, I lighten things up: fresh cod with a Venezuelan pepper, garlic, scallion and cilantro sauce. We eat that by the fire, too, and I say how the brightness tastes so good.

But, today, my daughter said forget the tea-smoked chicken, Mom, I’m making “Beer Cupcakes with Candied Bacon Frosting.” After so many days trying to rake a positive attitude out of the embers of brewing moods, trying to nourish souls battered by arctic blasts, trying to write a to-do list under house arrest, I’ve found release in every naughty, absurd, wonderful bite of this Buzzfeed-born recipe.

Don’t call it weird until you’ve had one. The cake has an aley background indulged by that drift of sugary frosting. There’s a whiff of beer in the frosting, too. Snuggled into all is a wand of candied bacon (bacon tossed in brown sugar and baked to a caramel crisp).

Make these, and indulge like a sixteen year old who has had it up to the highest snow drift with her mother’s good taste and good sense. The mother has, too, and enjoyed every bite.

 

plate of cupcakes

Beer Cupcakes with Candied Bacon Frosting

makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup beer (preferably a citrusy wheat beer)

for the frosting:

1 1/4 cup salted butter, softened

1/4 cup beer, room temperature

4 cups confectionary sugar (or more)

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch salt

4 strips bacon

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 cupcake tins with cupcake papers.

2.  Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.

3.  In a mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar.

4.  Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next.

5.  Add the flour mixture in 4 additions, alternating with the beer, beginning and ending with flour.

6.  Pour into cupcake liners, and bake for 25 – 30 or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove onto wire rack and allow to cool completely.

7.  To make the frosting, beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the beer. The butter may break down a bit, but don’t worry; it will unite again with the sugar addition.

8.  Sift confectionary sugar into butter with mixer going very slowly. Keep adding sugar until all is added, and beat well. Add vanilla and salt, and beat until creamy. (You may need more confectionary sugar; add more until the frosting is stiff and creamy.)

9.  To make the bacon: preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lay parchment down on a baking sheet. Cut bacon into three pieces each. Lay the pieces on the parchment.  Make a paste of the brown sugar and maple syrup, and spread it on top of each piece of bacon.  Bake until brown and bubbly about 12-15 minutes. Remove bacon and allow to cool on wire racks. Frost cupcakes, and tuck a piece of bacon on top of each.

So this is "Global Warming", well I guess nobody told Mother Nature! Another week and another snow storm just keeps piling on top of us. The first year I got a snow blower our biggest snow storm that winter only brought about 5" of snow. This winter its working overtime and I'm glad I have it.  A little camera news:  I've been shooting with a Nikon D50 for almost 10 years. It's been
  • The books: I read about 50 pages of the first one, felt sick to my stomach, and gave up.
  • The movie: I have no intention of seeing it.
  • I am not in favor of censorship—if you can get through it, go ahead and read it.
  • I know it is fiction.
  • I know that many good people enjoy a BDSM lifestyle and that is their right.
  • I know that many people who read the books and who will go to see the movie got very hot and horny over them. I have no problem with that.

Here is what I have a problem with—romanticizing abuse.

The movie is opening on Valentine's Day, a holiday designed (largely by florists and chocolate manufacturers) to celebrate love. What happens over and over and over in the 50 Shades books is not love, it is emotional manipulation and abuse. I am not offended by the sex. I am not offended by the physical stuff—whatever you want to call it. What disturbs me is the way Christian Grey treats Ana—especially in the beginning. He is a rude, controlling, abusive stalker and what scares the living crap out of me is that so many women make excuses for him and view his behavior as being motivated by love.

Confession time: I have never been in a relationship as dramatic as the one in those books but I have had a couple of experiences with men who scared me with their controlling behavior. I was lucky—I saw what was happening early in the relationships and got out but it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy in no small part because my female friends told me I was crazy to let those men go!!!

The first one: When I was in college I met him at a party. Right from the beginning he was incredibly passionate and romantic. He wanted to spend every spare minute together. He frequently urged me to dress differently. I, like most college students in the 70s, lived in jeans and t-shirts. He wanted me to wear dresses and “girly” things. He sent flowers with notes that were embarrassingly graphic. He had no boundaries when it came to appropriate behavior and, after a few months of this, I was exhausted and fed-up. When I told my girlfriends about it several of them thought I was crazy. “He's so handsome!” He was. “He's so crazy about you!” Crazy being the operative word. Finally, I got up the courage, called him and told him I thought we needed to cool it for awhile. He argued passionately at first but then his whole attitude changed and he started screaming at me, calling me every filthy name he could think of—a tirade unlike any I have heard before or since. I finally hung up on him. I was lucky that time—he went from adoring me to complete indifference. I never saw him again.

The second one: Ten years later when I lived in Texas. I met a man in a pub where my friends and I hung out. He was a big, tough, ex-military south Texas petroleum engineer who went to Texas A&M on a football scholarship. Within months he was spending more time at my house than at his and finally he moved in with me. The first sign of trouble was when he stopped wanting us to do things with my friends. I worked for a big company—Enron, actually—and had a lot of friends who hung out together, went to happy hours, concerts, clubbing, to the beaches in Galveston on the weekend. In the beginning he joined us and seemed to have fun but before long he started complaining that he never got any alone time with me. We lived together—we had plenty of time alone.

My friends stopped calling me and inviting us places. At least I thought they did until the day I walked into the house and caught him erasing a message by one of them asking us to meet for happy hour. He also would make comments about things that happened in my past that I was sure I never told him. When I said that he'd say, “sure you told me that—you probably had too much to drink.” Then one day I noticed one of my dresser drawers was messy and, as I folded stuff, I realized there were several old journals—journals I kept through college and for years after—in that drawer. He had obviously been reading them because all the strange things he mentioned were in those books. When I told one of my friends she said, “Oh, that's so romantic—he wants to know everything about you!” I didn't find that romantic at all.

Then the physical intimidation started. I am a big woman—5'8” and have always been pretty muscular. But he was 6'4” with a 48” chest. He would back me into corners, and behave in a menacing manner. He would say, “Don't worry, I'd never hit you” in a tone of voice that implied the opposite. Luckily for me, I'm pretty good at not taking crap. It's strange when I think about it but when I'd look him in the eyes and say, “You better not try it” he'd back down. Like I said, I was lucky.

Whenever we had a fight and I was absolutely furious he would try to calm me down by saying, "Maybe we should get married. I think it would be good to start planning a wedding." In his mind that was what every woman wanted. I was so mad I wanted to clobber him and that would be his response.

I asked him to move out and he did but wouldn't give back my key. He called several times a day and would turn up on my doorstep any time he pleased. I was going through other changes in my life and I decided to move. I packed up and, within a week, was living in Camden, Maine. But he always got my new number wherever I was and kept calling. I found out one of my girlfriends was keeping him informed. When I moved to Marblehead I didn't tell him or her and the calls stopped.

Conclusion: Over the years, when I have talked about those relationships to other women there have always been a few who would say, “He must have loved you so much—I wish someone was that wild about me.” Unbelievable.

My stories are nothing like the 50 Shades story. I only tell them to illustrate my point—crazy, possessive, controlling, stalker-like behavior is not about love, it is about mental illness. It is abuse and it is NOT romantic. End of story.


Thanks for reading.
Another week and another snow storm. This is a collection of images I took over the last week including this latest round of  snow. White-out on Mooreland Road!  Centennial Ave.  The old East Gloucester Fire Barn.  Good Harbor Beach  A "selfie"!  Looking towards Duncan Street.  Main & East Main Streets  Middle Street  City Hall  Another view.  Rogers Street  No one on

I have had a few requests to repeat this tutorial from April 2011. Here it is:

Selling books for e-readers through Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, etc. is easier than ever but, with a little bit of work, you can also sell your eBooks directly from your own web site or blog. You can set your own price and the only cost to you will be what Paypal deducts for their services. I have sold hundreds of books and knitting patterns in PDF format this way. Below I'll walk you through the steps you'll need to take to do this. All the images below can be enlarged by clicking on them. What you will need are:
  1. Your manuscript in e-book format – PDF, HTML, TXT, DOC, EPUB or any other.
  2. An online storage site. If you have your own web hosting site that will work. If not you will need an online storage service like Dropbox, LiveDrive, etc. If you do a search for “online file storage” you can find one that will work for you.
  3. A Paypal account that is upgraded to a Merchant Account. If you already have Paypal you can use that by just upgrading the account. It's free.
  4. A web site or blog where you plan to sell your books.

That's it.

You can sell your book in any format that you have the capability of converting your book. Almost every word processing program (Word, Open Office, etc.) has the capability of exporting your file to a PDF (especially good for image/graphic rich books) and HTML. You can also Save As in TXT, RTF and DOC format. Once you have created your e-book and saved it to the format you wish to sell it in, follow these steps.

First: Upload your file(s) to your online storage site or server. Remember the URL of your file once it is on your server. For this demonstration we are going to call it: http://storagesite.com/mybook.pdf.


Second: Go to PayPal and login. Select the Merchant Services tab from the top tab bar. Under Create Button select “Buy Now”. Fill in the form as indicated in Figure 1(above).
  1. Select the Buy Now button.
  2. Give the item a name.
  3. Set your price.
  4. Now Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Step 3: Customize Advanced Features.

Third: Once you are in the Customize Advanced Features screen check “No” for the first three items. Scroll down and follow the directions in Figure 2 (above). Check the box as indicated and then put your book's URL in the blank as shown. Scroll down and click “Create Button”.


Fourth: You will now be directed to the screen that gives you the code for your button as shown in Figure 3 (above).  Click “Select Code” and use Control+C or Edit>Copy to copy the code. You are now ready to insert the code into your web page or blog.


Fifth: If you have your own web page you will go to the place on your page where you wish to insert the Paypal button. Insert the HTML code in to the appropriate place using Control+V or Edit>Paste.

In order to add the button to your blog you will need an area that accepts HTML code. I am using Blogger for this demonstration but other blog sites should offer similar possibilities. 


For Blogger, log in to your Dashboard and select the Design tab (above). And do the following:
  1. Select Add A Gadget
  2. From the pop-up box select Add HTML/Java Script.


Once the HTML box popup apprears do the following (above):
  1. Give the box a title
  2. Make sure the “Rich Text” option is showing, this means you are in the HTML screen.
  3. Paste the Paypal code into the body of the box using Control+V or Edit>Paste.
  4. Click Save. (Before you click Save you might want to add information about the book, a picture of its cover, price, etc.)

That's all there is to it. I find that it is a good idea to include directions on my site advising people to wait until the link appears after they click the Paypal button but a lot of people do not. I get emails almost every day asking me to send the link which I email out promptly.

You can set up as many buttons as you like for different books and different versions of books (PDF, HTML, etc.) but you can only set up one automatic download per button. There are a number of services that offer secure storage for online files but they charge a fee so you have to decide if you think it is worth paying that. Check our E-Junkie.

So that is it. Please let me know if something is unclear or if I forgot something.

Thanks for reading.

Shy Creme

spoons

This valentine dessert is about the romance of local food – honestly wonderful local food as creamy, cultured and full of integrity as a cheese from a Burgundy farmhouse.

Cloumage comes in a carton. It’s a cultured fresh cheese that has the yeastiness of champagne and the fresh smoothness of creme fraiche. It’s sold at Whole Foods, and better grocery stores and cheese shops, but it’s created in Westport, Massachusetts.

 

Cloumage carton

 

Once the greatest dairy producer in the state, Westport has struggled against modern economics to preserve farm land. About five years ago, the Santos family, a third-generation Westport milk-producer, was forced to admit their accounting’s steep slope downhill. The sons – two sets of twin brothers – one set 53 years old, the other just turned 51 – wanted to only do what they had been doing since they were kids, take care of their cows. With the help of Barbara Hanley, who guided the dairy into cheese making, the brothers are doing just that: Norman milks the cows. Arthur feeds them. Kevin runs the machinery, and now Karl, who is famous for fact-keeping, makes the cheese.

Hanley and Karl traveled to Burgundy, France together in 2006, looking for a cheese style that would suit the Santos dairy. They returned with the model for a thimble-sized cheese called “Hannahbells,” named for the boy’s mother. As the cheese making began to grow, and Hanley began to give presentations about the farm, people at an event would ask, “where are these brothers; can we meet them?” Hanley would have to confess that they weren’t there because, “well, they are shy.” And so the dairy has been famously – and honestly – renamed, “Shy Brothers Farm.”

Now the shy brothers are making Cloumage, a soft cheese delicious spooned as is onto roasted pears or baked apples bubbling with brown sugar. Cloumage can bind lobster; it can stuff a pepper, rise in a souffle, even bake into a luxurious coffee cake. Drizzle a dish of Cloumage with local honey, strew with chopped rosemary and serve with slices of toasted baguette. Some Westport chefs say they have yet to find a place in the kitchen that Cloumage doesn’t improve.

Shy Creme proves how a carton of Cloumage in the refrigerator means you are just minutes away from an unusually wonderful dessert: a cup of Cloumage is whipped in a mixer with a cup of cream and some sugar until it comes to stiff peaks; spoon (or pipe if you’re feeling more formal) the creme – like a creamy, spoonable cheesecake – into dishes, and cover with raspberry sauce. For a textural variation, I sprinkled the top with chocolate graham cracker crumbs. The raspberry sauce and crumb preparation are slightly involved, but you could also simply heat raspberry jam with a little Chambord, and make crumbs from your favorite chocolate cookie; Oreos would work fine.  Also, my dessert tastes lean towards slightly less sweet; feel free to increase the sugar in the creme if you find it not enough “valentine.”

 

instagram dishes

 

Last winter, Hanley gave me a tour of the Shy Brothers cheese making operation, and then to see the family farm, the dairy barn, and to meet the cows. Hanley pointed to a small house where Arthur and Norman live next door. I asked how they felt about the exciting new contract with Whole Foods, and about all the excitement buzzing among chefs using the Shy Brothers cheeses; Hanley paused for a second, and then said, “I don’t think they even know; all those boys want to do is take care of the cows, they way they have all their lives.”

 

one dish, quince

 

Shy Creme

serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

For the sauce:

1 bag frozen raspberries (12 ounces)

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons confectionary sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

cold water to dissolve – about 1 tablespoon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla pinch salt

For the crumbs

3 ounces semisweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)

4 tablespoons cream

1 package graham crackers

For the creme:

1/2 carton Cloumage or 7.5 ounces

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

fresh raspberries

Instructions:

1.  To make the sauce, put frozen raspberries into a sauce pan with the water. Simmer until melted and broken down, about 10 minutes. Whisk in confectionary sugar. (Add more if you like the sauce sweeter.) Push sauce through a sieve to remove seeds. Wipe out sauce pan, and return the clear liquid to it. (Discard solids.)  In a small glass dish dissolve corn starch in cold water, stirring into a smooth mixture. With gentle heat on the raspberry liquid, whisk in cornstarch. Cook gently, constantly whisking, for 4-5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the cornstarch taste is gone. Stir in vanilla and a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool.

2.  To make the crumbs, put chocolate and cream together in a double boiler. Heat until chocolate is melted, and mixture is shiny. Blend graham crackers to fine crumbs in a food processor. Pour in melted chocolate and cream, and process well. The mixture will be a fine chocolate crumb.

3.  To make the creme, put the Cloumage, cream and sugar into the bowl of a mixer. Mix on high until the cream is sturdy, almost reaching peaks, about 4 minutes. Spoon into dishes (or pipe into champagne flutes). Pour cool raspberry sauce over each, and sprinkle generously with crumbs. Top with fresh raspberries.

 

dirty glass and 2 dishes

Weathermen from all around said a beast is coming. Packing high winds and heavy snow yet the City of Gloucester was up to the task. After the last flake fell there was 31' on the ground and drifting all over. By sunrise most of the main roads were cleared. Back in 1969 we were hammered by a 41" snow fall and it paralyzed the city. Power was out for a better part of a week, no school for two
Albert Einstein is alleged to have said, “If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is an empty desk a sign of?” I don't know if he said it or not but his desk was pretty cluttered and his mind was—well, anything I say about Einstein's mind would be laughable. But I understand his point. I read recently about a study by a psychological scientist named Kathleen Vohs from the University of Minnesota who did a study on the link between creativity and messiness. Her conclusion was that clutter and creativity are definitely linked for many people.

Does this mean that making a mess will make you more creative? No—at least not in my opinion. But the clutter that accrues while someone is creating is often inevitable. I see it in my house to a nearly embarrassing degree but there is a reason for it.

There is a small room off my kitchen that I use as my sewing room. It is, generally speaking, pretty messy. I have lots of storage bins and organizers but the thing is I have to have lots of stuff around me to get ideas. I tape pictures out of magazines to the wall. I pin pieces of ribbon and feathers and strings of beads and postcards and patterns to a corkboard over the sewing machine table. I stack folded fabric in piles according to color or texture or fiber. These things feed my creative soul.

In the room I use for writing I have books stacked all over the place. And magazines—many with post-it notes sticking out of them to mark something I don't want to forget. There are also books piled up around my bed. There is the book that I am reading plus lots of books I am using for research—I never know which one I am going to feel like reading. On the wall over my desk are lots of photographs of interesting looking people that I think might inspire characters. There are also a lot of rocks and crystals and little hand-sculpted figures of mermaids that people have given me because I have this peculiar notion that they bring me good luck. There is a stuffed doll next to my laptop of a bearded fellow in a Steelers uniform with the number 99 on his jersey because I think he is good karma. Plus there are bottles and jars of vitamins and herbs, empty tea cups, and candles. Because I need them.

See here is the thing—clutter does not inspire creativity. You can't mess up a room and then sit down and wait for inspiration. You have to start working on something and allow the clutter to accrue organically. Your clutter will be different from any other creative being's clutter. Your clutter reflects the way your mind wanders.

Even in the kitchen I tend to have too much on the counter at all times. I am very much an out-of-sight-out-of-mind cook. If I don't see something chances are good I'll forget it is there to be used. Just last night while cooking dinner I opened a cupboard door to search for something and I saw a jar I hadn't noticed in ages. It contained dried shallots and it was a very happy find for me but I had totally forgotten I had them.

I don't know if clutter is a good thing or a bad thing—I do know that for some of us it is an inevitable thing. Lucky for me I have only me to answer to—I'd hate to inflict my world on anyone else.


Thanks for reading.

Mudiga Steak

from In Cod We Trust: From Sea to Shore, the Celebrated Cuisine of Coastal Massachusetts, by Heather Atwood

Mudiga Steak

serves 4

Mudiga is a seasoned bread crumb mixture used throughout the Gloucester Sicilian community. No one really knows the origins of the word, but the blend coats chicken, steak, vegetables and fills meatballs in Sicilian Gloucester kitchens. The crumbs seem to always promise that the dish will be good; everyone in Gloucester smiles when there’s something mudiga on the menu. There are still some Gloucester fishermen who rise for work at 3:00 and 4:00 a.m., and are looking for something hearty by 7:00; Mudiga Steak is still listed as a breakfast choice in not many, but a few Gloucester restaurants. In Gloucester Mudiga Steak is for breakfast, served on Virgillio’s Bread.

Ingredients for the steak

4 thick fillet mignon steak or New York strip steaks, trimmed

1 cup Italian breadcrumbs

4 slices provolone cheese

4 crusty rolls

Instructions

1. For the steak: Lightly bread the steaks with the breadcrumbs. Preheat the skillet to very hot. Sear the steaks on each side for 2 minutes, then lower the temperature to cook all the way through to your desired doneness.  Alternatively, broil for 4 minutes per side,  or until browned and cooked through.

 

2.  Cover each steak with a slice of provolone cheese.  Warm in oven until melted.

3.  Serve on warmed or toasted rolls.

Mudiga (Seasoned Bread Crumbs)

Yields about 2 1/2 cups.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (toast your own or you can use the regular store bought type)

1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 medium white or yellow onion, chopped into very small pieces.

1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine

salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

1. Mix all together and taste for salt and pepper. Freeze extra in a plastic bag.

I have been a very bad blogger lately, mostly because I have been busy with other things—all writing related, though, so I will not complain. According to the National Weather Service we have a blizzard headed our way so, in a little while, I will go out and do a few errands—stock up on any essentials that are not already sufficiently stocked—then come home and hunker down. My only concern is losing power for very long. However, since I live close to downtown and just 2 blocks from City Hall, even when we do lose power we are among the first to have it restored.

The first good thing that happened this week is the proof copies of th book I have been working on for Dick Dornisch arrived. Much as I appreciate the ease and convenience of digital book, there's nothing quite like a real book. The St.Marystown Saga is beautiful! The paper is a nice, sturdy, pure white that shows the drawings well and I'm happy with the cover.

The book is now live on Amazon and has been selling well enough to climb to #44 on Amazon's Local History list. That makes me happy.

The second good thing is that the boxed set of my three full-length novels is $2.99 for Kindle all this week. The novels are $3.99/each if purchased separately and the boxed set is normally $8.99 so this is a very good deal for a short time.

And the third good thing is that the new Marienstadt stories for the next collection are coming along. I finished a long one called The Memory Quilt of Lacey Mulhearn which turned into a very endearing story that I love. And I finished the first draft of a very short story called A Mystery in Porcupine Run. It's a combination of funny and sad but I like it.

So, that is my life these days—stay home, stay warm, work, be productive, and think about Spring. If you are in the path of the storm I wish you warmth and safety, and if you are not, I wish you happiness and productivity.


Thanks for reading.   
They say a monster is coming! Predictions of as much as three feet of snow, blizzard conditions with winds approaching hurricane force! Don't forget to get your bread and milk! On my home from work Saturday morning I took the following: Western Avenue Buswell's Pond Hough Avenue Tablet Rock  Stacy Boulevard

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