Book Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things: When a Story is Not a Story

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Patrick Rothfuss prefaces The Slow Regard of Silent Things by saying that this is not the third book in The Kingkiller Chronicles, that it’s not like his other books, and that “this book might not be for you.” He ends it by confessing his fears that this book would not be well received, that he thought this story would be unwanted by readers and editors

I didn’t jump on this book when it was first published (I unwisely thought that, having just finished Wise Man’s Fear a month earlier, I could patiently wait till the price dropped). I had friends to recommend the book to me before I bought it, and the criticism I was hearing about this book was primarily that it was not what the reader had expected (which usually I attribute to reader error more than author error—but having read the book, maybe just this once, it was at least partially the book’s fault).

This book was not what I expected because as Rothfuss himself says it’s not what you expect of a story; it has none of the framework that we’ve been taught to call “story.” As I read it, I kept waiting for it to become what I expected. It did not. The story is not cohesive. It does not have an arc. It is only loosely held together by an idea in Auri’s mind that she must find gifts for Kvothe before he next comes. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a collection of vignettes more than anything perhaps and a tour of a world below the surface of the series that I’ve come to love.  This is exploration.

But it wasn’t the plots of The Kingkiller Chronicles books that caught me either, and the same wordsmith is here to tangle words together in creative new ways—now with a very different puppet. Kvothe (POV character of The Kingkiller Chronicles) is careful. Each word is weighed and measured and planned and meant to provoke a certain emotion and scene and image. He is, as he’ll remind you, Edema Ruh first, and the Ruh are performers and storytellers. I think Auri is actually the more reliable narrator. Maybe partially because Auri in this story has an audience she cannot manipulate. The silent universe judges her every move. She feels that judgment, knows when something is amiss, and she knows how to fix it, but she cannot put on a false face for the universe.

We’re told Auri is half-mad, but the method behind the madness, revealed when she becomes here a narrator, makes more sense than a lot of other worldviews. Auri moves through the universe sensing when things are off-balance and seeking to fix the imbalances, and to that purpose she seeks to lose self to All Else.

Rothfuss says that as he let friends and later others read the story, the feedback often amounted to “I don’t know what other people will think. They probably won’t like it. But I like it” (158). Rothfuss marvels at this and cites his empathy with her as the root of his fondness for Auri. “I cannot help but wonder how many of us walk through our lives, day after day, feeling slightly broken and alone, surrounded all the time by others who feel exactly the same way” (158). In some ways, this first reading, the endnote to this book made me feel more than did the book itself because it made all the rest make sense, and it was a rare glimpse into a writer’s fears and doubts.

Knowing now what this story is and is not, I’m looking forward to a second reading.

Read this story for the language, read it to ease a sense of loneliness, read it for a new perspective. Read it for meaning if you like but don’t expect to have the lessons handed to you Dumbledore-style. Expect to have to work for your meaning by examining one object and one sentence for several slow minutes and then letting it all flow together into a greater whole. Don’t read it as you read any other story. Don’t read it for plot. Don’t look for humor. Don’t expect a usual experience, and maybe you won’t be disappointed.

****

Rothfuss, Patrick. The Slow Regard of Silent Things. Illus. Nate Taylor. New York: DAW-Penguin, 2014.

This review is not endorsed by Patrick Rothfuss, Nate Taylor, DAW Books, or Penguin Group, Inc.  It is an independent, honest review by a reader.

Challenge: Legal Theft: When All Else Fails (322 words)

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Oranges meant vitamin C, and vitamin C meant a swifter recovery. She wasn’t sure if that logic really ought to apply to orange-flavored tea or orange cake, but even so she felt a little better with a bite of spongy cake in her mouth and the fragrance of the tea wafting from her mug. The placebo effect, she knew, but belief was a powerful thing, and it meant an excuse to eat cake and drink tea. She even wore orange blossom perfume on her wrists, hoping that carrying the essence with her would help. It was probably more the perfume than the orange blossom fragrance that helped her feel more awake, more put together, healthier.

Illness was a funny thing. Sure it was physical. There was definitely something amiss when her glands swelled and each swallow seemed to drag sharp claws along her throat and when her nose clogged with yellow mucus. But the battle—that was mental—or could be.

It was all about feeling better. Feel better, and the being better would come.

Besides, there was nothing else to do about a cold. A cold would run its course and run you over if you let it, and no amount of medications could do anything but mask the pain and misery.

Those medications might as well be tea and cake.

The line stolen this week was mine, and the line itself might tell you why the piece didn’t get written ahead of time.  This week when I meant to be writing the distractions were vast.

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Beacon Heights, Linville, NC.

And many.

My sister's robe not mine.

My sister’s robe not mine.

So my apologies that this piece is short and perhaps not all I dreamed it to be.

My dutiful and wonderful thieves are:

Gwen at Apprentice, Never Master, who wrote “Invention” (748 words).

Kate Kearney at More Than 1/2 Mad, who wrote “Bolstering Immunities.”

and Trebez at Machete Diplomacy, who wrote “Bedside Manner.”

DIY Sharpie Decorated Mugs

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Like many others, I spend too much time on Pinterest. Particularly, I spend too much time finding DIY crafts and home improvements. I’d seen before on Etsy mugs that had been redecorated. It wasn’t until Pinterest that I realized it might be a simple thing to do.

For this project, I used no one set of directions, but took advice from several sites and a friend who had done this project herself before besides. I used an ordinary Sharpie marker and white mugs (any colors would be fine, I’d guess, but I liked the black on white look, and the wedding registry listed white mugs, so I thought I wouldn’t mismatch the newlyweds’ kitchen too terribly). The mugs I used were both dishwasher and microwave safe but were ceramic not stoneware. I drew and wrote on the mugs. That bit needs no explanation.

A note to the wise, remove the stickers from the bottom of the mug before you start to draw on them and you won’t have to worry as I did about soapy water smudging the Sharpie as you try to scrub off the tack to prepare them to go into the oven.

I did find that scrubbing with a paper towel wet with soapy water did erase the marker when I wanted it to, but a drip of soapy water running down the side over the Sharpie had no effect.

This, I think, is wonderful. There are no do overs as clean with most traditional methods of ceramics painting.

I set my oven for 350 F, waited for it to preheat, put the mugs down on a cookie sheet, face-up, and waited anxiously for the crack that I was sure was coming.

In retrospect I ought to have set them in the oven on the cookie sheet, then turned oven on, and set the timer after the light went off, knowing as I do that you ought to let ceramic heat with the kiln rather than shoving cool clay in a hot kiln.

Doing so, though, made no noticeable difference.

I decided to twice-fire them, because, well, I hoped that maybe by doing so I could better set the marker and make it last longer. Only time will tell if it was worth it. This time I set the cookie tray with the mugs in the oven before turning it on. My oven, usually creaky, was making some noise as I waited for the light to go off. I got nervous, so I decided to heat the oven to only 300 F for the second firing.

I know enough about ceramics to know that I couldn’t open the door to peek, but I can’t tell you how tempting it was.

Between firings I was sure to let everything cool. I left the mugs on their tray in the oven and waited until the stovetop was as cool as if the oven hadn’t been turned on that day, then waited a bit longer besides to take them out, really waiting for the air inside the oven to cool to room temperature.

Neither time did the mugs crack.

The final result: Worth it.

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Challenge: 777, an Excerpt from my WIP

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Olivia has challenged me to a 777.

The challenge is:

  • Go to your current work in progress
  • Scroll to page 7
  • Count 7 sentences
  • Share the next 7 sentences after that
  • And of course, tag people to do the same. You can even tag 7 people if you want to really get into the number theme.

I’m really enjoying this challenge because it gives me a moment to isolate a section of text that I rarely would isolate and to edit that section as if it were all that would ever be publicly visible.  My story, bless it, is in the middle of a rewrite.  There were sections of this story that I knew needed rewriting, and I could not find the motivation or wherewithal to do so, not after all the hard work of the first and second and other go-arounds.  So my catalyst character, a character of 10+ years’ acquaintance, decided to change genders and necessitate the whole thing.  While I curse her a little, I thank her a lot.

Sadly, the section highlighted by the 777 is a bit of an info dump and has not undergone much transformation.  Maybe it should.  I’d appreciate the critique.

 —

She gave him one last smile and set off.

Veil watched her shuffle down the slope of the hill, looking frail beneath the spiderweb of her shawl. As she faded into the growing twilight and the shadow of the mountains, a fire bloomed in the valley below, leaping quickly toward the deep blue eastern sky to replace the sun as it took its last peek at the world.

Against the flickering of the flames, he could see dark figures, silhouettes that he couldn’t recognize, but he knew that he knew—would know if only he could be closer, if he could see their faces.

From this distance, outcast from the ring of firelight, friends were as hazy as the stranger who had brought Veil to Gerizim. Priscilla had described him to Veil, but he was still no more than a ghost, insubstantial, intangible, and incomplete, as much a mystery as were his parents and their deaths.

He let his hand fall, realizing that he had been worrying the chain of twisted silver that hung around his neck. …

Now, of course, I’m supposed to issue the challenge too.  I know fewer people these days actively working on longer WIP.  (If I am misinformed and you are, in fact, working on a WIP, please correct me and accept the challenge.  If you’re one of those people I’m speaking to, I expect you’ll know it.)

Olivia has already challenged Gwen.  I also challenge Emily at More Than One Page, Eileen at Musings, and Katie at Mountain Hart.

Book Review: The Western Tradition and Transgression in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

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The title of Catherynne M. Valente’s first in the Fairyland series, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, led me to expect a loud and wonderfully brazen feminism. That was not what I got from the story, but I was perhaps even more pleased. I am only as I’m writing this review realizing how feminist the text truly is.

Valente deals in the subversion of stereotypes male and female most prominently in the characters of September (female) and Saturday (male).

The protagonist, September, has long hair, wears a dress, uses the pronoun “she,” and before she leaves home is assigned the chore of washing dishes (all acts stereotypically assigned to women). She is Ravished, carried off by the Green Wind in the manner of Persephone by Hades, taking their another female role, but deprived of her escort, she must take on the hero’s role in her adventure. She uses the jewels from a scepter to buy her passage on her first quest: to steal back a witch’s Spoon from the Marquess, the despotic ruler of Fairyland. The Spoon she keeps for herself on the subsequent quests. The Spoon belonging to a female witch and through its association with the historically and stereotypically female domain of the kitchen and the act of cooking is feminine but it acts in its function as a weapon in a more masculine sphere. September wields the Spoon like a cudgel to break apart a lobster cage, like a grappling hook with which she wrangles an animate bicycle. Conquering her own Death, she wins a new weapon: a sword that manifests as her mother’s wrench. Her mother is an airplane mechanic while her father is away at the battlefront (of World War II), so September follows in a family tradition of women transgressing the feminine sphere to step into the masculine one in the absence of men.

September’s companion, Saturday, is rescued by September from the Marquess, taking the role of the damsel in the tower in the Western fairytale myth. He is quiet, gentle, pacifist, and emotionally vulnerable rather than exuding stereotypical masculine strength and emotional restraint of the Western myth of masculinity. He takes a backseat to September’s heroism, is rescued far more often than he rescues, and at one point presents September with a favor in the tradition of women to knights before battle.

September moves from a more feminine sphere, being Ravished and wielding a Spoon, to a more traditionally masculine sphere, being compared to a knight on a quest, saving others, being the hero, and wielding a sword-wrench, but all of these things without the world are more feminine. It is the Western tradition that she transgresses and not the world’s gender stereotypes, and that is why this is an important feminist book. What September does, the masculine roles she inhabits are not masculine, not feminine, but non-gendered in the world. This is the feminism of equality, the best and paragon of feminism.

There are several other characters transgressing stereotypes that I could examine.  I could rave about Valente’s answer to body shaming, her call to respect the elderly, the deviances from the man-woman marriage (two women, one man-wairwulf witch, then the Nasnas who are probably a paper in themselves and a reference to Plato besides)….

But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the language of this book. The language is beautiful. It is comparable to Patrick Rothfuss’, particularly to Patrick Rothfuss writing in the voice of Auri in The Slow Regard of Silent Things. As Pat with Auri, much of what Valente says as narrator of this book (and she is a very present narrator throughout the text) seems outlandish but rings true nonetheless. This is the truth stripped of its science. This is the truth we saw before science. And it’s beautiful. Its fresh and timeless. It is the language of wonder and young eyes.

*****

Valente, Catherynne M.  Fairyland, Book 1: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making.  Illus. Ana Juan.  New York: Square Fish-Macmillan, 2012.  Originally published 2011.

This review is not endorsed by Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan, Square Fish, Macmillan, or Fiewel and Friends, the Macmillan imprint that originally published the book.  It is an independent, honest review by a reader.

If you’re thinking of purchasing an e-reader copy of this book, why not support me and purchase it through Bookgrail, a new site that let’s you support book reviewers with your purchases?

Book Review: Dark Moon Defender: Rereads and the Effects of Nostalgia

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Dark Moon Defender, third in Sharon Shinn’s The Twelve Houses series, is well written, its characters rounded and alive, its world expansive and deep, the cultures and religions and worldviews diverse and detailed, but when I tried first to write a review of this book based on those merits, I couldn’t find much else to say.

Sometimes the real value of a book is nostalgia, the times that it recalls, the friends with whom it is connected.

Such may be the case for me for Dark Moon Defender. This was the first of the series that I ever read, a recommendation from Gwen at Apprentice, Never Master when we were still college kids. It was then passed around a group of us.

When I first read the series, I’d have said that Dark Moon Defender was my second favorite after the fourth and climax, Reader and Raelynx.  I hadn’t read it since.

Rereading Dark Moon Defender was like meeting a friend again—a friend introduced to me by friends and with whom I share friends, none of whom I’ve seen face-to-face in too long. It reminded me of all of those friends.

But since we last had seen one another, we’d grown apart a bit—Dark Moon Defender­ and I. Life happened. And while I enjoyed rereading the book, preferred it to other books that I had been reading, it was not the same book that I remembered—or I wasn’t the same person who had read it those few years ago.

Perhaps in some ways it is because of what this series means to me that this book did not sink as deeply into my heart this time around. This series—for all its many strengths—I like perhaps best because of the incredibly strong and warm friendships between the six main protagonists—a friendship that in some ways echoes that which I share with the friends with whom I first read the book. But the friends in this book are separated—not indefinitely but for large portions of the book. I found myself enjoying the book best when at least two of the friends were together.

Though I think Shinn would say that these books are meant as romances, the romances are just not as moving to me as are the friendships or as exciting as the overarching series plot of treason and war.

The Thirteenth House, second in the series, I realized this previous read-through is more bildungsroman than romance. When I read it as a bildungsroman, I liked it much better than when I had read it as a romance. It has perhaps even surmounted Dark Moon Defender in the ranking of favorites. I suppose there is an aspect of bildungsroman in Dark Moon Defender if one assumes that a healthy marriage is a necessary step in growing up—which I’m not sure that I do, though certainly it can be a step in some people’s journey. I feel though that most of Justin’s growth and education had occurred prior to this book and would classify this more as a romance than any other genre.

Maybe I enjoyed Dark Moon Defender so well the first time through partially because I had not read the others and did not know what Shinn was capable of and so was able to enjoy it as a straight romance, expecting nothing else.

If Dark Moon Defender is read primarily as a romance then it has to be noted too that while Justin is, I know, the ideal hero to some, he is not the type of hero to whom I am immediately attracted, and because the story is primarily a romance, I think my “type” hindered my enjoyment of the story. I like adorkable and cute and brainy more than I like brawny, dutiful soldiers. My preference makes Justin no less of a wonderful character and no less loveable.

Perhaps because I was more apart from the world and the characters than I had been during any other reading of one of Shinn’s books, I found myself stumbling a few too many times on Shinn’s flowery prose—a strange critique from me (my own prose has received the same critique on many occasions). Sometimes “said” really is the best verb.

****

Shinn, Sharon. The Twelve Houses, Book 3: Dark Moon Defender. New York: ACE-Berkley-Penguin, 2006.

This review is not endorsed by Sharon Shinn, ACE Books, Berkley Publishing Group, or Penguin Group.  It is an independent, honest review by a reader.

Challenge: Legal Theft: Little Red Dress (658 words)

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On the hottest day of the year, the skirt of my red dress flutters against my thighs in the breeze manufactured by the fan.

Mam bakes when she’s worried, and she hasn’t let the summer heat stop her.

I long for an excuse to escape the sweltering house.

“Mackie, take these cakes to your granny’s, eh?”

Just the excuse I’ve been waiting for.

I grab the basket that Mam holds out and bolt for the door, barely stopping to slam my feet into trainers and grab my purse. Mam’s calling after me. “Straight there and back.”

The heat glaring off of the pavement is only a little cooler than the heat radiating from Mam’s kitchen, but at least here the hot air moves, blown sideways by the wind between the high-rises.

Granny lives ten blocks away. Not far, really, but far enough to make a good walk, especially with Mam’s cake hanging heavy on my arm. I’ve lived in the city as long as I can remember, but still I love the jangle of it, the auto horns calling to one across the blocks like starlings, the groan and rumble of their wheels on the streets, the hawkers calling out wares, the sights, and smells of hot dogs and pretzels and baking asphalt and steel.

There’s a raw tingle up my spine each time I set out into the crowd knowing that I pass and am passed by people I’ll never see again, who’ll never see me again, but that I know these streets as if they were my own, as familiar as the flat I can navigate in the dark, but always changing, never mine, always their own.

Each street has a flavor. Some are bright and sunny and whitewashed: lemon-scented. Some are cluttered with shop fronts with fluttering, colorful awnings, a café, a flower shop with buckets of colorful blooms spilling onto the pavement and a watchful man who guards the merchandise from the wandering hands of couples and toddlers.

“Flower for you, Red? Free of charge.”

Well, maybe he’s not as watchful of his flowers as I thought. He holds out a red rose. I know I should walk past him, but I love red roses.

“Pretty girl like you must get a million flowers, eh? Where’s your boyfriend? Girl like you deserves an armful of flowers.”

Granny likes roses too.

I take the flower. Its been plucked of its thorns. The stem is smooth and cool to the touch. Its scent is heady. I bury my nose in the soft petals.

“There you are. That’s the smile I wanted to see.” The flower seller flashes me a white smile. “So where is he?”

“Haven’t got a boyfriend.”

“Aw, Red, that’s a real shame. Someone ought to pluck you up. You put that rose to shame. You hang onto that flower.”

“I might give it to my granny. I’m on my way to see her now, and she’s ill.”

“Red, you’re breaking my heart. Tell you what. You tell me where your granny lives. I’ll bring her a whole bouquet of red roses. Think she’d like that? Think that’d make her feel better, Red?”

“I haven’t got the money for a whole bouquet.”

“Discounted!”

“Would five dollars be enough?”

“I can do that, yeah.”

I shift the basket, shift the rose to my other hand and fish out the fiver. He pockets it and starts to gather a bouquet of red roses, carefully selecting each bloom.

“Now you just give me your granny’s address. I’ll make sure these get to her. Make her smile.”

I give him Granny’s address and thank him with a smile.

“You get off to Granny’s, Red. And don’t worry now. We’ll make her feel better.”

I thank him again and continue up the block, humming now and dipping my nose again into the aromatic bloom. The city streets look even brighter, a bit more cheerful with a rose in hand.

Mine was the line stolen this week.

Bek at Building A Door wrote “Heat.”

Gwen at Apprentice, Never Master wrote “Take Advantage” (768 words).

Kate Kearney at More Than 1/2 Mad wrote “Burning Rubber.”

Machete Diplomacy wrote “Drought.”

Book Reviews: March 2015 Picture Book Roundup

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Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light. Candlewick, 2014. Intended audience: Ages 2-5, PreK-K.

I’m a sucker for dragons—particularly friendly dragons (you may have noticed)—and for the idea that magic could be a little more commonplace than we believe, so I naturally had to pick up and read a book with this jacket. Light’s Have You Seen My Dragon? is a counting book with imaginative and whimsical illustrations, primarily busy, detailed line drawings but with splashes of color that highlight the objects to be counted. The counting book is well hidden within a text that gives the counting book plot, where the narrator—a young child—tours the city looking for his missing dragon, querying various adults at work him. There’s a lot of room for interaction in this book.  It could be expanded into a color primer as well, and a primer for professions.  The dragon hides among the intricately woven lines of each illustration, making a Where’s Waldo of him, though finding the dragon is thankfully not as difficult. The busyness of Light’s illustrations perfectly match the bustle of a city like New York City or London. I have to admit that I am more enamored of the illustrations of this book than the text, but the text does—as I’ve said—a good job supporting the mission of the counting book without losing plot—and that’s more than can be said for some.

****

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Richard Scarry’s Trucks by Richard Scarry. Golden-Random, 2015. Intended audience: Ages 0-3.

This book is written in the manner of a primer with a noun and then the illustration of that noun, but there’s an element of silliness here, with the inclusion of several absurd examples. Beside the usual examples (bulldozer, dump truck, fire engine), there is also a pickle tanker and Mr. Frumble’s pickle car. Richard Scarry’s world is one where things don’t always go well: Fruit trucks spill their merchandise and Mr. Frumble drives his pickle car into the path of an emptying dump truck. I suspect but haven’t been able to prove that these illustrations were lifted from other stories, mashed here into a new product to sell—much as was done with the Favorite Words books based on Eric Carle’s works. This is probably a book best for fans—parents who are fans—of Richard Scarry’s work already, trying to induce their children to like the same books that they do—and why wouldn’t you? I too have fond memories of Richard Scarry (I think a lot of us do). I would, though, have liked to see more cohesion, more of a plot in this primer. Some of the illustrations tell their own mini story, but I found no story connecting the illustrations.

**1/2

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Princesses and Puppies by Jennifer Weinberg and illustrated by Francesco Legramandi and Gabriella Matta. Disney-Random, 2013. Intended audience: Ages 4-6.

This book was something of a disappointment. Each princess gets a page or two only, and the story about each princess and puppy is the same and without much action: The princess receives or finds a puppy and interacts with the puppy in a banal way: Merida gives hers a bath. Tiana’s falls asleep on her lap. The only story that breaks this pattern involves a puppy that performs a trick for Jasmine—and the author wisely or unwisely remains silent about Jasmine giving its ragamuffin child owners money in return for the trick—which is the logical conclusion to such an interaction. The puppies receive at the hands of the text more personality than do the princesses. Perhaps the absence of plot and character development could be attributed to this book being a Level 1 reader, but I hope not. I hope there are Level 1 readers with more of a story.  It’s impossible for me to forget how much more impressed I was by the Level 2 Disney reader, A Pony for a Princess.

**

These reviews are not endorsed by any one involved in their making.  They are independent, honest reviews by a reader.

An Untimely Post About Leftovers

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Well, one of these recipes is untimely. It’s very difficult to hold or attend a Thanksgiving meal without receiving leftovers. Turkey is not my favorite, but I recognize that it is traditional, and I would frankly miss it if I were to attend a Thanksgiving meal without it. The sides are what I love best. This year I discovered a wonderful remedy that helps me eat up all of the Thanksgiving leftovers without becoming tired of turkey or of any of the leftovers either:  I wrapped it all up in a tortilla. This year’s leftovers included turkey, stuffing, cranberry chutney, and Brussels sprouts (the last not shown here, but they were actually pretty tasty in this tortilla recipe; I had it several times in the weeks following the holiday).

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I never did quite figure out how long to microwave these tortillas for. The easiest thing seemed to be to microwave the fixings without the tortilla and then spoon all that onto the tortilla.

This next recipe is less seasonal, though perhaps it is more fitting for winter. One of my first roommates post-college used to buy roast chickens and from the leftover bones make some really excellent chicken soup. I got into the habit then of not tossing away the bones, knowing they could have some use. I don’t have her chicken soup recipe, but I found a recipe on 100 Days of Real Food for Crockpot chicken stock.

We had maybe two and half sandwich sized Ziploc bags worth of frozen chicken bones from various meals, fried and roasted, in the freezer. I used baby carrots because they are simpler to snack on and so more likely to get used in our household. The onion we had.  I bought a whole celery from the grocery store, but retrospectively, I wish I’d bought a more expensive but less wasteful carton of celery sticks.

I used what spices we already had: a bay leaf, thyme, and salt. I didn’t have parsley.

The recipe was simple—beyond simple. I minced the carrots and celery and tossed it all in the Crockpot without bothering to defrost the chicken.

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Then I filled the Crockpot with water to within about an inch and a half from its lip, and I turned the Crockpot on low.

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Because I’m still nervous about using a Crockpot and leaving it be, I did this all during the day instead of overnight as the recipe suggests, though my roommate did convince me to leave it on overnight to make more flavorful stock. (We tasted it before bed.)

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In the end, we had four full Tupperware containers of thick yellow stock, ladled from the Crockpot into a wire mesh strainer held over the Tupperware. (The remaining bones, overcooked celery and carrots, and all we had to toss in the trash, which seemed a sad waste. Maybe the carrots could have been edible if I’d been able to detangle them from the bones.)

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We kept one container in the refrigerator and froze the rest to be used later. Since then we’ve used it to cook chicken noodle soup, to add some flavor to rice and to pastas, and mostly to add to soup cans to make a can of soup last a little longer. I mixed it with both chicken soups and beef soups, and both were delicious.

There’s still some in the freezer.

All photos are mine.  Click to view them larger.