Saturday, November 04, 2006

Vampire Cupcakes

This week was crazy, but I did manage to bake some cupcakes for my son and his little friends on Halloween. I had the idea to make them look like vampires from a magazine. These were a big hit with preschoolers and adults alike.

Sad week when a colleague died suddenly. She was getting interested in young adult literature and was signed up to take one of my workshops soon, too. What the staff at my library are now doing is letting each other know how much we value each other. I hope this spirit lasts.

I did read Last Shot by John Feinstein on the train going downtown to a publishing summit yesterday. Excellent mystery. This has garnered some awards and I'm going to review it for Crimespree magazine later this month. Last Shot was set at the Final Four and two eighth graders uncover a blackmail scheme with the games. It is from last year and Feinstein has a new one, so I'll be reading that one too.

A few weeks ago I ordered The Soul of Southern Cooking by Kathy Starr from Interlibrary Loan. I figured if that great Jelly Cake came from there, it would have other good stuff. The first sign that this book is unusual came when it had to arrive from a library clear on the other end of Illinois. This book covers all history of Southern food and African-American traditions, including how to kill and separate a hog. It also has squirrel and coon recipes. I quickly moved on to the desserts, and there are great variations on the Jelly Cake. I was dreaming last night of a pink coconut cake so I will adapt something from the book and try this. Then I was somewhat intrigued by the historical remedies listed in the back of the book:

"When a child got sore throat or thrush, the older folks believed that rinsing the throat with one's own urine healed the sore throat or thrush."

Now - ok, but perhaps that created a host of new issues... Also, can you imagine the testing process for this? How did they think of it?

Tonight is the staff fundraising mystery dinner. I wrote the script with advice from the cast, but it never goes as planned. However, it's always fun!

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