Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Mark of the Dragonfly

I just finished reading The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson.

Mark of the Dragonfly Cover

Mark of the Dragonfly

Piper lives in one of many scrapping towns that skirt the edge of a meteor field. Once a month or so the barrier between worlds thins a bit and the meteors hit. These meteors aren’t your standard meteors, made up of space rocks and metals, these contain items from other worlds. The people in the towns go out to salvage what they can from the fields after each fall.

Piper’s mother died when she was younger, and her father died more recently leaving Piper to fend for herself. She has a knack for mechanical things and is able to fix things.

Piper goes out to save a friend and finds another as well. Anna has the Dragonfly mark tattooed on her arm, she is a relative to, or protected by, the King of the Dragonfly Territories. When a strange man that Piper doesn’t trust comes after Anna, Piper decides to take Anna to the Territories to get her back where she belongs.

The only way out of town is on the 401, a steam train taking cargo from the Merrow Kingdom to the Dragonfly Territories.

Much of the story takes place on the journey. Piper learns things about Anna and herself and the crew of the 401.

I very much liked the story and the characters, and I’d like to read more about them.

Did You Know? Eggs

Did you ever have a recipe that called for more egg whites than egg yolks, or more egg yolks than egg whites? Did you know that you can freeze the leftovers rather than waste them?eggyolk in shell

You can freeze them in zipper bags. Snack size bags work great. If freezing more than one, be sure to mark the bag with the number of yolks or whites. Just thaw and use as you would normally.

Someone I know recently went shopping, and the eggs were left in the car (kids didn’t look for all the groceries :)). She found the eggs the next day, frozen solid with cracked shells.

They’re still good. Bring them in, peel immediately to avoid pieces of shell, and put into snack sized zipper bags, one for each egg. Let them thaw and use normally.

You can also store them scrambled, with additions if you wish. Chop up some ham, onion, and sweet peppers. Mix with two or three scrambled eggs, and freeze. You have a ready prepared Denver Omelet. Defrost and cook without having to get out the cutting board.

You can chop up a whole onion and a whole pepper and divide among several omelet pre-packs. You can even add shredded cheese to the mix.

Have fun with your eggs!

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

By Karen Foxlee
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

Eleven year old Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard  lost her mother exactly three months, seven days, and nine hours ago. Her father has brought Ophelia and her older sister Alice with him while he prepares an exhibit of swords in a museum in a town where it always snows.

There are only three days to prepare the exhibit for its opening on Christmas Eve.

Wandering through the museum, Ophelia finds The Marvelous Boy and finds out that she only has three days to save him, and the world!

This is a really fun read.  It would be fun to read with your child, discussing as you go.

Did You Know? Milk

Did you know you can freeze milk?

Did you ever have to buy buttermilk for a recipe use only 2/3 of a cup and have the rest leftover? Sometimes you can make a couple of things that use buttermilk at the same time, but generally there’s some leftover. You hate to throw it out and waste it.

Well you can freeze it. I pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen you can pop them out and put them in a zipper bag and back into the freezer. Each compartment can hold at least an ounce (2 tablespoons) and maybe 2 ounces (4 tablespoons).

When you need some for a recipe, pull out the requisite number of buttermilk cubes and let them defrost in a bowl or a small mason jar. Then just stir or shake to reincorporate it (it separates into fats and waters).

You can do this with milk, cream, and half and half as well. You can also freeze butter. I buy a bunch when it’s on sale and freeze the entire package. Freezing butter before you make biscuits or pie crusts that call for cold butter results in a much flakier end product.

Madame Shreds-a-Lot

We got a new kitten in June. After a while we had to keep the bathroom door closed because she found the toilet paper and loved that she could pull it and shred it and… you get the picture.

So, she (I) went on Amazon to find a solution. And find one she (I) did.

This is great, and it’s really easy to put in a new roll. Love it!