Baked Apple Slices

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

This year I have a lot to be thankful for-1) Being alive-my ex-husband was abusive and tried to kill me; 2) My 5-year restraining order and the fact that my divorce was finalized 10/24/18-thank you California!; 3)My friends, family, and faith who have gotten me through this; 4) And this blog and all you readers!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday however you spend it. I am course am going to spend it with food:

So what would Jane Austen be eating if she was celebrating the American holiday?

Last year I shared a recipe for apple pie, I thought this year I would share one for baked apples which make a great breakfast, side dish, or dessert.

This comes from my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 Granny Smith Apple-Peeled, Cored, and Sliced
  • 2.5 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of Cornstarch or Flour
  • 1.5 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1 Pinch of Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Spread the apples slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Whisk the water and flour together, and pour over the apples and gently stir.
  4. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Cook for about 15 mins.

 

 

Delicious!

For more Thanksgiving posts, go to Are Dean Winchester and Jane Austen Kindred Spirits?

For more recipes, go to Blueberry Earl Grey Tea Smoothie

For more holiday posts, go to Life Seems But a Quick Succession of Busy Nothings

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The Unknown Princess Nevermore

Day 6) F is for Free: Choose a book you got for Free

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Princess Nevermore by Dian Curtis Regan

Do you remember the Scholastic book fairs they used to have at school? I loved it. There were  bunch of books at the school and in the catalog. Even though we couldn’t spend a lot, my parents would always buy me at least one item. No matter how many books I already owned, I could always use more.

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Well if you bought so many and did a certain amount in school you were able to get a free book! I was so excited and picked out a ton of different books I wanted to get.

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But my mom pointed out that the free book had to be $4.50 or under. So we looked through the catalog and it turned out that there were only two books that were eligible.

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Yeah, what a scam! Anyways, out of the two books Princess Nevermore, intrigued me. I read it and quickly loved it!

Now one of the reasons I choose this book to include in the 30 day challenge is that is seems to be one no one knows about which I think is a shame as it is a great book and needs more attention.

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Princess Quinnella, Quinn for short, lives in Mandria, a magical world that exists under our feet! Once they lived in the world of men, but had to relocate as magic with humankind wasn’t working out.

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See ya!

The only place to view our world from Mandria is in the wizard Melikar’s chambers. There he has a magic pool that gives the Mandrians a view into our world, but we cannot see into their’s.

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Quinn has grown up dreaming and wishing to visit the other world. She and Melikar’s assistant, Cam, have conspired on how to get there.

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Quinn feels as if time is running out as she will soon be sixteen: a woman, betrothed, and focusing on ruling her kingdom.

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One day she is visiting Melikar when out of nowhere Cam comes crashing into her, his magic ring transporting him there instead of where he was desiring to go. Melikar tells Cam to check the magic book and see what is wrong with it.

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Cam goes and gets an idea, he decides that now is the time to send them to outer Earth. He shoots Quinn a look, and she quickly catches on and distracts Melikar until it is too late.

“Anger, fear, love, and mirth.

Send Quinn and Cam to outer earth.”

The pool’s water comes down and surrounds Quinn dragging her up and over to the other side.

Not good

Not good

And just Quinn!

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As you can guess Melikar is furious! Not only was Quinn sent into the other world, but there is no way to bring her back until she choose to return, a clause that Quinn has no clue off.

Not good

Not good

Yes, Cam was foolish and acted too quickly or else he would have realized that it was a bad idea.

ouch Hermione

In order to bring the princess back, she has to go back to the pool, wish with all her heart to return, and turn in the pool, stirring it. And the catch, the spell can only be done once and is strong only for a quarter moon, that’s seven days. If she misses her window, she will never be able to return.

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The first thing they must do is buy some time, drugging the royal family so that they will sleep through most of time that Quinn is away.

Yes, like in Sleeping Beauty

Yes, like in Sleeping Beauty

Quinn find herself in the real world and is unsure what to do next. She always planned for her to be with Cam and them being able to visit the world, but return whenever they desired.

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Then a girl comes across her path, one she sees daily coming to the pool and wishing for beauty. A boy calls out her name, Sarah, and she calls him Adam. Adam tells her they need to leave now as Mondo has declared it is time to go.

Quinn decides to follow them as they make her curious and she has no idea what else she can do.

He did buy it.

She follows them onto a giant dragon creature, a bus, and is questioned by Sarah and her brother is surprised when Mondo recognizes that she is from Mandria and gives the sign of the Lorik, a symbol to seal an oath and mark of friendship in this case. Mondo takes Quinn with them to their apartment.

Quinn shares the history of who she is with Adam being surprised and completely taken with her; and Sara slightly jealous at her beauty and the attention Quinn is receiving.

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The next day they head off to school, Quinn fascinated and lost and confused. At first Sarah is helpful and kind to her, but then when her long time crush shows interest in Quinn and continues to ignore Sarah.

Not good

Not good

Quinn and Adam grow closer as he not only teaches her about the world, but they begin to fall for each other.

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However, while young love blooms; Mondo is not pleased with it. Quinn can’t understand why he would be so upset over it.

Thinking Hmm

As for Quinn she finds herself wondering about Adam. He isn’t royal, but she could abdicate her throne for her cousin and live in the human world, them visiting back and forth.

It could work, like The Little Mermaid

It could work, like The Little Mermaid

Back in Mandria, Cam and Melikar have to take another into their confidence. Ameka, Quinn’s tutor comes to Melikar’s place and discovers Quinn’s disappearance. They grow worried as Quinn not only seems to not want to leave that world, but Melikar can sense danger coming as Quinn has the magic ring.

Not good

Not good

Quinn found the magic ring stuck on her dress and promised not to use it, unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, she used it to get pizza, zap Zach, and get apples for lunch. However, Zach senses that there is something weird about her and gets Sarah, who only wants to impress him, to ‘fess up about her cousin.

It is horror and funny at the same time!

Halloween approaches and Adam asks her to the dance. Quinn is thrilled to go with him, but then Zach enters and the testosterone goes flying as he tries to bully them into letting him take Quinn. They decide to “duel”, Quinn choosing jousting.

Them's fighting words!

Them’s fighting words!

As there are no horses in the city for the teens to access, Adam’s friend Roger develops a “modern day” jousting. Adam does well, but Zach cheats and wins Quinn as his date. Zach isn’t interested in Quinn, but wants her secrets of magic.

It is horror and funny at the same time!

This is bad.

The day of the dance, Quinn tries to speak to a hurt Adam, but he manages to elude her at every turn. That night as she prepares for the ball, Mondo decides it is time to tell his story.

He was a nobleman and used to visit with Melikar, just like Quinn. He would look at the wishing pool and see a girl come everyday. He feel head over heels for her and asked Melikar to send him over. He promised to remain there for a few hours and bring her back.

Sadly, she never came so Mondo went in search for her as he couldn’t go back without her. He found her, but she wouldn’t leave so he remained above. The two married and had a son.

Yes, but that’s not the whole story. When Mondo arrived the year was 1830. One year in Mandria was three years on Earth. Mondo was happy with Hannah, even though she aged more rapidly than him. But he was only thirty-four when she died at the age of seventy. And while they had love there were a lot of issues with it. They had to move around A LOT, pretend to be mother and son; grandmother and son, etc.  By the time he lost her, and his son as he left him with anger over his lack of aging; he thought about going back but it was too late with all the modern convinces to head back to the Middle Ages.

So now Quinn has a choice to make. Should she stay in our world or return home? Risk the lack of aging for her love?

Thinking Hmm

And with Zach’s intentions, what will happen to her? Will she even be able to make that choice?

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I’m not revealing the end as I thought it was too good. I loved this story and how the characters were and the ending. An ending I thought was better than Age of Adalind and all those other films that have a similar premise.

It is hard to find a copy of it, but try your local library. It is definitely worth a read.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to I Think I Have Found a Means of Conveyance…An Elephant: Around the World in 80 Days

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For more on free, go to Free, for Lack of a Better Word, is Good

For more on princesses, go to For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

For more Virginia Woolf, go to I Found this Blank Book of Stitched Together Pages…I’ll Record the Details of Our Confinement: Book of a Thousand Days

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So today’s carol I thought about how Quinn’s not sure if she will make it home, and settled on I’ll Be Home for Christmas. 

I’ll Be Home for Christmas was written about and for the soilders serving overseas and wishing to be home with their loved ones. The song is supposed to be from the view of a soldier, asking them to get things ready, even though he isn’t sure he’ll be back.

It was written in 1943 by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent. No one would record it, as they thought it was too sad, until Gannon sang it to Bing Crosby who loved it. Bing Crosby was the first to record it, but it went on to be recorded by numerous singers.

Now I remember first hearing it be sung by a woman, not a man, and went with Karen Carpenter’s version.

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For more on Bing Crosby, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

For more Christmas Carols, go to Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Quite A Horror Story: Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2011)

She is…a teller of the tall tales, a boaster, a little liar. So when she claims to have witnessed the murder, nobody believes her. And yet, she is… dead. 

So this was a film done by the BBC based on Agatha Christie’s novel, Hallowe’en Party. I think David Suchet is a perfect Poirot, as he looks just the way I always imagined Poirot to look like. However, something I don’t like about the modern retellings, is that  they tend to change a lot of the plot lines of the novel, and usually not for the better (Third Girl was awful. They didn’t use the best twist from the book). Rarely do I watch the film version before reading the book, which I did here, so I didn’t have the same unpleasantness as seeing them change plot lines that I thought were crucial in the book.

So the film starts out with Poirot’s friend, and mystery writer extraordinaire, Ariadne Oliver helping with a children’s Halloween party. All the kids are playing around, laughing, bobbing for apples, eating candy, etc. A little girl named Joyce starts talking to Oliver, telling her that she once witnessed a murder. Everyone makes fun of her, teasing and insulting her as she tends to always tell “tall tales”. No one believes her.

Later the children are all playing snapdragon, which they make sound so creepy. Instead of playing background music throughout the film, they play the children’s voices chanting the song in unison. It is as creepy as The Crucible scene when the girls are all “possessed”.

After the game is done, they are rounding up the children and discover Joyce missing. She is found drowned in a bucket that was used for bobbing for apples.

Oliver wastes no time at all, but immediately calls in Poirot to solve the case.

Poirot immediately looks into which murders in the town are unsolved, to see which ones have the potential to be the one Joyce saw. Many try to discourage him from doing so, telling him that Joyce was a liar and a storyteller. She did it to feel important and show off. Poirot is firmly decided that whether or not Joyce was telling the truth, someone out there is guilty of murder and thinks Joyce was a witness.

The possibilities of who Joyce might have seen are Mrs. Llewellyn-Smythe, the aunt of Rowena Drake’s late husband, apparently died of a heart attack. Her death is suspicious because of her will, it said that her au pair was to inherit everything over the family. Authorities believe that it was faked by the au pair, Olga Seminoff, who mysteriously disappeared after the forgery was discovered. Other candidates for murder involve Charlotte Benfield, a sixteen-year-old shop assistant found dead of multiple head injuries; Lesley Ferrier, a lawyer’s clerk who was stabbed in the back; and Janet White, a schoolteacher who was strangled.

Which one is the murder Joyce saw? Who committed it? Did Joyce even see a murder occur? Just like The Bad SeedThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligariand The Secret Window, this is one you have to check out for yourself and see where the truth lies.

The only thing I don’t like about this film, is the fact that Poirot disapproves of those who take enjoyment in such a holiday as Halloween. He thinks the macabre is not something you should be so joyous about. Well, I don’t; I love watching horror movies and getting into Halloween. That’s why I did my 31 Tales of Terror and Woe. In fact today marks 11 days left to Halloween! 😀

Here’s today’s scary post. More to come!

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To start Horrorfest from the begining, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to I’m No Warrior, I’m an Assistant Pig-Keeper

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For more on murder, go to Camp Blood

For more on Masterpiece Theater, go to A Hunky Helping of Manwich

For more on Halloween parties, go to A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It

For more film adaptions of books, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more on bobbing for apples, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men