I also owe you an apology for not posting a Summer newsletter. The last four months have been very busy and included trips to San Diego, Istanbul, the Greek Islands, Hawaii and Kyoto, Japan, which is the city where Buried Threads takes place. We took lots of photos, so keep an eye out for them on my blog in the next two weeks. Also, be sure to visit my website to read an excerpt and see a video “teaser” for this latest release. I always welcome feedback and would love to hear what you think.
As I’m sure you’re aware, time is flying by and October is nearly half over. Surprisingly, we’re experiencing some late summer weather on the west coast, which I’m sure delights fellow Oregonians. I hope you have a fabulous month as well and that your plans for the upcoming holidays include visits from family members and dear friends.
On the Lighter Side:
I recently purchased an iPhone 5 and have heard all kinds of funny stories about responses to inquiries from its personal assistant. People have used it as much to provoke witticisms as they have to find out the population of China or the location of the nearest Thai restaurant. In other words, Siri may not always be all that helpful, but she’s become an amusing party trick.
Some of the most common questions are based on classic science-fiction movie lines from 2001: A Space Odyssey. “HAL, open the pod bay doors” is a favorite and others rely on ancient philosophical queries. As a result, websites have sprung up around Siri’s crazy remarks. There’s a Tumblr site called “Shit That Siri Says” and a collection of Siri posts called sirifunny.com you might enjoy checking out in your free time.
As you might imagine, Siri doesn’t always understand what I say. Like E.T. or WOPR, she’s sometimes at a loss when the question has nuance. But one of the funniest I’ve experienced while using this silly feature on my phone is the answer you receive when you say, “Talk dirty.” She comes back with, “Humus. Compost. Pumice. Silt. Gravel.” I have to chuckle because what else would you expect from molded plastic, wires and a microchip??
Kaylin’s Favorite Recipe:
Loaded Potato Soup
As in all my newsletters, I thoroughly enjoy sharing some of my best recipes…so here’s a tasty, heartwarming soup – a perfect solution for those chilly fall nights.
4 (6-ounce) red potatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 bacon slices, halved
1.5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup)
4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions
1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.
2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk; add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.
3. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.
4. Discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese, green onions, and bacon.4-6.
Great Seasonal Tip:
It is a popular bird feeding myth that leaving bird feeders up during all migration will stop birds from migrating, condemning them to a cold death as winter sets in. In reality, feeders give migrating birds an easy and convenient spot to refuel on their long journey, and offering foods high in fat and oil will help tired birds replenish their energy reserves in a nutritious way. Suet, black oil sunflower seed and Nyjer are some of the most popular fall bird foods, and leaving leaf litter on the ground will give birds the opportunity to forage for nuts and insects as well. Trees and shrubs with berries or fruits are another vital source of food that will attract autumn birds and keep them coming back.
Well, that’s it for now. Enjoy the gorgeous colors of autumn, continue to read great books, and keep the sunshine forever in your heart!
All my best wishes,