Hi Everyone. Toni Griffin here. *Waves* I'm going to take a leaf out of Freddy MacKay's book and post about food. I mean it is Freddy's fault in the first place that I even know what these delectable little morsels are. Fannie May's Mint Meltaways. Oh My God. These squares of chocalatey minty goodness are too die for.
As many of you know I just recently got back from a trip to Chicago. Fannie May was a must stop while I was there. The stores may have been visited more than once. I acknowledge nothing. Just the scent as you walk into that shop was like opening up that little box again for the first time. Chocolate and mint and all things yummy.
I was nice and brought a couple of boxes home, one for me, one for my mum and another for a work friend of mine. By the time my colleague left work there were only 4 meltaways left in the box. Within a half hour of her opening them she was on the internet trying to see if there was any way to get them shipped here from the US.
Today's Stuff We Like comes from science fiction and fantasy writer, Angel Martinez. What do you have for us today, Angel?
Exciting, huh? I know. Most of you are probably thinking about the old stereotype of the birdwatcher - little spinster lady in her pith helmet, binoculars and guide book in hand. It's not like that for me. I watch the birds from my desk since I have a study on the second floor of our house. I can't identify all of them, but certainly a good portion, and to me, they're not just pretty little backyard friends.
They're dinosaurs. They're creatures with an alien and often inexplicable intelligence. They're often calculating and ferocious, little warriors with wings. See, pop culture has it that the dinosaurs were wiped out when a meteor hit Earth. That certainly did cause a mass extinction, but it wasn't the planet's first and certainly not the last. And while many larger dinosaur species were wiped out in the cataclysmic impact and climactic events that followed, certainly not all dinosaurs vanished. They're all around us, in the trees, in the marshes. Your children are feeding them at the duck pond right now!
Birds. Stronger and stronger evidence suggests that birds evolved directly from dinosaurs. They're still here. Not only that, so many of them are scary smart. Crows and ravens, parrots and magpies have demonstrated problem solving skills, reasoning skills in experiments. They will use tools, when necessary. They construct solutions to problems. If you've read Temple Grandin's work, (the animal behaviorist) she talks a lot about African Gray Parrots and how they often learn things we don't realize we're teaching them.
My science curious mind finds them fascinating. My author mind finds them a source of endless speculation. My primitive hind brain finds them a bit unnerving sometimes. The thrill as the red-shouldered hawk swoops in to roost in my pine tree for the night. The strange knot of fear when an owl calls on the roof (for the record, most owls don't hoot - they shriek and scream.) The wonder as red flashes of cardinals work together to drive crows from their nests.
They are beautiful. They are strange. They are aliens among us and I adore them.
Welcome to our new weekly blog, 'Stuff We Like'. Every Wednesday authors from Mischief Corner Books will be sharing short little blogs about anything (we really do mean anything) we like. From movies to food to gadgets to whatever. We just want to share cool things that we've talked about with you.
To start us off for our inaugural post we have Freddy MacKay. So far Freddy has written mostly contemporary LGBT fiction, but a few SFF have managed to pop out as well. ;)
Hi, everyone! *waves madly*
Welcome to the inaugural 'Stuff We Like'. My post is going to be about caramel pecan popcorn. I figure with Thanksgiving coming up it's a good choice of topic. I want to specifically mention one of my favorite places that makes caramel pecan popcorn.
Since I grew up around Chicago, Garrett's has been a staple for as long as I can remember. When we went into the city it was that special treat we would stop to get on our way out. There were only a few shops so we'd make a detour over to one and then spend forever - or what felt like forever to an eight year old - in line waiting for our treat. Only a few people could be in the shop at a time so the lines went out of the shop, down the sidewalks, and sometimes around a corner depending on which way it formed. The stores has grown, gotten bigger, and changes since then, but the lines haven't. They're still long, deservedly too. It probably helps that they blow the smell of their shop onto the sidewalks. Do you know how much willpower it takes not to get in that line when I walk past the store everyday to and from work? Gah! It's torture. Pure popcorn masochism.
Garrett's doesn't skimp. The popcorn is coated all over with their caramel. They have lots of nuts in their caramel nut mix, so you're not hunting around for them, but getting some each handful. Their Chicago Mix - cheese and caramel popcorn mixed together - has the perfect ratio of both types mixed together. It's all just Mmmm-mm good. And extremely difficult to ignore every day. I love it, and made sure to introduce Toni (Griffin) to it when she was visiting from Australia. She expects care packages now. *nods* It's that addictive.
Well, I hope you guys enjoyed hearing about my little popcorn addiction. Is there any special treat that any of you just can't pass up when you're near it? I would love to hear about it. Just leave a comment below. :)