Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Truly Evil Antagonist

Sometimes I read to escape and sometimes I read to learn. Bloodstone Castle is intended to be a complete escape and a page turner. Ernesto, the Duke of Savona, is the bad guy in this story. Desperate, ambitious, determined, I made him pure evil. Why? Because I believe that just as we need true heros to model ourselves after, we also need true villains so we know who not to model ourselves after.

I never intended Ernesto of Savona to be so evil in my story. It just happened as I wrote. These pictures are exactly how I envisioned him as I wrote. He really does create havoc in whoever's world he invades, evil incarnate, hatefully arrogant.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The History of French Toast

French Toast

Did you know that French Toast may not be be French at all, but Roman? A recipe was found in a cookbook from the 1st century AD Roman cookbook called Apicius.

The people of Belgium and France call it pain perdu (“lost bread”) since it is a way to use stale, “lost” bread.

A similar dish, suppe dorate, was popular in England during the Middle Ages, although the English might have learned it from the French Normans, who had a dish called tostees dorees. However, according to IHOP, the first written mention of the dish comes from the court of Henry V of England (1413–1422) and is called Dulcia Domestica:

Dulcia Domestica

4 Eggs
1 cup Milk
8 slices white bread crusts removed (opt)

And here is the original recipe from the Apicius cookbook that dates from the 1st century A.D.:

Break fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs], fry in oil, cover with honey and serve.

Modern version: Beat eggs and milk together. Dip bread in batter. Fry in hot skillet, turning after each side browns. Serve hot with warmed honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.

Per serving (without honey): 235 calories, 12 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 221 mg cholesterol, 329 mg sodium.

Source: Kurt A. Nemes, "The Oldest Living Cookbook," The Washington Post FOOD Section, 9/14/94. Typed by Linda Howard. From: Linda Howard Date: 09-15-94

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