Organic Cat Treats

Organic Cat Treats Your Pet Will Love

      Celeste comes excitedly from her office.

“Six years and we’ve finally hit on what our demographic wants.  Our email has been flooded with stuff like this.”
She picks up a paper and starts to read.
“Finally, a home magazine I enjoy reading.  I love the way you mixed in that fictional story about the lady losing her cat and the sexy Fed Ex driver finding him along the street and teaching the housewife how to make organic cat treats.  Keep up the good work and I’ll keep reading.”

Who doesn’t want to read about a sexy FedEx driver saving a cat?

And all the better if you can get a great recipe for Organic Cat Treats while you’re at it. That is exactly what we have for you today. And our test kitchen at Southern Sunset has perfected a recipe that is “Cat Approved.” Yes, Chloe, our test cat gobbled these delectable treats down like they were the best thing since catfish.

Also, the accompanying story for this recipe is the cat’s meow. In fact it is our first story written from an animal’s perspective instead of a human’s perspective, which is saying something since Jon Frank’s alter ego Nathaniel Embers has been known to kill off his animal characters from time to time. The only spoiler we will offer is that in this story the cat lives. Yay!

To read Jon Frank’s clever story, “Mine” click HERE.

As I said this recipe was a hit with our test subject. So do your feline friend a favor and make them Some:

Organic Cat Treats Your Cat Will Love

Organic Cat Treats
Print
Organic Cat Treats Your cat Will Love
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Made with wholesome ingredients, these treats will have your cat coming back for more.

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 cat servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Organic powdered milk plus extra to dust treats
  • 1/2 cup Organic whole wheat flour for binding
  • 1 small can Organic chicken
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1 Organic egg
  • 1 tbsp catnip (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and thoroughly combine until a soft dough is formed.

  3. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper coated with organic non stick spray. Sprinkle powdered milk over the parchment paper. Spread mixture over paper and sprinkle with more powdered milk to keep dough from sticking. Layer another piece of parchment paper over the top and gently press down evenly or roll out with rolling pin until 1/4 " thick.

    Remove the top parchment paper and score the flattened dough with a pizza cutter or sharp knife so that you have a grid of half inch pieces.

  4. Bake in prepared oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. treats should not be slightly soft. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

  5. Once cooled break the treats apart. Store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to a week.

    Organic Cat Treats

Did you miss the episode where Celeste talks about Organic Cat Treats? Watch it now!

 

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Schokolade short story

Schokolade

An Amish Love Story

Schokolade

By Jon Frank

He watches as his breath melts the snow on the log. Drip, drip, drip, then liquid sliding along a sharp sliver of bark to drop off unseen but icy under his collar. The wrenching pains in his leg and arm have mostly subsided now, probably from both cold and shock. He attempts once again to shift himself, but meets resistance from renewed pain and the weight of the timber. The massive pile groans softly, and he glances at the butt end of a log clinging tenuously to a position six inches above his face. He guesses one small shift will equal immediate and gruesome death.Amish love story
Jacob ponders this fact. He weighs the possibility against his other choice, slow sleep into hypothermia and death, and finds the prospect of a quick end alluring. No, he says to himself. It would be suicide. While whoever finds him will not know, God will – and the thought of eternity without his beloved Miriam is more painful than his current situation.
He remembers he first noticed Miriam when he was just fifteen, on a trip to the community sawmill with his father. Miriam’s father Reuben owned and operated the mill alongside her two brothers, and she had brought lunch for the men. Her green eyes were brilliant above the dull gray homespun of her dress, and despite its modestly-loose folds, he could tell she had a slender waist and round hips. He was smitten at once.
That same week was his family’s turn to host church. Miriam had, of course, sat in the adjoining room with the womenfolk. She was just through the open doorway, and he leaned forward on the edge of the bench to keep her in view. His father caught him looking and jerked his arm firmly.
The same arm, in fact, now pinned between several hundred pounds of timber.
Drip, drip, sliiide.
The snow drifts down through cracks in the log canopy above him. It collects on his coat in a ragged square, reminding him of the piece of creamy white cloth he found that same long-ago Sunday while stacking chairs and benches after the service.
The cloth had been torn, possibly from an apron, and appeared to be intentionally placed where Miriam had been sitting. He picked it up and stuffed it into his waistband for safekeeping. That evening, he examined its wispy threads for a long while in the fading window light. He tucked it under his pillow and dreamed stirring dreams of deep green eyes. In the morning he hid the cloth in his waistband again, a habit he would keep for a handful of weeks until the cloth fell out somewhere in the course of daily chores. Several times his mother questioned him about his faraway countenance, but he dismissed her by saying he was merely tired. He felt guilty for lying, but was afraid his mother wouldn’t understand.
Pain rockets through his leg now and he needs no medical training to know the break is probably severe. His left arm is likely broken as well, but it mercifully went numb awhile ago. His uninjured right arm is pinned against his torso, with only his hand able to move. He pats his coat and finds he can just reach the wooden toggles on the lapel, but his fumbling attempts to release them are unsuccessful. He can, however, slip his fingers under the hem to tug a corner of the cloth-covered package tucked inside, releasing a deep rich aroma that entices his nostrils. Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies. Miriam’s best.
The smell takes him back three Christmases ago when he was eighteen. While the community recognized and encouraged rumspringa, he found little need for the typical wildness of other boys, instead spending most of his time at Miriam’s family sawmill learning the trade. Reuben came to trust Jacob, granting the young man unusual leeway with his only daughter. The Sunday before Christmas Jacob asked and received permission to take Miriam for a ride after church. They crossed the river and sat under a bare oak tree on a wool blanket, huddling close together in a heavy handmade quilt and laughing at the absurd fun of a picnic in wintertime. Miriam’s packed lunch included double dutch chocolate brownies for dessert. If she had needed a way to cement her hold on Jacob, beyond her sweet smile and unexpected humor, it would have been accomplished with those brownies alone.
Drip, drip, sliiiiide.
Jacob wonders where Klubert is now. He has always been a steady and sure beast, not prone to spooking. The massive Belgian stands eighteen-and-a-half hands and can pull more weight than any two-horse team Jacob has seen. Yet he is an exceptionally gentle boy who loves Miram’s brownies nearly as much as Jacob.
Once while in the field, Klubert suddenly stopped and refused to pull the plow. Jacob looked over his crops and spied his beloved Miriam setting the table outside for lunch. Jacob commanded the horse to finish the job, but Klubert instead turned the plow and headed like an arrow to the tin of brownies on the table. Thankfully, Miriam was able to appease him with a couple of brownie squares from her own hand. Jacob felt a tinge of jealousy, pouting pitifully until Miriam fed him a brownie too. “Careful boy,” he said, “that’s how she got me too.”

Amish love story

Jacob winces again, partially in pain, and partially from knowing the treat is wasted inches from his chapped mouth.
Drip, drip, sliiiide.
The water runs slower now, signaling a drop in temperature. He listens now as the snow turns to ice. It pelts the logs and icy fall begins to block out what little light has been able to reach through the cracks. Night is coming and soon Jacob will be alone in smothering blackness. He has a sparker, but it’s in his unreachable coat pocket. Ah well, there is nothing to light anyway. Well, besides twenty-four massive pine logs piled on top of him, he notes wryly. The thought of fire, however, warms him somewhat.
Funny, he recalls a summer wildfire was the reason he asked Miriam to marry him. A blaze started at the sawmill and Jacob, along with everyone for miles, turned out for the bucket brigade. The determination of Amish men and women availeth much, and the flames were extinguished long before the local fire department arrived. Miriam did more than her share, spending the better part of two hours filling pails and passing them on without reprieve. Her hands were puckered with blisters and Jacob found her running them under the pump to soothe her wounds. He offered to pump the water and she thanked him. There in the waning summer light were those same vivid green eyes and captivating smile, albeit smudged with grime and sweat.
“Marry me,” he blurted.
“What? Jacob…wha…You can’t just ask. What about my father?”
Her statement wasn’t so much resistance as it was a plea for him to do things rightly. He released the pump handle, looked about, set eyes on his objective, and strode across the yard.
“Jacob, what are you..?” Miriam cried. He noted her pleas, but kept walking.Amish love story
“Reuben Miller, I would like to formally ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage. I am a good worker, as you have surely seen. I own no property, but I am my father’s only son and stand to inherit the family land when he dies. I will take your daughter to live there until then. She and I will obey the Ordnung and the family traditions, and I’m sure she will bear you many grandchildren. Sir, what say you?”
Reuben stood up straight. He stroked his soot-grimed beard and walked around the pile of lumber he had been leaning against. The other men watched silently with stern, blackened faces. Reuben returned to look Jacob in the eye. He squinted a bit and Jacob noted a slight quiver along Reuben’s jowls.
Suddenly, Reuben’s mouth curled in a grin and his head tossed back in laughter. He gestured to the scorched mill with outspread hands.
“Boy, did you really need a fire lit under you to ask me that?” Reuben continued his hearty laugh while slapping Jacob’s back. “Of course, son, of course.”
Jacob felt relief and allowed himself to smile.
Drip.
The wind picks up and Jacob hears the ice cracking around him as the log pile shifts above him. It is late now; the other men have already eaten supper and begun nightly prayers with their families. Miriam is worried by now, he is sure. But he knows even if a rescue effort is mounted, the chances of anyone getting to him in time are slim because no one knows he is here.  Jacob ponders the events that led to this predicament. He had come to the cut in the late-afternoon snow after the other men had already decided to leave. He can’t call them faulenzen for leaving early, for now it is clear he too should’ve taken heed of the weather and gone on home.
But he had wanted to retrieve one last load in fresh snow that would make Klubert’s pull easier and faster. He had dropped off the empty sled and quickly harnessed the horse to the loaded one. Twenty-four logs is not a large load, and he knew Klubert would make quick work of the journey. Jacob had climbed the fifteen feet, settled on the pile’s pinnacle, clucked to Klubert, and set off.
Fifteen minutes into the hour-long ride, something had snapped sharply and he violently tumbled down with the load. He remembers crumpling hard on the ground and the massive logs bouncing around him. When he awoke he was in his present position and Klubert was gone, broken loose from the tack. He does not know how long he laid unconscious but he guesses only a few moments.
Math has never been Jacob’s strong suit, but to hold back panic in the gaining dark, he attempts to estimate a rescue time. Less than an hour for Klubert, unburdened, to reach the sawmill. An hour or longer for someone to return, depending on the weather.
But Jacob knows the mill is empty. Old Christmas is tomorrow and the twenty-sixth the following day. Everyone is preparing for the holiday. Of course, Miriam will eventually realize he is missing if he does not come home, but Jacob is prone to hang at the mill sometimes to discuss things with her father – so it is not uncommon for him to be a bit late for supper.
No, he should probably prepare himself for the inevitable. Jacob begins praying, scanning his memory for any verses that might be appropriate. Yet his prayers are interrupted with thoughts of his wife and who will take care of her, of children they will never have, of her sitting widowed. He feels tears grow and freeze on his cheeks.
Drip.
He drifts off, how long he doesn’t know, and awakes later to pale snowy darkness and sounds of movement outside his log prison.
“Hello?” he croaks. “Is anyone there?”
The shuffling stops. In a moment he hears movement again. Is it a bear or some other wild animal? Both seem likely. In a moment his heart sinks, for the jangling harness reveals it is Klubert. Maybe he has returned out of some kind of loyalty, or he just doesn’t know where else to go. Jacob hears his hooves stamping and his breath blowing, and despair approaches. No one is coming for a while now. He is alone. He begins to weep again, instinctively raising his hand to brush cold tears away. His uninjured hand doesn’t reach, of course, but he feels the reflexive jerk of his wrist knock the package of brownies loose from his coat. He manages, even with shaking fingertips, to pinch the corner of the covering cloth and slide it up to his mouth. He eagerly works his teeth to the brownie and is soon enraptured by that deep chocolate taste.
Thanking God for the blessing of a final taste of this world, Jacob almost doesn’t notice the steady, warm gust of air coming in on him. It is Klubert’s muzzle in the crack just above his wedged face. Hot snot and spittle begins dripping down on Jacob’s face and then works its way along until it hovers above the package of brownies. He can just make out a long flicking tongue making its way down between the logs to barely touch the top of the cloth.
“I’m afraid that’s a bit of a stretch for you, boy.”
The horse increases his efforts to reach the tasty treat. Not content to use his tongue anymore, Klubert begins to paw at the logs with his hooves. Blowing in frustration, he nickers loudly. He pulls at a log with his leg, which shifts the pile dangerously. The precarious log above Jacob’s head suddenly slides down to within an inch of his right eye.
“Whoa, boy! Stop! You’re going to kill me. Whoa!”
The horse seems unconcerned and begins another relentless attempt to obtain his prize. The logs roll slightly and grind against each other in the cold, but this time the slight shift allows Jacob to free his uninjured arm enough to move it about. Klubert pauses at the shift, surveying his options for obtaining the dark chocolate treat. He brings his muzzle once more to the now larger crevice. Jacob can almost see Klubert’s broad head through the crack.
“Hey, boy, come down here. Yes, I’m not mad. Come here.”
The chattering of his master calms the giant horse. The muzzle leans in close and Jacob is just able to grab a loose rein and secure it. The horse balks a bit but realizes Jacob is back in charge.
Jacob pulls the leather rein into the tiny space with him, and in a moment he has gathered its full length. He begins wrapping it around one of the logs above him, a difficult task in the near-dark with one numb hand and one eye’s view blocked by a massive log. It is also a gamble because Jacob has no idea in what condition the log pile is above him. For all he can tell, he is preparing his own death. Still, he continues to tie the leather strap securely, then slips a piece of the brownie up through the crevasse to his mighty horse. He inhales, prays, and exhales.
Closing his eyes and turning his face away from the log suspended above, Jacob clucks to the horse, “Pull, boy. Ha! Pull!”
The horse straightens his neck. Klubert is mighty when pulling normally, from the stout shoulders, but his neck is not designed to pull. Despite this fact, he knows there are more treats inside with his master. He begins to back up, stops, backs up again, and heaves. Jacob hears shuffling and the beast’s massive weight shifting, jingling metal, and splintering of frozen sled planks. He imagines Klubert stumbling on the broken shaft dangling from the dee and tug stops twisted under his feet by the harness in a manner that forces him to step on them. No common horse could even attempt this effort. Even most draft horses would balk at such a task. But this is the mighty Klubert. He will have his treat!
The timber moves and Jacob cringes as he expects the killing log to smash in his head. Instead, the log attached to Klubert’s rein pivots, and the danger swings out and down. The log pinning Jacob’s broken arm slides away as well.
“Whoa, boy. Come back here,” Jacob summons.
The horse is all too eager to comply. Jacob rewards him with a tiny piece of brownie and reaches up to secure more straps from the harness. In a bit, he turns the horse and secures any strappings he can reach around the log on his leg. Again he commands Klubert, and with a scraping boom that surely would’ve been excruciating had the leg not been numb, the massive log tumbles free of Jacob’s leg. Jacob commands the horse to stop and slides along the ground until he can free the horse from the log.
Jacob sees what he suspected, that the sled is in splinters with pieces scattered about. He crawls to the largest flat piece he can find, attaches the trailing leads to Klubert as best he can, and rolls himself aboard, shouting with bright pain mixed with joy.
He calls to the horse, “Home, Klubert, Home!”
The big brute takes off at a trot, flinging clods of snow back in Jacob’s face. He pulls the coat tight around his face, braces himself for the pain, and settles in for the long ride.

 Jacob awakes in his own bed, warm but still unable to move very much. He is greeted by sunlight through the window. Ice has formed at the corners of the glass and he watches as the warmth of the room causes the ice to slowly melt.
Sliide, drip.
He inhales and smells the wonderful aromas arising from the kitchen below. He feels content and soon drifts back to sleep. When he wakes again, he is greeted by the green eyes of home.
The End

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When Fact Met Fiction

6 pm

6 pm

By Jon Frank

When Fact Met FictionDanny pulled into the parking lot of the nursing home.

His grandmother was nearing the end of a full, beautiful life. He felt ashamed because he hadn’t seen her in over a year, even though she was his only parent. When Danny was an infant his father left his seventeen-year-old mother homeless and alone to care for Danny. A year later she overdosed, so his grandmother became his mother as well. She taught him how to cook, clean, pray, and be a man. He never met his grandfather, Chuck, who had passed away two years before he was born. Nevertheless Danny grew up in Chuck’s shadow, for his grandmother expected him to be the same caliber of man. And oh, how he tried his best to emulate Chuck, a man his grandmother repeatedly insisted was kind, strong, faithful, and courageous. Danny could still picture her face as she spoke of her husband and the respect he showed his dear “Dimples.”

So Danny was certain his unseen grandfather was angry at the way Danny had ignored his grandmother this year. No, not ignored, he told himself. Just gotten too busy. The kids had needs and he was working all the odd jobs he could muster in today’s economy.

Carolyn was understanding to a point. She tried to support his dream of becoming a writer, stopped short of calling him lazy – but she had her limits. Twenty years of marriage, a half-dozen jobs, and a busted college degree settled on Danny like mortar between bricks. Now he was nearing fifty, a sedentary, stagnant pool while the river of his life and health flowed swiftly past. Solid jobs were becoming harder and harder to come by. It seemed no one wanted to hire an old man for the pay he was worth when they could hire two younger men for less than half that.

He and Carolyn had fought over money once again that morning. She was the most understanding, caring woman Danny had ever known, but her love was clearly strained to the breaking point and he knew he was losing her. His “I’m sorry, I’m doing all I can,” wore thin months ago. The truth was he had lost the ability to talk to Carolyn. He felt constantly on the defensive and didn’t know how to start the mending process. He wouldn’t be surprised if she was gone when he returned. So Danny came now to visit the only woman who might be able to help him, if she remembered him.

Danny pushed open the door to the nursing home and made his way down the hallway. He found her room empty and inquired worriedly at the front desk. The nurse was a short woman named Oksana with close-cropped hair. She sported multiple, albeit currently empty, piercings in her ears and nose. A rose tattoo peaked over her hospital scrubs at the collarbone.

“Oh sure, Amanda’s in the kitchen area. She’s in there just about every afternoon. It’s part of her therapy, and anyway it’s about all she can do nowadays. Just follow me.”

Danny’s worry intensified. His grandmother was near ninety! Why was she anywhere near sharp objects, never mind a stove? His anger seethed as they walked the hallway and turned into the kitchen area, but immediately dissipated when he saw his grandmother leaning against the stainless steel table, talking away at two young nursing assistants seated on bar stools nearby. Arranged before her were cooking implements and various bottles, tins, and cartons. Her soft, slender black hands, strong as ever despite her advanced age, were gently crushing a package of cookies still in their wax wrapper. She then tossed the crumbs into a pie pan. Danny knew this recipe well and on many occasions had helped his grandmother make it. It was her Chilled Cookies and Cream Pie. How often had those hands caressed his face or swatted his behind?

“Hi, Gran’manda, it’s me, Danny,” he said timidly.

“Baby! Come on over here and give me some love,” she motioned. “Ladies, this is my baby boy! Ain’t he handsome? Looks like his granddaddy he does. Oh, Law, now there was a man. Looka here at this picture.”

His grandmother had brought along a framed picture Danny knew well. Chuck had been a massive man, strong of jaw and face, with smooth dark skin and a smile of slightly-crooked white teeth. In the photo he was wearing bib overalls and leaning on a long-handled bush axe. Standing next to him was Danny’s grandmother, a gingham kitchen towel in hand, her diminutive frame pixie-like next to the mountain that was his grandfather. They had married just after the war, and the photo was taken on their farm.

The old woman set the picture down with reverence and returned to her baking. “Did I tell you ladies about my man?” Both caregivers shook their heads automatically. “No? Law, let me tell you then. I met him when I was but a girl at Stephens Lee, right here in town. School ain’t there no more, but it was the only school that black folk could go to. Now that don’t mean it wasn’t a good school though. No, sir. Chuck was this big ol’ strapping boy. Mmm-hmm. All us girls wanted to kiss him. We used to joke that we’d have to buy a stepladder first.”     She chuckled to herself. “He had them big broad shoulders and that smile that could melt cold steel, oh, Law yes. Well, them other girls all had their ways to try and get his attention see. Mary Watson had herself a little money so she bought fancy dresses and had her hair did. She was a pretty girl, but she never got more than a look now and then. Pansy Graham could sing like a songbird and tried to show it ever chance she could, but Chuck wouldn’t have it. Now that nasty little Dixon girl would sleep with anything that walked, but she didn’t have anything my man wanted I guess. Now me, I knew what a man needed. He needed some good cooking. I’d slip around to where I knew he was working of the afternoon and bring the work crew he was with pies and such, especially this here cookie pie I’m making. That was always Chuck’s favorite and soon I was his favorite gal, too.”

When Fact Met Fiction story 6pm

Danny’s grandmother paused and added a few more ingredients, whipping them together with a wooden spoon. Then she continued, “Now that damned ol’ war came about and them Nazis was killing our boys off by the hundreds. Chuck was too young really to join up but that didn’t stop him. He says to me, ‘I got to go, Amanda, I got to go.’ And he did. He went to the army recruiter and told him he just had to go and would do about anything to get there. The recruiter looked up at this big ol’ black boy and asked if he could drive a truck. Chuck lied and said he could drive an airplane if it would get him in. So they fixed up his papers and off he went. Served with the Red Ball Express, he did. Helped Patton whip them Nazis good.”

She paused the story to catch her breath and finish up the pie. She shuffled over to the stove with it and Oksana helped her open the oven door. “Is that preheated to three-fifty? It has to be preheated you know, or it won’t cook right. Danny, come check this oven.”

“Yes, Gran’manda.” He made a show of checking it and helped her place the pie crust on the oven rack. He then assisted her to a chair.

“Set that timer there, baby. You know how long. Law, what time is it, anyway? I have to get the rest of supper fixed before Chuck comes home. Always has his supper at six. Now where was I?”

“The war, Gran’manda, you were talking about the war,” he supplied.

“Oh, yeah. My man came out all that without a scratch. Can’t say the same for a lot of other local boys. But Chuck felt personal satisfaction that he had helped speed up the victory.

“I was just glad to have my man back. We got married the day he came home. My daddy did the ceremony. Nine months later I had me a baby girl, Danny’s ma. Now, Chuck he didn’t believe that a baby should come between a man and his wife, no sir. Every Friday after work, we would eat supper at six, and he called that little pig-nosed girl up the street to watch Grace. I’d slip into that yellow dress with the split up to here and down to there,  and we’d go dancing at the James Keys Hotel. Oh Law, that place. It had a band of boys that used to play for Stephens Lee. They could play anything, any style you wanted and my man could dance to any of it too. That boy used to dance my feet off. I’d have to quit sometimes and sit out one or two. He never stopped though, kept right on going. Some of the girls would jump in my place, but I didn’t worry none. I knew who he was coming home to. He was something to see though. That big ol’ boy up there moving and grooving better than any man alive. He was dancing up until the day he died.”

She looked up suddenly, “Oh, Law, what time is it. I’ve got to have supper finished by six. Chuck will be home any minute. Danny, go fetch that girl to come watch Gracie.”

Danny started to tell her that his mother was dead, but Oksana placed her hand on his arm and softly shook her head. “Amanda, we’ll help you with supper. It’ll be all right.”

“You know we were supposed to go out that night? Chuck had gotten this job working on that new building downtown, you know that big old bank building. They hired him cause he could work up high in the steel. My man wasn’t afraid of nothing. He could run them girders like a squirrel. I guess it was all that dancing that made him light on his feet.

“It was that job that killed him though.” She took a big breath and pursed her lips. “Weren’t his fault though. He could have let that boy fall, but that wasn’t who he was. He just dove over that rail and pushed that boy out of the way, he lost his footing though.”

She stopped again. Danny knew the rest of the story. The construction company had “done her right,” as they say, setting her up with a sizable pension because it was the right thing to do in light of Chuck’s heroic act. What they did for Amanda was actually amazing, given the times and their skin color.

Amanda stood and checked her timer. “Danny, get that pie crust out when the timer rings. I have to go and get dressed before Chuck comes home.”

The two nurses helped his grandmother to her walker, and Oksana followed as they made the slow shuffle to her room.

“I want my yellow dress now, baby. Chuck will want me to wear it.”

“Okay, Amanda.” said Oksana, helping her into a bathrobe. “How’s that?’

“Oh, that is fine,” Amanda said, admiring her reflection in the dresser’s mirror. “Now put me near the window so I can watch him come up the walk.”

Danny waited as the three women helped her into a chair by the window facing the inner courtyard.

“What time is it?” Amanda asked, “I have to have supper ready by six for Chuck. It’s Friday, he’ll want to go dancing tonight.”

“He’ll be here any minute, Amanda. Just sit there and we’ll be back with your supper.” Oksana walked over to Danny.

“Is this everyday?” he asked.

“Yeah, most days. She sundowns about this time everyday and lapses into the past. She’s pretty much settled in for the night now. If you want to talk to her, you need to come in the morning when she’s more lucid.”

Danny acknowledged her with a nod. He walked over, bent down, and kissed his grandmother’s forehead. She patted his face.

“Such a handsome boy,” she said. Danny wasn’t sure who she meant, but he took the affection anyway.

He leaned against the car and dialed his cellphone. “Hey. I am really sorry for this morning. And listen, I called your sister, and she said she can keep the kids tonight. Do you want to go out? Maybe go…dancing?”

The End


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Kowareta And nana short story

Kowareta And Nana

Kowareta and Nana

By Jon Frank

He sat solemnly in the small boat as the oarsman paddled quietly behind him. The mist of the afternoon’s rain was beginning to settle on the water, and lanterns were already lit in a few of the shoreline Uchis where the fisher-folk lived.

He had been away a long time. The battles had been fierce and exhausting, but he was finally returning home. He pulled back a sleeve and allowed his hand to glide in the water, enjoying its silky coolness. The setting sun peeked through orange clouds, casting a golden glow on the palace above the village. Oh, how he had missed his house and gardens, his birds and writing desk. But there was something he must do before returning to those grand walls and furnishings.

As he approached the shore, his gaze scanned the shoreline and settled on a particular structure, a squat two-story dwelling with an ornate set of red lanterns festooning the front porch. Would she still be there, his favored one?  Even on this return to his peaceful home, his mind and heart remained at war. He knew it was wrong to feel this way about a geisha. They had met when she was a Minarai, that second level of training when the girl is permitted to follow her teacher or onee-san into banquets. She had just achieved the third level when he departed for war over a year ago. Now a Maiko, she received the full benefits and courtesies of a geisha. She entertained, served her teas, and played the shamisen skillfully. She could attend a man in all manner of ways except physical intimacy – unless consent was given by both parties. Such consummation was rare and deeply frowned upon, however, for it was purity that made a geisha desirable to men. Geishas were tiny, delicate blossoms that any touch would shatter and taint for all time. And his favored one’s elusive, untouchable position is what attracted him to her. Yet he could not deny the truth, that he wanted all of her, to possess her. As a lord, he could choose to buy her outright. But then she would be no more than his concubine, and that was not enough.

The boat bumped the shore and he leaped forward, clearing the bow in one step. Landing surefooted, he drew a deep breath of his homeland, tasting the air and relishing the sounds. He knelt and placed his forehead on the rocky surface, thanking the spirits for a safe return. He stood and nodded to the boatman, who bowed in return.

“Welcome home, Daimyo-san.”

Geisha waits for her SamuraiThe samurai turned on his heel and climbed the three steps to the geisha house. The interior was bright and colorful. Two younger geishas approached and removed his outer clothing and weapons with the tenderness of a mother to her babe. A third girl led him further inside and bade him sit at a low table. She left and returned shortly with tea.

As she began preparing his tea, the samurai caught her eye and asked, “Is she here? Is Nana here?”

The girl nodded, rocked back on her feet, stood, and left silently. In a moment, someone else returned. It was his favored one! The samurai’s breath caught and his heart bent ribs back in its hunger for her. Could it be that his dreams and thoughts had betrayed him all this time? For they were ugly and horrid compared to the beauty before him. She glided like a koi in a stream. Her piercing eyes of the rarest jade green stabbed his soul. Her hair was black as the night sea, and he felt he might need several strong men to restrain him from touching it. She knelt, her back arrow-straight as she prepared the tea.  A tiny smile flitted across the corner of her mouth. She remembered him! He clinched his fist in anguish at her tease.

He kept his eyes on the steaming teacup as attendants brought forth supplies for the meal. Unlike many houses, where food was prepared beforehand by a cook, a geisha in this house prepared the meal for her guest. The samurai’s beautiful host prepared a precise portion of his favorite dish, a refreshing Asian Kale Salad with Craisins. Each motion was carefully choreographed to emphasize the exquisite ivory beauty of her small hands. Working seamlessly between knife and bowl, she expertly carved delicate shapes into radishes and chestnuts and placed bamboo shoots and tiny cabbages in a pleasing arrangement. She completed the dish and set it before him, along with a fragrant dressing of ginger and essential oils. He ate vigorously, glancing at the burning incense stick used as a timekeeper. It showed precious few moments remaining, and he felt his heart ache for her once more.

“Delicate one, I would speak to you before we leave.”

She responded in the traditional “Oh-hoo,” accompanied by a polite nod.

“I have been away a long time,” the samurai said. “I see you have gone beyond your previous training and taken the mantle of Maiko. I have commanded men to die and been willing do to so myself. Yet in this moment I find courage fleeing like a petal on the wind. Your beauty is more formidable than any sword or arrow, and I am defenseless before you. Speak your wishes and I will raze the kingdom to fulfill them.” He punctuated his words by placing a hand at his hip where his sword normally hung. She bent her head lower, then brought her verdant eyes up to meet his own dark ones. She spoke, her voice a whispering wind on temple bells.  “Kowareta-san, I too have longed for your return, but dared not speak of it. I feared for your safety, not from enemies’ weapons, but from the gaze and charms of another woman. For many nights have my dreams found you, and I blush to say you are every bit the man I long for. I have but one wish, yet my position will not allow me to say it.” She cast her gaze downward again. He reached forward to take her chin in his hand. There was an intake of breath from the attending geisha.Quote from the story Kowareta and Nana

“Leave us!” the samurai commanded. Each girl cringed, bowed, and scattered. He turned back to his favored one. “Forgive my harshness, little flower. I mean for our words to be heard only by our ears.”

A sparkling tear ran down her soft, pale cheek before angling to the corner of her lips and finally to the thumb of his hand. He brought her eyes up again to meet his. “Please, speak,” he coaxed.

She took his hand with hers and placed it against her face, not concerned about the disruption of her makeup. “I long to become a full geisha, and yet I long to be joined with the other half of my soul.”

“I too wish to complete my soul.”

The geisha ran her hand along the samurai’s arm and felt the lean muscles there. She continued upward to his broad, stout shoulders and thick neck muscles. The tears came unchecked now, but they had become tears of happiness. He stood and brought her to her feet. The onee-san entered and bowed in respect, her face bright with worry.  “Daimyo-san, what is the trouble? Has this one displeased you? I can replace her.” She snapped her fingers and another girl entered.

“Stop, old woman! Do not dishonor the moment. However, it is true you will need to find another to replace this one – I believe that to be impossible.” He gripped Nana-san’s shoulders and turned to leave.

“Please, Daimyo-san, if you must take her, then let us gather the small belongings from her room.”

“No,” he said firmly, “I will provide all she needs. She leaves tonight and takes nothing but her heart.”

The End


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Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies

Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies

” So, Jon, what’s the story for Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies?” Olivia asks.

Jon smiles at the mention of his first name and adds, “Let me think. I see a young bearded Amish man, Jacob. He looks over his hard earned crops to lock eyes with Miriam…”

This was how Episode 2 of When Fact Met Fiction ended. Click the link to watch it if you haven’t had the chance yet. Then head on back because you won’t want to miss this amazing recipe. But before you get to baking consider the following piece of trivia about the story written to accompany the recipe for Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies.

A friend recently informed me that Amish romances are called ‘Bonnet Rippers’. For some reason that term cracks me up. Today, you can lose ourselves for a few minutes in our own ‘Bonnet Ripper’ Amish love story, about the  afore mentioned Jacob and Miriam. And this one has some hints of the Christmas holiday. Read Schokolade now.

As always, we will follow up our story with the recipe for Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies, so be sure to come back to this recipe, because you’ll be wanting to get baking.

Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies
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Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies

The richness of Dutch processed cocoa and the decedance of whipped ganache make this delicious brownie 'melt in your mouth' good.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz dark chocolate, chopped or semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
Instructions
Brownies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a parchment papaer lined  large cookie sheet and set aside. Place a large mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.

  2. Combine all of the dry ingerdients in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

  3. Stir in the butter, eggs and vanilla and spead evenly into parchement paper lined cookie sheet.

  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes or until brownies spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Ganache
  1. Once the brownies have cooled heat 3/4 cup heavy cream in a medium sauce pan until just starting to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the dark chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside and cool. Once the ganache has cooled remove 1/4 cup to use for glaze later.

  2. Place the rest of the ganache in the chilled mixing bowl and beat on high until the mixture thickens and becomes lighter in color.

  3. Using a large knife cut the brownies evenly down the middle of the pan. Remove the brownies from the pan and cut the parchment paper where the brownies had been cut. Use one side for the blottom layer and one for the top.

  4. Spread the whipped ganache on the bottom layer of brownie. Cover with the top layer of brownie. Trim any uneven edges and cut the brownies into squares.

  5. Add the 2 extra tbsp of heavy cream the the reserved ganache and stir to make a glaze. Drizzle a small amount of glaze over each brownie. Serve and enjoy.

Watch through to the end of Episode 2 to see where Jon starts sharing his ideas for the story that will go along with Double Dutch Chocolate Brownies.


Let us know how you liked the recipe. We love hearing from you. And if you haven’t already subscribed to our website or YouTube Channel do that now. Until next time.


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Episode 2 – The Iron Maiden

Find all of the videos related to Episode 2 below

When Fact Met FictionIn The Iron Maiden, we learn a bit more about the people of Southern Sunset in episode 2.

  1. Mel Tennant does not have a good relationship with the magazine’s celebrity chef, Poppy Stanhope.
  2. Olivia’s favorite author is non other than Nathaniel Embers.
  3. Celeste’s daughter Sunny will be working at the magazine offices in the afternoons.
  4. And Jon, much to the chagrin of Olivia has an incredible grasp on what the readers of Southern Sunset want to read.

Find out if Olivia can fit in as the editor for Southern Sunset in Episode 2 of When Fact Met Fiction.


Episode 2 – The Iron Maiden

Teaser for Episode 2 – Cold Leftovers

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Episode 3 – Poppy Stanhope

Videos that pertain to Episode 3

When Fact Met Fiction
Poppy Stanhope shares what her fans have been saying about Jon’s articles.

Sunny announces that Nathaniel Ember’s newest novel has hit #1 on the New York Times best seller list. Celeste announces that Poppy Stanhope will be arriving in a few minutes. Poppy enters enthusiastically singing the praises of the magazines new format. When she meets Jon she is immediately impressed, much to Jon’s chagrin. After a private conversation it is revealed that Poppy has made Jon an offer to write for her TV show.

 

 

 

 

Episode 3 – Poppy Stanhope

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Chilled Cookies and Cream Pie

Chilled Cookies and Cream Pie

Who doesn’t love the taste of cookies and cream?

Oreos first debuted with their cookies and cream goodness in 1912. And since then they have remained a favorite treat for young and old alike. They have also become a kitchen staple for many delicious desserts. Today’s recipe features the chocolatey taste of this beloved cookie. But before we give you that recipe enjoy the story that brings to life one woman’s enduring love and the part that a cookies and cream pie played in keeping that love alive. Read the short story “6 pm” by Jon Frank.

Here is our version of a chilled cookies and cream pie.

We tweaked it, tasted it and it was a hit. Give it a try and then tell us how you liked it or send us a picture. Can’t wait to hear from you.

Chilled Cookies and cream Pie
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Chilled Cookies and Cream Pie

A chocolatey, from scratch, pie crust cradles a light and creamy cheesecake inspired filling that is loaded with crushed oreos then topped with homemade whipped cream garnished with more oreos. It doesn't get better than this.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 2 8 oz. blocks cream cheese
  • 1 8 oz. tub Cool Whip
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 20 Oreo cookies crushed
  • 5 Oreo cookies crushed for garnish
Instructions
Pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Line a 9" deep dish pie pan with parchment paper. Grease and dust lightly with cocoa powder.

  3. Combine first 4 dry ingredients and mix well.

  4. Add melted butter and mix until thoroughly incorporated and resembles a soft dough.

  5. Press dough evenly into pie pan and bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

  6. Set aside to cool.

Pie filling
  1. Beat the blocks of cream cheese until creamy.

  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until combined.

  3. Add in the cool whip and beat until very creamy then fold in the crushed Oreos and pour into cooled pie crust.

  4. Spread until evenly distributed and place into freezer.

Whipping cream
  1. Chill a metal bowl in the freezer until cold.

  2. Pour the heavy cream into chilled bowl add 1 tsp vanilla and beat on high until thickened and peaks form.

  3. Place the whipped cream into a piping bag with tip or a Ziplock with 1/4"  of the corner cut off and pipe the whipped cream over the entire pie.

  4. Garnish with Oreo pieces from 5 cookies.

Watch Episode 2 of When Fact Met Fiction to see how a scene with cookie wrappers became the inspiration for this recipe.


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If you know any wonderful caregivers who are working with the aging, perhaps you could make them a Chilled Cookies and Cream Pie to show your appreciation.


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Kale Salad

Asian Kale Salad with Craisins

Kale, the New and Old Superfood

The benefits of eating kale is all over the internet.

Kale is a brassica, which means it’s of the cabbage family. It is loaded with awesome buzzword goodness. It is packed full of fiber, iron, vitamins A, C and of course, K. It has calcium for your bones , antioxidants and best of all is low in fat.Kale Salad ingredients

With all of that power packed goodness no wonder a Samurai, like our hero in the following story, Kowareta and Nana would favor it. Take a moment to read it.

With a few simple ingredients you could be on your way to enjoying a light nutritious side dish like the recipe mentioned in the story above.

 

Here is our version of an Asian kale salad and add a mouthful of healthy flavor to your next meal.

Kale Salad
Print
Asian Kale Salad with Craisins
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Cuisine: Asian, Salads
Servings: 4 people
Author: Robin Liner
Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup almonds raw, slivered
  • 1 TBS olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese fresh grated
  • 1/4 cup sesame ginger dressing
  • 1 cup cranberries dried
Instructions
  1. Remove the stems from the kale leaves. Cut the kale into small pieces and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl add pressed or chopped garlic, salt and parmesan cheese and mix together.
  3. In a small skillet, on medium heat, combine the olive oil and almonds and sauté until lightly browned.
  4. Add the almonds and the dressing to the garlic mixture and mix well.
  5. Place the kale in with the garlic mixture and toss until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  6. Place on plates and garnish with a few dried cranberries if desired. ENJOY!
Recipe Notes

Asian Kale Salad With Craisins is mentioned in Episode 1 of When Fact Met Fiction. Here is the clip from that episode:


Hey, what are your favorite ways to prepare kale. SHARE IN THE COMMENTS.

Print out the recipe and as you make and serve some Asian Kale Salad w/ Craisins do it with the same heart of love that Nana shows for Kowareta.

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Also, take a moment to SUBSCRIBE to this website and get Jon Frank’s heartwarming e-story Flowers For Felicity absolutely FREE.