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Duck! Here It Comes!

By Gini Rainey

For those of you who have been paying attention to the general theme of my cookbook collection, you may have noticed a trend towards those written by or about celebrities and or famous people.  That was one of my initial criteria when I started picking them up and mostly still is, unless I come across one that’s weird, unusual, or cheap!  Every so often I’ll go to my favorite eBay store, thriftbooks, just to see if they have anything new that fits the bill.  The cookbook I have in front of me today is one of those.  It’s “Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen” by Kay Robertson with Chrys Howard and was published in 2013 by Howard Books and was written by a celebrity and was cheap!  Score!

So, then I got to thinking “whatever happened to Duck Dynasty.”  I was never a viewer of the series – but I have the T-Shirt that my husband picked up for me in West Monroe, Louisiana on one of his many treks to Florida. I did watch a portion of one episode at one of my daughter’s following a family gathering.  About all I can remember about it was her family never missed an episode and were really into it.  I think that particular episode had some bird-hunting/killing/plucking/slicing/ dicing/cooking involved in it.  My other daughter and her family (who just happen to be vegans) had a hard time sitting there watching all of the carnage and eventually turned to other things to do and talk about.

The Robertson’s have pretty some strong family values and have actually built quite a financial empire over the past 30 plus years with their clothing line – Duck Commander.  Even though she spent a great deal of her time working along side her husband, Miss Kay raised a family and filled them, not only with good food, but also a stern hand nicely blended with warmth and love.

Her cookbook is filled, not only with great, rib-sticking recipes, but also with quite a few biblical references, anecdotes, and family photos.  Sharing that she uses a cast iron skillet or dutch oven to cook most of her recipes, she explains it’s because they can either be used on the stove top or in the oven and they heat up quickly. It’s also not terribly surprising that several of her recipes call for Duck Commander seasoning!

Well, if you’re lucky enough to own a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven, here’s a fairly easy recipe to try out on your family.  First, heat your oven to 275° and season about 1 pound of tenderized round steak (tenderized round steak usually comes 4 to a package and I generally cut those in half to make 8 pieces) with salt and pepper and lightly sprinkle both sides with flour.  Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in your cast-iron Dutch oven (or cast-iron skillet, or ovenproof casserole dish) and brown the steaks on both sides and drain off the excess oil.  Add 2 celery stalks chopped in large chunks, 1 onion chopped in large chunks, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 bell pepper chopped in large chunks, 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes and 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce to Dutch oven along with the browned steaks.  Cover and bake for 1 ½ hours and serve with steamed potatoes or egg noodles.  You may not be a Duck Commander, but this meal will have you eating like one!

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Books

Some Things to Think About: September Book Reviews

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By Gini Rainey 

“The Isle of Gold” by Seven Jane 

If you like to read adventure books that have everything from swashbuckling pirates to mystical lands beneath the sea, then this is the book for you.  Set in 1716 – the golden age of pirates – this book follows the adventures of Merrin Smith, an orphaned waif who was raised in the kitchen of a quayside brothel.  Written by Seven Jane, a “dark fantasy and speculative fiction,” this book is filled with more pirates and fantasy than you can shake a stick at.   

When Merrin, at the tender of age of probably fourteen or so, decides to join the crew of the pirate ship Riptide in order to discover who her parents were, she disguises as a pirate and falls under the watchful eye of the notorious Captain Winter, whose madman antics and behavior keep everyone on board in line, lest they get run through by one of the many daggers he has hanging from his belt.  When she meets the handsome boatswain, Tom Birch, a bit of unrequited love begins to weave itself into the story.  Fortunately, or perhaps not so fortunately, as time passes on the Captain’s quest to find the mythical island of Bracile (a place hidden between air and sea and that exists only for a moment every two years–and which has never returned any man who has sailed for its shores) Merrin’s body begins to mature and she must now bind herself to prevent anyone on board from discovering that she is a woman. 

This book is a delightful romp and an easy read filled with the things that will keep the reader engrossed to the very end.  Pour yourself a glass of wine, curl up in your comfy chair and let Seven Jane take you a mystical place filled with adventure and romance. 

4 of 5 – Copyright 2018 – Black Spot Books 

 “Gracie’s Secret” by Jill Childs 

This book is one long emotional rollercoaster.  Beginning when Jen’s 3-year old daughter Gracie is involved in a car accident and nearly dies, the emotions of everyone involved are raw and aching.  While the character development was good, as was the premise, there were many things about this book that left me wondering “why?” 

Following the accident, Gracie has a near death experience and met angels who asked her if she wanted to stay or go home.  She chooses to go home and shares with her non-religious mother that she met a man in heaven who is later identified as the archangel, Saint Michael after spotting a statue in a parish church.  There could be a spoiler alert here, but I won’t tell anymore, so no need for one. 

It was too far into the book, and Jen’s relationship Doctor Matthew, that the plotline began getting convoluted and twisted.  Lots of accusations and insidious mysteries are uncovered, and suffice it to say the intrigue became deeper and deeper.  I for one had no idea where this was all heading, but when everything started falling apart and coming together, I had a hard time moving through to the end of the book. 

I will say that I kept turning the pages and finished the book, but there many things that I had to question.  For one, if Gracie’s mom, Jen, was so completely devastated by her recent divorce, it amazes me how quickly she falls for the doctor she met while Gracie was in a coma.  Doctor Matthew steps into their life and begins to fill all of the voids they had both been experiencing since the divorce.  He steps in way too easily.   

All of that being said, though, this is a pretty intriguing book and well worth the read. 

4 of 5 – Copyright 2018 – Bookouture 

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Books

Book Worm Central: September Events & Book Signings

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September 25th (10am) – Club Read – Join the Club Read group in discussing this month’s read, “David & Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell. The Tyler Public Library is located at 201 S. College Ave., Tyler. Club Reads’ events are free. For more info call (903)593-7323 or go to tylerlibrary.com. Club Read is held the last Tuesday of every month.

October 30th (1-5pm): East Texas Booktacular – ET Booktacular is being brought to you by Sweets Books, host of East Texas Book Bash. Unlike the Book Bash, the Booktacular will be smaller and have free entry for fans. There are a limited number of tickets. This will be held at Henderson Civic Center, 1500 Lake Forest Parkway, Henderson.

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