The Light Side of the Moon Recipe: Anne Blacksmith’s Beef and Veg Pie

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Anne Blacksmith’s Beef and Veg Pie

Here is a recipe inspired by The Light Side of the Moon. A meat pie is a hearty main dish. This is a great recipe for any  ground meat you may have. My husband’s favorite is ground pork. I tend to do all the prepwork for meat pie early in the day or even the day before and then bake it prior to serving.

Excerpt: [Ian] jumped at the clatter, as Ms. Blacksmith set down a baked beef pie more heavily than usual. “Grace deserved better than her spouse and only-child in quiet dispute.”

Scraping the knife over the bottom of the pie plate, she cut the pasty and served Ian a large slice with the look she used when he was small and made mischief. She handed Dad a piece of pie with the same look. “Fix this. Or this is the last meal I cook for you.” She stomped into the kitchen.

Pie Crust (This is the pie crust recipe I use for savory fillings as well as anytime I want a fruit pie.)

  • 220 grams / 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 5.5 grams / 1 teaspoon salt
  • 180 grams / 3/4 cup Vegetable Shortening or Lard
  • 60 – 120 ml / 4 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water

Blend flour and salt in large bowl. Cut shortening into flour mixture using pastry blender or fork until it looks like small peas. By the spoonful stir in just enough water with fork until dough holds together.

Shape dough into a ball. Flatten ball into 1/2-inch thick round disk. Chill while you prepare filling.

Filling

  • 16 ml / 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 3 stalks of Celery
  • 3 Carrots
  • ½ Onion
  • .45 kg / 1 pound of Ground (Minced) Beef
  • 85 grams / ¾ cup flour
  • .7 liter / 3 cups of milk
  • 150 grams / 1 cup peas
  • Salt and pepper if needed

Small dice celery, carrots and onions. Over medium heat, cook celery, carrots, and onions in vegetable oil until onions grow translucent. Remove from pan.

Brown beef until no pink remains and remove from pan

Whisk in the flour to the  drippings/ Cook and stir over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Gradually stir in milk so that no lumps form, and continue cooking and stirring until thickened. Taste gravy and add salt and peppers if desired

Mix all filling ingredients adding the peas last. Chill for 1 hour.

Take dough from refrigerator cut dough in half.

Roll 1/2 dough  from center outward into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle  on lightly floured surface for the crust. Transfer dough to baking sheet.

Roll second half of dough into rectangle. Put aside

Scoop filling on dough on baking sheet leaving a 1/2 inch of exposed dough all around.  Lie second rectangle on top. Flute dough as desired. Cut slits in top crust or prick with fork to vent steam.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes.

meatpie

Tip: I like to use a baking sheet with foil to catch any escaping gravy.

Spokane: I’m going to Auntie’s Bookstore!

The Light Side of the Moon Final

Looking for something to do in Spokane Tuesday Night?

I will be reading my next heart-wrenching, dystopian science fiction novel, The Light Side of the Moon, on Tuesday Night, August 18 2015 at Auntie’s Books which is located at 402 W Main Ave, Spokane, WA 99201.

The Light Side of the Moon is the second novel in the Other Systems Universe, but it is not a sequel. Fans familiar with the series know that Other Systems followed immigrants to the utopian planet, Kipos. The Light Side of the Moon is the story of those who stayed behind on Earth.

Science fiction has a long history of social commentary as humanity’s technology has advanced. Our imagination–or lack of it–can bring progress or missteps to the future of our species. The poverty shown in The Light Side of the Moon is dire, but it is also a story of redemption. And if that’s too serious…don’t worry we’ll have cookies!

The Light Side of the Moon Deleted Scenes: The Ferryman

The Light Side of the Moon FinalEver wonder what happens when a book goes through a full rewrite? A lot of deleted scenes. Some of the scenes were deleted for length and pacing. Some were cut because I realized they confused my main plot line, such as the one below.

When I wrote this “Ferryman” scene, I was trying to show the poverty that the average person faced and how love had nothing to do with their marriages. HOWEVER, I realized the scene needed to be cut, because though the ferryman is willing to marry an under-aged girl, I did not write him as a villain nor consider the ferryman a bad man. Notice: he isn’t trying to screw her over, he is trying to find an honest marriage arrangement. I actually imagined him having this conversation at least a few other times with girls/women he ferries across the river until someone agrees to marry him. He has no money or family to arrange a marriage for him. He’s doing the best he can in a world that doesn’t care about him. But that confused the greater conflict.

NOTE: This was not edited by anyone, but me.

LISTENING FOR WATER, ELLIE EDGED towards Missoula proper until she found the river. Not sure where to go, she wandered eastwards until she found a sign reading: FERRY 2 CREDITS in front a wide flat-bottom boat tied to the shore. The ship didn’t moving at night, so she hid on the leeward side of a fishing shack. As it did every day, dawn lightened the sky as the sun rose over the Rocky Mountains. She waited in her hiding place until she saw the ferryman stretching out of his blankets.

“Excuse me, I don’t have any money, but I’ll clean the deck if you get me across the river to the mills,” Ellie said.

“Girl, get yourself back home.”

“Look, I heard there were jobs at the mills. I need a way across the river.” 

“You’re about to get my boot,” he snarled, but he didn’t lift his foot.

Deciding the ferryman wasn’t likely to call to police or the convent, Ellie stood her ground. “I’ll run an errand if that’s what you need.”

The ferryman narrowed his eyes. Then glanced at his torn cuff. “You know how to sew?”

“Yes, sir, but I haven’t any needle or thread.”

“I keep some line and needles in the tool kit. I want my jacket mended and my boots shined. Do a good job, and when I have another customer, I’ll ferry you across.”

“Thank you.” She put her hands together and bowed in respect.

Grumbling, the man repeated the gesture towards her and pushed his toolbox with his foot.

Ellie’s fingers ached in the cold, but she sat beside his chair and mended the rip with fishing line. She took a rag out of the man’s tool kit and shined his boots. It would have been easier if he hadn’t been wearing them.

He opened his thermos. The smell of fish broth made her stomach growl. “You hungry, girl?”

Ellie nodded. He poured her a bit of broth in the thermos top. It was hot. Though her lips stung from the salt, Ellie drank the soup greedily.

“So how long have you been homeless?”

Licking the salt from her lips, she said, “Only a few days. My mama died. Papa died a few years ago.”

The ferryman nodded. “Yeah, you don’t seem the type. They just beg.” 

“I’ll find a job and never have to beg.”

“Times are hard. People might not be willing to chance a job on an untested girl. Why don’t you be my wife?”

She pressed her legs together and pulled her sweater tighter around her. “I’m only fourteen,” she lied. “I need a ride.”

“You are? Shit, I thought you were older,” The man frowned. “Well, now, your mama’s dead, no one will mind. Better than being homeless anyway.”

Ellie looked closely at the man’s face. His beard was brown scraggly, windswept, but his brow and cheeks were unlined. In fact, if it wasn’t for the beard, she guessed he was about Peter’s age. He was just a lonely guy with a newly mended jacket and hardly any gift in cooking. If she married him, it would be her own choice, but she wouldn’t get to the moon. Still she found herself asking, “Do you have a house?”

“Nope, just the boat.”

“I’ve never cooked a fish before. Only rabbits and eggs. I don’t know if I’d be a good wife for you,” Ellie said.

He shrugged. He pulled out a narrow fishing rod as long as he was tall. “You couldn’t be any worse of a cook than me.”

“I’d poison you if you ever beat me or our children if we had ‘em.”

“Your pa hit you, did he? Hit your ma?”

Her throat tensed. She refused to show emotion so she didn’t answer him.

“I won’t hit you,” he said. “But I expect a faithful and hardworking wife. I need help cooking and mending. Sometimes there’s work around the boat, but I’ll catch and clean the fish. The money from passengers keeps the boat afloat. Sometimes I catch enough to trade for bread and eggs.” The ferryman threaded the end of his fishing line through his hook, and wrapped it four times.

“But you don’t have extra for a bride price,” she said.

“No, I don’t. But you obviously don’t have any money either, so I figure we could help each other out. Two people work better than one. I’ll even put your name on the title of the boat.” He fed the end of his fishing line back through the looped hook and pulled it tight. He pulled out a dark wriggling worm from a small cup. Ellie looked away as he pierced the worm with his hook then attached three pieces of rusted metal to his line above his bait. Then he cocked back the rod, pushed the button on his spinner, and when he pointed it back to the water, he released the button to cast his line into the dark water.

Fingering the map in her pocket, her mind spun with worry. What if I can’t make it any farther? What if I get arrested and taken to the convent again? “Do you catch fish everyday?” she asked softly.

“Nearly,” he replied. Then leaned back and shoved his hands in his pockets. 

“Have you gone hungry?”

The ferryman studied her. “No. And I’d be damned before I let my wife or kids go hungry. And I know it looks rickety, but the shelter is pretty warm at night.”

If I married someone else, my brothers and betrothed wouldn’t ever come after me. Ellie bit her lip. “I’ll expect a faithful and hardworking husband, so I’ll think about it. I still want to see if I can get a job.”

He shrugged. “Your life, but if that doesn’t work out, come back. My offer will stand ‘til I find someone else.”

They sat in silence as he fished. He looked over his shoulder as a young couple with a baby asked if they could be ferried across. The ferryman gestured at the payment pad. The man pressed his hand on to it. Four credits were charged, two for each adult passenger. The family took a seat on the cracked polymer bench under the shelter. The ferryman pumped a lever, which opened a slot in the engine panel. He turned another cylinder. Methane belched out of the pipe as the ferry jolted off the dock.

Ellie’s stomach lurched as the water grew deeper and faster moving underneath the boat. Though the dark water underneath the hull frightened her, she wondered if the ferryman’s proposal was genuine. He didn’t seem like a bad man.

Thirty minutes later, she was across the river. The ferryman was happy to see five people waiting to cross back to the other side.

As she disembarked, he tipped his hat towards her. “Remember what I said.” 

“I’ll remember, and thank you.” Ellie pressed her palms together and inclined her head. She followed the couple towards the city center. She hugged to the outskirts of the mill to the eastbound trucking lane. Glad she had mittens, she put out her thumb.

If you liked this, check the rest of the deleted scenes here.  http://other-systems.com/dscenes.html

I’m going to Sasquan (Worldcon!)

Sasquan in Spokane WA, is the 2015 Worldcon, an annual gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans August 19 – 23rd. Hundreds of authors, editors, publishers, artists, scientists, game designers, and other creators and intellectual leaders will participate–including me!

I will be running a table in the dealer’s room.

Meet Rosalind: A Secondary Protagonist of The Light Side of the Moon

Rosalind

Age Unknown

(EC 302) Manufactured in India/Programmed in France

Expert Compatible Android (Accountant)

Personality: She loves deeply, she does not want to be stuck on Earth. She is a leader, but can aggressively pull for dreams.

 

Description Excerpt

She zoomed her optics from the nebula to Earth. The enlargement algorithms resized the sky as her crafted compound lens flipped to a smaller aperture to allow in less light. Her world shifted into millions of colored pixels. Images smoothed. She could see.

Ceramic tiles had continued to fall through the rotting, scorched wood in the ceiling, but the tenement was the same as it had been the last time her consciousness was on Earth. She rolled to her side and pushed strands of dirty blond hair out of her scarred face. A pigeon clapped its wings; its tiny claws scratched her aging silicone flesh as the bird bounced onto the dirt floor.

She rubbed her corroded knee joints. Using the doorframe, she lifted herself to her full height and held back screaming as she broke through the oxidation. Gazing upon her brothers who still dreamt toward the nebula, she could not remember her name, or her brothers’ names, but serial number EC 302 was embossed with black ink on her left bicep. Her brothers looked the same: inactive burnt flesh, visible indo-skeletons, absent limbs, and each one missing an optic. They were built to be imposing sentinels of this place, but their injuries exposed their weakness. S467’s legs were nothing more than scorched stumps.

S455 had a pigeon nesting between his unmoving chest and arm. She almost pushed it away until she saw the eggs. She let the pigeon be.

The Light Side of the Moon is here!

It’s here! It’s here! If you want you can picture me jumping up and down with excitement. 

The Light Side of the Moon Final

The Light Side of the Moon is the second novel in the Other Systems Universe, but it is not a sequel. Fans familiar with the series know that Other Systems followed immigrants to the utopian planet, Kipos. The Light Side of the Moon is the story of those who stayed behind on Earth.

Due to lack of natural resources, no public education, and a surplus of political bickering, Earth is an over-populated cesspool and our solar system’s colonies have failed. Encouraged by the conquest of Kipos, idealistic dreamers look beyond Earth to build a utopia from the abandoned Lunar Colony Serenitatis. Despite intense uncertainty and physical hardship, the impoverished Ella Sethdottier follows rumors of plentiful jobs on the moon. On roads fraught with danger, she discovers Earth is a bigger place than she ever imagined, but Serenitatis is little more than a prison colony. Ella forges unlikely friendships with corrupted androids and the quixotic prison doctor, Ian Whitlatch, who champions equality and rights for inmates. Amid
corruption and nobility, tragedy and victory, the fate of the colony hangs in the balance.

You can read an excerpt here!

And I am having a release party at Barnes & Noble Pacific Place August 1st, 2 – 4 pm. Hope to see you there.

Sales Links Below

Amazon

Paperbacks: http://www.amazon.com/Light-Side-Moon-Elizabeth-Guizzetti/dp/193754642X/

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Light-Side-Moon-Elizabeth-Guizzetti-ebook/dp/B011EWJHTC 

Barnes&Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-light-side-of-the-moon-elizabeth-guizzetti/1122388290?ean=2940150853218

iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-light-side-of-the-moon/id1018607604?ls=1&mt=11

48Fourteen: https://48fourteen.com/catalog/the-light-side-of-the-moon/

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/the-light-side-of-the-moon-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25891512-the-light-side-of-the-moon

Why all the politics in The Light Side of the Moon? Because we can’t escape ourselves

FYI: this is the answer to an early reader question that I received for my FAQ so this is up at the Other Systems Website too.
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The Light Side of the Moon deals with serious issues that the world must decide is right or wrong.  I feel as a species, we are on a precipice of change as our electronic creations become sentient. We can choose to evolve our morals with technology or not. I look at The Light Side of the Moon as a cautionary tale if humanity chooses not to evolve. If we continue to allow adolescent greed or anger rule how we interact with people.

As the internet grows and expands, we have discovered other inventive ways to hurt eachother: trolling, swatting, revenge porn.

The internet is not the problem: we are.

Okay back to The Light Side of the Moon: some of the events that happen in the novel actually occurred when Europe sent prisoners to Australia and the Americas. (For example: women and girls attaching themselves to Correctional Officers for protection.) One might think that these events still don’t occur, but sadly they do.

Some say the adult content in the book is the sex and vulgar language, but in my opinion, the true adult content is that the world in the novel allows children to starve, refuses to pay workers a living wage, and humans still have atrocities such as child betrothal and marriage, economic slavery, and an unjust correctional system. We can go to colonize the moon, we can go to other planets, but until we face the problems we have now, they will always be with us.

That being said, even in the darkest places, there is hope for humanity, because good people exist. In my opinion, that is the story I wrote in The Light Side of the Moon. 

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