Monday, January 12, 2015

Themes That Rocked the Challenge - Sharon Arthur Moore and Food!

Today we welcome Sharon Arthur Moore and her theme of all things food.

A little background about Sharon:

After 39 years as an educator, Sharon Arthur Moore "transitioned" to the life of full-time fiction writer. She's an intrepid cook, game-player, and miniatures lover.
She writes culinary mysteries, women's fiction, historical fiction, short stories, plays, and erotic romance (under the pen name Angelica French). Oak Tree Press published Mission Impastable, by Sharon Arthur Moore, a culinary mystery, in 2014. Sizzler Editions published Streetwalker, by Angelica French, in 2013.
Sharon has lived in every region of the country except the Pacific Northwest and loved every single one of them. Her current favorite region is the desert Southwest. She is married to the most extraordinary man and claims four children, one daughter-in-law, two grandsons, and an old, fat, yellow lab rescue dog, Maudie.

Thanks so much, Alex, for including me in this blog series! I love A-Z and work at recruiting others to participate, so it is an honor to be here.

Your theme was basically all things food related – since that’s the theme of your blog as well, did you have any challenges?

Just keeping up with daily blogging was the major challenge. I normally post once a week on three different blogs, so daily posts get to be wearing. At least I got Sundays off, right? In February, for the last several years, I post a recipe a day in some category my readers select. That’s fun, and it’s sort of training for posting a couple of months later for this challenge.

In terms of challenges with the topic, I did have to scour the Internet to find terms for a few letters. But, in the end, every letter had at least two options for me to select from.

The other challenge was keeping it to two or three terms. I see my blog as an instructional one, so I tried to cram as much as possible into each day. But I never did more than three terms per letter--well, almost never!

Which letter was the easiest and why?

Both S and M were by far the easiest. Huh, maybe because those are my initials? I had so many more options for those two letters--all of which I wanted to do--than I could manage. The hard part was limiting it to two.

Which letter was the most difficult and why?

It wasn’t “Q”. There’s not a plethora of Q cooking terms, but enough so I had a choice and still did two. The end of the alphabet always presents a challenge when finding category terms, so I didn’t have as many choices with U, V, Y and Z.

But what really surprised me was how few P terms there were. I mean, you have pour and pound, but words that people might not know well were very few. That was true for N as well.

What fun fact surprised you the most?

Hmm! What a good question! I had to look back over my twenty-six posts and remind myself of the learning that occurred. Irradiated food and hydrogenated oils had tons of technical and science terminology and findings. Those were really interesting for me to read about. I am not anti-irradiation, but I am not a proponent either. I am waiting for more definitive research. But I’ve been against using hydrogenated oils for a long time. Now I know why and it’s not just a knee-jerk reaction!

What is Vichyssoise?

Potato soup sounds so much classier when you use the French name, n’est-ce pas? And of course, vichyssoise, is so much classier than my mother’s potato soup. It’s a thick soup made by pureeing leeks, potatoes, onions, cream, and chicken stock. While traditionally served cold, like gazpacho, cucumber soup, and fruit soups, vichyssoise can be eaten hot.

Have you ever made a Fricassée?

You got me there! Nope! Even though I cook all the time, there are techniques I haven’t yet tried or tools I haven’t used. But, I am marching my way through techniques so I can die having done it all. My husband gifted me with one-on-one cooking lessons with a chef so I could increase my expertise!

Still, how hard can it be? You cut up meat, sauté it, braise it, then serve with a sauce. I’ll make friscasséed chicken just for you, Alex, if you want to drop by Phoenix.

Sweat isn’t just perspiration, is it?

Umm, well sort of. The onions “sweat” when cooked over low heat. They perspire, like we do, giving off their fluids when heated. When onions are sweated, not browned, the flavor is intensified and deepened. That adds a new layer to my chili.

If you participate in the 2015 Challenge, what theme are you considering?

Oh, I’m in! I’ve met some terrific bloggers through A-Z. It’s choosing that’s the hard part. I have three blogs to choose among. Last year’s challenge was on “Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” where I focus on food and mysteries.

I am dithering. I have two themes I’ve been developing. I might go back to “Romance Righter” (pen name Angelica French) to blog this April just as I did in 2013. If so, I’ll be writing about relationships and terms associated with relationships and interactions.

Or I might write on my third blog, which I haven’t featured on A-Z yet. “Write Away” deals with general writing issues. If so, I’ll be writing about terms and strategies in fiction writing. I am only missing a few letters at this point, so I’m almost there for planning both of them! Can you tell I’m eager to begin this year’s series?

You do sound excited, which is awesome! Thanks, Sharon.

Co-host Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is the author of Amazon Best-sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm, and his blog can be found HERE


River Glynn said...

Thanks for including me in this series and for asking such fun questions, Alex. I am eager for April to arrive (and not because of the weather)!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for doing the interview, Sharon!

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Alex,
Its indeed a great privilege to be here again in the new year with the wonderful interview with Sharon Arthur Moore, well selected questions and Sharon answered it well too. nice to meet Sharon this year. Though I have been here for some time I could not meet her on the way. Its really nice to know a bit more about this wonderful writer a multi-talented personality and the wonderful intrepid cook.
Keep going. Waiting for the post at a to z Sharon.
Thanks Alex for the intimation via G+
Keep writing
Have a wonderful time of challenge at A to Z
~ Philip

Jo said...

Nice to read about you Sharon. Would just like to mention that hot Vichysoisse is actually Potage Parmentier. I post recipes but don't talk about how to make them, I am assuming my readers know how to cook. If they don't, I should refer them to you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sharon - good to read about your approach to blogging and the A-Z ... I enjoy all things foodie .. and love Vichysoisse ... I'm sure I'll catch you in April .. cheers Hilary

betty said...

Enjoyed the interview and reading about Sharon; so cute with her theme for last year's A/Z and she's right, it is hard to keep up with daily blogging, but worth the effort with friends made.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Whew, Sharon is so energetic. Three active blogs is a challenge all in itself.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I enjoy all things food and food related mysteries. Thanks for this interview, Alex and Sharon!

Li said...

Writing strategies are always welcome :) I wish I had the organizational skills to run multiple blogs!

J Lenni Dorner said...

Very cool

River Glynn said...

Thanks for the comments, Philip. I do have my fun!

River Glynn said...

Yes, Jo, you are absolutely right. Thanks for clarifying that for readers as I should have. The French just have a name for everything, right? I appreciate you stopping by to read and comment.

River Glynn said...

Thanks, Hilary. I just love that the A-Z Challenge introduces me to so many new bloggers! See you soon!

River Glynn said...

Thanks, Betty. I'm assuming I can follow you in April with your theme? I'll look for you!

River Glynn said...

I am so glad they didn't have Ritalin when I was a kid, Susan. My mother would have jumped at the chance to dope me up! lol

River Glynn said...

Thanks, Karen, for coming by and commenting. Food and mysteries--Ah, I get to live the good life!

River Glynn said...

I'm not so much sure that it is organization so much as the weekly deadlines! Ha! I get lots of page views, so I'd better be there posting. Thanks for stopping in, Li. See you in April!

River Glynn said...

Thanks, J, for reading and leaving a comment. I have a great life living my dream. It is cool!

Michelle Wallace said...

I love foreign words, especially French words, and I'm now wondering about the pronunciation of vichyssoise? Is it 'vi-shee-swa' ?
3 blogs? Wow! And I must say that I love your enthusiasm!
Nice to meet you.

River Glynn said...

Hi, Michelle! Nice to see you here. I studied Spanish and ancient Greek, so I am not an expert by any means on French. In fact, almost all the French I know is food related! Ha! However, let me take a stab at the pronunciation. You were almost there: vi-shee-swoz.

Nice to meet you, too. I'll look for you in April!

Unknown said...

What a fun series! How have I missed it?? Sharon, wonderful to meet you! I can't wait to check out your blog. Your theme for the Challenge sounds fun! I wasn't able to participate last year but I can't WAIT for this year's Challenge. Have a wonderful new year!


River Glynn said...

Thanks, Jen! With over a thousand participants it is very hard to winnow down to blogs to follow. But I found several and was happy for it! I hope you will pop over to my blog again. Go rummaging around in my attic and basement (archives) to find the February challenge I set myself for recipes!