Cook Naked: Passions

12 Nov

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Bond: Bonjour, mes amis. We’re pursuing passions today. My passion for cooking and Nara’s for pizza. I mixed the dough in advance because it has to rise two hour. You’ll find the ingredient list below. Now, I am kneading for ten minutes. While I work the dough for ten minutes Nara can tell us about another passion she has.

Nara: Wipe that smirk off your face, Bond. Not that kind of a passion. This has to do with a writing passion.

When I first came up with my tag line, “Taking Romance into the Next Dimension”, it was born of a vague notion that I wanted to find a way to bring storytelling beyond simply text on a page. I wanted to give characters an existence that moved past the covers of a book. I didn’t know how I would do that. My search led me to authors who used ARG’s to build interest before they launch a book. Interacting with their characters through email, tweets, or blogs connected me to those personalities, made me care about them more than I had just reading a book, enough that they were able to convince me, the reader, to perform tasks in the real world that would help them solve their problems. But the interaction was brief and over by the time the book released. I’ve continued to search for ways to bring those immersive qualities to my stories.

Bond: And I am grateful she has, mes amis, especially this past week. There is a sign over her desk in her virtual home. It says, “I Think Therefore I Blog.” For me, until this week, it has been a case of — I blog therefore I am. That sign is the first thing I saw when Nara brought me to life in my avatar body. The realization that I am now more than words was my first thought.

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You’ve seen the movie Avatar? My Second Life birth was something like that. I stumbled around, bumped into the furniture and walls, but I learned quickly. The first thing I did was put on an apron and pop into Nara’s kitchen to make pizza’s for today’s opening of the Passionate Reads Cafe. Tell them about your project, cherie.

Nara: The Passionate Reads Cafe has been my labor of love these past few weeks. The idea grew out of my work on my own cabin. I learned how to move and make things as I turned it into a cozy virtual writing retreat. I thought I could bring characters to life there, work out story issues with them. I’m doing the final edits on the sequel to the Tiger’s Tale, so I brought Ean from The Tiger’s Tale out to work through some details that weren’t clear.

Bond: I understand. When I am thinking up a new recipe, I can only take it so far in my mind before I need to get my hands in the the dough. I need to engage my senses as well as my imagination. Like now, as I work the soft flour, flatten, spread it on the oiled pan, and stretch it, my mind opens to new possibilities, new things I can try with spices and toppings.

Nara: That’s exactly how it was. His size next to a human is the first thing that hit me. I had a sense of what it might feel like to be cornered in a small space by something so big and potentially deadly. He scorched his tail in the fire a couple of times before he learned to be careful where he put it. That’s something I wouldn’t have thought of. Watching him move around furniture immersed me in his story world.

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Bond: Well let’s immerse you in this recipe for a minute. You make the tomato sauce for me while I finish the dough and brush the top with olive oil.

Nara: The sauce is so easy. You take a 16 ounce can of crushed Italian tomatoes, add a bit of salt a splash odf onion juice or a couple spoonfuls of grated onion and half teaspoon of oil. Light the stove for me Bond.

Bond: You’re kidding. The stove, she works?

Nara: Of course it works. I like realism in my fictional worlds. The sink works too. Put your sauce on high until it boils the simmer gently about 20 minutes.

Bond: If you went to such detail here in your cabin, I can’t wait to see the cafe.

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Nara: It’s still a work in progress but I have a working computer on each floor where writers can sit and actually tweet and post to their blogs or Facebook. If they open a free account at mywritingnook.com, they can log into that and work on rough drafts for their WIP. I do that myself when I have characters here in Second Life with me and I’m ironing out rough spots in a scene. I know this all sounds a little odd, but it’s a way to break free when writer’s block has its teeth in you.

Bond: Not strange to me, but this next part of your recipe is going to catch people by surprise.

Nara: Right, the pizza. I was a little on the fence about how it would turn out when I first heard the ingredients too. This is a vegan version of pizza, so the cheese sauce is made from mixing raw cashews. pimentos, tahini (peanut butter can be substituted), water, nutritional yeast(not brewers yeast), garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, dill weed. Quantities are listed below.

I learned how to make this in a cooking class. I was thinking no way is this going to be edible. It’s another one of those good-for-you dishes that everyone tries to pretend they like. I was wrong. The pizza is incredible. Simple too. You just puree the ingredients in the blender and spoon over the tomato sauce.

Bond: I sprinkle my favorite toppings, black olives and mushrooms, over the cheese sauce..

Nara: The version I tasted included tofu. It was cubed and marinated overnight in a mixture of half balsamic vinegar and half Hunan sauce. Then drained and added as a topping just before baking. *Laughing* yeah I made that same face. When the slices were passed out for the tasting, the girls next to me poked at her tofu with one finger, saying, I’m really not a tofu kind of gal. But when she tasted her face lit right up. All around me I heard people saying, “ahhh” or “ohh.” My first bite was like an oral orgasm and I couldn’t contain a couple of moans. Sooo good.

Bond: *Raising eyebrows.* Perhaps they have peculiar tastes.

Nara: I think a lot of people think that same way about Second Life, or the coming of the 3D web. It’s so strange sounding they can’t imagine how it could possibly be good. Honestly, I thought that before I tried it too. But when I took the chance,I realized this virtual world was a tool to accomplish that original goal, where readers and characters can hang out and interact–a way to take stories into next dimension.

Bond: Se metter au jus, as I like to say, take the chance, try something different, literally means put yourself in the juice of the thing. *Wiggles eyebrows.* “I like getting into the juicy things.

Nara: *Laughing.* You’re in luck, because the pizza is done and ready for tasting. *Holds a slice for Bond to bite.*

Bond: The things women talk me into. *Closes eyes. Takes a bite.*

Nara: He’s moaning.

Bond: Mon Dieux. Mon Dieux. Perfection, mes amis. Absolument, perfection. But then, what could we expect? Whenever you pour yourself into your passions, put yourself into the juice, the results are worth the effort. Try our Passion Pizza or try Passionate Reads Cafe. We’ll look for you there. All you NanoWriMo authors drop by on your break for a chat.
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Lionheart%20Rafiki/170/145/28/?title=Passionate%20Reads%20Cafe

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Dough Ingredients
4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 packets yeast disolved in 1 1/3 cup 85 degree water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt


Tomato Sauce

1 large can 16 oz Italian tomatoes crushed
3 ox tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion juice or two spoonfuls grated onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Cheese Sauce

3/4 raw cashews
1/2 cup pimentos
1 tablespoon Tahini
1 cup water
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dill weed

Bake 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Or you can come by the Passionate Reads cafe. Our pizza won’t add to your waistline.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’d like to thank Jonathan Hayward for letting me use his pizza recipe. Jonathan runs the Gordonsville Deli which I have favorited on my Facebook page. Thanks for the great cooking lesson Jonathan.

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Bond is the the fictional chef from Nara Malone’s erotic novel, The Dungeon Gourmet.

You can learn more about Nara at her website.

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