GINNA PARSONS: Mystics mix recipes with good writing



The Mystic Order of East Alabama Fiction Writers will be making two appearances in Northeast Mississippi next week.

The Mystics are six women as alike as they are diverse, who meet monthly to share food, friendship and fiction writing. They recently published a book – part recipes, part short stories, part poetry, part artwork – called “The Ploy of Cooking.”

The day I received the book, I flipped to a random page and began reading. I was sobbing before I had made it through five paragraphs. Likewise, another entry made me laugh so hard I drew stares from co-workers.

Gail Langley, Marian Carcache, Margee Bright Ragland, Mary Dansak, Joanne Camp and Judith Nunn will be sharing these stories and more when they visit two libraries for lunch programs: the Bryan Public Library in West Point on March 12 and the Pontotoc County Library on March 13.

Here’s a recipe from a story in Marian’s part of the book, called “Sir Loin: A Story for Ruby.” Miss Ruby, who wears a velvet turban, is a psychiatric patient who has amassed a collection of make-believe suitors she calls her “Sirs.”

Sir Loin: Beef Stroganoff

11⁄2 pounds sirloin steak, about 1⁄2-inch thick

21⁄2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 medium onions, sliced thinly

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1⁄2 stick butter

11⁄2 cups beef or vegetable broth, divided

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

11⁄2 cups sour cream

3 cups egg noodles, cooked

Slice sirloin into strips, cutting against the grain.

Sauté mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter until onions are tender. Remove from skillet. Brown sirloin in same skillet. Stir in 1 cup broth, salt and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir remaining 1⁄2 cup broth into flour, then add to beef mixture. Add onion mixture to beef mixture and heat to boiling while stirring for about 1 minute. Add sour cream and heat until hot, but do not boil. Arrange “Sirs” around dining room table. Light candles. Serve stroganoff over hot noodles, preferably while wearing a turban.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

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