Monday, June 4, 2018

The Acorn Stories (Acorn, Texas Book 1) - Duane Simolke, Author



Chicken Cashew at Chuck’s China Town
Recipe by Duane Simolke

Ingredients:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, marinated in Teriyaki sauce.
Vegetable oil, just enough to brown the chicken.
Finely diced carrots and onions.
Garlic or garlic powder.
For more spice and a Texas twist, add jalapeno slices or cayenne pepper.
At least 2 ounces of cashews.
Salt and pepper.

Marinate the chicken overnight. Dice it and brown in a frying pan with the carrots, onions, and seasonings. Add more Teriyaki sauce as it cooks. Chicken should be cooked through and tender. Just before it’s all ready, toss with the cashews.
Serve over rice or pasta.

If you don’t have cashews, peanuts work fine.

The Acorn Stories - Review by Martha A. Cheves

My name is Aragon Carsons, and I'm just going to state some facts.  People tell me a little more than they should.  Well, a lot more than they should.  Actually, people tell me way too much.  Or they say too many things where I can hear them, which is just the same as telling me, as far as I'm concerned.  Do they really think I won't share what I heard with anybody?  I mean, stories like these can't just sit on a shelf in somebody's brain.

The more I think about it, the more sure I am that my neighbors want someone to tell their Acorn stories, that they don't want to be just a small part of a small town in a big state in a big country.  People aspire to leave something behind other than babies, a mortgage, and a nasty rumor or two.  And they certainly want someone reliable tell it, like what my grandmother did when she chronicled the early folks of Acorn.  

So maybe I'll serve you up a few slices of Acorn pie.  There are enough words in my kitchens, enough stories in my cupboards - I'd like to work closets into this paragraph, but I certainly wouldn't want to strain a metaphor so early in my narrative - that I could find ingredients for several pies.  But I'll be choosy an pick out some of my favorites.  

And that is exactly what Aragon does in The Acorn Stories

When I was young we lived in a small town outside of Atlanta.  Everyone knew everyone and everyone knew everyone's business.  Way back then we even had what was called 'Party Lines'.  These were phone lines where several houses had the same phone line with each having a different number of rings so you would know when the call was for you or someone else.  But... if you quietly picked up the phone you could listen to all the gossip running around the neighborhood.  This book reminds me of that time.

The residents of Acorn didn't have the party line but they did spread the gossip.  As I read each 'story' I found myself remembering people from my past that would fit perfectly into Acorn.  Even if your town is small, it's large in its problems and these problems seem to become the talk of the town.

I loved this book and the memories it brought back.  So, if you remember the 'Party Lines' you can't help but enjoy this book.  If you are a bit younger than I am but live in a small town, you'll enjoy this book.  And if you're from a large town, read it and enjoy what you have missed out on.

 
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