Strands of Thought

Musings and Random Words from Kai Strand-Mostly About Writing for Children

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when Kraft mimics craft
Window shot

I’m a writer. Therefore you shouldn’t be too shocked to hear that my family ran out of milk. Since I neglected to get milk prior to us running out daughter’s face crumpled when she realized dry cereal was for breakfast. Thank goodness for husbands! He made her eggs.  At 7 am the kids skipped off to school and the significant strolled into the sunrise toward work and I sat down to write. At 4:50 pm I looked around and the kids were chewing on the kitchen table.  “Wow, you’re home already?” I asked. Then because I’m occasionally a good mom, I said, “Daughter, your brother will need those fingers at school tomorrow. Maybe I’ll start dinner.” 


I opened the refrigerator and said, “Crap!” Yep, still empty.  “I’ll make a concoction!”

No2Son (who will eat anything) said, “Yay!”


I sang a little working song and gathered the forest animals around me. Browned some ground beef, sprinkled in fancy spices, chopped the tomatoes (straight from the garden – thank goodness for the garden!), threw some refried beans in with the beef, shredded cheese and then got out the baking mix, the eggs and, “Crap!” still no milk. 


So I did what EVERYBODY reading this has done. I opened the fridge and stared at it again.  We all know that if we stand there and stare long enough, either a fly will get in, or we will find a solution—and I did.


Redi Whip.


The very last of it.  I sprayed it into the measuring cup. The splooshy sound got No2Son’s attention and he strolled over to see what I was doing. His eyebrows arched and he said, “Yay!” I added water, stirred and suddenly I had a milk-like substance to add to my baking mix.


I poured the batter into a baking dish and cooked it for about 10 minutes before sprinkling on ¾ of the cheese and adding the meat and bean mixture. I cooked all that together for an additional 20 minutes before shaking the chopped tomatoes over the pan and sprinkling the rest of the cheese on top.  Another 10-ish minutes and it was ready. And it was a hit.  Best part…I made it up.   

  • I took ingredients I’d used before
  • Put them together with stuff that usually didn’t belong. 
  • I checked its progress.
  • Mixed it up when it didn’t seem right. 
  • Let it bake.
All the flavors melded together to create a completely new dish.


Oh my, sounds like I created a novel, doesn’t it?


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