04 November 2009

Illuminating Random Magic

Today I would like to illuminate Random Magic by Sasha Soren.

Product Description:
"When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes."

"Descriptive and quirky" by Eleni at La Femme Readers

"Cute and quirky" by Michelle at Michelle's Book Blog

"Fun, comical, and quirky" by Kim at And Anything Bookish

"Random" with "magical elements" by Kate at The Neverending Shelf

"A vivid dream" by Elnice at Ellz Readz

"Smart book" by Cat at Beyond Books

But perhaps my very favorite review comes from Aimee over at My Fluttering Heart. Her description is near perfect. She said: "Random Magic might be a bit too quirky for some, but it's a strangely lovable creature. Kind of like that eccentric neighbour three doors down who recites poetry to her flowers, and throws the newspaper back at the postman. AND has about a thousand cats popping out of each nook and cranny around the yard, including the evil spitting one that you have to cross the road in order to avoid on the way to school. But all is forgiven because that same strange neighbour bakes the most delicious cupcakes - and always offers you the biggest one."

My observation: If you dig eccentric don't let this one fall of your radar.

Quoteable: "Henry jumped half-heartedly onto the book on the floor, and was more surprised than anyone when he vanished in a burst of green light. Green? the professor though. Wrong color. He looked down. Henry had leaped into The REALLY BIG Book of Myths and Legends."

For more info:
To purchase Random Magic click here.
To visit Sasha Soren's blog click here.
To visit Random Magic on Goodreads click here.
To visit Random Magic on Shelfari click here.
To visit Random Magic on Twitter click here.
To see the Random Magic tour schedule click here.
For a writing sample of Random Magic click here.

Watch the trailer:

Midnight Tea, ala Random Magic by Sasha Soren

In the prologue of Random Magic, Lady Witherspoon calls for a charming midnight tea, to cope with some distressing news.

Here we’ve presented a sample menu you can make at home, if you’d like to read along and also enjoy a spot of midnight tea.

This should serve between 1-4 people – yourself and your lovely guests. Or, you could just have all the cucumber sandwiches gloriously to yourself. We won’t blame you.

Savory menu:
  • Tuna, salmon, egg open-face sandwiches
  • Cucumber and watercress sandwiches
  • Cheese and olive-mushroom mini-kebabs
Sweets menu:
  • Brie sandwiches and fruit
  • Blue cheese and pear sandwiches
  • Chocolate-covered strawberries
  • Figs and honey
Selection of teas: Ceylon, Earl Grey, chamomile or mint

What you’ll need: Presentation items
  • Tea pot
  • Attractive plates and serving cups, 1-4
  • Additional serving plates to hold goodies
  • Fresh flowers of your choice for centerpiece
  • Pretty napkins
  • Tea strainer (if you’re using leaf tea, rather than tea bags)
  • Container for cream
  • Container for milk
What you’ll need: Shopping list
  • Three boxes of selected teas.
  • Suggested types of tea: Earl Gray or Ceylon, and perhaps mint or chamomile, for guests who prefer a tisane.
  • Milk, half gallon
  • Cream, liter
  • Two small packages rye, brown bread, pumpernickel, or any artisan bread you prefer
  • One package each: Blue cheese, brie, cheddar or pepperjack
  • One stick of butter
  • One package of cream cheese
  • Two hard-boiled eggs
  • Two cucumbers
  • Radishes (2-5)
  • One can caviar
  • One can tuna or salmon
  • One small red, yellow or green pepper
  • Handful of shelled walnuts
  • One bottle of capers
  • One or two Granny Smith apples
  • Pint of strawberries
  • Half bar baking chocolate
  • Two oranges
  • One crunchy pear
  • Two kiwi fruits
  • One bunch each green, red, blue grapes (Concord grapes)
  • One bunch fresh figs
  • Small jar of honey
  • One bunch watercress
  • One bunch scallions
  • One bunch parsley
  • One bunch dill
  • One jar marinated mushrooms and/or olives
  • Two lemons, one lime
  • Toothpicks
  • Sheet of wax paper
How to make everything: General preparation
  • Wash all produce thoroughly.
  • Peel all vegetables and all fruits except strawberries, then slice thinly, put aside.
  • Peel and slice egg into thin slices, put aside.
  • Select suitable breads for savory or sweet sandwiches.
  • Cube all cheeses into small cubes. Slice the Brie into thin slices.
  • Cut bread into nibble-size slices, put aside.
How to make everything: Mixing
  • Mix tuna or salmon with a dollop of mayonnaise and a pinch of fresh dill. Shred or mince half of Granny Smith apple, add. Mix. Put aside.
  • Mix 3/4 stick of cream cheese with chopped scallions and twist or two of black pepper, squeeze in a twist of lemon or lime (optional). Put aside.
  • Mix quarter stick cream cheese with several crumbs of blue cheese, mix until smooth. Put aside.
How to make everything: Putting the menu together.

Sandwiches:
Spread cream cheese mixture thinly on several slices of bread. Arrange radish slices and spring of parsley on top. Arrange slice of egg on top, garnished with slices of mushroom or olive. Lastly, arrange watercress and thin cucumber slices on last few slices, can be accented with a sprig of dill or parsley (optional).

Spread butter thinly in several slices of bread. Top with caviar.

Spread blue cheese-cream cheese mixture thinly on several slices of
bread. Arrange pear slices on top, garnish with walnuts.

Add slice of Brie cheese to slices of bread, top with slice of kiwi
and orange segment, place selection of grapes alongside on serving
plate.

Spread tuna or salmon on slices of bread, garnish with capers, slices
olives or thin slices of pepper.

Mini-kebabs:
On a toothpick, thread a cube of cheese, then an olive or mushroom,
then another cube of cheese, until finished. For a fruit kebab, use
slices of apple in between.

Strawberries:
Melt your chocolate slowly in pan, add to bowl. Working quickly, grab each strawberry by the stem and dip or roll into the chocolate until the bottom half is coated. Put strawberries on sheet of wax paper to cool. To serve, remove from wax paper and arrange nicely on serving dish.

Figs and honey:
Wash and cut figs in half. Arrange on serving plate, drizzle honey over plate. Microwave for 10-15 seconds. Serve warm, but be careful of heated plate.

How to make everything: Preparing for display

Arrange all the savory items on pretty dishes. Garnish with
mini-kebabs, slices of lemon or orange, parsley. Include bunches of
grapes with cheese sandwiches and Brie.

Heat the teapot and water for the tea, pop in one teabag or one
heaping tablespoon for each cup of tea needed. Drain the tea if loose
leaves are used, or let teabags steep, then remove and discard.

Arrange the table – fresh flowers, nice napkins, place setting for each person.

Make a fresh pot of tea as necessary. Be sure guests have access to
milk, cream honey, sugar or slices of lemon, fresh plates, etc.

Apart from that, just savor the company and the food – and the offbeat fun of a midnight tea party.

Bon appétit!

17 comments :

  1. SPARKLEFARKLE'S SHOPPING LIST:

    Midnight Tea
    Midnight Tea feastibles
    Two copies of Random Magic

    Thank you for planting such a wonderful event seed! My daughter Puppet and I both suffer from insomia, but tonight we will look forward to it!

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  2. How cool, JuJu! Thanks girl! I'll have to try this menu :)

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  3. I'm just curious why Nicole Kidman's face is on the cover - that is just distracting and sort of put me off & makes me not want to read it..think I'll wait for a revised edition with a different cover

    I like the idea of midnight tea...

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  4. Thanks SO much for planting all those recipes in my head... now I have to go grocery shopping and explain to Joe why I ended up with all the ingredients for midnight tea... and no milk.

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  5. Juju, that was so much fun. I love the quote from Aimee too.

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  6. Thank you NotNessie for always making me laugh. You're so witty. :)

    Lissa: I'm not sure. Good question though :)

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  7. What a wonderful post. I love that you included the Midnight Tea menu - that is very unique.

    It would appear that the cover model looking like Nicole Kidman has become somewhat of a theme. Sasha says it was brought to her attention too late to do anything about it.

    I would hate for someone to miss out on reading this great book because the book cover is a distraction - believe me, once you get hooked on the story the book cover is no longer distracting.

    M

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  8. Excellent point Michelle! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  9. lol, really fun! and now hungry hehe.

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  10. I've been seeing this book pop up on a few different blogs. I always think that the cover looks like Nicole Kidman haha. It sounds interesting, and I can't say no to a book that's like a crazy cat lady who bakes haha. I'll add this one to my list

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  11. Wow Juju. Awesome post. You certainly packed a punch!

    The Nicole Kidman thing...seriously, has anyone ever asked the author about the resemblance. It is not just a slight one. Is this one of the elephants in the room that we aren't supposed to talk about?

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  12. Thanks Alyssa :D

    Michelle from Michelle's Book Blog said: "Sasha says it was brought to her attention too late to do anything about it."

    Thanks Jess :)

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  13. Sasha is so sweet -- such a nice person! I will read this book once I catch up on my other obligations.

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  14. Would you be interested in participating in Bookie Brunch on Sept 25th? Sasha Soren created this lovely new way for bloggers to chat about books and I will be hosting the Brunch on my blog that day... if you are intersted in being a guest... please email me at snowdropdreams(at)gmail.com

    I loved your post here and though you might have some great insight for the topic we will be discussing that day. Cheers!

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