A week of organising and a duck rice - how to be more effective and waste less, be it food or time

Friday, and we come to the end of a busy, busy week. I've been all over the place with a scattered brain, brimming with ideas, plans, schedules and timetables. It doesn't even sound like me, I'm starting to worry an alien has taken hold of my body and simply replaced me with one who is - mildly - organised and on top of things. I've even been jotting down on a notebook a few scheduled tasks of promotion for my books! Who am I, right?

But the truth is I need to be on top of things, if I want to get my work out there. Not only this blog, and my attempts at improving my styling and photographic skills, but my career as a writer, my work as an author. Being a bit of a control freak, I do tend to want it all falling upon me, but once you're an indie author, truth is it's gonna depend on you and you alone. You have to promote the hell out of your books, besides writing them. You have to come up with pretty images, catchy lines, teasers, snippets, ads, whatever you can in order to get those novels out there, in the public eye. And then you hope and pray someone will be intrigued and want to purchase and want to read.

So this past week, that is what I did. After finishing writing my novella "BLOOD", which comes out early March, I sat here and started devising a plan. Promoting this upcoming novella, arranging for Easter promos for my series, along with the novella and my mystery novel, constructing teasers and banners and ads, making up a detailed date plan in my head, choosing days for the promos, arranging images and choosing snippets from the novels, getting it all down on paper so I wouldn't forget a single detail. And boy, was this tiresome! It's friday and I'm knackered, my brain's knackered. To top it all off, I came across some old writings from twenty - and more - years ago and decided to go through them and salvage the best, so I can put together a short story collection I can publish come Summer. All this while attemptig to write an Arthurian series...

Cooking, styling and photographing have also been on the menu, whenever I can force my brain into thinking up a good dish. I have been relying more and more on old staples and easy to cook every day meal, because I haven't had much time, but I do end up having this or that idea I believe will work out fine, and these tend to make it to the blog. Like my philosophy of zero waste. Ok, so it's not zero waste, there'll be some, of course, but I do try to make do with what I have and use every bit and piece that is edible or usable. I often say we buy poultry whole and cut it at home. Ducks, for instance, we buy the whole bird and use every bit. Even the carcasses. This is what we do with them, we freeze a couple and then broil them on the pressure cooker, take off all the meat from the bone, and cook what I believe to be a staple of portuguese cuisine, the duck rice. My son loves duck rice, so once in a while we do indulge and get this on the table. With the least waste pssible.

How do we do it? Here:
  • 2 duck carcasses, broiled and meat taken off the bones
  • 1 chouriço
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups of rice
  • 3 cups of duck stock - use the water you broiled the carcass in
  • a glug of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • chives, salt, pepper to taste
After cooking and de-boning the duck carcasses, cook the rice in the stock until it's done. Thinly slice the onion, half the chouriço and the garlic, gently stir fry all in a glug of olive oil. Add the duck, the turmeric, chives, pepper and the salt if it still needs, and let it fry for 3 to 5 minutes, then mix it all with the rice. Pour onto an oven dish, cover with slices of the remaining chouriço and bake in the oven at 190º fan on, until the top is crispy and golden. I like to serve this dish in Spring with a good salad on the side, but it's also a delight to have it in Winter with a side dish of stir fried turnip greens or spinach. I hope you enjoy!


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  5. Wow! Good for you! You've done so much ground work for your next book, and clarified even more what it is you want. Cheering for you!

  6. I love how you've got such a clear plan and focus for how to make the launch work. I am delighted for you. And also how productive you've been. I'm in awe. Social media can be so distracting and hence getting real actual work done is amazing!
    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
    Hugs, K

    1. Oh, thank you for your support! I have been working really hard on this new book, let's see how it fares!


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