April 23rd, 2009

Kneading, Cheap Cookin

Recipe: "Barbecue Beef Cornbread Casserole"

This is what I made for supper tonight, along with home-grown asparagus and a pear-ginger cobbler.

Barbecue Beef Cornbread Casserole

8 whole fresh mushrooms
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/4 cup milk


Preheat oven to 450ºF.

Wash the mushrooms and slice them. Set aside.

Brown the ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up into small pieces with a spatula. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue cooking until they just start to soften.

Spray a pyrex baking dish with cooking oil. Transfer the beef and mushrooms into the baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and 1/4 cup ketchup on top, then mix with the spatula until the filling is coated with the sauce. Press the filling into a flat layer in the bottom of the baking dish.

Into a large mixing bowl, pour the Jiffy corn muffin mix, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Spoon the cornbread batter evenly over the top of the filling.

Put the baking dish in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cornbread is golden brown. Serves 4.


Use whatever mushrooms you have. I had half a carton of button mushrooms this time. The recipe also works with crimini or baby bella mushrooms. It’s okay if they are pre-sliced. You can even used canned mushroom pieces (the small size can) though it’s not quite as tasty.

Use whatever flavor of barbecue sauce you like. I used apple-flavored sauce and it was delicious.

This recipe is flexible in terms of ingredients, and it’s inspired by sloppy joe mix. So you could also add diced vegetables such as onions, peppers, carrots, celery, etc. They should be sautéed until they start to soften, then added to the burger.

Poetry Through the Ages

Poetry Through the Ages is a website that gives a tour of ancient and modern poetry. I was further amused by the opening reference to Enheduanna, a favorite poet of mine who is not well known in this millennium.

Of particular interest is the presentation of uniquely modern forms such as node poetry that require technology to manifest. The site uses SpicyNode programming, and you can sample it to create your own node poems. This might be fun to try with cyberfunded creativity: start wtih the author in the center, and build nodes based on audience interaction.

Poll & Discussion: Prompts and Sponsors

April's Poetry Fishbowl launched a wonderful discussion about gender studies in fantasy. It also inspired me to look back over the records from previous fishbowls. I hadn't been tracking new donors, but I was able to reconstruct that; and I want to start tracking new prompters as well. Cyberfunded creativity works best when the audience keeps growing over time. Mine is doing that, slowly, but I'd like to look for more ways to encourage it. So I'm going to post a poll and see what turns up.

Poll #1388843 Concerning Prompts and Donations

If you have never given a prompt in a Poetry Fishbowl, what are your reasons?

I keep meaning to, but I miss the days.
I'm not very creative; I can't think of anything cool to suggest.
I prefer watching to participating.
Poetry doesn't grab me.
Audience participation doesn't grab me.
The previous topics haven't been my style.
I read your blog for some other reason(s).
Hey, I just got here! Gimme time...
Wha ... Huh ...? You write poetry?
Some other reason(s) I'll explain in a comment.

If you have never made a donation for a Poetry Fishbowl, what are your reasons?

I want to, but I am SOOOO broke.
Other people keep nabbing the poems I'd sponsor before I get to them.
I don't like poetry enough to pay for it.
I like poetry, but you haven't written anything that hooked me yet.
I don't buy things online.
Hey, I just got here! Gimme time...
Wha ... Huh ...? You make money from poetry?
Some other reason(s) I'll explain in a comment.

If you DO participate in the fishbowls, what are your reasons?

I'm a creative person and I enjoy collaborating.
I like supporting creative people and projects.
I like helping someone I know; the personal connection is important.
I love your writing; you're a favorite of mine.
The topics you pick are interesting.
You're willing to write about things *I* get to pick.
I just want to see what happens when I suggest wacky things.
I want to share the resulting poetry with friends/family/my own readers/etc.
Some other reason(s) I'll explain in a comment.

How did you find out about the Poetry Fishbowls?

I was reading your blog before they started, and saw them appear here.
You said something cool on another blog, I followed you here, and there they were.
I read some other piece of writing, tracked down your blog, and there they were.
You mentioned the fishbowls elsewhere and I came to find them.
A friend linked to your blog, I followed, and there they were.
A friend linked to a fishbowl poem or post specifically, and I followed.
I was reading about cyberfunded creativity and found the fishbowls here.
I searched for poetry online and found the fishbowls here.
You just told me; I didn't know about them until now.
Some other reason(s) I'll explain in a comment.

I've also got an open-ended discussion: The big boom this month happened because someone else called for cosponsors to an epic poem on her blog, which pulled in people from her regular audience as well as mine. If I offered perks for attracting new prompters/donors, what kind of perks would interest you? Can you think of ways to attract new prompters/donors?
Fly Free

Pixel-Stained Poem: "The Free Poem"

I just realized that today is International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day. So I wrote this...

The Free Poem

The bard sat beneath
the blue awning of her market stall,
dressed in breeches of blue leather
and a tunic of blue silk.

Beside her sat silver cages
full of brightly colored birds,
singing and reciting poetry.
Now and then, she would put one
into a wicker basket for a shopper,
in exchange for coins or jewels
or, once, a side of venison.

Then the noon bell rang,
and the bard took out a little bird
with golden wings and scarlet face.
She tossed it into the air
and watched it flutter away into the market,
trailing a poem in its wake.

The juggler in the next booth,
who was new,
dropped his balls in surprise.
“What did you do that for?” he said.

The bard laughed.
“Because,” she explained,
“when people see it, they wonder
where they can buy one of their very own!”

Your job, gentle reader, is to help the little birdie fly far far away. If you like this poem, please copy it onto your blog with a pointer back here.

Also, if you are a participating Technopeasant, please link to your own creative freebie in a comment.