Evelyn Chartres Author

Comparing the Grand’s Revisions

When I wrote the Grand, I made sure to collect statistics on changes and kept a copy of revisions. This enabled me to measure my progress and gauge how things were moving along. I detailed this process before under the post titled Spiral Development for the Literary World.

There was one element I never explored at the time and that was comparing the earliest revision available against the newest. In the back of my mind, I half-expected it show me a document filled with corrections and would find very little original text remaining. What I found was pretty much exactly as I imagined.

To find the ideal candidate, I looked through the amount of changes made per revision and originally found that the Van Helsing Paradox had the highest number. Not a revelation per sey, considering it is also my largest chapter.

Instead, I compared total revisions made against the amount of words and discovered that the Man and the Sea had highest percentage of corrections over it’s lifetime. Since this chapter is also one of the shortest, it also allowed me to show visually how the bulk of the chapter was altered.

For those curious here is a list of the number of changes based on revision:

  • Revision 2 – 62
  • Revision 3 – 30
  • Revision 4 – 17
  • Revision 5 – 12
  • Revision 6 – 4
  • Revision 7 – 3
  • Revision 8 – 2
  • Revision 9 – 1
  • Revision 10 – 3
  • Revision 11 – 2
  • Revision 12 – 1
  • Revision 13 – 1
  • Revision 14 – 1

Overall I found it humbling and fascinating. It allowed me to see how dramatic 12 revisions could be when compared directly!

Pilaf-Stuffed Pork Loin

A tasty pork loin, which vaguely resembles a jelly roll when complete. Combines onions, garlic, rice, marmalade, and salt to create an interesting meal!

I normally serve this meal with a hunter sauce and mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of butter
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of fine chopped onions
  • 2 cloves (5-10 mg) of garlic pressed
  • 2 cups (470 ml) of chicken broth
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of uncooked rice
  • ½ cup (120 ml) of thin sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of celery salt
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of thyme leaves (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of pepper
  • 2 pounds (900 g) of pork loin
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil

Preparation

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, cook until onion is transparent.
  2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand until liquid absorbed.
  4. Roast almonds, then chop into small pieces. Mix with marmalade, celery salt, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of thyme, salt, pepper and rice.
  5. Pre-heat oven to  325°F (170°C).
  6. Butterfly roast and flatten. Cover roast with rice mix then roll the roast.  Use butcher string to tie up the roast. Should resemble a jelly roll when complete. Discard any remaining rice mixture.
  7. Place roast on a rack, brush with olive oil and cover with remaining thyme.
  8. Place in oven for 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 170°F (77°C).
  9. Carve roast into slices and served with a hunter sauce.

A Tour on Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine

I had the opportunity to land on les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, Canada.  The Magdalen Islands are small chain of islands located north of Prince Edward Island, Canada in the Saint Lawrence Gulf. While my stay was relatively short, I did visit a few museums, smoke house and a cheese maker.

The island is sparsely populated, offers beautiful landscapes, beaches, sea-side views and wind. I posted the above pictures in the hopes that it would inspire someone!

Cheese and Tourtiere Stuffed Pierogies

This is an amalgamation of dishes from different cultures. This recipe combines tourtières which is typically French Canadian and pierogies which are of Eastern European origin. What you end up with a bite-sized cheesy meat pie served as a main meal or as a side in large family gatherings.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (470 ml) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ⅔ cup of ice-cold water
  • 1 cup (235 ml) of tourtiere meat
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation

  1. In a medium-sized bowl mix first four ingredients. Knead the dough, adding flour as necessary until dough can be handled.
  2. On a floured surface, place dough, flatten and cut into 4 inch (10 cm) diameter circles.
  3. On each piece add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of cheddar and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of tourtiere meat. Fold in half and pinch edges to seal in contents.
  4. In a well-oiled pan fry on medium until pierogies are golden brown.
  5. Makes roughly 16 perogies in all. Serve with fried onions, shredded cheese and sour cream.

French Onion Marinade

A tasty way to prepare chicken by marinating the meat in onions, garlic, beef broth and balsamic vinegar. This dish is typically grilled, cut into tender bite-sized pieces of chicken. This is certainly a family favourite!

Chicken and marinade can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. I use this when going out to a cabin for the week, permitting me to quickly get a meal ready once I get there.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of finely chopped onions
  • 2 cloves (5-10 mg) of garlic pressed
  • 4 teaspoons (20 ml) of powdered beef broth
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) of water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound (450 g) of chicken breasts

Preparation

  1. In a freezer bag, add all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Use a straw take out any excess air then seal bag.
  3. Place in the fridge for at least three (3) hours or overnight.  Mix contents of bag occasionally.
  4. Grill chicken, dabbing with marinade occasionally, until meat is cooked throughout.
  5. Cut up chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Ready to serve.