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Monday, May 14, 2012

Author Found: Kimberley Griffiths Little

International Reading Association's 57th Annual Convention -
April 29-May 2, 2012

This is the first of my IRA series of "found authors, ideas, and other literacy bits."

One author that I took note of was Young Adult Author - Kimberley Griffiths Little.

Her book, Circle of Secrets is a story of friendship that is set in the Louisiana Bayou.  The book begins:

"The summer I turned eleven, I found out that ghosts were real..."
Check out her books and her website at
A Learning Guide for Circle of Secrets is available with essential questions for each of the 19 chapters, as well as, activities for extension from several curricular areas: animal science, culinary arts, art, botany.  Creating a "blue bottle" to gift as a gift (use as a vase or to put a message in as in the story).
Food and reading go hand in hand and since Little says that "...the perfect Louisiana meal is sausage gumbo and rice, topped up with warm beignets..." I thought we might share a recipe for both. 

KGL's Favorite Sausage Gumbo (Louisiana Style)
  1. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in an 8 quart pot over low heat.
  2. Add 1/4 cup vegetable oil, mix well, and heat for 2 minutes more.
  3.  Gradually stir in 1/2 cup flour, to make a roux.  Cook until the mixture is a medium brown.
  4. Into the Roux stir in:2 cups chopped onion
    2/3 cup chopped green pepper
    1/2 cup chopped scallion tops
    1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  5. Stir into the mixture:
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 lb. cubed ham
    1 lb. Creole or Polish sausage, cut into 1 inch cubes and 1/2 inch sliced
    3 1/2 tsps. salt
    1 1/4 tsps pepper
    1/8 tsp. cayenne
    1/8 tsp. mace
    1 tsp. dried thyme
    3 whole bay leaves, crushed
    2 Tbsps. minced parsley
    1/2 cup oyster liquid
  6. Gradually add in 7 3/4 cups of water.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour.  Stir frequently.
  9. Add oysters - cook for 5 minutes more.
  10. Remove from heat and let the simmer die down and add 2 tablespoons file and mix well. 
  11. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving over boiled rice.
The easiest way to make beignets is to order the beignet mix from Café Du Mondé in New Orleans.

Quoted from the Café du Mondé website:
"Beignets were also brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. These were fried fritters, sometimes filled with fruit. Today, the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. They are served in orders of three."

So put the gumbo on the stove (or in the crock pot), find a cozy spot, open up a book by Kimberley Griffiths Little, and read until dinner time.  Let us know here what you think of:
  1. Any of Kimberley Griffiths Little's books
  2. The Sausage Gumbo
  3. The Beignets -- or if you have a recipe - please share.
Otherwise - happy reading and eating.

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