Uncle Phineas and His Favorite Fruit

Recipe included.

It’s been a busy week for Uncle Phineas, one of the antagonists in EEL’S REVERENCE. He was interviewed at Killer Characters and at The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn. It has set him even higher in his own opinion–he is most pleased.

Uncle Phineas’ favorite fruit is tangerine. He ate one with great satisfaction in this scene, in which he, Uncle Gregory and Aunt Isabella are dining with the merchant Theofric and true priest Aunt Libby.

Uncle Phineas showed his bone-white teeth in one of his hideous grins. He sectioned a tangerine as if it were a troublesome but manageable antagonist, popped a wedge into his maw, and chewed with deliberate enjoyment.

Somebody once told me that mandarin oranges were tangerines, and I believed her. Some sources agree with her. Other sources say that mandarin oranges are similar to tangerines, Clementines and satsumas, but are a separate species. One of my favorite salads is a mandarin orange salad, which is actually a lettuce salad with mandarin orange segments in it. It also has green onions and sugared almonds, and a lovely combination it is, too.

Mandarin Orange Salad

Prepare topping first (takes time to cool)

* 2 packages (or 2/3 cup) sliced almonds
* 6 Tbs sugar

At low heat, becoming gradually warmer, place nuts and sugar in non-stick skillet. Stir gently with plastic or rubber spatula until all sugar has crystallized on nuts, and they become light golden color. Place these on aluminum foil, wrap, and place in refrigerator. They will crumble apart easily to be layered on top of salad. [Note from MA: Hide them well–your husband will snack them all up, if you aren’t careful.]


* 1/2 head lettuce (torn or cut into bite-sized pieces)
* 4 stalks celery, diced
* 4 long green onions cut into ringlets
* 5 sprigs fresh parsley
* 1 large can and 1 small can Mandarin oranges, WELL drained

Dressing [Note from MA: I cut the proportions of the dressing WAY down]
warm slightly so sugar will dissolve–add just before serving, toss salad, then sprinkle almonds on top

* 1/4 cup oil (MA: I use sesame oil)
* 1 Tbs vinegar (MA: I use rice vinegar)
* 2 Tbs sugar (MA: I use Turbinado or raw sugar)
* salt, pepper, oregano to taste

Oh, and I posted to Fatal Foodies yesterday, as I always do on Tuesday, with three not-boring vegan dishes.

WRITING PROMPT: What is your main character’s favorite fruit? Describe him/her preparing and eating it.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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