Autumn Harvest Tagine ~ To Catch a Falling Star

So, Starfish, we meet again…

“Is it alive?”

While known internationally for her pearls of wisdom, Sister Madly’s savvy falls short in the Is-The-Beached-Marine-Creature-Alive field of biology. The only way she can tell with any certainty that something is dead is if the creature is missing its head*- and a starfish doesn’t have one of those as far as she can tell. It is one of the many reasons Sister Madly has never pursued a career in the healthcare field.

* Even then, it’s no guarantee- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a testament to that.

It was at the Pacific Coast where Sister Madly & Co. encountered the Starfish who had so fearlessly deviated above the tide line. Much like Sister Madly herself, the creature lacked the perfection found in the Starfishes of souvenir shops and more like it had been constructed with an Etch-A-Sketch- in fact, it was almost identical to the poor creature she heartlessly dissected in biology class back in the day. The only thing learned that semester was that a box cutter is no match against the armor of this whimsical echinoderm.*

* That, and her teacher believed that ancient dinosaurs still existed and roamed about the ‘jungles of Brazil.’

Now consider this, Sister Madly: what if this beached Star-Creature is the vengeful spirit of the Dissected Starfish of Yesteryear? At the very least, it was plotting to put a custard pie in your face- everybody knows that Starfishes have an affinity for Custard Pie Retribution, especially in the afterlife. Had your biology teacher graduated from an accredited college, he would have learned of the karma that follows the dissection of a Starfish and passed that info onto his students.*

* He would have also learned that the T-Rex no longer roams about the ‘jungles of Brazil.’

It is also well-known amongst marine biologists that the final wish of every Starfish is to lie in repose on a shelf in Tallulah’s sunroom. After a lengthy interrogation, it was determined that the Starfish was probably dead- and if not, he should have spoken up- thus steps were taken to see this final wish fulfilled, which began by preserving the creature in alcohol.

It was a marvelous idea, really, as a drunk Starfish would be less likely to haunt Sister Madly effectively and put a Custard Pie in her face. Perhaps they could share a couple of pints and sing a few pub songs, and bond over their shared distaste for Biology. They would go onto win the World Tiddlywinks Tournament, frolic hand-in-fishy-appendage throughout Southeast Asia, then settle down and start a fabulous punk band- Sister Madly and the Starfish. Sister Madly would play the doorbell, of course,* and win a Grammy for doing so.

* She’s also rather talented with the smoke alarm- without even using her hands!

Indeed, it could have been a most beautiful friendship, had Tallulah not soused the Starfish with buckets of isopropyl alcohol instead of the delightful Nice & Naughty Cider that Sister Madly requested. How did she expect Sister Madly to bond with her new Spectral Fishy Friend over the same stuff ne’er-do-wells use to deodorize their shoes? Tallulah just doesn’t understand!

So in order to make amends, Sister Madly extended him an invitation to her annual Dumb Supper this upcoming October. Tallulah won’t be there, but Sister Madly will allow her to make cookies.


1.) Leonard Cohen
2.) Vincent Price
3.) Starfish
4.) David Bowie


  • 2 sweet onions, sliced
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 TBSP ginger, grated
  • 1-2 chilies, diced
  • sweet potato ~ OR ~ butternut squash, cubed
  • carrots, chopped
  • parsnips, cored and chopped
  • pearl onions, peeled
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 lg pinch saffron, ground
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Oil, for sautéing

Add sliced onions to hot oil, stirring to coat
Lower heat, stirring occasionally until onions are caramelized (30-45 min)
Add ginger, garlic, and chilies; sauté 5-8 min
Add spices; sauté 30 sec
Add broth and vegetables; bring to a boil
Reduce heat; simmer until veggies are tender; 30-45 min
Remove bay leaves and star anise before serving

THEME SONG: Starman, David Bowie

14 responses

  1. I wouldn’t worry about the haunting, from either the vivisection or the inebriation – after all, a legless starfish is no starfish at all, however it achieved that state.

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2019 at 10:19 AM

    • True- no appendages, no longer a star… but then, it would just be a torso, and it would be most unfortunate to be haunted by a starfish torso.


      March 7, 2019 at 1:35 PM

  2. This recipe sounds quote good…. mmmm.. do you have to be dead to come to this Dumb Supper party… just wondering for a friend… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    March 7, 2019 at 1:21 PM

    • To attend a Dumb Supper, one must either be completely silent or dead… does your ‘friend’ meet either of these requirements?


      March 7, 2019 at 1:37 PM

  3. Since I never saw a live starfish as a child, I always thought they were magical creatures. I also thought that about seahorses, which I saw only in pictures

    Liked by 1 person

    March 17, 2019 at 5:51 AM

    • Seahorses are rather magical still…

      I wonder if, in the aquatic world, there is a mythical sea-unicorn… I want that to happen!


      March 17, 2019 at 10:40 AM

  4. locksley2010

    At least it didn’t attach itself to your face and use your body to wreak havoc and take its revenge upon humanity….. or did it. Sorry, been away for a while, hope all is well!

    Liked by 1 person

    April 23, 2019 at 8:03 AM

    • That wasn’t the starfish- that was the cider!

      I’ve been doing well- how about you? Miss seeing you around.


      April 23, 2019 at 1:11 PM

      • locksley2010

        That’s a poor excuse, dear Moppet, and we all know it….. cider liberates the body into what it really wants. 😂😂
        Good, I’m glad you have! I see you write about The Professor, is he a suitor? Do I need to question him for you?
        Thank you, I have missed you too.
        I’ve been doing life stuff, divorcing, filming and in the middle of moving house with my love. I shall be back on the blogs, yes I shall! Ps, I’ve replaced the JD with Makers Mark in the sock drawer if that appeals….. 🤫

        Liked by 1 person

        April 23, 2019 at 2:30 PM

        • No, he’s not a suitor. Nor an enemy- more like my foil.

          I like that you call her ‘my love’ -Makes me happy, and happy for you. ;c)

          Might want to warn her about the sock drawer, though, just in case…

          Liked by 1 person

          April 24, 2019 at 1:05 PM

        • locksley2010

          Ah, very good, although I was fully prepared to be happy for you too.

          Thank you, she’ll like that when I tell her. 😀

          Good idea!

          Liked by 1 person

          April 24, 2019 at 1:50 PM

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