Good morning, Everyone.
It’s a beautiful day in the Hilton Head Island neighborhood. Ocean, sand, and warmer weather compared to home in the North create a delightful winter. And being close to the grandkids is the extra kiss.
Did you freshen up your coffee? Great! Let’s catch up.
If we were having coffee together, I would apologize for skipping last week’s coffee share. I’m not really sure what created an avalanche of distractions and excuses. I did enjoy last week’s coffee shares, though. If anyone is interested in jumping in, check out Natalie the Explorer. Each Friday, she connects everyone with an Inlinkz button so you can share your post. No pressure, and it’s free!
If we were having coffee together, I would report that riding my bike, a ten-year-old street cruiser, is not really suited for the beach, especially when I’m not paying attention to the tide table and the various firmness of the beach sand. However, Hilton Head Island has a system of bike paths that allows one to get to almost anywhere safely. I went on a seven mile bike hike with my daughter’s family yesterday through Pinckney Island, a National Wildlife Refuge. It made for a beautiful and fun afternoon. Although I enjoyed biking, beach walking remains my preferred escape. This week, I walked along the shore following a small pod of dolphins feeding near the surf. There were two to three days that was fair enough to plant a beach chair in the sand and write for a few hours.
If we were having coffee together, I would say that writing has been a steady slog. I have all the necessary excuses to justify the labor, but truth be told, I’m simply a slow writer. Because my sequel middle-grade historical fiction novel, Sluggers and Singers, requires accurate facts, I get caught up in the research. This week, I found myself lost in the details of women and men hat fashions, which newspapers had fledging sportswriters, and the availability of “safe” milk in New York City, circa 1911.
If we were having coffee together, I would excitedly tell you that I took part in a Writers Workshop via Zoom. I joined a local group, the Island Writers Network (IWN). It is composed of a multitude of talented wordsmiths. I learned new things, participated, and felt a wonderful connection. It was a terrific session.
Did you see the latest video trailer? Becoming America’s Food Stories has a video trailer. Great BIG HUGS and THANKS go out to Stephanie Larkin and her incredible team at Red Penguin Books for their hard work and talents. In case you missed it, Daily Bread’s video trailer is also available for viewing.
If we were having coffee together, I would mention that I participated in a Zoom cooking class. Local Chef Josh Costillo from the incredibly excellent restaurant Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte demonstrated preparing Flounder Meunire. Matt and I had eaten at this restaurant a couple of times last year back when you could sit and enjoy the atmosphere and experience of dining. Like most eateries, this restaurant has been trying out different options to keep customers engaged during the COVID crisis. The cooking class was a spectacular idea! I enjoyed watching the chef’s techniques and tips, asking questions, and listening to feedback. As a bonus, Charlie’s sommelier, Margaret Pearman, shared her wine knowledge and expertise in pairing wines. I cooked Flounder Meunire for Friday night dinner with my daughter and son-in-law. I also made the suggested accompaniments, potatoes au gratin (a big hit) and roasted peppers and onions. The kids enjoyed ketchup with their fish sticks (developing a palate takes time).
If we were having coffee together, I would ask, did you watched the inauguration. I was so relieved it all went well without any incidents. It was a day of historic firsts that will mark this time. The poet, Amanda Gorman, inspired, and President Biden and Vice President Harris spoke of hope and promised sound leadership. I am encouraged.
That’s it, Everyone.
Be well. Be safe. Be smart.
Have a good week. Make it Funtastic.
Take a picture of you with Daily Bread and/or Becoming America’s Food Stories, and I’ll send you Reader’s Swag and add you to the Becoming America’s Stories Readers slideshow, coming soon! Kid pics are welcomed with parent or guardian permission. Don’t forget to leave a rating and quick comment on Amazon and/or Goodreads.
Daily Bread is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself.
Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
“If you don’t cook with love, you have to get out of the kitchen.” Florence Messina