A Tip Top Cup of Darjeeling

I had a fantastic cup of tea last night at a little place in Park Slope (Brooklyn, NYC), the Connecticut Muffin. It was the kind of tea experience you simply have to rave about, so I am.

I chose Darjeeling, something I usually enjoy, but this was especially good. First I must stipulate it came in a tall paper cup with milk. I would have preferred a large ceramic mug, but there you have it.

It had this elongated tea bag (about four inches long) made entirely out of tea bag material. No string. No tag. I just took the top end of the tea bag cloth and dunked (I’m a dunker) until I got the light colored, aromatic liquor I so enjoy. Of course you can just let it steep.

Along with this I had a slice of maple loaf (a bread-like cake, or a cake-like bread). It was topped with a maple syrup glaze and went really well with the tea. My husband had an old fashioned cream scone (a dollop of cream is cut into the flour with the butter before it’s baked) and he had coffee (the traitor).

I’m licking my lips just writing about it. Was if good? Yes!

"Julie and Julia," Gave Me A Boost

I usually don’t write movie reviews, and I’m not even sure this is a review … but if you want to laugh and feel alive go see Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie and Julia, now playing in theatres.
The Julia scenes simply sizzle. Well, what did I expect? Meryl Streep is a superb actress and she’s portraying Julia Child who was larger than life.
What I loved is that the Julia scenes exuded life, positivity, and were invigorating. I wanted to say out loud, “Yeah, why not take life on?”
It’s PG-13, but I saw a dad come out with his preteen daughter and she was all excited about the process went through to publish her first cookbook. This young girl was excited about Julia Child’s stick-to-itiveness. Talk about keeping your chin up when facing rejection after rejection.
The Julie scenes were a little sniveling by comparison. But then Julia was part of a generation that was strong and plucky and Julie (and you and I) are part of a self-centered whiny generation.
All I can say is that when I left the movie about an hour ago, I wanted to cook, I wanted to eat, I wanted to laugh … what I did was come home and write this.

What’s On Your Essential Fiction Booklist?

You’re being forced to leave your home. Hurricane. Tornado. Tsunami! Whatever. You can only pack what you can fit in your car. Hubby and the kids (even the one who was moody all day yesterday and said at dinner your food stunk … the kid didn’t know how close she came), and Fido and Kitty. Emergency stuff like a first-aid kit, a few warm blankets, portable radio, and batteries.

Your little one is crying. Ok, she can take her plus purple Barney toy. We are taking essentials here. And, of course you’re taking the family Bible. So, don’t put it on your list. It’s not fiction anyway, but the Word of God.

Your preteen (yep, the snarly one) has got her Hanna Montana pillow. And Hubby’s taking twelve old issues of Sports Illustrated he says are practically antiques and in all probability worth something. You’re being extremely gracious not pointing out two of them are swimsuit issues.

So, now it’s down to you. What fiction books are you taking? It’s time to make up your essential list. Let’s say you can take only ten, oh make it twelve. After all Hubby took twelve mags. So, which are your top twelve?

Here are mine. Mind, I am a crime fiction nut, so as good as some of the romance and women’s fiction books on my shelves are, they won’t make my list. And natch, most of mine are Christian fiction.

1. Try Dying (Ty Buchanan series) by James Scott Bell
2. The Last Detective (Elvis Cole series) by Robert Crais
3. Comes a Horseman by Robert Liparulo
4. The Last Coyote (Harry Bosch series) by Michael Connelly
5. Allah’s Fire by Chuck Holton and Gayle Roper
6. Hideaway by Hannah Alexander
7. The Watchman (Joe Pike) by Robert Crais
8. The Merrilee Kramer series by Gayle Roper (4 little books, OK, I’m cheating)
9. Bloodwork by Michael Connelly
10. Boo (1st in The Boo series) by Rene Gutteridge
11. Spring Rain (Seaside Seasons series) by Gayle Roper
12. Killing Floor (Jack Reacher Series) Lee Child