Daily Diversion #96: Playing Hooky

I have so  much writing and editing to do this weekend. My to-do list numbers in the dozens. Before I get the productivity ball rolling, I need to unwind. Today, this means Margaritas and silliness with my best friend. Check this space tomorrow for normal posts. Until then, I am unwinding.

Parrot on the shoulder

Parrot on the shoulder, and one of my favourite wordsmiths on my chest.

“Make your interactions with people transformational, not just transactional.”-Patti Smith

Margaritas

Margaritas

Here’s a Synopsis of Our Burns Night Supper and the Recipe for My Vanilla-Blueberry-Bacon Cupcakes, with Mouthwatering Photos

Our 2013 Burns Night Supper was a rousing success. It was a great reminder of what a wonderful, loyal, hilarious group of friends we have. The Chef and I spent months assembling every piece of the puzzle: the menu, music, guest list, drinks, poetry, toasts. Finally, on 25th January, everything locked into place: we had an amazing time. Once our friends started arriving, I more or less put my camera down for the night. Good photos are in short supply, but I plan on posting a video of the winning toast soon. To make up for lack of photographic evidence that the party, indeed, took place, I have decided to share my famous cupcake recipe. These cupcakes are, to be honest if a bit immodest, scrumptious. After concocting this dessert, I spent 2+ years refining the method and ingredients. Now you, dear readers, can benefit from my diligence. A few words of warning, however: one taste, and your friends and family will pounce on your cupcakes like a pack of wild beasties, leaving behind nothing but shreds of cupcake liners, pools of drool, and their dignity. The Burns Night revelers would tell you as much

VANILLA-BLUEBERRY-BACON CUPCAKES WITH CARAMEL ICING AND BLUEBERRY COMPOTE* (Makes 24 cupcakes)

Fear not: although this recipe is comprised of three components, with each one made entirely from scratch, it is easy. Trust me. Because of setting time, we’re going to cook backwards and assemble forwards. Continue reading

Daily Diversion #84: Charming Gardeners

I was sick for two weeks. After a couple of days of gingerly poking my head out of the gopher hole to check on the state of the real world (was it as I remembered, or had it been transformed into an alien other?), my best friend yanked me into the sunshine of this beautiful, sunshiny January day. We were, for a few glorious hours, carefree Ladies Who Lunch. And shop. And laugh. It was blissful. Here’s Nikki, looking lovely.

The drinks are not as large as they seem.

The drinks were not as large as they seem.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”-Marcel Proust

Freshly Pressed: This Awesome Thing Happened Yesterday Whilst I Was Celebrating My Anniversary

Thanks to the lovely Madame Weebles, my post about Frank was Freshly Pressed yesterday. What a wonderful anniversary gift! I’m chuffed that so many readers, new and old, have taken so wholeheartedly to my dear buddy. It is truly touching that a bit of his unique spirit has touched you, too. Since I was off gallivanting about town with The Chef on Tuesday, I am only now starting to read and respond to all of your lovely, thoughtful comments. The WordPress community is stellar, and I cannot imagine hosting my blog anywhere else.

[Intermezzo] Wherein I Offer You a Few Disjointed but Heartfelt Memories of My Dead Friend Frank on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Dear World,

Frank died at 87 1/2 years old. Picture this: When he was a tow-headed little boy, just a toddler, his parents dressed him in short pants and a striped shirt and posed him on the hood of the family Model T, grinning. Feisty. He was named after a prominent ancestor, Benjamin Franklin, and they shared more than a name: both were brilliant, larger-than-life, charismatic. Actually, he came from a long line of characters: a grandfather who died, in his 90s, as the result of a bar fight, a father who was an early aviator. That family bred their men big, bold, and memorable. Frank, my Frank, my friend, came of age during the Great Depression. He had an older brother, equally brilliant; when it came time for Frank to attend college in ’37 or ’38, there was no money left. None. His brother had the degree that Frank would never get. He didn’t sweat it, moved on with life. Somewhere along the way he met a beautiful lady and they got married. Everything changed on 7 December 1941. Continue reading