Posted: 12:13 pm Thursday, January 4th, 2018
By Staff Writer
Words, which usually come so easily to me, are difficult these days.
More precisely, jovial, uplifting, “don’t worry, be happy” words, come less freely in a state of grief, but it doesn’t mean they are not there, it just means they are slower to rise to the surface.
So instead of me trying to wrap up 2017 and launch 2018, I’m going to give you my niece, Charisa’s, Instagram post. It’s the voice of youth, of love, of hope, of unbridled optimism for the future:
You were fast.
You were kind.
You showed me how to stop saying yes, when I didn’t mean it – and how to say no, without explanations.
You brought blessings that taught me humble gratitude.
You brought sorrows that are leading me to God in the dark corners.
You brought new friendships and you grew old relationships.
You had grit & sparkle & heart & a lot of elbow grease.
We surprised each other right up until the very end.
I hope 2018 is even a little bit like you.”
My gracious, how I love this girl!
Firefly Cove | January Book Club
We’ve rung in the New Year, and I stayed up until midnight “just for fun.” Last week I was up waaaay past the clock striking twelve but it was because there were so many things to be done; pies and cookies to bake, gifts to be wrapped, and last minute footed pajamas to be found and rush ordered…
And between these weeks? There were books to read! Glorious, lose yourself in the story, make the world go away, introduce me to new and wonderful characters, books!
Among my favorites, and the one I chose for Delilah’s January Book Club, is Firefly Cove by Davis Bunn. In it, we go back to Miramar Bay, the setting of Bunn’s previous novel (If you haven’t read it, pick up BOTH books!) and we get to know Lucius Quarterfield.
Lucius, you see, was born dying. The poor babe wasn’t expected to make it long because of his “bad ticker.” Perhaps it was because he knew he had to cram a whole lifetime in whatever time he had, but Lucius was a determined kid, who became a focused teen, who turned into a successful entrepreneur with 11 car-dealerships to his name at the ripe “old” age of 28…
Alas, it seems as though the end really IS in sight and however many minutes, days, weeks or whatever Lucius has left, he’s determined to spend it near the only person who has ever really captivated his weak, irregular, imperfect heart; Jessica.
“A novel rich with rediscovery… Readers will be particularly swept away.” ~ Publishers Weekly.
This book is one that will draw you in and have you rooting for love no matter how cynical you’ve become. It’s about first, second, and last chances. It’s about hanging on and letting go.
Happy New Year, my book loving friends. I hope 2018 is filled book after beautiful book. Start it off with Firefly Cove!
Recipes & Resolutions
Yep, that what it seems every new year begins with. Not for me. This year I resolve to KISS. Keep It Simple Silly. No big goals, no big plans, no big anything. One full year of life on an even keel would be perfect.
And that brings us to cauliflower. (No, not on any logical level, but when you’re writing a newsletter about the new year, and your tummy is growling, and someone has just reminded you of roasting whole heads of cauliflower… that indeed brings us to cauliflower.)
Someone DID remind me of this technique, and in the same conversation the fact that cauliflower is chock-full of nutrients, antioxidants, etc. So, if your resolution is to ditch the sofa, lose 150lbs, or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, this recipe might start you on your way.
Then again, it might just be a delicious meal…
Roasted Cauliflower with Balsamic Glaze
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
- kosher salt
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Cauliflower so it sits flat. Place cauliflower in a baking dish.
- Coat onion wedges and any other vegetables you’d like to add with olive oil, salt well, and place around cauliflower head.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together balsamic and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Let simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
- Brush glaze all over cauliflower, reserving some for basting.
- Roast until golden and fork-tender, 50-60 minutes, periodically basting with glaze.
- Serve warm.
I hope my nieces words that I shared with you in the beginning “hit you in the feels,” (to borrow another one of her favorite expressions) just like they did me.
I hope you continue to stick with me, listen to my radio show, read the newsletter, visit my web page, check out my blog, subscribe to my podcast, and more importantly, provide feedback on each so that I can continue providing music and stories and books and information that will enlighten and uplift.
But mostly, I hope that if you are making resolutions, they are simple and they do not create stress or anxiety of which there is far too much in our lived already.
I hope they are along the lines of being more kind, and to love openly, freely, and constantly.
May your 2018 be blessed,