Friday Fare: 2/7/20

Well, February seems like as good of a time as any to start writing Friday Fare. 🙂 I still have an “Annual Review” sketched out that takes a look at the good, the bad, and fugly of 2019, but in the meantime – the mental break I took from blogging last month was a good one.  So without further ado, here’s what’s been going on in the weird and random:

I think my love for libraries is pretty well known.  There’s the fact that there are THOUSANDS of books on shelves (and now in eBook form) that are free for people to borrow.  And then there are librarians – the keepers of information (and often the wonderful people who are making sure that my hellions aren’t totally destroying the children’s section of the library). So when my friend Brenda asked if I’d volunteer at the Rochester Public Library Foundation’s Wit, Wisdom & Wine, my answer was a swift “hell yes.”

I was honored to introduce Shari Mukherjee. Mukherjee is a local Rochester-ite who made it to the Top 5 contestants of MasterChef (Season 10).  As a mom, as a cook, and as a Gordon Ramsay fan – you can imagine how exciting it was to meet her.

I also got to introduce former Congressman Tim Penny.  Penny and Mukherjee were two of several interesting guests that the library foundation had speak at this annual fundraiser.  It was just a sincere honor to attend and thrill to be asked to help.

I’m a little obsessed with Tieghan Gerard’s blog Half-Baked Harvest (and own the first of her two cookbooks). It certainly doesn’t hurt that she lives in the mountains of Colorado and that she loves soup and cookies about as much as I do.  We had a dear friend over for dinner a couple of weeks ago and I made this Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup with Roasted Mushrooms. And man … I was sad when that soup was gone and not ashamed that I ate the majority of its leftovers.  It’s a very simple soup that’s made in a crockpot (crockpot = an immediate win for me.) But it’s the roasted mushrooms that boot this into another dimension.  (Two pounds of mixed mushrooms roasted in an oven with garlic.  In a stick of butter.)  In fact, I actually used the roasted mushroom trick on a different soup (beef with barley) and I think I basically just want to eat butter-roasted mushrooms for the rest of my existence.

I’ve always been a fan, but here’s how Mary Engelbreit burrowed a large(r) spot in my heart.

I’m not sure what it is with the recent proliferation of articles about GenX’ers, but here’s one that gave me a chuckle.


Reading: While I still have the Instagram app on my smartphone, I took the Facebook and Twitter apps off.  A couple of reasons … first is the amount of time that I would spend mindlessly scrolling through feeds of comments, memes, political arguments, etc.  I never bothered to calculate how much time I spent on the socials, but I’m sure that it was ridiculous.  Second – I think it’s better overall for my emotional health.  For just lots of reasons.  And while I still get pulled into wormholes of reading through news articles and Wikipedia pages regarding the Royal Family, I’ve been trying to read more books.  And I’ve already read seven books this year.  Three this past week. (There may be a reason that my eyes are kind of tired.)

Here’s the one that I’m most excited about:

There are a million reasons that I adore Tracy Clark.  I used to serve on the MWA-Midwest board with her and I can attest that she is a walking master class in critiquing.  And if we would have gone to high school together, I’d want to sit at her cool kids table.  She’s just sincerely a wonderful person.  And she’s one HELL of a writer.  And I totally bargained a batch of homemade cookies to get my hands on an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of What You Don’t See (coming out on May 26, 2020). This is the third book in a series and her PI is a finely drawn character.  You can find my review here on Goodreads.

Writing Life: I am polishing Dragonfly for submission to this contest. Due April 1st and making good progress towards that goal.


What is Friday Fare? As a recap, on Fridays I post link love to the various bits of arcane shiz I discover on the Interwebs.  I liken it to a glimpse into my mind, but without the 80s song lyrics or mental cobwebs.

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