Crank it up with tunes worth driving for
–by Robert Alexander PUBLICATION DATE: JULY 2017
My answer for summer boredom has always been the same … hit the road. As a teen, I would walk out the door and hitchhike somewhere, anywhere. If Dylan could jump a freight train and head south out of Hibbing, Minnesota or visit Woody Guthrie in a New York hospital, I could certainly hobo around the east coast.
With no money and “No Particular Place to Go,” but with my copy of Kerouac’s “On the Road,” I became a fearless Dharma Bum. While in college, I’d make numerous trips to the Jersey Shore or to the Newport Folk Festival. As a father, there were family camping trips to Canada, Maine, Wyoming and Colorado.
Even today, we pack up the RV and head to Gulf Shores, Alabama or Lake Champlain in Vermont. Great adventures await when you leave it all behind and take to the highway. So, “get your motor running” and “Hit the Road, Jack.” Here’s this month’s summer travel playlist:
“Holiday Road,” Lindsey Buckingham, from “National Lampoon’s Vacation”
“Born to Be Wild,” Steppenwolf, from “Easy Rider”
“Travelin’ Man,” Ricky Nelson
“Ramblin’ Man,” Allman Brothers Band (Rock will miss you, Greg.)
“Route 66,” The Rolling Stones, original Nat King Cole
“On the Road Again,” Willie Nelson
“Truckin’,” Grateful Dead,“what a long strange trip it’s been”
“Riding with the King,” Eric Clapton, B.B. King, “Cadillac and a diamond ring, don’t you know you’re riding with the king?”
“Roam,” The B 52s, “roam if you want to, roam around the world”
“Me and Bobby McGee,” Janis Joplin, written by Kris Kristofferson
“Roadhouse Blues,” The Doors, “let it roll, baby, roll … all night long”
“Road Trippin’,” Red Hot Chili Peppers
“America,” Simon & Garfunkel
“Running on Empty,” Jackson Browne
“Take It Easy,” Eagles, “don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy”
“Two Tickets to Paradise,” Eddie Money (Remember him?)
“Pinch Me,” Barenaked Ladies
“Runaway Train,” Soul Asylum,“runaway train, never coming back”
“Drive My Car,” The Beatles
“Back in the USA,” Chuck Berry’s national anthem
“Born to Run,” The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, “tramps like us, baby we were born to run”
Back to the Bay
–by Jennifer Ruple
PUBLICATION DATE: JULY 2017
It’s funny how per-ceptions can change over time. Could it really have been two decades since we had visited Put-in-Bay, the Key West of the North as it’s nicknamed? It had been at least that long, considering we’ve been married for 20 years.
As youngsters, we knew South Bass Island, aka Put-in-Bay, to be the place to escape the daily grind of work, get away with friends on a Saturday, and get a little crazy, or a lot crazy I should say. With this in mind, I was leery of reporting on the island for a baby boomer publication.
We opted to make the trip on a Thursday, the better weather choice and hoped there would be less of a crowd.
Getting there is half the fun The quickest way to the bay is the Jet Express. Board at Port Clinton, sit on the top level for the best view and enjoy the approximately 30-minute boat ride to the island. If you plan on visiting on a day other than a Saturday, take advantage of the Jet and Cart for Two offer, which includes: two adult round-trip tickets and a two-seater golf cart to zip around in when you get there, which I highly recommend so you can explore the entire island. There are some exclusions to the offer though … it’s not valid the day of purchase so book in advance, on Saturdays or on blackout dates. For details, visit jet-express.com.
A blast from the past We arrived on the island around noon, picked up our golf cart, which was an extremely easy process and no lines. As we drove around, we were pleasantly surprised at how pretty the island looked with flowers blooming everywhere. Next, we strolled around the downtown area and visited old haunts such as the historic Round House Bar. The 1873 establishment is known for its mural-painted plaster walls, overhead canopy, live entertainment and buckets of beer. The last time we were there, it was wall-to-wall partygoers spilling drinks all over each other. However, this time and being a Thursday afternoon, there were a few dozen folks enjoying some beer and great live music.
A bite to eat After our walk, it was time for lunch. There is no shortage of burgers and fries on the island; however, we were in the mood for something with more Florida flair. We chose The Keys Restaurant, which not only afforded us gorgeous views of the lake and harbor but a Caribbean-style menu with dishes such as Blackened Mahi Tacos, Lobster Salad Sliders and Chicken Teriyaki and Veggies.
Taking in the scenery Following lunch, we hopped on our golf cart and set out to see what else there was on this 2 x 4-mile island. Our first stop was the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. Unfortunately, the observation deck, rotunda, and plazas are closed in 2017 for cleaning and repairs; however, the visitor’s center is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until October 1. From the monument, we headed northwest along the coast and enjoyed the ride while taking in the scenery of quaint cottages and beautiful homes situated just feet from the water. Also along our self-guided tour, we came across Heineman’s Winery and South Bass Island State Park beach and campgrounds.
And, for the adventurous, we found a myriad of services on the island that offer activities such as charter fishing, parasailing, jet skiing, tubing and paddle boarding.
A fond farewell Prior to our departure for home, we wrapped up our island excursion with tropical cocktails from Rita’s Cantina at The Boardwalk. Put-in-Bay was certainly different this time around for us in a very good way, providing us with that relaxing, island getaway we were hoping for.
I have always wanted to go to Ireland but with my work schedule and a recent purchase of a 1930 home (aka the money pit), it will have to wait. The good news is that right here in Ohio, a mere two-hour and twenty-one-minute drive from my home is a little gem of a city and a temporary consolation for an Irish fix, called Dublin. I decided to hop in the car and explore the area since hopping ‘across the pond’ was not in the cards.
Dublin, Ohio is a fast-growing community that surrounds the Scioto River near the metropolitan Columbus area. The city’s roughly 25 square miles contain more than 3,000 diverse businesses, 1,100 acres of developed parklands, restaurants and gift shops. It is known for its annual hosting of the Jack Nicklaus PGA Tour Memorial Tournament and of course, the Dublin Irish Festival. After researching the many things to do and see in the city, the voice of my Gram popped in my head— “If you are bored, it’s your own darn fault.”
It was tempting to rush to REI and Trader Joe’s, that are not available in my neck of the woods, upon arriving in Dublin but I thought I would choose a few locally owned places to visit. First up was Baker’s Village and Garden, located at 9267 Dublin Rd. I have been accused of being an earth mother. Guilty as charged.
The ‘Reader’s Digest’ summary on this quaint garden goody-and-more establishment is if you enjoy perusing through unique clothing, jewelry, flowers, decorative trees, stone planters, herbs, urns, succulents and plants and more plants, then Baker’s Village and Garden is worth a visit. I tried to stay strong and not make a purchase (I am after all saving for the ‘original’ Dublin) but I caved.
After my Visa card stopped quivering from my visit to Baker’s, I headed a short distance down the road to The Morgan House, a “mini-mall” of whimsical gifts, jewelry, clothing, furniture, home accents, gourmet foods and a restaurant. The Morgan House, established in 1985, is an 18,000-square foot building that was erected from the original log cabin named after Civil War Veteran John Hunt Morgan. Travis Heinlen, Manager of The Morgan House, whose mother started the business in 1985, oversees the many faceted facilities including the home decorating services, where clients can turn the home of their dreams into a reality. Whether you are a dog lover, OSU fan (sorry not a Michigan item in sight), pottery, fairy garden enthusiasts, foodie or in need of a little bling, a stop at The Morgan House is sure to please.
The last family-owned business I visited on my trip to Dublin was La Chatelaine French Bakery and Bistro, located in the heart of downtown Dubin at 65 W. Bridge Street. Owners Stan and Gigi Wielezynst immigrated to the area in 1985 and started the bakery and Bistro in 1991. La Chatelaine now has three locations in the Columbus area, each run by a family member. Food and family are main priorities to the Wielezynsts and it shows in their culinary creations. No matter what time of day you arrive, I highly recommend a visit to experience the authentic taste of French cuisine. Breakfast, lunch, tea time and dinner are served in a cozy atmosphere that also includes a lovely area for outdoor dining. A bar with copper top counters and wine barrel ceilings also adds to the atmosphere and the fun. The bar is open in the morning hours in case you crave a Mimosa or Bloody Mary to accompany your homemade croissant, omelet or beignet. My takeaway moment—literally—were the cranberry muffins. They’re so amazing they should be illegal. I brought some home to my parents who had the daunting task of watching my Golden Retriever with ADD. All was forgiven.
My day trip passed far too quickly. I long to return to Dublin (the one that doesn’t require a passport) to explore new places and return to the ones I was delighted to discover.
The investment risk that many people may not know about –by Jeff Bucher PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2017
Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks—interest-rate risk, company risk, and market risk. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some of the investment risks we face can be mitigated through diversification.
As an investor, you face another, less-known risk for which the market does not compensate you, nor can it be easily reduced through diversification. Yet it may be the biggest challenge to the sustainability of your retirement income.
This risk is called the sequence of returns risk. The sequence of returns risk refers to the uncertainty of the order of returns an investor will receive over an extended period of time.
Sequence of Returns Averages may hide dangerous possibilities. This is especially true with the stock market. You may be comfortable that the market will deliver its historical average return over the long-term, but you can never know when you will be receiving the varying positive and negative returns that comprise the average. The order in which you receive these returns can make a big difference.
For instance, a hypothetical market decline of 30 percent is not to be unexpected. However, would you rather experience this decline when you have relatively small retirement savings, or at the moment you are ready to retire — when your savings may never be more valuable? Without a doubt, the former scenario is preferable, but the timing of that large potential decline is out of your control.
Timing, Timing, Timing The sequence of returns risk is especially problematic while you are in retirement. Down years, in combination with portfolio withdrawals taken to provide retirement income, have the potential to seriously damage the ability of your savings to recover sufficiently, even as the markets fully rebound.
If you are nearing retirement, or already in retirement, it could be time to give serious consideration to the “sequence of returns risk” and ask questions about how you can better manage your portfolio.
Jeff Bucher is the President and co- founder of Citizen Advisory Group, a comprehensive financial planning company in Perrysburg. You can contact him at 419-872-0204; email at firstname.lastname@example.org; visit at 770 Commerce Dr., Perrysburg; or visit the website at citizenadvisory.com.
Investment Advisory Services offered through AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC. AlphaStar Capital Management,LLCand Citizen Advisory Group are independent entities.
Easy breakfast ideas to fuel your workday!
–by Erika D White, Fitness Motivator & Creator of Fitzone PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2017
Whoever coined the phrase “breakfast of champions” obviously has never ridden with me on the way to work; balancing a bowl of cereal while trying to drive with one knee is not easy, nor recommended! Throw in dropping off a kid or two, who also require a morning feeding, and the aggravation of morning quickly minimizes the need for breakfast to be little more than a relaxing glass of wine…whoops, we’re talking about morning, aren’t we? Rewind! …and the aggravation of morning quickly minimizes the need for breakfast to be little more than a relaxing glass of coffee. It was with daily daytime drama that the reality quickly settled in that this “breakfast of champions” fantasy wasn’t quite working out for me. Lying in bed one night, I came up with one of my best ideas ever. I would first, be retiring as the Indie one-knee driving champion; and second, I would be switching to a better alternative for my breakfast routine.
I knew my new and improved breakfast needed to follow the simple rule of the SNAP-E! (Yes, I agree that the “E” is a little vain, but hey, aren’t we all?) Breakfast was now about satiety, nutrition, affordability, portability and being relatively easy. Satiety, because it should be a mortal sin to eat and still be hungry; nutritious, because it is about eating the right foods to fuel the body; affordable, because wine and cute shoes are NOT to be negotiated; portable, because breakfast should be pocket-sized or served on skewers; and easy, because we all need that one thing we can achieve without great effort.
The real reason for breakfast is to fuel the body for whatever activity comes along the way. The right amount of protein, carbs, and fat, aka macronutrients from whole foods, don’t just get you outside the breakfast box, they smash the box. Make breakfast the best part of your day with some of my favorite fuel combinations. Skip the sugary cereals, buttery breads, and processed meats that feed your face and not your body. Don’t forget to cut your portions into mouth-sized pieces along with toothpicks for skewers and divided plates or bowls for portability. And of course, keep your knee off the wheel, your mom will thank you. ___________
Suggested for the morning when work is away from the desk or on the move
385 Calories 41g Carbs; 11g Fat; 34g Protein
1 medium apple
1 slice whole wheat toast
1 tablespoon almond butter
3 ounces chicken breast
(boneless, skinless) ________
Suggested for the morning when you need to get in control of your hunger
388 Calories 31g Carbs; 15g Fat; 36g Protein
2 extra-large, hard-boiled egg whites
1-70 gram pouch of tuna, any type
(not to exceed 110 calories a serving)
2-3 avocado slices or 1 oz.
3 oz. each, cantaloupe and watermelon
12 raw almonds ________
Suggested for a long morning of meetings and/or conferences
330 Calories 34g Carbs; 10g Fat; 27g Protein
1 medium banana
1/8 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup of plain Greek yogurt*
*your best choice is Fage or equivalent;
if the taste is too bitter, add a teaspoon
of cinnamon and a teaspoon of sweetener ________ SNAP-E BALANCE
Suggested for the morning where lasting until lunch is not an option
407 Calories 34g Carbs; 16g Fat; 33g Protein
½ cup strawberries
1 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
½ multigrain light muffin
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon almond butter
More Options If you have a nut allergy or want a few more choices, foods like salmon, avocado, olive oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, olives, hummus, and tahini are great examples of healthy fat substitutions.
For vegetarians and vegans, or anyone looking for more plant-based protein suggestions, foods like tofu, black beans, tempeh, edamame, spinach, and green peas are my favorite choices for their protein content and tastiness.
Fage, or any equivalent brand Greek yogurt, is what I recommend. Focus on the protein and sugar content when comparing to an equivalent. Fage slays the competition with its protein content. One cup, or individual container, ranges from 18-24 grams of protein.
Not a fan of Greek yogurt? I get it. Not everyone likes the creamy, thick texture. Choose a plain yogurt that is low in calories (120 or less), fat (4g or less), and sugar (less than 20g).
Erika D. White is a certified fitness professional who believes in building strong, healthy, ageless men and women.
Connect with Erika at ErikaWhite.net
or every Tuesday at noon on 13abc’s Ask the Expert
Rocky Point Winery is a stone’s throw away
–by Jennifer Ruple
PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2017
RED FERN INN – ROCKY POINT WINERY
111 W Main St
Lakeside Marblehead, OH
(419) 967-5344 redferninn.com
Chris Redfern’s charismatic personality keeps his customers entertained as they wait for their drinks to be poured at his Rocky Point Winery in Marblehead, Ohio. Redfern, and his wife Kim, opened the winery, along with the Red Fern Inn, in the historic 1893 Marblehead Schoolhouse in January 2015. The shift to business owners was a major life change for the couple as Redfern is the former chair of the Ohio Democratic Party and former State Legislator, and Kim was a commercial property investor and a lobbyist.
“I had grown up on Lake Erie; the lake has been in my blood,” said Redfern. “Kim and I were looking for investment properties, and we were looking to fill a niche in Marblehead that was missing. We are not a bar. We’re a winery, and we offer folks a full selection of wine, craft beers and liquor. We’ve built a fun and relaxing environment for adults as well as the whole family, and that was missing in Marblehead,” explained Redfern.
Located at 111 W. Main St., just a half mile from the iconic Marblehead Lighthouse, Rocky Point Winery is known for its selection of Midwestern wines. “We use grapes that are grown primarily on North Bass Island, near the Canadian line. There are 65 acres of grapes there,” said Redfern. “We carry 50 additional labels, 25 craft beers, and a wide variety of liquor. We try to focus on Ohio wines and beers, and we have Michigan and Canadian wines and beers as well.”
For those who’d like a bite to eat with their wine, Redfern mentioned, “We offer a variety of cheese plates, chocolates and crackers. We’ve recently added fresh baked bread, and we are introducing a bruschetta.” The winery also partners with the Marblehead Galley restaurant and nearby Bruno’s Pizza, which will both deliver tableside to guests at the winery.
A newly built 1,200 square foot pavilion is now open for guests to enjoy their wine outdoors under a covered area. “Our goal is to not only accommodate more guests, but to hold a number of special events here like wedding receptions, bridal showers and graduation parties,” said Redfern.
For those wishing to extend their stay in Marblehead, the Red Fern Inn, located on the second floor of the schoolhouse, is a perfect setting for a romantic retreat or for a trip to the lake with the family. The inn features two, 1 bedroom suites and two, 2 bedroom suites.
In addition to cozy accommodations, guests have access to bicycles, a private lounge on the grounds of the winery and several fire pits where they can enjoy a view of the lake.
Before heading home, don’t miss The Pink Perch located right across the street from the winery. The gift boutique is the Redfern’s newest venture. “We wanted to offer a unique gift shop where one can enjoy whimsical gifts and fun items. It’s geared toward the traveling public with a more critical eye.”
The winery is open seven days a week through Halloween and features live music on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Plenty of parking is available and bus tours are welcome.
Truckin’ to Woodstock … 48 years too late
–by Robert Alexander PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2017
On August 14, 1969, the call went out to Jim and Ed. “We’re leaving in 45 minutes.” I picked them up in my 1969 Volkswagen Squareback, and “The Dharma Bums” were on the road to Yasgur’s Farm in Bethel, N.Y. But somewhere in N.J., I turned the VW around. Warnings on the radio convinced us that the police had closed the roads leading to the Woodstock Festival. Missing the most famous rock concert in world history became a lifelong regret.
Forty-eight years later, I knew what I had to do … road trip to Woodstock. So, Stephanie and I and our loyal companion, Chico, our 100-pound black Lab, packed up the RV and headed east.
Would we find empty, mud-covered fields where the stage stood that once held Joplin, Hendrix, Cocker and Havens? Would we find Big Pink, the home where Dylan and The Band recorded The Basement Tapes? Would we be able to visit Levon Helm’s garage? Or would we find that Woodstock is just a sleepy rural town that once hosted a hippie dream of peace, love and understanding that with time, “didn’t burn out but just faded away?”
After a decade, rock ‘n’ roll had come of age, from Elvis to the Beatles with rockabilly, doo-wop, dance, soul, girl groups and Motown along on the journey. But the 60s were a dark period of American history with the struggle for civil rights, political assassinations and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. The music expressed the anxiety, paranoia and dissent of the young boomer generation. Rebellion against authority and distrust of anyone over 30, led to freedom marches, peace rallies and dropping out. The Age of Aquarius had begun! The time was ripe for a celebration of love, peace and freedom.
What started as a fundraising concert to develop a rock music studio in Woodstock became a 500,000-participant event that featured sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. From England came The Who, from San Francisco came the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane flew in, and The Band, well, they were in the neighborhood. In all, 32 different acts performed including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joan Baez, Country Joe and the Fish, Johnny Winter, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
After three days and 722 miles, we pulled into Yasgur’s Farm (the site of the Woodstock Festival, 43 miles from Woodstock). Today, there is just a beautiful alfalfa field, a barn and two farmhouses, but the owner, Jeryl Abramson, invited us to come back for the reunion concert on August 11. Maybe we’ll return in 2019 for the 50-year celebration.
On to Woodstock, an idyllic small town featuring art galleries, cafes and shops that attract tourists and rock and folk music fans from around the world. In Saugerties, the neighboring town, we traveled up Overlook Mountain on a dirt road and there it was… Big Pink! My rock ‘n’ roll Pilgrimage was complete. The Playlist
“For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield
“Freedom,” Richie Havens*
“Reason to Believe,” Tim Hardin*
“Evil Ways,” Santana*
“Going Up the Country,” Canned Heat*
“Truckin’(What a long, strange trip it’s been)” Grateful Dead
“Bad Moon Rising,” Creedence Clearwater Revival*
“Stand!” Sly and the Family Stone*
“Piece of My Heart,” Janis Joplin*
“My Generation,” The Who*
“Somebody to Love,” Jefferson Airplane*
“With a Little Help from My Friends,” Joe Cocker*
“The Weight,” The Band*
“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” Crosby, Stills & Nash*
“Born Under a Bad Sign,” The Paul Butterfield Blues Band*
“Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix*
“Woodstock,” Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (written by Joni Mitchell)
Fire up the barbecue for Father’s Day
–by Jennifer Ruple PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2017
In honor of Father’s Day, treat your dad or that special man in your life to an al fresco dinner that’s fit for a king. Liz Donaldson, assistant chef at Walt Churchill’s Market in Maumee, created the recipes for this three-course meal that will keep you out of the kitchen and cooking in the great outdoors.
Red, White and Blue Salad 1 head romaine lettuce, trimmed
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
Salt and ground black pepper
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
Brush the romaine thoroughly with olive oil. Oil the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Over medium heat, grill the romaine and the tomatoes until tender, turning frequently.
Remove from the grill and slice the romaine down the middle. Garnish with blue cheese, tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. ____________________________
Flat Iron Steak with Roasted Vegetables 12-ounce flat iron steak
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Baby potatoes and carrots
Balsamic glaze or Avocado Vinaigrette
Fresh chopped parsley for garnish
In a shallow pan, marinate the steak in oil, salt, pepper and garlic, overnight or at least 2 hours.
Give the vegetables a quick boil just to take the stiffness off. Coat the vegetables in olive oil.
Heat the grill to 375-400 degrees. Grill the steak for about 5 minutes on each side for medium rare.
Remove the steak to a cutting board, cover with a towel and allow to rest.
Meanwhile, place the vegetables on the grill. Close the lid and grill for about 8-10 minutes, turning frequently.
Slice the steak thinly and arrange with the vegetables. Drizzle with balsamic glaze or Avocado Vinaigrette. Sprinkle with parsley. ____________________________
Avocado Vinaigrette 2 avocados
2 cloves garlic
1 lime, squeezed
½ bunch fresh cilantro
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if desired. ____________________________
Grilled Rhubarb Crisp 5 stalks rhubarb, peeled and cut in ½ inch pieces
½ cup white sugar
Juice from 1 lemon
1 cup flour
1 cup quick oats
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup butter, softened, plus more for the pan
Vanilla ice cream for serving
In a bowl, toss the rhubarb with the white sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
To prepare the crumble, in a bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Cut in half of the butter.
Rub the bottom of a metal cake pan with soft butter. Add the rhubarb. Top with the crumble.
Place on the grill at medium heat. Grill for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with ice cream. ____________________________
–by Sue Schafer Manager, Sylvania Branch, Toledo Lucas County Public Library PUBLICATION DATE: MAY 2017
Did you know that May is National Hamburger Month? Now is the time to brush up on your barbecuing skills and try some new recipes.
Here are some great books to get you started!
Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction, Clarkson, Potter Publishers, 2013 By Bobby Flay Try some of the best grilling recipes from chef-restauranteur and Food Network star Bobby Flay. BUY HERE _________________
Fresh Grilling: 200 Delicious Good-For-You Seasonal Recipes, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014 By Better Homes and Gardens
Celebrate the fresh flavors of summer and the joys of outdoor grilling in a way that is light, healthy and delicious. BUY HERE _________________
Grill This Not That: Backyard Survival Guide, Rodale, 2012 By David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding With a ravenous fan base clamoring for even healthier, affordable options, the authors team up again to redefine America’s favorite pastime: the backyard BBQ. BUY HERE _________________
The Grilling Book: the Definitive Guide from Bon Appétit, Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2013 This is the ultimate summertime grilling companion, featuring more than 350 recipes, full-color photographs, how-to guides, and tips to simplify your grilling life, from the experts at Bon Appétit. BUY HERE _________________
Feeding the Fire: Recipes and Strategies for Better Barbecue and Grilling, Artisan Books, 2015 By Joe Carroll The author makes stellar barbecue and grilled meats in Brooklyn, New York, at his acclaimed restaurants Fette Sau and St. Anselm. In Feeding the Fire, Carroll gives us his top 20 lessons and more than 75 recipes to make incredible fire-cooked foods at home. BUY HERE _________________
It’s early spring and I spot her. The other remnants of anything pertaining to the holidays are safely tucked away in their concrete holding cell, known as the basement. The last “hold out” is a wooden angel on my coffee table by a local folk artist. Her outreached arms never tire of holding a small sign that states with hopeful determination, “peace on earth.” I love her chronic optimism and every effort to replace her with a more appropriate spring genre is futile.
I have the living breathing version of my folk art treasure which might explain my unwillingness to part with her. Her name is Virginia Mason. She is an “in your face” reminder of the power of positive thinking. A friend of mine sent her my way thinking, actually knowing, that she would help me through my breast cancer journey.
She showed up on my doorstep one afternoon and announced that we were going wig shopping before the effects of chemo would rob me of my thick blond tresses. As we proceeded through the door of a beauty supplier in the south end, I saw an assortment of dark haired selections, an abundance having the “fro” style. I gently told Virginia that I just didn’t see anything that was sparking my interest. She stared at me and seemed to have an instantaneous epiphany that I was not a woman of color.
We headed to another local shop where a creamy white woman coaxed a foreign object on my head that made me resemble June Cleaver on a bad hair day. As she attempted to fluff me into submissiveness, she rattled off the latest statistical data on the disease that Virginia and I share. As the woman continued to slap percentages on my mortality, I felt as if my hope was being pureed in a blender and liquefied into a thick fear. Virginia locked eyes with me and repetitively declared like a Gregorian chant, “Girl, you will be FINE. You will get through this. Keep the faith.” Miraculously, an odd sense of calm was slowly squeezing out the anxiety that took up residence in every inch of my being. I would love to tell you that I maintained that peaceful state in the months ahead. Who are we kidding, it lasted roughly seven minutes. Through the trials of being injected, stuck in tubes, scanned, drained, and stitched, the panic would once again resurface. When it did, Virginia, just like my wooden angel, would stretch out her arms and remind me that there will be peace.