Sunday, September 28, 2014

What I’m Reading Lately—Snow on Magnolias


I just found and “bought” the Amazon free Kindle book edition of Snow on Magnolias, the second book in the Bon Amie series by Hattie Mae. Bon Amie is the small Louisiana bayou town that is the setting of Hattie Mae’s two novels.

I recently reviewed the first book, Under the Sassafras, here. I enjoyed that book, now at $3.99 in the Kindle edition. I don’t know how long the free offer for Snow will last, but if the characters are as strong and endearing as in the first book, my “investment” will be worthwhile. Now I am off to check if the latest Bon Amie book has shown up on my Kindle.

What I am reading lately


In Under the Sassafras by Hattie Mae, Joelette Benoit, a widowed mom of two engaging little boys, is eking out a living for her family by tapping the unique resources of the Louisiana bayous and swamps surrounding the quiet town of Bon Amie.

She and her boys live outside of town with her mother-in-law, a healer of bayou inhabitants whether human, feathered or four-legged. 

After an abusive married life with her late husband, Jolette is determined to shield her heart, her independence and her boys. Then the boys discover an unconscious man partially submerged at the swamp’s edge.

As he heals and struggles with memory loss, his wonder and appreciation of the bayou environment and the people who live there grows and earns him acceptance. Jolette finds it difficult to keep the barriers of her heart intact.

The author creates strong characters and a story line that made it hard for me to turn out the light at night. I will read more by this author. I recommend Under the Sassafras if you like romance fiction. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Revolutionary lunch


Colonial Williamsburg eatery
Lunch at Chowning’s Tavern closed a brief visit to Colonial Williamsburg during our June trip to Virginia for a niece’s wedding. The d├ęcor, costumes, entertainment and menu provided a glimpse of life in those early days that led to the birth of the United States.

Server in a costume of the period
Our lunch stop served up a mix of modern amenities and historical accuracy. I was thankful for the mix. We had explored the historic district on foot. 

Temperatures had risen with the approach of noon, and the cool in the tavern was welcomed evidence of air conditioning. We were comfortable enough to  indulge in coffee for Husband Walter and hot tea for me.

Non-colonial sweeteners
The hot drinks arrived in china, not paper or Styrofoam hot cups. And there were also artificial sweeteners, another modern element that we appreciated.

Chowning’s Tavern was definitely not the fast food place of yesteryear, either. Patrons were taking in the surroundings, studying menus at a leisurely pace, and savoring the courses and banter with servers.

Stew with cornbread muffin and butter
The Brunswick stew hit the spot for me in flavor and serving size. Hubby ordered a beef trencher with caramelized onions and aged cheddar. All was well except the horseradish sour cream that accompanied the entree. He is not a fan of horseradish.

Colonial serenade
We also enjoyed the entertainment served with our lunch.

More tunes
A sweet finale to our meal gave me a walk down memory lane. For years I have been on the prowl for pecan pie that tastes like the delicious dessert my mother used to make. Until now every piece of pecan pie I have tried was cloyingly sweet.

Pecan tart
In the interest of personal family history, I have persevered in my search. Success at last! 

The Chowning’s honey-glazed pecan tart could have come straight out of my mother’s kitchen. Ahhhhhh, the sweet taste of history.