Frosé All Day!

I love Strawberries. I love Rosé. I love frozen cocktails.

I love to drink Frosé !

I am constantly tweaking my Frosé recipe. So much depends on the ripeness of the strawberries. If they are naturally sweet, I don’t add any simple syrup. If they are too white on the inside, I will add some grenadine to give the Frosé some more color. Sometimes, if I forget to sweeten the strawberries beforehand, I will eliminate the sugar, and just put the strawberries, lemon juice and 1/2 cup simple syrup directly into the blender. I always have an extra bottle of Rosé on hand in case I add too much ice and need to thin it down. And then when the Frosé runs out, I can just sip the rest of the Rosé. I like mine really thick, and eat it with a spoon. If you prefer to sip it, then use less ice.

My favorite Rosé to use in Frosé is Kaia from Total Wine. It is a Pinot Rosé and only costs $9.99 a bottle or $8.99 when buying six or more bottles of wine. Because I am adding so much flavoring to the wine, there is no need to use an expensive bottle. A darker Rosé works best. A salesperson at Total Wine told me that Kaia is made by the Coppola family, but for some reason they don’t put the family name on it like they do for Sofia. I have no way to verify this, but I do think the two taste a lot alike!

Here is my latest version of the recipe. If you try it out, let me know!

Kerrin’s Frosé

1 750 ml bottle Rosé (darker ones like Merlot or Pinot work best)
1 pint strawberries, hulled, quartered
⅓ cup sugar
1½ ounces fresh lemon juice
1 cup ice cubes
¼ to ½ cup simple syrup, if desired

Directions:

Pour bottle of rosé into a 13×9″ pan and freeze until almost solid (it won’t completely solidify due to the alcohol) at least 6 hours. Mix the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in  a bowl and refrigerate at least one hour before making the Frosé .   Put the frozen rosé, strawberry mixture and ice into blender and purée until smooth.   Taste. Add simple syrup if you prefer it sweeter. Add grenadine for more color. Add more rosé if it is too thick or more ice if it is too thin.  Grab a spoon and enjoy!

CHEERS!

My other two favorite strawberry cocktails are the Lava Flow and a Strawberry Mojito, both of which are rum based. Do you have a favorite strawberry cocktail recipe?

May and June Book Reviews

And A Question for You!

I read ten books in May & June. That has to be a personal record. I normally read two to three books a month. Steve and I spent a week at the beach, and I was able to get in a lot of quality reading time. Four of the books were Advanced Reader Copies through NetGalley. You can click on the title to see my full review of those books as well as my author interview with the delightful Terry Lynn Crane.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. 5 Stars. I think this will be on the Best Seller list. It would be a great book club discussion book. This was an advanced reader copy. The publisher’s plot summary for this book is “A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship (and love) between their children (Peter and Kate), a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness.”

The book has now been published.

Becoming by Michelle Obama. Beautifully written, albeit sometimes with too much detail, autobiography about the interesting life of Michelle Obama. The story focuses on her own family, her education, her life being married to a politician, her children, and those who have mentored and encouraged her. It gives an interesting insight as to what it is like to be first lady and to try and raise children inside the White House. The book resonates with hope and encouragement. Mrs. Obama rarely says anything negative about anyone, until it she gets to Donald Trump where her ill will is evident. Like many others, my favorite quote is: “If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

Bethlehem by Karen Kelly. 3.5 Stars. A young woman arrives at the grand ancestral home of her husband’s family, hoping to fortify her cracking marriage. But what she finds is not what she expected: tragedy haunts the hallways, whispering of heartache and a past she never knew existed. This was an advanced reader copy. The book should be published next week.

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey. 5 Stars. I choose this book as my selection for book club. It made for an interesting discussion. I love a good World War II Historical Fiction. This one was about the Red Cross Club Mobile Girls. Prior to this book, I had never heard of the Club Mobile program of sending young women in 2 ton food trucks to the war front to serve coffee and donuts to soldiers. The book gives great insight to the friendships along with the dangers these brave women faced.

I lost My Girlish Laughter by Jane Allen. 4 Stars. This novel was first published in 1938. It is based about the co-writers’ experiences working in the movie industry during the golden years. This rollicking epistolary novel gives us a secretary’s viewpoint of life at a 1930’s Hollywood studio through free spirited personal letters, newspaper gossip columns, telegrams, interoffice memos, calendar entries, and the secretary’s private journal entries. 

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley. This is the first book in a series about For the most part I really enjoyed this story about Maia and her journey to find where she came from. The historical fiction regarding Christ the Redeemer was especially interesting. However, the part about Pa Star and his adopted girls who never questioned who he was drove me a little crazy. My rating is more like 3.5 stars. I might read another one, but it won’t be a high priority.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. 3 Stars. I didn’t fall in love with this multi-generational novel as so many others have. I became bored with the constant discrimination of Koreans by the Japanese over the course of 50 years. After 496 pages, I was glad to be finished. It has a 4.26 rating on Goodreads and a friend of mine highly recommended it. On the up side it is a story of is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty during very difficult circumstances.

Fiddle Dee Dee Recipes: A Taste of”Gone With The Windby Terry Lynn Crane. This book is filled with wonderful stories of the cast of Gone With The Wind. It is so much more than a cookbook! Thanks to the author for the great interview! I have really enjoyed making the recipes.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. 10 stars on a scale of 1 to 5. I loved this book of Huckleberry Finn, meets the Odyssey, meets the Book of Job. This was an advanced reader copy. This book won’t be released until September, 2019. Put it on your to read list! I have a very strong feeling that this will be my favorite book of 2019. I recommend it especially to those of you who loved Where The Crawdads Sing and Before We Were Yours.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. 3 stars. A very unique take on the life of Achilles as told by Patroclus, his gay lover of many years. I wanted to love this as much as I did Circe. Unfortunately, it was slow and boring during many parts, especially the war.

And Now for My question to you: What has been your favorite read this year?

God Is A Tornado!

My favorite book of 2019 (I know it’s only June, but this book will be hard to top as my favorite)

How special it is to find one of those rare and beautiful books that etches a place in your heart. This Tender Land is certainly one of those books for me. I have a feeling after it is published in September 2019, it will be on the best seller list for quite a while. Thank you to NetGalley and to Atria Books for my advanced reader copy. And thank you to the author, William Kent Krueger, for sharing your heart with this book.

The book starts with the narrator, Odie O’Bannion, looking back upon events from the great depression. He tells the reader to open themselves to every possibility, for there is nothing your heart can imagine that is not so. Then he promises a tale of killing, kidnapping, children pursued by demons (and a very persistent Black Witch), courage, cowardice, love, betrayal, and of course hope. And boy does he deliver a magical story!

It is an odyssey of four orphaned children who escape a horrible existence at an Indian School in Minnesota and try to travel via canoe to try to find an aunt in St. Louis, Missouri. The year is 1932. Odie, along with his brother (the only two white children at the Indian school) their best friend Mose, rescue a young girl, Emmy, and take off with some stolen cash and a gun. They know they will be chased by the law and accused of kidnapping Emmy. As they follow the twists and turns of the great rivers they paddle, the four learn more and more about themselves. There are many well wishers, who always say to them “God be with you”. There are also several evil people, who shake their belief system entirely.

Odie O’Bannon, who was only 12 years old, tries to understand God, who had taken away his last hope of happiness with a tornado that killed Emmy’s mother and his favorite teacher. He felt like at every corner of the journey the Tornado God had its ultimate purpose to deny the boy a happy ending. But as the journey continues, he realizes he can’t pin down God. The most important truth he learns is that when he yields to the river and embraces the journey that he finds peace. The other 3 children are also able to come to peace with their purpose, and to find a place they could call home.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give this 10 stars. I really loved this book. It will be published on September 3, 2019. Be sure to add it to your “To Read List”!

Oh Fiddle Dee Dee! My Interview with author and radio personality Terry Lynn Crane

Hello Readers,

I have always loved cookbooks.  I recently purchased a very unique cookbook entitled FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND.” It was written by Terry Lynn Crane, the widow of actor Fred Crane.  Fred, along with George Reeves (later known as Superman), played the Tarleton Twins in the movie, “Gone With The Wind.” Fred’s character, Brent Tarleton, is remembered for speaking the opening lines of the film. 

Fred and Terry Lynn Crane purchased and restored a Georgian Revival home which was on the National Registry for Historic places and had served as a Confederate Headquarters and hospital during The War Between the States, circa 1849. They opened Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast in June of 2000.  The home also housed the Gone With The Wind Hall of Stars Museum which displayed “Gone With The Wind” memorabilia, including costumes owned and worn by Vivian Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Clark Gable;  autographed photographs and personal items belonging to many of the stars.  The bed and breakfast is no longer open, but during its tenure, the guests were treated royally to delicious breakfasts, high tea, personal tours of the house and museum as well as an evening hearing behind the scene stories by actor Fred Crane. The cookbook is filled with these special recipes and so much more.

Terry Lynn was gracious enough to allow me to interview her.  I hope you enjoy reading her fascinating story.

1. FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” is not a typical cookbook.  Tell the readers what is included in addition to the recipes.  

Thank you, Kerrin, for including me and “The Baby” in your entertaining blog.  FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” is filled with behind the scene stories from the filming of “Gone With The Wind,” rare photographs and information about many of the cast members, funny anecdotes that happened at Tarleton Oaks, rare autographs, scenes cut from the movie as well as some of my original artwork. 

2.  You have referred to FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” as “The Baby.” What  was the process to write and publish it? 

Kerrin, yes. It took over 10 years to complete the book and the process was likening to birthing a baby! I wanted it to be special and something so different so I put a lot of thought, effort and love into every single page. To make a long story short, I had the conception for the book while Fred and I owned and operated Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast. So much had been written about the movie, but, unfortunately, they contained errors; so, since Fred was a cast member and was one of the few members of the cast who was actually there and still living, we thought we could “set the record straight” and tell the true stories about the cast and behind the scene stories along with some historical recipes from that period as well as recipes we served at Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast. Like the movie, there were many obstacles to overcome in getting this book published. But, in the end, the book came out exactly the way I had conceptualized it. Fred helped me from the Other Side, quite miraculously, which is a story in itself! With all the blood, sweat and tears I put into the completion of the book, it had become a part of me—like birthing a baby!

3. Fascinating! How did your late husband help you from the Other Side? 

Kerrin, I was in Danville, Kentucky mailing a wedding gift to my son and daughter-in-love. Afterwards, I was going to the grocery store for a few items when, all of a sudden, I heard my late husband’s voice just as clearly as if he was sitting right next to me. He said, “Terry Lynn, you need to go over to the little antique store on Lexington Avenue right now.” I thought I was imagining it; so, I continued driving to my destination. Again, I heard his voice again. “Terry Lynn, you need to go NOW to the little antique store on Lexington Avenue!”  He was so adamant about it and it was so strong that I dutifully drove all the way across town to the little antique store—although I didn’t need any furnishings or anything. It had been a couple of years since I had shopped there. I went inside and walked around. I really didn’t see anything that caught my eye until I almost got up to the front counter. On the floor, was a basket of books. The top book was THE ART OF GONE WITH THE WIND by Judy Cameron. It was a beautiful coffee table book. The book had been written by a friend of Fred’s and was gifted to him by the author. I had the hard bound version of it in storage back in Georgia. I picked up the book and knew it was out of print so I thought, “$4.99. I’ll buy it!” I took it up to the cashier. There were two couples there who had just paid for their goods. I laid the book on the counter and the cashier exclaimed, “Gone With The Wind! That’s my favorite book and movie!” I smiled and agreed, “That’s mine, too, but I might be a little biased. My late husband was in the motion picture!” The man, who was standing closest to me, added, “Who was your late husband?” I picked up the book and randomly open it and there was a whole page of pictures of Fred! I replied, “As a matter of fact, here he is!” The man exclaimed, “Fred Crane! Your late husband was Fred Crane?!” I replied, “Yes, Sir.” He held out his hand and said, “Let me introduce myself. My name is Deacon Steve Swope and I’m the President and CEO of Gone With The Wind Partners, LLC. We own all the literary rights to GONE WITH THE WIND.” I said, “How fortuitous! I am writing a book about “Gone With The Wind”—a cookbook which is more than a cookbook. It contains info about the cast, behind the scene stories, rare photographs and much more!” Swope said, “Well, you’ll need our Board’s permission if you want to use Gone With The Wind in the title of your book and if you want to use the character names in your book. We meet next month.” He reached into his coat pocket and handed me his business card. He wrote some additional phone numbers on it and said, “Here’s my cell phone number and my attorney’s name and number. Let!s see what we can do!” I had goose bumps the size of apples come up on my arms! I knew that Fred had sent me there. The amazing thing is that Deacon Steve Swope and his wife had been visiting friends there in Danville and were heading back home to Newnan, Georgia, right after they were leaving the antique store! There was only a very small window of time that I could have met him. I had no idea who to contact for permissions to publish my book. By the way, I also had to gain permission from Warner Brothers because they owned the movie rights and all the photographs. Deacon Swope was a Deacon for the Catholic Church in Atlanta. The property of GONE WITH THE WIND actually belongs to the Archdiocese of Atlanta—the Catholic Church!  

4. After Brent Tarleton, who is your favorite Gone With The Wind character?  

Well, it would have to be Scarlett O’Hara because I admired her tenacity. She was a survivor. 

5. What were some of Fred Crane’s favorite memories about the filming of Gone With The Wind? 

Gosh, Kerrin, there were SO many! He enjoyed visiting with Vivian Leigh who he said was so lovely and down to earth—a consummate actress. He described her complexion as having very fine hairs on it like soft, peach fuzz and had such a beautiful smile. He also had fond memories of speaking with Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia deHavilland and Hattie McDaniel. He had some great times with pals, George Reeves and Rand Brooks. I am editing another book that Fred and I wrote entitled, GONE WITH THE PEN: A JOURNEY TO THE HEART which contains a lot of his memories as well as most of our over 1,600 letters that we had written to each other during our courtship. It will be a while yet before I release it for publication, though. 

6. When you and Fred owned and operated Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast, what were your guests favorite recipes?  

I believe The Tarleton Oaks Breakfast Casserole, Tarleton Oaks Breakfast Pizza and Bonnie’s Egg Blossoms were some of their favorites.  

7. You are a woman of many talents!  Besides being the author of several books, a public speaker, an artist, and a radio show host, what other things are you currently doing? 

Wow! Thank you, Kerrin! I am enjoying spending time with my family—my precious and supportive husband, Frank, my dear mother who lives with us, my animals—two dogs, a German Shepherd, Anna,,a Coton de Tulear, Mr. Snuggles, a cat, Miz Scarlett, two horses, Farrah, a Tennessee Walking Horse, and Velvet, a young Friesian, who is almost two years old and doting on my new 11 month old grand baby, Sofia Grace. I just wish she, my older son, Jim, and daughter-in-love, Angie, lived closer to us. They are living on the west coast in Washington state. I am blessed to have my younger son, Tray, not too far away from us in Lexington, Kentucky. My husband, Frank, aka my partner extraordinaire, and I also enjoy doing radio together. We own a home studio and internet radio station and have met the greatest people and listeners from around the world—USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, The Netherlands, China, etc. We play music continually on our station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and, then, we do live shows—Cruisin’ to the Oldies, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Love Notes, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Motown and More, Country Cruisin’ and also do live celebrity interviews. We have a lot of fun with it! Our station can be accessed via your computer, smartphone or IPad-type device by going to:

http://www.frankandterryradio.com

8. What is the best way for the readers to purchase a copy of the book?

Thank you, again, Kerrin.  FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND,” as well as my other books and autographed GWTW memorabilia, are available on my secure website:

Terry Lynn Crane, Author, Performer, Radio Personality 


My versions of Dolly’s Eight Layer Salad and Bonnie’s Egg Blossoms
http://www.terrylynncrane.com

In the words of Terry Lynn Crane,  “Bon appetit, y’all!”


Enter to Win one of two Tea Towels for book lovers

Hi Readers!

It’s time for another give away. This time two followers of my blog will each win one tea towel made by Katie Layne Designs. Katie is my beautiful, talented daughter. She is supplementing her teaching income by making T-Shirts, tea towels, vinyl monograms, and other custom items that she sells on Etsy.

Here are the two fun tea towels Katie made just for followers of my blog

The contest starts at midnight on June 19 and runs until midnight of June 23rd. There are three mandatory requirements to enter the give away. First, you must visit Katie Layne Designs on Facebook. Second, you must like the page on Facebook. While you are on the page, go to my review and like the two pictures of the towels we are giving away. Third, the contest is only open to people who follow my blog. If you have trouble signing up, send me a message with your email address, and I have a direct invitation sent to you. There is a fourth optional entry if you visit Katie’s Etsy Page.

May the odds be ever in your favor! Click below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Lost My Girlish Laughter

This epistolary novel gives us a secretary’s viewpoint of life at a 1930’s Hollywood studio through free spirited personal letters, newspaper gossip columns, telegrams, interoffice memos, calendar entries, and the secretary’s private journal entries. It was co-authored by Silvia Schulman Lardner, who was David O. Selznick’s personal secretary. The main character, Madge Lawrence, is clearly based on Lardner’s personal experiences. It is a quick and fun read for anyone who loves classic films or the film making industry.

The book introduction is invaluable to the modern reader, 81 years after the book was first published. It explains who the characters are modeled after as well as personal insight to the authors.

Thanks to #Netgalley and Penguin Random House for the advanced reader copy in exchange for my review. 4 stars!

Thank you to the Best PALS in the world

I am a member of PALS, the Philanthropic And Literary Society . This is a monthly book club in Arlington, Texas that was started in January 2011 by our fearless leader Barbara.

PALS meets once a month in each other’s homes. There are 11 members, so each member typically hosts once a year, then December is our dinner out. The host prepares the entree and the rest of us bring a side dish, wine, or nothing depending on what kind of day we’ve had. We eat, chat, and then talk about the book selection. Barbara keeps things fun with silly games and interesting questions. I am constantly amazed at the PALS’ brilliance, perception, and wisdom regarding the books, and life in general.

Over the years we have read Classics, Best Sellers, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Historical Fiction, Biographies, Autobiographies, and one graphic novel. The club has read and discussed nearly 100 books together. I will not attempt to address the number of calories we have eaten or bottles of wine consumed.

Now let me explain why these women are the best PALS in the world. At the March 2019 meeting, the PALS blessed me with dining gifts cards and some cash. This was a love offering because of the hectic travel schedule my husband and I were having for his out of town cancer treatments. They wanted to be sure that we were covered when it came to dining during these trips or times at home when I was just too tired to cook. Steve and I are so humbled by their generosity. Every time we have eaten a meal from this gift, I give thanks for their friendship. They love from the heart and it shows.

Thank you Barbara, Marilyn, Karen, Kathy, Linda, Cindy N., Cindy T., Cindy G, Peggy and Donna from the bottom of my heart. Your friendship, support and kindness help me in more ways than you know. Life is better with PALS on your side.

If you have a chance, let me know if you are member of book club. Does it have a name? What makes it special?

Bethlehem by Karen Kelly

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to love this book more than I did. First of all, the cover was intriguing, as the name of the novel. 3.5 Stars.

In the 1960’s a young nurse Joanna, who grew up in a middle class family, marries Frank Collier, whose family ran Bethlehem Steel and are very wealthy. Due to the death of Frank’s father, Wyatt Collier, Frank and Joanna, with their two children, move in with Frank’s mother Susannah Parrish Collier and grandmother Helen Parrish at the family’s grand mansion. Frank is a work-a-holic. Joanna gets bored and starts a friendship with a gardener at the local cemetery. There is a mysterious headstone for a baby at the cemetery. Susannah and Helen seem to be keeping secrets. Alternate chapters take place in the 1920’s when the Susannah was the youngest of Helen’s three teenagers who the constant companions of the Wyatt and Chap Collier, the sons of the Parrishes’ best friends, Charles and Frances.

I was at first confused by the fact that Frank’s family ran Bethlehem Steel. I thought perhaps this was a fictionalized biography of real people who actually worked there. A quick google search make it clear that this was not the case. I also didn’t like that almost every single character had a nickname. Doe = Dorothy; Susannah = Sassy; Hollins V =Kit; Hollins IV = Hep; Genevieve = Gigi; Helen = Heddy; Davida = Daisy; India = Itty; Francis was Frank and one of the three Charles was Chap. With so many names floating about it was hard to establish who was who at first. The women characters were certainly more interesting, but all of the characters were likable and believable. The families were close knit and loyal to each other.

My favorite quotes:

Doe: “I’ve learned a thing or two in my antiquity —- chief among them that things are seldom what they seem. Often the person who appears the most . . . impenetrable . . . is, in truth, the most fragile.”

Susannah: “When I was a young woman, my mother gave me an exceptional gift. She said it was one that her father had given her. It was just a simple sentence, but it helped me through some pitch-black hours. What she said was this: ‘I’m never here to judge you; I’m only here to help you.”‘

Ask Again, Yes

Many thanks to #Net Galley and #Scribner to allow me to review this beautiful story. 5 STARS

The publisher’s plot summary for this book is “A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship (and love) between their children (Peter and Kate), a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness.” To be honest, it will be difficult for me to describe it better than that, other to add poignant as one of the descriptive terms.

The story deals with the issues of abandonment, mental illness, loyalty, alcoholism, forgiveness, strength from adversity, the poverty of happiness, and above all what it means to love your spouse and your family.

There were times when reading about the years and events that followed the tragedy, that I felt a tension… like something would set the main characters off in another bizarre turn of events. But as the characters matured over the years, they began looking at the events through different eyes. One of my favorite quotes is from Peter’s uncle George who wisely says: “The thing is, Peter, grown-ups don’t what they’re doing any better than kids do. That’s the truth.” And Kate’s thoughts after Peter’s return from the hospital “What used to be fluent between them felt incomprehensible now, far more difficult to translate. But things were meant to change, Peter said. Because life changes and people change. As long as we change together, we’re okay. “