I knew you were coming so I got ready! First off, click here for my new theme MUSICA (which you will understand if you’ve read the Willard ~ eeeek!). 🙂
And now, HELLO WILLARD PEOPLE! Welcome to the Blog! Since I wrote the Newsletter, guess what!? So excited and happy to tell you, that the Giveaway I mentioned has just been doubled ~ because look what showed up ↓
Do you know what this is? It’s
Here are my two children meeting for the first time.♥
Yes! It’s the just published (but only in China) Chinese version of our book A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside. Now I have the extreme privilege, among other things, of taking the Chinese people up to Hilltop to see Beatrix Potter’s legacy!
Who would have ever thought it possible!? I’ve been pouring over the book, looking at all the details. They did such a nice job. They even kept the watercolored first letters on every page because they thought they “looked pretty!” Even when I mentioned that it might not make sense in Chinese because those first letters have nothing to do with the text ~ they still wanted them which is one reason I really like this publisher!
It’s almost, page for page, exactly like the English version…and it’s a real book you can hold in your hands, because did you know, studies are showing that reading “real” books is healthier and increases intelligence? They are!
See the little writing around the poppy? And the captions? They made sure all the movies were there and the music too! And where there are English words,they used a cute little handwriting font.
I’m trying to see it through their eyes. I wonder if they say the same stuff to each other in China? I bet they do.
Now they know more about us than I ever imagined. They know that there are idiots all OVER the world. Isn’t that funny? I am happy to be an idiot in the quest for world peace.♥
Like this, now they know this! I signed the contract for this book over a year ago, but I didn’t realize how I would feel when it actually arrived. I’m honored, but not used to it yet. None of my other books have ever been in any language except English . . . But as the song goes, you are my lucky star . . .⭐️
Here’s the recipe for Rachel’s Lemon Butter cookies! There will be people in China eating Rachel’s cookies! I wonder if they changed the part about how Joe and I met and all of that ~ the one hotel room, the robe like armor, etc. Maybe one of you reads Chinese and can tell us!
I get to take them to Siobhan’s house too! I wonder if they have fairy lights and pink sofas in their kitchens the way Siobhan does? Probably they do! I hope some of them write me!
Notice the little bits and pieces, some of the English writing is still there, all the hearts, the captions, the watercolored underlines, the little arrows, are all still there. They took such good care! What a small world it is.♥
Here we are about to discover King Richard’s childhood castle, remember? And the arrows pointing to the castle ruins are still there! That Chinese lettering is so cute! If I would have been born in China I would have LOVED that handwriting. It’s like little pictures. They must all be artists over there!
Here’s the part in the book where I saw the Irish seagulls as the Queen Mary 2 passed under Ireland . . . in Chinese! I immediately sent a copy to the Thomas Crane Public Library because I was told they have a very large Chinese population in the Quincy (near Boston) area . . . it will be a surprise, I hope they like it!
And the rest of the books I kept. So far. I mean it’s only been a couple of days.
Oops, there’s one right now!
Look at that watercolored title! So my thought is that we might have a little east meets west as our second Giveaway, and include, with a signed copy of our rare Chinese Romance book, a canister of that delicious Gingerbread Tea I mentioned in the Willard, perfect for the season! So even if you can’t read Chinese, you can have a cup of tea and look at the pictures! So now when you leave a comment, you’ll be entered for Two Giveaways, not just one . . . there will be Two Lucky Winners. We just doubled the odds!
A LIFE SHARED IS A JOY DOUBLED. (OR QUADRUPLED, OR in the case of this Blog? MUCH MORE.)
All the books in both of these Giveaways can be personalized just the way you’d like, including the out-of-print Christmas from the Heart of the Home. Which means you might have some pretty good little gifts here ~ a mug and some fairy tales are always appreciated at the holidays!
And you might be asking, will we be selling the Chinese book in our web store? And the answer is, yes, kinda. We got a few of them, not very many, they are in our web store right now . . . but they are expensive which probably has something to do with our dollar and their (what is it? Yen?). Plus, they cost a LOT to ship them over . . . so we don’t figure we’ll run out of what we have too soon. But IF we do run out, and IF you don’t get one and IF you still want one, the new plan is that we will then take preorders so we know how many to get, and do a one-time purchase just for our Blog Girls. We’re not going to carry this book because of the cost, which is something around $40 each, but check it out if you think it’s something you might want to have. I don’t think there will be too many of them here in America, and they can always be an interesting conversation piece!
So now, let’s change the subject and do a littleShall we? With Mas Musica? Oui! I’ve always just naturally gathered healthful winter fat to protect myself against wolves and starvation in the freezing cold, but already this year, from all the sitting, I’m afraid I could feed an entire wolf pack all by myself. So I’m looking to get a little healthier so that when I finish Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams (BTW, that’s a new little piece of art I did for the book yesterday ~ of me, ←on the plane, landing in Boston, singing my fear song ~ it’s dawn outside that window, on a very stormy day ~ but I digress big time), I can go out on the road and you will still recognize me! So in the quest for that, I thought I’d give you Joe’s recipe for the most delicious, crunchy tender salmon steaks in the world!And just in case you’d like to make this, but good salmon is hard to come by in your neck of the woods, call Louie at the Net Result here on the Island (1-800-394-6071 and tell him Joey sent you) and he will overnight you the most delicious fresh fish imaginable, in a box also filled with Martha’s Vineyard sea air for which, believe it or not, he charges NOTHING ~ and they have everything, including oysters, clams, and Lobsters, fresh cod, and this delicious salmon.
The magic in well cooked salmon is in the crust! And no one does it better than Joe.
If I was the one making this, I would ask Louie to cut off the skin for me. But Joe knows just what he’s doing . . . gets his sharp little knife under there and wastes not a shred. You definitely want the skin off so you can make it crusty on both sides.
Then he rinses it in cold water and pats it very dry with paper towels.
And cuts it into steaks
which he liberally peppers and sprinkles sea salt over . .
He put the tiniest bit of olive oil in the pan — 2 tsp. — and heated it over high heat until, as he put it, the pan was “shimmering.” This is what a shimmering pan looks like.
He added the fish to the shimmering pan, with the skin-side up, he then salted and peppered that side. The salmon cooked, uncovered, over medium high heat for about eight minutes until they were toasty brown. For good browning, none of the pieces should be touching each other. And if you have a thinner piece, like we did, make sure it cooks for a shorter amount of time.
When he turned them over, they looked like this. Already I want to pick off a piece of the crunchy crust, that little piece hanging off the left end of the piece in the front would be perfect thank you.
But I didn’t have long to wait. Another four minutes on that other side, and voila! Once again, Joe B. Hall shows his cooking genius, totally up to the magic.♥ Tender in the middle, crisp on the outside, healthy all over! Serve it with a squeeze of lemon and a crisp green salad and you will go to bed laughing at how healthy you are.
Alrighty then! I’ve now managed to swallow up a large chunk of your busy day! I hope I’m satisfied. I COULD actually go on! I have tablescapes to show you, light and shadows, quilts! Oh yes, there will be more.OK, I hear you, but one more thing, please don’t worry if you haven’t gotten your Willard yet, they take four days to all go out, if you’ve signed up, but haven’t gotten yours by Saturday, let us know ~ be sure to check your spam folder first.) ~ And be SURE to leave a comment at the bottom of this post (click on those tiniest letters that say comment) so you’ll be entered in the drawing for the GiveAways!
Oops, one more thing ~ I found this wonderful photograph I thought you might like to use as a screen saver for the season. Just click there. We’ll put it up in the web store under “Free Stuff” soon along with lots more festive things for the season ~ it’s that time of year! Isn’t it gorgeous? We were just there a few months back ~ it’s Louisa May Alcott’s House, Orchard House, in the snow. So, romantic. Can’t you just see her and her sisters throwing snowballs in their long skirts? I’ll leave you (finally, whew!) with that lovely thought. Enjoy your day Girlfriends! God Bless our world, and especially beautiful Paris. ♥ XOXO
And don’t think I did this all by myself . . .