Lamar press releases Duff’s ‘Memphis Mojo’
When a book looks good, you just get into it.
The first page begins the story in a diner, with “eggs scrambled just this side of too dry,” causing the customer to chew more than he wanted to. Since I’ve recently visited Memphis, the cover caught my eye. I was a few chapters in before I noticed the author’s name, Gerald Duff, and recalled a local East Texas connection. Another of his books was sent to The News for review, and I liked it. Lamar University Press released this new novel, which includes a pair of policemen who razz each other about romance and excess weight as much as they right the wrongs of Memphis. There’s also Jimbo, who’s running a cowboy church. I don’t even want to reveal any more. I’m just glad Duff is at it again. This is a follow up to “Memphis Ribs.”
Herbs that are alive
Erbaviva sounds great in English, and means herbs that are alive” in Italian. The aromas will relax you as soon as they are uncapped and the line is made from what makers say are the highest quality organic and wildcrafted essential oils. There’s a big old product line and you’ll want one of everything. I’ve inhaled lavender, rose and neroli from the Relax Body Wash and am spritzing everything I can with Relax Spray. Those same scents are in Relax Body Oil that are designed for a massage but (and this I love) can mix with the line’s bath salts for a custom scrub. This is the good stuff that goes a long way. It’s a treat-yourself kind of experience.
Bubbles & Bliss for Mother’s Day
Freixenet Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée at about $12 is the latest addition to the renowned Spanish sparkling wine producer’s Cordon Negro family of bubblies in the black bottle. Yes, I’m saving the bottle, after enjoying the peachy bubbles straight with cheesecake. I seriously enjoyed its contents more than some more expensive Champaign I’ve tried over the years. My mother already enjoyed her taste. The makers suggest their libation as part of this brunch idea for Mother’s Day:
Fluffy Cinnamon French Toast with Macerated Fresh Berries
3 large eggs
1 cup milk (preferably whole)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 slices day-old bread such as brioche or challah
2 cups various berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
one half cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice or another citrus juice
Combine berries, sugar and orange juice in a nonreactive bowl and stir until the berries are completely coated in the mixture, then let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Combine eggs, milk and cinnamon in a medium-sized mixing bowl and beat together until eggs are incorporated. Dip slices of bread, one at a time, in the egg mixture and let sit for at least 30 seconds to absorb some of the mixture. Reserve dipped bread on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet until ready to use. Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium-high heat. Melt a little butter in the skillet and fry egg-soaked bread until golden on one side, then flip, frying until golden on the other side. Serve hot topped with berries, powdered sugar or maple syrup.
3 large eggs
1 and one half cups milk
two thirds of a cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Add-ins, such as chopped spinach, sundried tomatoes, diced ham or bacon, shredded or grated cheeses
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Whisk all ingredients together until there are no longer large lumps of flour. Pour batter into pie plate and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the quiche does not wiggle in the center.