I went to Bogart’s Bookstore and Cafe in Millville to attend a local young
adult author panel.I love Bogart’s and I wish that it was closer
to my current location (or that they could open another Bogart’s in The
Voorhees Town Center and then I could walk across the street and visit anytime
I like).Bogart’s is delightfully
charming with just the right dash of quirk.
Their drinks are tasty and they
have a great supply and variety of new and used books.
I loved my lavender lemonade.
were five young adult authors on the panel.
discussed and then read an excerpt from their novels and then came the part of
these types of events that I sometimes hate. The question and answer time.
A Rant if I
There is a
particular etiquette that should be followed when asking questions at author
panels.You should never start out your
question with “I” unless it is, “I read your book and Ireally loved it.”You should not start out your question with ,
“I wrote a book and I was wondering if you could…..because these questions
never end well.I believe that authors
enjoy talking about the art and process of writing.They like discussing their novels but I
believe that probably for the most part the publishing world is still just as
mysterious a maze as before they were officially published.If the purpose of the panel is geared toward
getting published then you can ask questions but if it is geared toward the
writers and their works, questions should be kept to those topics.Authors cannot, hook you up with their/an
agent.Authors can’t help you get in
with their publishers.Authors are not
going to read your (a complete stranger’s) manuscript and critique it for you
(unless that is a paid service the author provides). They are not there to
answer questions and discuss your yet
to be published project during the open panel (though if you purchase one of
their books and get them to sign it you
could probably slip in a question or two…no more than that though). Thanks for letting me vent that out.
all five authors were great and each had a different interesting story. Since I
already had a pretty good stack of books at home to read I told myself ahead of time that I
would adhere to a two book minimum.
books I purchased were
Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets-by Evan Roskos-
read the first few pages I knew I had to read the entire book.How could I resist a teen who wants to be like and speaks like Walt
Whitman and talks to an invisible pigeon. I was excited to see that Evan was added to the Collingswood Book Festival's list of authors. It will fun to hear him speak again after I've read the book.
enjoyed his reading and that his superhero teen boy had thoughts probably more
related to what a lot of us would actually think when you are a superhero.Not like “a monster is before me and I will
vanquish it with my superhero
powers, but more like,(with sarcasm) great a giant monster, with tentacles,
yippee, can’t wait to fight that.Pab
also won some points because I ended up realizing that I met him in the past. I knew he looked familiar and when he said he did Nanowrimo I knew I had met him at past write-ins. Of course I had to buy a book by a fellow Nanoer.
The three other authors were women
Trinity-by Lauren D. Fraser - I may have to pick this one up sometime in the future. It is about three sisters who begin having strange dreams and in order to uncover the meaning of their dreams they must travel to Scotland and have an amazing adventure.
Earth Child: The E.D. Piper Chronicles - by Laura J. Kaighn - Since I arrived a little bit late I actually missed Laura's talk and excerpt reading. The story looks interesting. It is about a girl who is a shape shifter who is being pursued by a geneticist who wants to exploit her abilities and use them to build a super army.
From Hunt to Teen -by Renata Brodie - This seemed a bit reverse Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A girl is brought up to hunt down, fight and kill all manner of evil creatures and after fifteen years she decides she wants to find out what it is like to be a regular teen (of course you can never truly hide from evil). What I thought was fun was that the villain turns out to be a descendant of Elizabeth Bathory. She is one of the most creepy real life historical villainesses ever to have lived. She even has her own card in the Evil Baby Orphanage game.
All of the authors were very nice and gracious and I'm glad that Bogart's hosted the event.
Note: Evan had free stickers that promoted his book. Brilliant, I know. Who doesn't like stickers? I'm an adult and I still enjoy the occasional sticker. That was an impressive marketing idea.
We are ice cream snobs, meaning that we prefer homemade ice cream from small mom and pop shops over the kind found in the freezer of a grocery store (not that there's anything wrong with that). We have three current ice cream haunts
-Springer's- Stone Harbor, NJ (they really are the best and the only place I know to have peanut butter Oreo ice cream)
-Franklin Fountain- Olde City, Philadelphia (because who doesn't like ice cream served by a guy with a bow tie and a curly mustache)
We are always on the lookout for a new delightful creamy addition to our list and when I saw that there was a homemade ice cream shop in Fishtown I knew we had to check it out.
Little Baby’s Ice cream is connected to a pizza shop called Pizza
Brain that boasts the nation’s first pizza museum.
Their pizzas looked good and had some
interesting toppings so we will have to make a return trip at some point.
Equally interesting were the ice cream flavors Little Baby’s offered.We were treated to free samples as soon as we
entered the shop.
After sampling four of
the flavors I settled on one scoop of Balsamic Banana and one scoop of Coffee
Toffee.My husband had one scoop of
Birch Beer Vanilla.All of the flavors
were tasty but I especially liked the Balsamic Banana.As samples we also tried the Red Bean Rice
Krispy and the Bourbon flavor. I'm not sure if you can get drunk from eating ice cream, but it wouldn't surprise me if you ate a scoop of Little Baby's Bourbon flavor.
After ice cream we found that our legs were still thirsting for a stroll so we drove over to Northern Liberties and stumbled upon their weekly flea market that sets up in the Piazza every Sunday.
The flea market prompted us to have a conversation concerning what the difference is between vintage items and junk found in your Grandfather's basement or attic. To be honest I really can't explain it using words. I could look at something and tell you that it is vintage ( as opposed to junk and that's mostly based on pinterest and stuff I read on blogs) but I couldn't tell you why.
There were some interesting things at the flea market. Here is something new to haunt my nightmares thanks to Dr. Who and my already established fear of clowns.
There were a lot of things that I wanted to purchase
but I couldn't build a solid enough case for why I had to have them nor could I identify an exact place in our house for them to go so I left with my arms empty.
It ended up being a great day, we devoured meat, ate ice cream and
walked about at a flea market.Days like that are ones
that make me glad that I live so close to a city.
All along the sidewalks in Fishtown there were trash cans painted to look like monsters. I guessed that they were created to encourage residents to throw away their trash in the proper place. I didn't mind them but my husband found them disturbing. He thought that this one looked like "Grimace gone bad."
Since the demise of Little Louie’s in Collingswood we have
felt a little lost as to where to go to get a bbq fix.After a bit of searching we decided to
venture into the Fishtown section of Philadelphia to give Fette Sau (Fat Pig)
For those who are not familiar, Fishtown used to be a
section of the city that you would avoid venturing to but it has slowly been
evolving into a cool place to hang out. With places like Frankford Hall and Barcade
springing to life like kernels of hipster popcorn the area has potential though most
venues are still located between expanses of nothing causing a
lack of strollability.
Sau certainly has presence.As soon as
we walked up and I saw the inviting picnic tables and the weathered house front
with porch seating it set my mind to think, this
is going to be a meal I am going to enjoy.
is no wait staff at Fette Sau.You
approach the counter and have the opportunity to feel like a caveman as you
survey your meat options (pointing and grunting is optional).At first it
felt a little overwhelming because we wanted to try everything, it was a good
thing that the way the meal is served, you actually can try a bit of this and
that without feeling like a completely fat pig when you are done.
ended up getting a sampling of brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and ribs.Our carnivorous choices were laid out family
style on top of a piece of parchment paper set on a cookie sheet.I thought that was a pretty neat culinary
display.For our sides we decided on the
burnt end baked beans and the chili butter rubbed corn on the cob.It was a lot of food and all together the
entire meal which was more than enough for the two of us cost about
As my drink option I chose the cider that was
on tap (they also have a selection of craft beers on tap) because who can
resist a drink served in a mason jar?
settling down at a picnic table we tore into our food.
I appreciate bbq places that dish out your meat sans sauce
and then let you decide what kind and how much sauce to douse your food
with.Over saturated pulled pork is
rather unpleasant.Fette Sau offered
three bbq sauce options.
Dr. Who fans will know which bottle I wanted to add an "ie" to.
Everything was yummy but my favorites were the pulled pork
and the ribs (and I’m ordinarily not a big rib fan).The baked beans and the corn on the cob were
also fantastic.Every so often friendly
staff approached our table and asked how we were and if we needed anything.I’m pretty sure the actual chef came to talk
to us but he didn’t announce that he was the chef or anything like that so I’m
not 100% certain.Inside there are
several extra-long tables and given the venues laid back feel it seems like it
would be a fun place to chill with a big group of friends (only if
those friends were not vegans or vegetarians).
They did have some delicious dessert options, but we had a
specific dessert destination in mind….
I can't eat bbq without wanting to sing this song from Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas
I love strawberry season.As they sit in their little blue cartons at the farmer’s market, they
looked so fresh and vibrant. I always have to pick up one or more pints every
week while in season and at least once I must use them to make refrigerator
strawberry jam.Since I still need to
purchase proper canning supplies, refrigerator jam is an easy way to make fresh
jam and once made it will last in your fridge for one month (I’ve kept it
longer and had no problems).
You will need
4 cups of fresh strawberries- stems removed and cut in half
(I sometimes cut them smaller)
1 cup sugar (I like to use organic non-processed sugar)
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Combine the strawberries and sugar in a pot and bring
the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.Once it reaches a boil, lower heat to a simmer.
contents simmer, stirring occasionally until it becomes thick.The recipe I use says to simmer for an hour
but I’ve found it takes quite a bit more time.It is one of those nice things to leave on simmer and wander away to fold
some laundry or put away dishes or check your Facebook, strolling back to it
every so often to give it a stir all the while allowing your nostrils to
indulge in the blissful jammy scent.
Once it thickens but still retains some juicy strawberry
chunks, take the pot off of the heat and stir in the lemon juice.Let the jam cool.Once cool transfer the jam to a sealed
container that can be kept in your fridge.
I found that this jam works great in The Pioneer Woman’s Strawberry Oatmeal Bar recipe.You just need to
make a double batch of jam so you will have enough.
I can never make jam without singing the jam song that Carol
Channing sings in the made-for-television-all-star-cast version of Alice in
Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. I remember watching it when it first
aired in December 1985.My seven year
old self was in epic grand musical rapture. We tapped it on the VCR so I could
watch it over and over and over again, as seven year olds do and the Jam song was
always my favorite( The Lion and the Unicorn being my second favorite song). I was giddy with excitement a few years ago
when I found a used copy of the movie.I
still loved it as it transformed me back into my seven year old self even after
all of these years, but my husband fled
after twenty-five minutes claiming that it might be the worst most cheesy thing
every put to film.To each his own I