So…Today is Chocolate Day

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Chocolate!  (photo source)

When searching for topics to write about this month, I came across a website that claimed that July 7th is Chocolate Day.  They don’t know who created it, where it was first celebrated, except they suspect that it was candymakers.

I don’t even mind.  I love chocolate, and I know many of you do too. My personal favorite candy bar  is a Reeses, which is chocolate and peanut butter.  I also am a big fan of Nutella (chocolate and hazelnut spread).  There are many ways to eat chocolate, or make use of chocolate.  Sadly I did not eat any today, although my diet is probably happy I refrained.

My second favorite chocolate bar is actually not even a bar, its nuggets.  It’s the Hershey Nuggets with peanut butter or caramel inside.

So if you are up to it, and like chocolate, feel free to eat some today in honor of Chocolate day!  I’m going to go see if I still have some of my chocolate milk left.  That counts.

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Bookit Review: The Promise Kitchen

Title: The Promise Kitchen
Author:  Peggy Lampman
Publication:  August 16, 2016/June 25, 2015  (Kindle Edition/Kindle Unlimited Edition)
Grade:  B

With The Promise Kitchen I spent half the book wondering what I thought of it.  It kept changing on me.  It starts off strange with the one POV character (Shelby) and her mother trying to save money by burying two people in the same urn.  Which was not what I expected when I saw this on the “Recommend for you” scroll on my Kindle.  Still, I decided to continue to read it.  AFter all, I’m sure there was a point to why this scene was included.

The story  is about two women named Shelby and Mallory and how their lives change drastically over a year.  Shelby is a single mother of a daughter and lives with her mother, daughter and a Jackalope in a poorer community in lower Georgia.  Mallory comes from more affluent background, and lives as a food reporter in Atlanta.  They both start out the year with a big change.

Shelby gets a job at Grassos, an Atlanta based grocery chain that offers to pay for culinary school.  This is a step in the direction she wants to go to provide her daughter with a better life, but it does mean leaving her daughter for weeks at a time when she works in Atlanta (there is a 3 hour drive between Atlanta and home).

Mallory on the other hand, is having job issues of her own as her newspaper folds and decides to become a digital only company.  She barely retains her job in the transfer and has to double her job description while getting a pay cut.  And the man she believes to be the love of her life randomly left her.

Throughout the book the two women’s life criss cross without really meeting till halfway through the book when they are involved in a car accident.  Then both of their lives change quite a bit. Mallory ends up going on a tailspin that wakes her up to ongoing problems, while Shelby seemingly loses everything

Its better than I can summarize, and surprisingly, there was a point to the first scene, if its only brought up again at the very end.  The only issues I had with the book were the quick time changes where weeks would go by.  Clearly this has to happen to get through a year but at times it seemed a little confusing as to what had happened.

The summary on the back is a little misleading, as I kept thinking the two women’s lives would be more integrated.  I did enjoy it.  From what I was reading, this is Peggy Lampman’s first novel, and I’ll be interested in seeing what else she may write.  For now it seems like she is primarily focused on her food blog.

It was also originally published with the title Simmer and Smoke and contains several recipes at the end.

 

Ancestry & Tradition

As an American it is difficult to find oneself connected to any particular tradition.  I know some of my friends who have parents or grandparents who are recent immigrants have a stronger connection to their past then I do.  My family has been here for awhile.  And there are so many groups of people mixed in there its hard to really connect to any of them.

My last name is German. However, the most recent member of my family to not live in the US was actually Greek, so does that make me more German or Greek?  And do I actually have any traditions or family recipes that come from those links?

My family also contains people from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England (yep, we have the UK down. Definitely Anglo), Poland, and apparently a French Jew although I never had that one particularly explained.

I suppose when I think about it, I identify as “American” first  (for that is what I am) and if I have to go into something connecting my family history I go for German-Irish.   There is alot of Irish in my family, but that is not unusual for someone living in the US.  And like I said, my last name is German.

The tradition my family has of eating pork and sauerkraut for New Years is believed to be a German tradition, so I suppose there is that.  Although apparently in the US it seems to be more of a Pennsylvanian tradition then one held country wide.

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Sausage, Sauerkraut, and Potatoes. Source: pixabay

Sometimes I feel odd, not having that connection any tradition or what feels like culture.  I know that there are probably many things I do that are uniquely American in nature, and someone from another country might observe that as my ‘culture’.  But sometimes I just feel like I should be more knowledgeable about the places my family came from.

Although I once read on a website that my family comes from a part of Germany that keeps switching hands with the Danes so…maybe I’m Danish too.