AND THE WINNER OF THE MILLION PAGE GIVEAWAY…..

is revealed:

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Elizabeth, drop me an email at sallybr2008 at gmail dot com with your mailing info.

Actually, the book is not released yet, but I will pre-order it for you and once it’s out, you’ll get it.

Thanks to everyone who participated!  

And let’s move to the 2 million milestone, one page at a time…

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DRUM ROLL PLEASE….. ONE MILLION PAGE VIEWS! IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!

(Sep 23rd, 2014: comments are shutdown, no further entries accepted) 

Today my Bewitching site hit a wonderful milestone: 1,000,000 page views How on Earth did I get there?  ;-)

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I am so excited about it, I will offer a small token of appreciation to my readers.  Ottolenghi is about to publish a new cookbook, PLENTY MORE, so if you would like to have it, leave a comment on this post.  The giveaway is open to the whole wide world, by the way…

The comments will be open until September 22nd, and I will announce the winner the following day. Of course, shipping the book will depend on its release, as soon as I get it, it ships.

plenty more

It’s been a ton of fun to keep this site going, and of course hitting this milestone gives me an extra boost of energy!

HEADED TO COLORADO!

Summer is almost over, we’ve worked very hard this year, so it’s time to recharge our batteries.  In a few hours we will start our drive to Silverthorne, for a five-day much-needed break. We intend to play some golf, hike, run, relax just the two of us.  The Bewitching goes on, maybe I will be a little less prompt answering comments and visiting blogs…

Silverthorne

(image from Wikimedia)

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OH, MY GOD! I THINK I SAW SOMETHING….

At the end of a beautiful Summer night we were sitting at the kitchen island chatting about our  day. From the corner of my eye I see something.

“Oh, my God!  I think I saw a mouse!”.

“No, you didn’t”.

(That type of remark never fails to hit a nerve)

“What do you mean, no I didn’t?” 

“You really think you did? Where?”

“From under the stove, I think it ran and passed through the air conditioning vent at the bottom of the cabinet”

composite4(Phil – reluctantly, I must add – gets up and inspects the vent)

“There is NO WAY a mouse can pass through THAT. Don’t worry, you didn’t see anything”

 (I wasn’t particularly thrilled, but accepted that maybe it was all part of my vivid imagination)

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 TWENTY MINUTES LATER….

I get up to grab a glass of water in the fridge.  I know, I know, it’s always me. Never anyone else.

A gray mouse dashes between me and the fridge, and hides behind the trash can.

 (Insert high-pitched scream here)

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You see? You see? I TOLD YOU!  Why don’t you EVER BELIEVE ME?  You think I’m some kind of a Drama Queen, don’t you? So there you have it: THERE WAS A MOUSE ALL ALONG!  We’ve probably been living with this monster for months, maybe there is more than one, maybe there is a whole family, but NOOOOOO, “you didn’t see a mouse, Sally”.

“Ok, ok, I am sorry. We do have a mouse. I tell you what, let’s get the dogs to take care of him”.

So we devised this perfect plan.  First, Phil stood by the trash can with a broom ready in case the creature decided to run away.  Then, doing my best to stop shaking, I locked Chief in his cage, and brought Oscar and Buck to the war zone. I was actually quite optimistic,  having witnessed more than once Buck retrieving and killing snakes in our backyard.

“Ready boys? Ready boys? There’s a mouse, there’s a mouse, GO GET IT!”

(Phil moves the trash can. No action, apart from my preemptive screaming)

“Where IS the mouse?”

“I don’t know, maybe it went inside the trash can, let’s see”

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!  Don’t open it here, if the mouse jumps out I WILL have a heart attack and die, I SWEAR I WILL. You simply cannot open it here. How can you even CONSIDER doing that?

(I think the husband sighed)

“OK, FINE!  I will carry it all the way to the garage and open it there if that makes you happy.”

I did not care for his tone a bit, but was too terror-stricken to let him have a piece of my mind. Plus, the “all the way to the garage” is a few steps, but “I” am the Drama Queen. How unfair is that, can you even stand it?

As he is moving the trash can, the rodent pops from underneath, runs like Usain Bolt, ignores my crazed screaming, and passes right by Oscar’s nose. Our valiant dog BACKED AWAY FROM IT, as if afraid, disgusted or a mixture of both.  Buck? He was already laying in his bed, oblivious to the whole thing.

Mouse disappeared under the stove.  Five minutes later he pops up out of who knows where over the countertop by the sink, sprints in front of my beautiful salt and pepper bowls, jumps and dives through the opening of the stove burner!

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In a complete state of mental disarray,  I called it a day. Left the kitchen after informing Oscar and Buck that – effective immediately – they were on a diet.

Phil set up a mouse trap with ham and peanut butter and placed it under the stove.   The beast was pronounced dead next morning, around 5:25am, when we entered the premises to have our cappuccino.

Never a dull moment, my friends.  Never a dull moment.

ONE YEAR AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with Hoisin-Grilled Chicken & Soba Noodles

TWO YEARS AGO: The Manhattan Project

THREE YEARS AGO: Carrot “Nib” Orzo

FOUR YEARS AGO:  A Sticky Situation

FIVE YEARS AGO:  The Garden

 

 

AND HERE ARE THE WINNERS!

All names were written in pieces of paper, carefully folded.  The husband picked two names, the first one will get the beautifully crafted wooden board, and the second will get the cookbook, My Paris Kitchen.    Not surprisingly, my beloved managed to pick two gorgeous ladies….. he’s got a magic touch, I suppose…   ;-)

winners

 

Congrats to the winners, and please send me your address info so I can get those babies in the mail for you!

 

 

TEN YEARS AGO

We had to say a sudden goodbye to my Dad.  I could not get to Brazil in time for the funeral, which is something that haunted me for a while, but not anymore. Instead, sweet memories of him will be with me forever.

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For those who can read Portuguese, a text written today by my oldest niece.

Ele foi embora há dez anos, mas está sempre presente na minha vida. Muito do que tenho e dos valores que tenho vieram dele e da minha avó, através da minha mãe. Para mim e para muita gente ele foi um exemplo de vida, de caráter, de honestidade, e de muitas outras coisas. Com certeza não foi perfeito, era um ser humano normal, mas principalmente, e sem sombra de dúvida, gente como ele faz a humanidade melhor.

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MAJESTIC SEDONA, TAKE TWO

A couple of years ago I wrote about Sedona, a place I fell in love with at first sight. Impossible not to.  What I did not know at the time is that Sedona would be back in our lives for a very special reason. It was the place chosen by my stepson and his fiancée (aka “the coolest couple in L.A.) to tie the knot.  And tie the knot they did,  on a breathtakingly beautiful spot around a rock formation known as “Merry-Go-Round Arch“.

CarlyCaseySedona, April 12th, 2014

We drove over 16 hours to attend the magical wedding ceremony performed by a Native American Indian.  As the sun slowly set down on the horizon, we were all mesmerized by the beauty surrounding us, and united in our wishes of happiness for the newly weds.

Our trip was an opportunity to connect with the three “kids”, who are kids no more. It was also an opportunity to connect with our beautiful planet.  It could not have been more special than it was.

I share a few additional shots of our adventure
(click to enlarge each composite photo)

 

There was some golf… (both good and bad golf, as expected). Obviously, I am standing up too straight to start the shot, oh, dear Lord of the Golf, when will I ever learn?)

CompositeGolf

We had a great rehearsal dinner at René Restaurant in Sedona. Here we are, waiting for our guests, Phil carefully studying the wine list… Me? I was trying to win the fight for attention with the wine list. Not an easy task, but I like a challenge. That explains the golf too.   ;-)

RehearsalComposite

The afternoon of the big day, and the excitement of getting ready for it… Remember my other stepson? J & M got married only 7 months ago.  He got his PhD in Cancer Research at the University of Arizona, in a flawless defense we attended a couple of days before the wedding, and they will move to San Francisco very soon. This was a week with many reasons to celebrate!

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The jeep ride to the site, and the arrival of the beautiful bride with her proud Dad…

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After the wedding and the jeep ride back to town, we had dinner at Heartline Café.  During the meal, a fantastic caricaturist made drawings of all the 13 members of the party. What a cool idea that was, everyone left with a unique and quite personal souvenir of their wedding day!

Drawing-side

I close this post with something special we found while walking around town the day before our departure. Rings made by a local artist, in copper and silver.  We decided it was a nice additional souvenir to remember their happiness, and celebrate ours…   ;-)

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 ONE  YEAR AGO: Secret Ingredient Turkey Meatballs

TWO YEARS AGO: Swedish Meatballs and Egg Noodles

THREE YEARS AGO: Italian Easter Pie

FOUR YEARS AGO: Black Olive Bialy