Late Spring, Early Summer: The Perfect Time for an English Trifle

“A dessert typically consisting of plain or sponge cake often soaked with wine or spirits (as brandy or rum) and topped with layers of preserves, custard, and cream.” –Merriam-Webster dictionary

English trifle recipeI can still remember the first English Trifle I tasted years ago. Its soft airy whipped cream, comforting creamy pudding, fresh sweet berries and crumbly texture made for one memorable, heavenly dessert.

Having scoured my cookbooks (this was pre-internet) for an English Trifle recipe, but failing to find one that reflected the culinary vision I had in my baker’s mind, I set out to create my own.

I had just read Frances Mayes’ 1996 memoir Under the Tuscan Sun, in which she shared a Lemon Cake recipe that I had made, served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Deliciously moist and fresh, I decided to make my first trifle with her lemon cake in place of the more typical ladyfingers and sponge cake that one finds in traditional English Trifle recipes. Read more

The “Sunshine of the Lowcountry”

“I was born and raised on a Carolina sea island and I carried the sunshine of the low-country, inked in dark gold, on my back and shoulders.” –Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides  
Pat Conroy quotes
South Carolina Lowcountry, May 2016
“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” –Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides
“Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?” –Pat Conroy, My Losing Season

A Memorial Day Salute to Our Fearless Protectors

Memorial Day quotesIn honor of Memorial Day, we salute all of those who courageously gave their lives to protect our great nation and the values it espouses by highlighting the military’s steadfastness, discipline, order, bravery, humility, integrity and respect, reflected in the below excerpts, creed and poems. Happy Memorial Day!

“Virtue & The Soldier’s Soul” (taken from Endowed by Their Creator: A Collection of Historic Military Prayers 1774-Present, 2012)

“Virtue is the ‘animating spirit’ of the American military and is the ‘keynote’ of a Commander’s sworn duty of exemplary behavior, supervision and correction.” Read more

Setting Sail Into New Realms

“Much have I traveled in the realms of gold, and many goodly states and kingdoms seen.” –John Keats
beautiful ocean sunrise
Photo courtesy of Madeline Huemme

From the East to West Coast and the North to South, set sail this summer – on ocean or lake – to bask in the sun’s golden hues and wander the waters of new realms. Read more

Springing With Flowers

“Earth laughs in flowers.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet, 1803-1882

beautiful spring flowers

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”
–William Wordsworth, English poet, 1770-1850

spring quotes

“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson Read more

“Originals”: A Surprising Truth about Entrepreneurs

Originals book review“Originality is not a fixed trait. It is a free choice.”
–Adam Grant

When people think of entrepreneurs, they tend to see them as the ultimate risk-takers: people who unabashedly take a chance on something they believe in. People who enjoy going out on a limb, taking leaps into the unknown and thrive on uncertainty.

But, it isn’t necessarily so. In fact, entrepreneurs are more risk-averse – and much more calculated – than you think. The proof is in Adam Grant’s latest book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

Utilizing data and studies from across industries, Grant shows how entrepreneurs are fueled less by risk and more by the opportunity to try something new, pursue a passion and see things in a new light. Read more

Happy Mother’s Day!

“The ordinarily decent impulses the ordinary man learned at his mother’s knee are our last line of defense against the wickedness of overweening power at home and abroad.”  –John Dos Passos (novelist, 1896-1970)

Mother's day quotesThe importance of mothers is beautifully captured in the below excerpt from the book, What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Tina Santi Flaherty (2004):

“The memory of our mother never leaves us – the good, the bad, and the ugly. That Jackie Kennedy Onassis was an exceptionally good mother even her harshest detractors readily acknowledge. Motherhood was what mattered most to Jackie. She believed that absolutely nothing came before the welfare of her children. Indeed, she referred to her efforts in raising Caroline and John Jr. as the best thing she’d ever done, saying she wanted to be remembered for that achievement more than for any other. She once remarked, ‘If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.’”

Continue delving into all things mother’s day with:
a reflection on why mothers are so important
a Colombian mother’s influence on her son
a children’s book reminding us of a mother’s love
words used to describe our mothers (and their motherly advice)
delicious recipes for a Mother’s Day brunch
and heavenly biscuits for mother’s day morning