WISO: The Thanksgiving Visitor

I thought I would share with you all what I’m sipping on today. It is a short story written by Truman Capote called “The Thanksgiving Visitor.” This story was included in a book I have with two other shorts “A Christmas Memory” and “One Christmas.”

(Click picture &/or title for more info.)

I have not finished this story yet, too much Holiday chatter and bustle. Not that I am complaining, I am so thankful for having a family and a place to chat and bustle about with. So far it is a delightful read. I am enjoying the characters and looking forward to seeing how it plays out. It’s old fashion but in the best way. I am also really looking forward to delving into the Christmas stories next! At the stroke of midnight of course 😉
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe Thanksgiving Visitor
Book Bean: Black Coffee 
Better to enjoy all the sweet treats with 🙂
I’m enjoying a smooth medium roast, with mild spice and roasty-sweet notes
I read the other two short stories and discovered that all three stories are linked. They have the same main character and supporting character. I thought they were a nice pleasant read. The main character was likable enough, but it was his friend Sook that I really enjoyed. I liked reading the stories out of order, because it left a bit of mystery to the story (which was later revealed.) I read “The Thanksgiving Visitor” first, then “A Christmas Memory,” and “One Christmas” last.
Fun Fact: Truman Capote also wrote “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

 

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Fireside Fall Favorites

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It’s that time of year when the hearth is warmed and the mugs are filled, and we all need a good book and a hot cup of goodness to curl up with and enjoy.


Here is a list of great books & drinks for fireside reading:

A Parchment of Leaves
by Silas House

Named Kentucky Novel of the Year and won a special achievement award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 1917 rural Kentucky, Saul Sullivan marries a beautiful Cherokee woman named Vine. They weather the storm of prejudice, but when Saul temporarily moves away to work a better job, his younger brother makes advances on Vine that are not welcome and ultimately lead to tragedy.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Zesty Orange Mocha
A magical mix of cinnamon & orange in a mocha that’s to die for!
orange-mocha-recipe-1.jpgBrew strong coffee or pull 1 shot of epresso. Heat 4-5oz of milk in sauce pan to a gentle simmer & reduce heat, whisk in 3 squares of dark chocolate until smooth, add 2-3 drops of orange extract, add cinnamon to taste. Add mixture to your coffee. Top with marshmallows, garnish with orange zest & cinnamon.


Wuthering Heights

by Emily Bronte

Considered lurid and shocking by mid-19th-century standards, Wuthering Heights was initially thought to be such a publishing risk that its author, Emily Brontë, was asked to pay some of the publication costs. A somber tale of consuming passions and vengeance played out against the lonely moors of northern England, the book proved to be one of the most enduring classics of English literature.
Rated 4.5 on amazon.com
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Book Bean: Cinnamint Tea
Mint tea with a dash of cream sprinkled with cinnamon and/or a cinnamon stick.


The Thanksgiving Visitor

by Truman Capote

Another masterpiece by the great American writer Truman Capote is brought to an audience of all ages. Buddy and his closest friend, his eccentric, elderly cousin, Miss Sook (the memorable characters from Capote’s A Christmas Memory) love preparing their old country house for Thanksgiving. But there’s trouble in the air.
Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Pumpkin au lait
background-beans-caffeine-633481.jpgPull a shot of espresso add to mug (or 6-10oz of strong coffee & less milk.) In sauce pan heat 8oz of Milk (of choice) gently bring to simmer, whisk in 1tbsp of pumpkin (or pumpkin pie for sweet) puree, remove from heat, add mixture to mug & stir. Top with clove & cinnamon. 

The Hearth and Eagle
by Anya Seton

Seton embarked on a fervent search for her forebears that led her to Marblehead, Massachusetts, a “sea-girdled town of rocks and winding lanes and clustered old houses.” There she found not only an ancestor, but also the setting for this, her fourth novel.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

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Book Bean:
Hazelnut Brew
Pick up some unsalted hazelnuts. Put the beans and nuts in a coffee grinder. Measure them out to a ratio of two parts beans to one part nuts (or to preference.) Brew together in a French press. Serve with warm or steamed milk/cream and top with vanilla bean powder & nutmeg.


Far from the Madding Crowd

by Thomas Hardy

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak.
Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Countryside Cocoa
vegan-pumpkin-hot-chocolate-editedHeat and simmer milk of choice, melt/ mix in cocoa powder and/or dark chocolate, and dark brown sugar to taste. Add mix to a blender and spoon in apprx. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, a dash of pumpkin spice, a drop or two of orange extract. Top with cream and a sprinkle of spice.

Mind of the Raven
by Bernd Heinrich

Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can be spied on only by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a “raven father”, as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines and, in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens’ world.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Dark Delights
4.jpgNothing fancy on this one, just get some good quality Dark Roast Coffee and drink it black while nibbling on some delicious chocolate. My favorite is a dark chocolate bar with cranberry and sugared orange.

 

The Cider House Rules
by John Irving
Set in rural Maine in the first half of the twentieth century, Irving’s most beloved Novel tells the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch—saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud’s, ether addict and abortionist. It is also the story of Dr. Larch’s favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Crisp Apple Chai
applepiechai.jpgIn saucepan heat up half water half apple juice or cider and simmer with green apple slices.  Add in Chai powder mixture or concentrate. Add mixture to blender and blend till smooth. Serve with garnish of apple and topped with whip and/or caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

The Lay of the Land
by Richard Ford

Frank Bascombe has been many things to many people. His uncertain youth behind him, we follow him through three days during the autumn of 2000, when his trade as a realtor on the Jersey Shore is thriving. But as a presidential election hangs in the balance, and a post-nuclear family Thanksgiving looms before him, Frank discovers that what he terms “the Permanent Period” is fraught with unforeseen perils.

Rated 3.9 on amazon.com

Espresso Canarian Espresso Zaperoco CoffeeBook Bean: Bourbon Bombón
Carefully pour sweet condensed milk in a small glass, Pour in 1 shot quality Bourbon, then top with espresso shot. Serve showing the layers, Stir before consuming.


A Patchwork Planet

by Anne Tyler

This novel introduces 30-year-old misfit Barnaby Gaitlin, a renegade who is actually a kind-hearted man struggling to turn his life around. A New York Times Notable Book.

David Morse’s reading in a calm, even tone reflects the unruffled attitude of the central character in this story.
Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

Book Bean: Spiced Steamer
spiced-vanilla-pumpkin-milk-steamer-5-edited.jpgSteam or simmer rice milk (almond is also nice) over low heat. Mix in agave syrup, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, dash (very small) of cayenne, all to preferred taste. Pour in cup and sprinkle lightly with spices, garnish with cinnamon sticks, and let it warm your soul!

What are your Favorite Fall Books to Curl up with?

Cozy Christmas Reads

I love snuggling up with a book at Christmas time. Gathering by a warm fire and/or twinkling lights, sipping something hot and getting lost in a cozy wintery story.

Here are some books I really enjoy reading at Christmas time:
 (Click the pictures and/or titles for more info.)

Miracle on 34th Street
You have probably all seen the movie, but it does not compare to the book (as usual.) I like the movie and actually the book is a nice extension of it. I was fortunate enough to have read it after the movie, which I think helps. It is a delightful book. The character of Kris Kringle is so enjoyable and jolly, you can’t help but love it. The story is wholesome and teaches us so many important lessons. If you have not read it, I urge you to do so, I think you will be happy you did.
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Book Bean: Eggnog Mocha
Your basic mocha but made with 1/3 parts eggnog 2/3 part milk (or to taste if like it extra sweet.) I also only use about half the amount of normal chocolate.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The wonderful classic story by Dr. Seuss. He is so brilliant in his creation of such a horrendously likable creature. We love and loathe the Grinch. Which is why the story is so compelling, and why the ending is so fulfilling. The Grinch has become iconic, he is like Scrooge a symbol to be used for those less keen on Christmas spirit.
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Book Bean:
Nutcrackerccino
A cappuccino sprinkled and swirled with nutmeg.

A Christmas Carol
Speaking of scrooge. This book has to be the most timeless Christmas story of ever told. Everyone one knows the tale, and it has been made in to countless shows and movies. The book is fantastic and I wish more people actually took the time to read it. A Christmas Carol is a hauntingly beautiful book.
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Book Bean: Cinnamint Tea
Mint tea with a dash of cream sprinkled with cinnamon and/or a cinnamon stick.

rudolph_book_coverRudolph The Red -Nose Reindeer
Oh the wonderful story of Rudolph. I love this story. I love the idea of a character being different and then overcoming the struggles and pain that can come from it. I got my anniversary copy of this book at a black-Friday door buster, back when it was still a sane thing to do. This is a great story and the book is lovely.
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Book Bean:
North Pole Cocoa
Rich hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes for stir sticks.


The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
I hope you are not sick of me mentioning this book yet. How could I not at Christmas time! This is one of my favorite books to read in general, but I especially love to read it at Christmas. It is a wonderful winterland story, that all ages will enjoy. I think it is a great book to read aloud in a group.
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Book Bean:
Spiced Orange Chai
Your favorite Chai with a dollop of marmalade and a sprinkle of spice if you dare (mix while very hot.) You can substitute marmalade for orange liqueur.
Twas The night Before Christmas
A wonderful classic poem that has been made into a beautiful book. The poem alone is great, but adding such detailed and amazing illustrations makes it so special. The art work is stunning.
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Book Bean:
Gingerbread Steamer
Add hot milk and crushed gingerbread crumbs to blender, blend until frothy.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and/or cinnamon.

What books do you like to cozy up with for Christmas?
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Fun Fact: According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

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DAY 9 of 12
“Real isn’t how you are made… It’s a thing that happens to you.”

The Velveteen Rabbit
Margery Williams

This 1922 classic is getting a makeover for the holiday season with a beautiful new festive cover for Christmastime. This edition illustrated by picture book great Don Daily still tells the precious story of the little rabbit stuffed in a stocking as a present and his love for a boy.

Rated 4.5 on amazon.com

the_velveteen_rabbit_shared_piece_1I adore this book! The quality of storytelling and charming characters captivate and move my spirit. The best part of the books is the parallel meaning in-between the lines. If you’ve read it, really read it, you know and appreciate what it is. This is a book everyone should have a chance to enjoy, both as a child and as an adult.

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept…”

Book Bean: Velvety Orange Cocoa
Orange_Hot_Chocolate - Edited.jpgIn a saucepan heat 1-1.5 cup milk, .5-1 cup half n’half, a couple strips of orange-rind and 1 full slice of orange over medium heat. When hot add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips ( like 45% cocoa semi-sweets.) Add 1 tsp cocoa and 2 tsp powdered sugar. Whisk well until melted and smooth. Top with whip, orange rind for garnish,
a sprinkle of orange-sugar, and spice of choice (clove n cinnamon.) 
Orange Infused Sugar: Mix 1/4 tsp of orange extract with 1 cup granulated sugar in a bag. Mush around and mix until evenly distributed. Spread sugar on large rimmed baking sheet. Let stand until sugar is dried (30 min.)

“…Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off,
and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.

But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

 

12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 8 of 12
A lovely tale of a girl with the audacity to seek out her dream

The Christmas Wish
by Lori Evert
A brave little girl named Anja wants to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. This heartwarming story filled with extraordinary photographs is a special book for the
holiday season.
Rated 4.8 on amazon.com

applepiechaiBook Bean: Crisp Apple Chai
In saucepan heat up half water half apple juice or cider and simmer with green apple slices.  Add in Chai powder mixture or concentrate. Add mixture to blender and blend till smooth. Serve with garnish of apple and topped with whip and/or caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 7 of 12
“The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories.
Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale…”

~Vera Nazarian

The Nutcracker
by Susan Jeffers
Join Marie, Fritz, and the intriguing Nutcracker himself on a magical adventure only possible on a night like Christmas Eve. Behold the frightful Mouse King, the elegant Sugar Plum fairies, and the entire Land of Sweets in this dazzling, gorgeously-illustrated holiday classic. With spare text based on the story in the ballet, this book offers a front-row seat to the charming tale that is a perennial favorite of children and adults alike.
Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

51cc4cfarbl43ed42a36bb2a2d4aa8a5e6122b45de6Book Bean: Hot HazelNutmus
Nutty deliciousness
Heat up desired amount of milk (almond milk works nicely.) When milk is steaming hot add (per ea. cup of of milk) 1/2 tsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp sugar (powder or baker’s,) 1 tsp Nutella, and dash of nutmeg. Whisk until smooth, taste and adjust to taste. Mug and sprinkle with crushed nuts and nutmeg.

Gary-Avis-as-Drosselmeyer-in-Royal-Ballets-The-Nutcracker-c-ROH-Bill-Cooper-2012 - Edited.jpgHerr Drosselmeyer was “a toy maker, and a wonderful story teller.
Clara thought he could even perform magic!”