Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pink Geranium Tea Room

Caroline Short here. Welcome back to Bloomfield. My tea room has been very busy lately, and I’ve hardly had time to think straight. What with all the guests we’ve had this Spring and the new recipes Lida Mae is cooking up, we find ourselves a coming and a going.

Seems the younger men in town steer clear of us, but the ones who’ve lived here a long time know how good Lida Mae’s cooking is. They have no qualms at all about eating lunch here on a regular basis.

The Pink Geranium Tea Room is a little bit feminine with all the pink in the napkins, candles, and flowers, but the food is hardy enough for any man’s palate. Of course I couldn’t do any of this without my sweet daughter Selena. She gave up a wonderful job in the city to come home and help me run the Old Town Inn after Clint passed on a few years ago. Seems God needed him in Heaven, so that’s where he is now.

Lida Mae is the main cook, but I’m the pie and other desserts expert. You’d guess that by the few inches I’ve added to my hips since my high school days. We'll share our recipes with you in the coming weeks, but if you would like one now, see the instructions below. We even decided to have a give-away this month of some of those goodies.

On special occasions we plan special menus and our tea room is a favorite place for the Bloomfield Garden Club ladies to have lunch, meetings, parties and whatever else they can think of. Other groups meet here, too such as our Bible study group.

This is our typical menu for Valentine’s Day and hostesses may choose from it to plan menus for their own special occasions.
The Pink Geranium Valentine’s Day Menu 
Chicken with Craisens and Walnuts
Spinach salad with Strawberries and Walnuts
Fresh Fruit Salad with Lida Mae’s creamy dressing
Soups: Served with Fresh Fruit Salad
Soup of the Day: Creamy Tomato Basil
Cream  of  Asparagus 
Sandwiches :Served with  Bread of choice and a Fruit Salad  Chicken Salad
Assorted Finger Sandwiches with Tuna salad, chicken salad,
                          cucumber on flavored cream cheese
Turkey with Cranberry Relish 
Entrees : Served with Fruit Salad
Ham, Bacon, Cheese Quiche
Spinach Quiche
Chicken Crepes with Raspberry Sauce
Chicken  Cordon Bleu
Grilled Chicken Breast
Chopped Steak with Sauteed Red Bell Pepper and Onions
Cherry Cheesecake
Red Velvet Cake
Strawberry Shortcake
Scones with  Devonshire Cream and Fruit Jam
Pecan, Chocolate, or Blueberry Pie
Cherry Cobbler or Pie
Raspberry Ice Tea, Sweet Tea, Green Tea with Pomegranate.
Assorted Hot Teas  Flavored, Plain, Herbal)

Specialty Breads: Croissant, Rye, Wheat, Pumpernickel , White

If you'd like a recipe for any of the menu items, tell me in your comment and I'll be glad to share. Be sure to leave your email address so I can send them to you.

Leave a comment and tell us what your favorite menu or food item is. We'd love your input for new ideas for the tea room. Each comment will give you a chance for this month's drawing of a box of goodies from Caroline's kitchen or Helen's bakery. Follow us by email for another chance. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

When Pigs and Parrots Fly

Welcome back to Bloomfield where life is simple, love is real, and stories are shared. Today we’re sharing a story about Murray the Parrot. His owner is Andy Barnhart, the town fire chief. Bailey, our reporter from the Bloomfield Gazette caught Andy between fires and interviewed him. Let’s listen in.

Bailey: Hi, Andy. I’m happy to see you up bright and early today.

Andy: I’m always up early. Murray doesn’t like for me to sleep in. The second the sun shines through the window, he starts making all kinds of racket.

Murray: <squawk>Good morning, sunshine!

Bailey: How long have you lived in Bloomfield?

Andy: My parents moved here when I was five years old. I don’t remember much before that, so as far as I’m concerned, Bloomfield has always been my home.

Bailey: How long have you had Murray?

Andy: Several years—ever since my sister passed away and left him to me. I don’t think she realized when she got him that parrots live as long as they do.

Murray: Long live the queen!

Bailey (laughing): Or king in your case.

Andy: You can say that again. He pretty much rules the roost.

Bailey: I’m not that familiar with parrots. Tell me more about Murray.

Andy: He’s a macaw, one of the most vocal of all the parrots, and his vocabulary is almost as good as any toddler’s in Bloomfield. He likes to let everyone know too, don’t you, Murray?

Murray (bobbing his head up and down): Murray wants candy.

Andy: I give him carrots and call them candy.

Bailey: How long have you been a member of the Bloomfield Garden Club?

Andy: For about twelve years, ever since Pamela made me go to my first meeting. She’d just lost her husband, and I was the only person who seemed to know how to talk to her since I’d gone through losing a wife, so we became friends. At that time, I would have done anything to make her happy.

Bailey: Oh? How about now? The two of you seem like a matched set.

Andy (shrugging and trying to hide a smile): I suppose it would seem that way. We do a lot together.

Bailey: How about romance?

Andy: Pamela and I are very good friends, and if there’s ever any romance, it’s between her and me. Let’s change the subject.

Bailey: Okay, let’s talk about your career. Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve been a firefighter.

Andy: Yes, that’s all I’ve ever done for a living. I knew when I was a little boy that’s what I’d be when I grew up, and now I’m living it.

Bailey: I know that firefighters have long shifts. What do you do with Murray when you have to go to the firehouse?

Andy: Most of the time I bring him with me, but every once in a while, I get a sitter.

Bailey: Yes, I’ve heard about that. Sherry told me all about her bird sitting experiences.

Andy: Sherry’s a sweet girl, but she’s too easy on Murray.

Murray: <squawk> Murray wants candy! Murray wants candy right now!

Andy (pulling a carrot stick from a plastic bag): Here ya go. As I was saying, Sherry gives in to all his whims, so I try to find someone who shows him who’s the boss.

Bailey: Like Pamela?

Andy: Yes, as farfetched as this may sound, she’s really good with Murray. They seem to have a deep respect for each other.

Bailey (laughing): I like a bird who knows how to show respect. Thank you for chatting with me, Andy and Murray. I look forward to seeing you at the next garden club meeting.

Andy: C’mon, Murray. Looks like Bailey is done with us. Let’s leave her alone so she can get back to work. Say bye bye.

Murray: <squawk> Bye bye. Don’t let the door hit you in the backside.

Now, as you can see Murray is quite the character. What he did the day he decided to fly the coop so to speak, has our town still talking. You can read all about it in Gail Sattler’s book, When Pigs and Parrots Fly.

Josh Tavendish owns the local pet store, and it so happens he’s right next door to the town veterinarian, Sarah Faire. The two of them have known each other since they were in school, but Josh is best friends with Sarah’s brother and that keeps him at a distance. When Sarah calms down a feisty dog in the pet shop, people are amazed and begin to look to the vet for all kinds of pet advice and dub her the “pet whisperer.” Of course having her next door gives Josh the advantage of supplying all those customers with every kind of pet item one could want.

On a day when Sarah is in the store for a special event, a fire breaks out across town, and she is left to take care of Murray while Andy goes to fight the fire. Well, Murray has ideas of his own and before anyone can react, he’s out the door and off for who knows where.

Through cell phone contacts and cooperation from people all over town, Josh and Sarah are kept aware of where the parrot lands. By the time they arrive and try to get  him, Murray has tired of that spot and takes off again. He leads everyone in town on a merry chase all over Bloomfield. If you want to find out how and where Murray is finally caught and what happens to Josh and Sarah, you’ll have to read Gail’s book. It’s a riot of fun.

A lot of people think the Bloomfield Garden Club set the whole thing up to get Josh and Sarah to see the truth about each other just like they did Stan and Amber. Come to think of it, a lot of the ladies from the club were involved in the chase, but this time I really think they’re innocent of any matchmaking attempts. Only time will tell.
Order this book from: (Use links from Take the Trophy and Run)

Leave a comment for a chance in the drawing for an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (Your choice). Follow us and receive an additional entry. Drawing will be March 31.

One new blog a week and one giveaway per month begins this week.

Thanks for stopping by today. We have a lot of crazy things in our town, but it’s also a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Hope you’ll come for another visit next week.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bloomfield, USA

Hello, I’m glad you decided to stop by for a visit. Come on in for glass of sweet tea and sit a spell. My name is Caroline Short and I live in Bloomfield. Our town is Anytown, Anywhere, USA. Everyone knows everyone else and Mayor Woody Hansen’s main goal is to top our population at 10,000 citizens. The only problem is that as soon as some move back, or we have a few babies, that many die or move away.
Come along today as I introduce you to a few of our good people who make up our town. First, you need to know that the Bloomfield Garden Club is the oldest organization around, and the ladies of the club pretty much have a say-so in everything that happens around town.

Don’t put it past the ladies to do a little matchmaking while they’re at it. Doesn’t matter if the two have known each other since childhood or have just met, if the ladies want the two to be together, some scheme or plan will get them together.

Case in point is a young couple who belonged together from the start, but they were too blinded to see each other as anything but friends. Amber is our crafty lady with a shop where she makes things we ladies buy to pretty up our gardens, and Stan owns the auto repair shop. We hatched a plot that would make your head swim. You can read all about it in Take the Trophy and Run. What a hilarious adventure that was. Poor Gnorman the garden gnome who holds our trophy will never be the same. For that matter, Amber and Stan won't either.
Amazon: take+the+trophy+and+run
Barnes and Noble: take-the-trophy-and-run-gail-sattler

Naomi McCord, bless her heart, is pushing eighty, but she isn’t one to let grass grow under her feet when she’s in the matchmaking mode. Just ask Sherry who owns the card shop about that. Of course, I have to agree with Naomi about one thing. Sherry did a need to make a few changes in her life to get out the rut she’d fallen into. Brad Henderson needed a nudge, too, but Naomi all but turned it into a shove from a rooftop.  Read all about Naomi’s meddling in Waiting for a View.

We have everything anyone might need to help make our town a place where people will want to live. We have good doctors, good lawyers, a wonderful church or two or three, grand old homes with gorgeous gardens, craft store, book store, bank, pet shop, bakery, newspaper, a funeral home and cemetery, even a Dollar Store, and of course nice parks with one set aside for animals.

I own the Olde Town Inn and the Pink Geranium Tea Room. I’ve lived here all my life and married my high school sweetheart. God needed Clint in Heaven, so that’s where he’s been the past few years. I sure do miss him, but things around the inn and the tea room keep me busy.

Oh, my, Winnie Simpson and Libby Birdwell are on their way into the tea room. I better run out and meet those two before Winnie says something that’ll rile up Libby or one of the other patrons. Sometimes, I’d like to tape Winnie’s mouth closed, but then that’s a story for another day. I hope you’ll be back next week for more about Bloomfield. I have lots of stories to tell you and many wonderful people for you to meet.

Thanks again for stopping by. Bloomfield is a new series written by eight authors and published by B&H. In the weeks ahead you’ll meet each of the authors and learn more about their books and their characters. Today’s books were written by Debby Mayne and Gail Sattler. 

We'd love to hear your comments and what you think about Bloomfield. We strive to please and want everyone to like our town.