Archive for Mary Monahan

Gold, Guns and Damsels

Three new books dealing with the history of the American West–always a subject of fascination– worth checking out:

The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the American West and the Yukon Gold Rush

The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral and How It Changed America

Nothing Daunted:  The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West


Danbury Civil War Hero

Nathan Hickock of Danbury was one of 1522 Civil War Medal of Honor winners. Hickock’s valor included capturing a Confederate flag. In 2004 the City of Danbury recognized this veteran with a ceremony and dedication of a plaque at the War Memorial. Read more about Hickock in  the News Times article.

The 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War is being recognized at the library with One Book One Lake events including movies: Gettysburg on 7/11 and Glory on 7/18 and Civil War author Jeff Shaara’s appearance at the Ives Concert Hall on July 25th.

Stephanie Plum is Back

Summer kicks off once again with a new one in Janet Evanovich’s numbered series–Smokin’ Seventeen featuring Stephanie Plum and the gang. We find bounty hunter Stephanie still torn between the two men in her life when a third appears on the scene. Add to that an elderly vampire, the usual fires and hijinks. Evanovich has another winner on her hands–218,000 copies were sold the first day according to PW.

The movie version of the first in this series, One for the Money had a June release date which has been rescheduled until Januarey. News reports indicate Katherine Heigl’s performance as Stephanie is less than spectacular. Even if the movie had rave reviews I wouldn’t go see it. I prefer my own image of the gang–no mere mortal could come close to my version of Ranger.

Mother’s Day

In 1915 Howard Johnson wrote the lyrics for the song M-O-T-H-E-R, Theodore Morse the music. Heard often in movies of the 30′s and 40′s, Garrison Keillor sings the tune occasionally on his show and will be sung by Tom Callinan at The Silo’s Mother’s Day Tea.
M Is for the Many things she gave me,
O Means only that she’s growing Old.
T Is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H Is for her Heart of purest gold.
E Is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R Means Right and Right she’ll always be.
Put them all together, They spell MOTHER.
A word that means the world to me.

Prince William’s Cake

The tradition of a groom’s wedding cake –in addition to the regular wedding cake–originates with the Victorians, is apparently still popular in the American South and is a feature of William and Kate’s royal wedding. Chef Darren McGrady (Diana’s personal chef) published the recipe of William’s choice of cake in his book Eating Royally:
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
Makes 1 cake – 10 portions
Her Majesty the Queen’s favorite afternoon tea cake by far. This cake is probably the only one that is sent into the Royal dining room again and again until it has all gone.
4 ounces dark chocolate.(for the cake)
4 ounces granulated sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter (softened)
1 egg
8 ounces Rich tea biscuits
½ teaspoon butter for greasing
8 ounces dark chocolate (for coating)
1 ounce chocolate (for decoration)
1. Lightly grease a 6 inch by 2 ½ inch cake ring and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.
2. Break each of the biscuits into almond size pieces by hand and set aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture starts to lighten.
4. Melt the 4 ounces of chocolate and add to the butter mixture whilst constantly stirring.
5. Beat in the egg to the mixture.
6. Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.
7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is un-molded.
8. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least three hours.
9. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand while you melt the 8 ounces of chocolate.
10. Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.
11. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.
12. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.
13. Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck it to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.
14. Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.