Smoking Bishop from “A Christmas Carol”

Twice a month I head up the road to a 1920’s mansion where I meet with several writers (many 25 years my senior). For two hours we laugh and ramble. Brief critiques soon devolve into spirited discussions about the good old days (most of which were well before my time). Writing exercises, often based on bizarre photos from the 1890’s, are read aloud. These displays of wit and absurdity often leave me in tears. Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Seuss, and Chretiens de Troyes get equal billing, but not by all members. In an era of masterminds and conferences, this little Writer’s Group does not provide a leg up nor much in the way of pretense. At least one third of the attendees dismiss Facebook and have no idea what a tweet is. We’re a motley crew bound only by our love of the written word. And we’re not entirely productive. But goodness, it’s fun. We just had our annual holiday party, which required I bring something hot, boozy, and – for extra credit – bookish.  I’m making a vegetable lasagna but that …

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Israeli Fruit Salad

Say “camel” and the first word that comes to mind is hump. Please tell me I’m not alone in this. I don’t even have to be in the desert – I could be standing in a pool with a large, cold drink in my hand – but just thinking about camels makes me incredibly thirsty. And jealous. A camel doesn’t need to hold their drink. They don’t even need to use their mouth to hydrate.  They just stand there, continually refreshed by their built-in portable hydration hump. Camel humps are huge (weighing up to 80 pounds) and can keep a camel hydrated for up to seven months in the winter. Seven months without a sip of water! Sigh. Now. Don’t become discouraged. Even though we’ll still need to pick up our glasses to drink from them, there is another clever way to hydrate. And Israel is loaded up with it… we might as well call it the human portable hydration hump. Otherwise known as citrus. Oranges. Grapefruits. Juicy, juicy. So, to combat the thirst-inducing effects of a camel ride (or …

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