It better not blizzard the day of the book party. As I write this post, a white wall of snow is blowing past my window and rattling the frozen tree limbs against the house. It is cold, people. A blizzard blew in on Monday night and buried us in a few more inches of snow and cold. This is fine with me, as long as Minnesota doesn’t play any cruel winter tricks on me or anyone traveling to get to the book release party on the 21st. Which is 17 days away. In case you didn’t know. If you haven’t, you should grab a calendar and circle the 21st in red sharpie. Add some exclamation points and a few stars for good measure. Good. Now, all you have to do is come on down (or up) to Prairie Bay in Baxter, MN from 4pm-6pm for good food, a good book, and a great time.
Meanwhile, I’ve barely noticed the cold. Why? I’ve been busily searching for tips on how not to be boring. Because, while I consider myself pretty good with the written word, the spoken word intimidates me a bit. You might think that after teaching acting classes I’d be totally at ease before an audience. Here’s a secret: my palms get sweaty and my blood pulses so loud in my head I’m worried I’ll have a heart attack. I usually deal with my nerves fairly well, but they are always there. The book release party being a momentous occasion, I really want to get it right. The same can be said for the author events I’ll be speaking at in the future: I want to make sure what I say intrigues people and gives them an unstoppable desire to read my book.
Most of the tips I’ve managed to find on author appearances are incredibly simple. Make eye contact, don’t read your speech, have good posture, etc. are things I’ve heard before. I need to find a book entitled, How to Be a Rock Star and Sell Oodles of Books. I’m looking at you, J.K. Rowling.
Until I find such a resource, I’ve just been mulling over what to say, trying on my book release dress (very important), and trying to choose which pages to read on the big day. I am also happy to say that I’m still healthy, despite Shane’s nasty cold continuing to get nastier (he actually asked me to call the doctor and make an appointment. For anyone who knows Shane, you’ll understand how concerning this is). Between batches of honey garlic lemon tea, I’ve been sipping one of my favorite soups: Stuffed Pepper Soup.
I love this soup more than the traditional dish and, though I crave it all year round, it is especially satisfying in winter. I like the taste of stuffed peppers, but I don’t like how squishy and rubbery the peppers get during the roasting process (I’m weird about cooked vegetables. I like them raw). The soup has all the flavor of the stuffed peppers, comes together quickly, and is a hearty, wholesome meal.
I adapt the recipe for my slow cooker and it couldn’t be easier. Brown the meat, drain the fat, pop all the ingredients in the slow cooker before you leave for work, and have a lovely dinner awaiting you when you get home (cook for 8 hours on low, 5 hours on high). Serve with a big slice of crusty bread and you might be in heaven.