Diane Sawyer Newsletter/Blog #8 June 2013

Diane Sawyer Portrait

Hello everyone, old friends and new and family too.

Thank you one and all for reading the previous newsletters. I hope you enjoy this one.

Fondly,

Diane Sawyer

 

Writing News

Montauk Mystery Montauk Steps Tomoka Mystery Cinderella Murders Montauk Cave

Reviewers have chosen to describe my novels with these words: romantic suspense, cozy mysteries, a mystery served with a taste of history, archeological mysteries, a fun read, a blend of fact and fiction, and a page-turner.

Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle editions are available at Amazon and other online sites. I’d like to thank the publishers, editors, and staff at Avalon Books, Worldwide Mysteries, and Amazon Publishing for their encouragement and support. And a special “Thank you” goes out to everyone who has read my novels.

 

This and That

Did you know that many famous sayings have a follow-up line that isn’t so well known? For instance, many of us have heard the words “Curiosity killed the cat.”

But the meaning is changed completely with the second line.

Curiosity killed the cat

But satisfaction brought it back.

Here’s a well-known saying: “A woman’s work is never done.”

The follow-up line adds a cute she-said he-said banter.

A woman’s work is never done,

And a man’s work is never fun.

There’s the popular theory, “You can drag a horse to the river, but you can’t make it drink.” This addition (Sorry it doesn’t rhyme)changes the meaning.

You can drag a horse to the river, but you can’t

make it drink.

Yes you can if you salt its oats.

 

Travel

Last year while I was traveling with a tour group through England, we stopped in the city of York to visit a centuries-old area of quaint shops and narrow cobblestone streets called The Shambles. A sign in a glass shop advertised handmade Lucky Cat figurines, available in twelve brilliant colors matching the lucky gem stones of each month.

I asked the shopkeeper about the significance of the figurines. He said they were to honor the cat statues that had helped York survive the plague and other diseases spread by rats and mice. He explained that cat statues had been perched on York buildings for centuries, possibly dating back to the Middle Ages. Apparently even a statue of a cat was capable of scaring away rats and mice.

The shopkeeper reminded me that cats are known to bring good luck and are, themselves, lucky because they always land on their feet when they fall, even from high rooftops. At the mention of “rooftops,” he offered me a brochure which described the Fabulous York Cat Trail that began outside his door and meandered throughout the city. A map showed the location of the famous sixteen cat statues.

Intrigued and with maps in hand, several of us from the tour group set out to find the cats. They were visible from the street. With their realistic coats of black, white, gray, and orange and the variety of their natural poses, they appeared real. Perched atop buildings or lurking in unexpected places like a village clock or lamppost, they had one thing in common. They all seemed to be peering down at the street blow, ready to pounce.

Cat number 1 turned out to be a carved cat, not a statue. Cat number 3 sat on the roofline of a building and was stalking a pigeon statue. Cat number 8 clung to an old fashioned gas-style street lamp. Cat number 11 sat on a former grocer’s building, where once there had been nine cats, representing the nine lives that cats reportedly have. Even with a full day in York, we couldn’t have found all sixteen cats. The directions telling how to proceed from one place to the next were mind-boggling.

For instance, “Turn left under the stone arch into the Snickleway which leads onto Whi-ma-whop-magate to find the first two cats.” And this: “A central cat can be found on Walmgate which is a continuation of Fossgate. Fossgate is to be found by turning left at the bottom of the Shambles and then right where the Army and Navy store is located.”

You see the problem. This wasn’t your basic turn right on First Street North and proceed three blocks to Third Avenue.

Our search for cats took us through the twisting streets past charming shops with roofs that nearly met over our heads. We would never have ended up there without the brochure nor would we have learned the history of many of the buildings from the local shopkeepers as they wrapped our purchases. Maybe The York Cat Trail was a clever marketing strategy, but it was also a fun way to learn history and meet people.

(Coming next month, ten interesting facts about cats.) Here’s an example to pique your interest: A commemorative tower was built in Scotland for a cat named Towser, who caught nearly 30,000 mice in her lifetime!

 

Cooking Delights

Apparently the world is divided into two groups of people. Those who love beets and those who don’t. You know who you are. This month’s recipe is for…drum roll please.

Carrot and Beet Cake.

Ingredients

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tbsp hot water

1 cup all-purpose white flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp baking powder

1 cup raw beets, finely chopped

2 cups carrots, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 egg whites

 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round metal pan.
  • Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients and fold them into the first mixture.
  • Add chopped beets, carrots, and nuts. Stir well.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently add to batter.
  • Pour batter into cake pan and bake about 50 minutes. (Careful. The batter fills the pan.) Remove from the oven.
  • Cool the cake. Remove from the pan. Ice with vanilla icing. Serves 8-10.
  • Bon appétit. Enjoy!

 

Variations

Bake the cake in a square pan. When cool, ice with a thin glaze or icing and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. Cut the cake into squares and serve as a holiday bread or a healthy breakfast treat. Think of the carrot and beet cake as first cousin of pumpkin cranberry bread.

Happy Fourth of July!

Fondly,

Diane

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