For the Love of Science and the Quest-Happy Birthday, Rosalyn Yalow!

Happy Birthday, Rosalyn Yalow!

Rosalyn Yalow

There was an old-fashioned hutch in my third grade classroom and its shelves were filled with books.  Although my mother was always generous in buying me books (I posted a bit about that here), borrowing from my classroom library was a special treat and we were allowed to take home whatever we liked.  I loved that library – and the ability it afforded me to linger over stories outside of school.

Most of the books that I borrowed were biographies: Clara Barton, Thomas Alva Edison, Helen Keller and many more.  Each hardcover book featured a remarkable life of quests, challenges, set-backs, and accomplishments.  And, although I didn’t realize it at the time, each biography that I selected included some nuggets of “science” that I would later use.

I hope that there are hutches and bookcases that exist in today’s classroom, and, if there are, that a biography of Rosalyn Yalow will be found there for kids to borrow and savor.

Rosalyn Yalow won a Nobel Prize in “Physiology or Medicine” in 1977 for her (co) work on developing radioimmunoassay (RIA) used to detect hormone, vitamin, etc. levels that were too small for prior detection methods. Her work was instrumental in understanding Type 2 diabetes.

She and her fellow winners refused to patent the process, although they realized they could be come wealthy as a result, because she firmly believed that the RIA process should be widely used to benefit all.

Unlike Barton or Keller, Yalow had a robust family life as an adult.  She was married (to the same guy she married in 1943, until his death in 1992), had nice kids, was undeterred by discrimination against her because of her religion or her gender. (See http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1977/yalow-facts.html) Upon graduation from Hunter in physics, she could obtain a SECRETARIAL position with a biochemist at Columbia’s medical school – ON THE CONDITION THAT SHE MASTER STENOGRAPHY!  She stayed at that job as long as she had to (a few months.) Nevertheless, she persisted.

Rosalyn Yalow is one of my heroes.

I met her when I was a university student and she had already won the Nobel Prize. She was a warm and lovely presence, encouraging all in a love of science.

Happy Birthday, dear Rosalyn Yalow!

For the Love of Great Writing – Happy Birthday, Louisa May Alcott!

Louisa May Alcott, born 11.29.1832

If you didn’t look at her year of birth, you could tell the story of Louisa May Alcott as the story of a present-day author:  Before her Little Women success, Alcott produced numerous melodramatic works of fiction, many of which were turned into plays (works with titles like Pauline’s Passion and Punishment).

She didn’t particularly like what she had written – she did it strictly for the money.  When Alcott’s Little Women was published, she built on its commercial and critical acclaim by turning into a series (Little Men and Jo’s Boys).

Sometimes, Alcott fictionalized her real life experiences in her writings.  Hospital Sketches was based on her experiences as a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War.  Little Women was based on her immediate family.  Her works showed that women – even little ones – were capable, independent, interesting, resilient human beings.

On one of my mother’s and my jaunts to Doubleday Bookstore (it no longer exists; I wrote about the store here), she bought me Little Women.  My mom gave me a choice between two or three novels, but the paper jacket of LW sported a beautiful pastel drawing of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March – so that was a no-brainer.  It was a thick book, full of merriment, sisterly rivalries (I’m an only child so this was particularly fascinating to me), one of the girls getting published (Jo, of course), one of the girls going to Paris to study art (despite the family’s poverty), the girls staging little plays in their home (I did that with my friends), falling in love and spurning advances, the backdrop of the Civil War, parties, and personal service to others.  I devoured it.

Thank you, Louisa May Alcott, and Happy 184th Birthday!

 

 

Romancing the Procrastination

Do you doodle when you should be writing?

OK.  For National Novel Writing Month, I’m deep into Act 2, the long middle, the oh-no-one-dang-thing-after-another part and — what is that sock doing there — and should I make espresso or run out to Starbucks — is there any milk left and why can’t anyone tell me if they’ve drunk the last of it so I can go out and get more – can I send someone to get it — and shouldn’t I really make a Thanksgiving countdown “To Do” list for food prep, and ….

Asterisks - for those times when time elapses!

I took a phone call (forgot to turn off the ringer for a writing sprint), and I’ve left my heroine stranded in the Hamptons in July with a bad sunburn and she is torn because she really likes this guy but she’d rather be back at air-conditioned work in the City and – do we have any cookies in the house?

Must get back to writing… must get back to writing.  Maybe handwriting will jumpstart me.  Is there any paper in the house?  A pen?  How about the flap from a box of whatever?  You know, reduce, reuse, and recycle?

Distraction and procrastination are harsh masters.  If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see that I even became distracted from my distraction when I began to misspell “doodle.”  Misspell “doodle,” people!

That would drive my heroine crazy.  She has enough problems without me!  The guy she likes will be going back on the road soon (he’s a Minor League player) and this is her chance to connect with him.  But sunburn.  I gotta get her back to the City.  Now.

Love of La Bella Supermoon

Supermoon 2016 HaileyReede

Supermoon = Full Moon (or, technically speaking, a new moon) + Occurring at the Time of the Moon’s Closest Point to the Earth (perigee) in Its Monthly Orbit.

For some, a regular old full moon is a time of romance  –

Theatrical release poster designed by Olga Kaljakin as per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonstruck. Go see it - or see it again!

– or maddness, or high tides.  This one, this 2016 supermoon, is the closest, largest full moon since 1948.

Supermoons, special supermoons, 1948, Cher – distractions or plot bunnies during this demanding time of National Novel Writing Month and National Blog Post Month?

Alas, this November 2016 supermoon itself was not much of a distraction here in New York City.  The sky was intermittently overcast and rainy.  What’s a girl to do?  Hence, I supplied my own supermoon (see first photo).  And then, why not an owl?

Romancing the Process

In the 2016 USA Presidential Election, Hillary Rodham Clinton won the popular vote, but Donald J. Trump won the electoral vote and, hence, the presidency. ©HaileyReede

I had intended for us to move on in our curriculum, but in the election results came in during the wee hours of this morning.  And the declared winner is, anyone?  Anyone?

Let’s not always see the same hands.

Whether you are grieving or rejoicing in the results (no one is ho-hum, right?), look forward. There are elections next year – maybe beyond your back fence.  There’s work to be done.

Romancing 270

This is the sticker that is handed out to voters in the New York City area. At my polling place, they were out of these by noon. Huge turn-out. HYUGE!

If you have an interest in American presidential politics, right now you are glued to whatever media you prefer.  Technically, we are voting for “electors,” representatives in a group.  In order to win, a presidential candidate needs 270 of them.

Those who know me in the actual, as opposed to the virtual, world, know where I feistily stand on the issues and candidates.  But here, in Blogland, how much public political opining does a reader want or need from a romance writer?  Just in case this is important to you, I voted.

As a public service, I herewith provide a map of electoral votes state-by-state:

Electoral votes state-by-state in map form by Hailey Reede.

Have fun predicting!

 

 

Our Romance with the Renewal of Democracy

A pet accessory shop on Lexington Avenue in New York City weighs in on the 2016 Presidential election.

I pass this shop window display for pet accessories often.  What a wonderful country in which we can opine openly and passionately, and parody ruthlessly.

If you are a registered American voter, please vote tomorrow for our 45th president in our every-four-year peaceful revolution.  We need you – however you fill in the ballot.

Bring a snack.

#election2016 #politics #president #congress #amwriting #nanowrimo #nablopomo

Love of Humanity, Writing, and Espresso

Espresso Gone - Oh no! (1)

This has been a magnificent and hard-working day.

Magnificent: The weather is perfect for the New York City Marathon.  I have a great view of the Marathon.  The City is in good cheer.  My family understands that I have several writing projects and I’m working on them.

Hard-working:  Wait – “projects” makes them sound like hobbies with which I tinker.  No!  I have a writing assignment with an imminent deadline, the daily NaNoWriMo word production, and, of course, the blog-every-day-in-November challenge of NaBloPoMo.  I’d love to start with my NaBloPoMo writing first – about the beauty and significance of the New York City Marathon – with pictures!  But that will have to wait.

Meanwhile, I made a pot of espresso and drank the whole thing!  More?  Sure, I could make more, but it would be wrong.

 

 

Marathon Love 2016

Preparations for the NYC Marathon 2016 ©HaileyReede

The New York City Marathon, much like other challenges we set for ourselves (think: NaNoWriMo, NaBloPoMo, and participating in democratic elections), is an opportunity for renewal, for proving that we have the perseverance, the intelligence, the guts to overcome personal doubts and obstacles.

The “No Parking” signs have been up for a few days.  New York Police Department trucks have been setting up barricades along First Avenue.  The route itself has changed a bit in the past few years.  Former Mayor Bloomberg was instrumental in setting up bike lanes (alternatively thought of as the removal of affordable middle class parking spaces), and Citi Bikes.  But today, I see that a long line of Citi Bikes have been deactivated.  Just part of the prep.

People run from all over the world.  People assist and/or watch from all over the world.

Best luck to all you runners!  We’re with you.  We’re all running some kind of marathon.

#NaNoWriMo, #NaBloPoMo, #amwriting

The Romance of the Underdog in the World Series – Congratulations, Cubs!

Hey, Cubs' Anthony RIzzo, whatcha doing that winning ball?

If you’re a writer – and even if you’re not – you couldn’t ask for a better Game Seven of the World Series.  Two underdog teams, the Cubs and the Indians, slugged it out and, in an extra inning (heaven for baseball fans), the more underdoggian of the two teams, the Cubs, won!  This is sure to be coming to The Big Screen soon.

We were up until after 1:00 a.m., riveted to our television.  Day Two of NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo merged into Day Three.  Here’s the plot bunny: what’s going to happen to the winning ball that Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo pocketed?

Congratulations, Cubs!

#cubs #worldseries #anthonyrizzo #nanowrimo #nablopomo

Who Wrote the Book(s) of Love? It’s Us!

CaticaIsland.com

A destination for love.  A place of sweet romance.  Six novelists take on happy-ever-after tales on Catica Island.  Join us for eleven weeks of summer fun beginning this June 16th as five friends and I publish our tales of romance.  Writers Anna Rose Leigh, Elin Wyn, Holly Kane, Mia Hartley, Sandra Sinclair and I have joined forces to bring you a Summer of Love ~ one book per week at a time.  Stay tuned for more news, and sign up, on the banner at the top of this site, and I’ll send you our news as we publish.

Emerging Authors Romance Extravaganza Party on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/events/656415964497095/It’s a party!!!  Please join some rockin’ newly published authors today (January 29, 2016) – including me (I’ll be hosting at noon EST) for fun, giveaways, finding your new book boyfriend and new authors to read, and much, much more!  Click on the link, below, and, while you’re here, join my mailing list!  The sign up box is in banner on the top of this page.  Thank you!!!  Big smooches!

https://www.facebook.com/events/656415964497095/

Happy New Year to Sweet Romance! (I Published “My Crush”!)

https://www.amazon.com/My-Crush-H-Eve-Reede-ebook/dp/B01A3PMSJC

Happy New Year!  Today, I published a short, sweet romance, My Crush!

On New Year’s Day, we start fresh ~ sometimes with resolutions, sometimes with hopes and dreams.

If you are a resolution maker, good on you!  There’s a certain energy to keeping one’s head down and powering through, towards a great goal or away from a great concern.  I’m going with hopes and dreams ~ and the plans to see them come to fruition.  They carry us forth with optimism in the vision of another great year (or, at least, a better year than the last one).

Last year, I honored my determination to work as a published author by writing and publishing Feeding the Passion.  Today, I have birthed a short, sweet romance, My Crush.  

Here’s the Amazon description of My Crush:

Brainy Zoë Ellison has had a crush on gorgeous scholar-athlete Wyatt Rhys since they were in third grade together. Now that they’re juniors in high school, Zoë and Wyatt move in entirely different social circles. But when Wyatt is in danger of flunking calculus and blowing his chance to play football at Harvard, he reaches out for tutoring to the one classmate that won’t make him feel stupid, Zoë. Can Zoë work through her crush to teach Wyatt math, or will Wyatt teach Zoë a life lesson that she’ll never forget?

I hope that you will check out My Crush and let me know your reaction.  Did you ever have a crush on someone way outside of your social circle?  If you dare, share in the comments, below.

So far, in these first few hours of 2016, hopes and dreams and working towards them are looking good.  I saw fireworks with my beloved family as the new year began.  I wrote.  I published.  My family and I went to see the “Beautiful Holiday Train Show” at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx (and it really is beautiful).  I wished and was wished “Happy New Year!” to/by friends and relatives.

Here’s to our being together, you and I, in this shiny new year.  I wish you happiness, health, prosperity, and the opportunity to make someone else’s wishes come true.  May we meet our resolutions with consistency and merit, and achieve our wonderful hopes and dreams!

To receive news of my next publication, I hope you’ll sign up for my email newsletter on the banner at the top of this page.  Happy New Year!

 

Feeding the Passion – My Sci-Fi Romance Novel!

Feeding The Passion by H. E. Reede Cover

My hot debut novel, Feeding the Passion, is coming out soon!

Here’s a sneak peak of my Amazon book blurb:

All I wanted was to be served a plate of comfort food in peace before I headed home.  That meant going to a restaurant that I didn’t run, a place where I was just a customer. 

Don’t get me wrong – I love the little world of acceptance that I created, a place where homesick University students from across the galaxies can make a home-styled “karaoke-cooked” meal, a place of welcome for everyone – fin-bearers, third-eye folks, preceptor antennae, multi-peds, – everyone, can hang out and create or grab a bite to eat when their homesickness seems unbearable, a place where my small dorsal fin never gets a second glance. 

It’s just that I simply wanted to feel cared for.  Serving me food might not be love, but it can definitely make a girl feel nurtured – especially if a girl doesn’t have a particular someone to actually nurture her.

But the instant that gorgeous, teal-haired Remy asked me to share a meal with him, I had to admit that I might be open to comfort better than my dreams of a potato sandwich with a side of rice.

*** This sci-fi romance novella is for adults only and is steamier than a plate of hot broccoli!***

The Romance of Other Places – Happy Birthday, Willa Cather!

Happy 142nd Birthday Willa Cather!

`Had a good sleep, Jimmy?’ she asked briskly. Then in a very different tone she said, as if to herself, `My, how you do look like your father!’ I remembered that my father had been her little boy; she must often have come to wake him like this when he overslept. `Here are your clean clothes,’ she went on, stroking my coverlid with her brown hand as she talked. `But first you come down to the kitchen with me, and have a nice warm bath behind the stove. Bring your things; there’s nobody about.’

`Down to the kitchen’ struck me as curious; it was always `out in the
kitchen’ at home.

I have remembered that sentence (“‘Down to the kitchen’ struck me as curious’ it was always ‘out in the kitchen’ at home”) since I read it in eleventh grade. It spoke to me, when I was a teenager, of seeing the world anew. I had just come back from a trip to Paris with my parents where the cars, when compared to automobiles in New York City, had seemed impossibly small. After only three eventful weeks away, the New York cars seemed steamship big.

When I entered college in Pennsylvania, I encountered an alternative grammar.  “My shirt needs washed,” some of my PA friends said, instead of the “My shirt needs to be washed,” with which I grew up.  When a college friend visited me in my parents’ home in New York City, he found comfort in seeing the same pots and pans his mother used (Paul Revere stainless steel copper-bottomed) and in familiar-looking kitchen towels, but had a guttural “Whaaaaa?” to the type of bar soap my mom used, although it was in the same type of holder atop the faucet as in his home far away.

From time to time, I’ve reread Cather’s My Antonia, a sweeping tale of a relocated boy from Virginia to a new life in Nebraska, of his loves, of the harsh realities and joys of his life on the prairie.  As a teen and college student, I connected with Jim, the protagonist, experiencing the tiny jolt as he traveled the aural microsphere from the familiar “out in the kitchen” to the new “down to the kitchen,” and his romantic yearnings.  As a “grown up,” I have identified with the adults who foster family life even as they fear economic disaster.  Perhaps, in coming years, when I reread My Antonia, I will focus on the subtly depicted experiences of the elders, what it must have been like for a grandmother to gaze upon her grandson looking for her lost son.

Happy Birthday, Willa Cather!  Thank you for your excellent works.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Willa_Cather_ca._1912_wearing_necklace_from_Sarah_Orne_Jewett.jpg#filelinks

Romancing NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo 2015

 Royal Typewriter In Heart by Hailey Reede

When I was a child and deemed careful enough to handle (read: play with) stuff belonging to my parents, they let me use their Royal typewriter.  It was heavy and gray.  It came in its own substantial suitcase.

I loved that Royal.  As a sensory experience, that Royal felt solid, had a pleasing bumpy outer texture, and rewarded me with a satisfying “clack” for every letter typed.  You could, if you wanted, type in red for emphasis (there was no bolding possible).  It was my partner in crime in writing stories and poems, and, later, for school, papers and other assignments.  

My parents gave me an electric typewriter when I left for college.  It was an Olivetti – a new Olivetti – and it had automatic carriage return.  Right – what’s an “automatic carriage return”?  For those of you who are young enough never to have recorded your own mixed-tapes (you know who you are), a typewriter carriage return was a lever, placed somewhere near the carriage (the roller around which the paper curled so that you could type upon it) so that you could type on the next line,  Think: text wrapping.  Automatic carriage return was revolutionary, mind-blowing, an advance that was designed to save the user oodles of time and preserve his or her concentration.  It meant that, at the end of a line, you just kept typing and the machine would do the work of advancing the paper to the next line.   

I loved that Olivetti, I really did, but, at the same time, I was aware that my parents wouldn’t let me leave their home with their beloved Royal.  Just sayin’.

No matter.  Both the Royal and Olivetti, or any typewriter for that matter, produced a very satisfying sound – the sound of productivity.  Most kids at college had some kind of typewriter.  Computers were huge things that existed, mainly, in large spaces in University buildings.  Only a few kids who were students at the school of Computer Engineering had (often homemade) computers in their dorm rooms, and laptops didn’t exist.

The good part of everyone having typewriters was that, beginning at some time in the early evening and continuing throughout the night, one could hear the clacking of fellow students.  Whatever dorm I was in, I could travel down the hall and know from the clackity-clacking that I was part of a striving, writing community.

For me, that’s why I love NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month), both of which begin today.  They are the virtual equivalents of walking down a Harrison House hallway and knowing that you are a part of a community unified by everyone endeavoring to achieve something. 

The Romance of May

May.

Deliverance from winter.

Blossoms unafraid to burst into bloom, safe from the threat of frost.

A sweet breeze caressing your bare arms.

It’s no secret that I love the month of May.  Peonies!  Lilacs!  This is my birthday month!  I get to celebrate Mother’s Day!

When I was a school girl, May was almost the end of the school year – a particular heady joy.

We learned “Now Is the Month of Maying” (video below) in Mr. Hansen’s second grade music class.  This was a bold choice, for anyone paying attention to the lyrics (and a variation of the lyrics here).

My still-second-grade head sings: The Spring, clad all in gladness, doth laugh at Winter’s sadness!

Bagpipes, dancing on the grass – such fun!

As it turns out, “Now Is the Month of Maying” has elements that appeal to both adults and children. There are bonnie lasses dancing on the grass for the kids, and frolicsomness beyond romance for the older folk.  Much like the cold war cartoon “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” the careful grown-up observer will have a different – er – deeper – experience than that of a child.

So, enjoy!  It’s May.  Let the rejoicing commence.

Romancing the NaNoWriMo Win

HaileyReede.com Hailey wins NaNoWriMo 2014. This is the certificate.

55,142 Words Later

For our first assignment in law school, even before any class had convened, we were to read an article that appeared to be written in English – with a soupçon of Latin thrown in for good measure.  We all knew, for example, what the word “summary” meant.  Heck, in high school and/or college, most of us had probably bought summaries of, say, novels in which we should have luxuriated, but had only two nights to master.  Similarly, “judgment” was quite familiar to all of us.  But, and some of you are probably way ahead of me here, put them both together, and “summary judgment” is, at best, a distant cousin in meaning to it’s commonly used components.

Because I know some of you will not sleep unless you know the definition of “summary judgment,” a workable definition is this: it is a court’s judgment for one party and against the other party where there is no dispute between the parties as to material fact regarding the dispute or a portion of the dispute.  That raises the issue of “what is a material fact,” which leads me back to the article.

As I recall, the article’s author taunted us misguided, over-confident, know-it-all, former skim-the-assignment-and-regurgitate-it-on-the-test kids to persevere even in the face of having to redefine reality.  Words we thought we knew had strange meanings and were combined oddly.  It sounded like English, but, then again, it didn’t.  Towards the end of the piece, the author noted that we had probably skipped over dozens of words and phrases in order to complete the reading instead of dutifully looking everything up.  Yup.  Guilty as charged.

Eventually, and this means, for me, a few years later, all of those words were part of my everyday lexicon.  I didn’t skip any of those semi-English, sometimes Latin phrases; I scoured prior legal opinions and statutes for them.  And, in using them, I had lost that “new driver” feeling.

One of the Latin phrases in the article was res ipsa loquitur – meaning: the thing speaks for itself.  It’s often used when referring to negligence cases, and – –

OK, I’ll stop with the Intro to Law class.

In my small section in law school, there was a woman who married our Contracts professor after our first year.  Inside her wedding band, he had the jeweler inscribe, “res ipsa.”  Her finger was too small for the “loquitur” and it didn’t matter.  For a bunch of tough, analytical curs, we were all swoony over the romantic symbolism.  We’d pass her in the hallway sometimes and greet her with an admiring “Res ipsa, baby!

Which brings me to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  Late yesterday, I made it to 55,142 words of my romance quartet.  I haven’t fully digested the experience.  I’m going to let the manuscript rest, like yeast dough, for a few days before I edit, rearrange, add to, and punch it down.  In the midst of writing 50,000+ words on one story line, several others invaded my imagination.  I jotted them down, and refocused.

On the NaNoWriMo website, if you are a registered user (it’s free, and I am), you have the ability to upload your daily word count, and then to upload your novel (it is immediately scrambled and deleted) to have that count validated.  You are sent a link to the NaNo staff cheering you with congratulations – it is awesome.  Then, you are provided with a link to your completion certificate.  Mine is above.

This win was a huge experience and maybe I’ll write more about it later.  In the meanwhile, as per my completion certificate, above, res ipsa, baby.

Romancing the Ingredients

Thanksgiving is getting very real, People!  Or at least People of the United States!  There’s a feast of food and family ahead, and planning must happen!

I should be pumping out words for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but Thanksgiving can no longer be ignored.

Our plans are up in the air.  We have two possible locations (home or at a beloved relative’s house) and I haven’t committed to a protein yet.  For years, I did a port-glazed goose, and it was well-received.  Better than well-received.  Moaned-over – in a good way.  Then, three years ago, a family member complained (the nerve!) that we shouldn’t do goose again because there were no leftovers!

That, in fact, was the point: a succulent feast-protein with nothing annoying to pack up shortly after one is happily stuffed; no nasty dry left overs to face for days after The Day.

One of us will not eat the nationally worshipped Thanksgiving protein, turkey.

I’m jiggy with another poultry, although she-who-will-not-eat-turkey also will not eat duck.  Another contender is a baked salmon.  I make a really good baked salmon.  Really.  My kids call it “Fish Heaven.”  So that.  Or, or, I am flirting with a sole in white wine, lemon and butter sauce.  Must look up a good recipe – or twenty – to ignore.

So, protein to be determined.

And, just as I am thinking of all the elements of a good feast, the nagging thought that I really should be writing intrudes.

Those who raise the issue of “balance,” shall be exiled.  Go.  Away.  (But if you are a reader here, come back!  Just kidding!)

One element of Thanksgiving is non-negotiable for my immediate family: homemade crème fraîche.

Crème fraîche is a sour cream-like concoction, a cultured heavy cream.  If it’s done right, it’s thicker than pouring cream and a little bit thinner than traditional American sour cream.  It’s not hard to make; it just takes time.

Martha Stewart, in her seminal work, Entertaining, lists only two ingredients: heavy cream and buttermilk.  The second year that I made crème fraîche, it didn’t firm up in the refrigerator overnight.  Scarred by that experience, I modified the recipe and have ever after added a dollop of whole-milk yogurt.  Purists might be horrified, but adding culture is adding culture.

Therefore, henceforth, let crème fraîche be made as follows:

In a hinged mason jar, pour ~

2 cups of pure heavy cream that is NOT ultra-pasteurized, nor has any other ingredients (I used the Meadowbrook Farm brand in the glass bottle)

¼ cup of cultured buttermilk (I used the Friendship brand)

1/8 cup of whole milk, Greek-style yogurt (I used Fagé)

• Mix the ingredients well (I use a fork).  Leave the hinged lid ajar (there’s a joke to be made here about a lid being a jar; go ahead – knock yourself out. Then, send it to me).  The friendly bacteria that will firm up the cream needs air to grow.

• Next, place the jar in a room temperature place for 6-12 hours (typically, overnight).  Room temperature is warmer than a space in which you need two sweaters to survive.  It is cooler than a space in which you can only survive, sweat-laden despite multiple floor or ceiling fans, wearing a tank top and shorts.  Depending on your metabolism.  That is to say, between about 72 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

• After the 6-12 hours, hinge the jar shut and place it in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours (24 is better) before using.

In years gone by, I’ve made a sweet potato potage into which, at serving time, I swirl some of the crème fraîche and, for the grown ups, a swirl of port.  Salt for all.

On the other hand, with NaNoWriMo and National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) upon me, crème fraîche may be plopped upon salmon or yams or some-such.  With salt.  All good.

Compromises must be made.  But not for my Love U heroine.  She’s a young woman of principle.  She hasn’t had to compromise much, yet.  All she demands is that I get back to putting words to her story.