Chikhirta: Georgian Chicken Soup

This could be my defining image for 2020.

Although Michigan has been experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures of late, it seems like a good time to make soup.

The panic buying felt by the coronavirus maelstrom is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve lived through the fallout of epidemics, famines and the scourge of the HIV virus, but the flames were never continuously fanned by instant media–non-stop overload.  I jump each time my phone pings!

I’ve bumped shopping carts with rest of you purchasing staples, disinfectants and masks (I did this before the Surgeon General said it was a no-no), but no good comes out of operating in panic mode.

For my own sanity, I do what I and my characters always do when confronted with events out of our control; we make soup. My daughter recently advised me to try out a chicken soup recipe from Milk Street, our favorite recipe go-to magazine of late.

If you prefer a thicker broth, double the amount of flour that the recipe calls for.

Beaten egg yolks create a creamy silken texture and impart a lovely lemony color to the broth.  I doubled the recipe (I’ve got several ailing friends), and added fennel seed and chopped fresh fennel, along with the carrots and onions, to the recipe. I love the flavor of fennel in brothy soups. If you like thicker soups, add a bit more flour.


Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and be well, my friends!

Chicken Legs, copious herbs and aromatics make for a savory stock!

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One Thousand and One Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries…

Or a Chocolate Truffle with Bacon?

…that’s how many treats I’d need to make if I were to gift every person who helped bring this book to light a strawberry. Or chocolate truffle, if preferred.

Today I’m launching THE RUBY OF THE SEA. It took an army of professionals and friends to lend perspective and authenticity to Linnea, Delphina and Ivy’s story. I most certainly looked more to the council of others than I had done in my previous novels.

And what would a writer be without readers who asked, When will your next book be released?  I may have not met most of my readers,  book bloggers and other pre-launch champions––especially those who reviewed this story in these Goodread reviews– but I hold their words close to my heart. Reviews, even those written by people with valid criticism, are a large part of a book’s success.

Or, perhaps, a chocolate soufflé?

As for the inspiration behind my characters? Like so many people, I’ve experienced the fallout of undiagnosed mental illness within families. Why not set their story against a fanciful backdrop drenched in color and light?

Although this book is set in contemporary times, a historical subplot weaves through the narrative. Key West has a blustery past, indeed. During my last trip down to the Southernmost City, the seeds of a plot began to germinate, culminating in THE RUBY OF THE SEA.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. I hate fighting the restaurant crowds on this special occasion, but for once, I wish I could put my feet up and order in.  I have decided, however, to make a special dinner at home that Richard and I can enjoy. Alas, this cast of characters has awakened him many nights, too, as I whipped off sheets when someone whispered in my ear.

Here’s a link to a slide show with well-recipe links that might inspire. A cyber-chocolate kiss to you all!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!♥♥♥ Eat well, read well, love well, dine well.


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Goodreads Giveaway

I was interrupted while concocting a pot of Polish Penicillin (aka Scratch-Made Chicken Soup with Fennel and Dill) to be advised that Goodreads just listed a PRE-LAUNCH GIVEAWAY for THE RUBY OF THE SEA. For the next 30 days (until the book is published), you and any of your family and friends may enter to win one of 100 digital books. To enter, simply click the purple “Enter Giveaway” link below.

I realize many of you have already pre-ordered the book and, if you haven’t done so already, please pop an email to me with your home address: I’ll send a thank you treat your way after the soup is ready (-: The recipe will be posted after a second test-drive and upon its perfection.

The first reviews on the book’s advances have been posted, as well, on Goodreads. My heart is full! ♥

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Ruby of the Sea by Peggy Lampman

The Ruby of the Sea

by Peggy Lampman

Giveaway ends February 05, 2020. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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