Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Mila McWarren for stopping by today.
Title: The Luckiest
Author: Mila McWarren
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult
When New York-based memoirist Aaron Wilkinson gathers with his high school friends to marry off two of their own, he is forced to spend a week with Nik, the boy who broke his heart.
As they settle into the Texas beach house where the nuptials will be performed, Nik quickly makes his intentions clear: he wants Aaron back. “He’s coming hard, baby,” a friend warns, setting the tone for a week of transition where Aaron and Nik must decide if they are playing for keeps.
If you could only have ten foods to eat for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
Wow, you’re asking the hard questions, aren’t you?
You are asking the right person, though – I was really sick last year and spent weeks getting nutrients through a central line. I have never googled so many recipes in my life – the entire time I was in the hospital I was starving and food-obsessed. Since then I’ve been making up for lost time, and have also read, cover-to-cover, Mimi Sheraton’s 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die. Strong recommend – after you finish The Luckiest, of course.
Here is my list, carefully curated and agonized over. Sorry if I get a little bossy but I have a lot of feelings on this subject:
Cobb salad – What is not to like? I like it with baby spinach as the base green so I can pretend it has some nutrients; also it just tastes better to me. Bacon, avocado, lots of blue cheese, kalamata olives, tomatoes, eggs, and grilled chicken. Every bite is a treasure hunt.
Goi Cuon – these are also known as Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Summer Rolls, Salad Rolls, or about 1000 other names. They are all DELICIOUS. I prefer the ones with both pork and shrimp and the creamy peanut sauce is really part of the whole point. Look, pho is great and I’m really glad we decided to be into Vietnamese food this decade, but this is what I’m really meeting you for lunch for. (Note: I grew up and went to college in Houston, where The Luckiest is set, and there’s a huge Vietnamese community there. I will forever be grateful to college friends for the introduction to Vietnamese food 20+ years ago, for a lot of reasons, but in large part because they brought these into my life.)
Fresh plums – not just for the William Carlos Williams poem, but it’s a bonus. I’m gonna sneak “fresh cherries” in here, too, because I basically have a problem with stonefruit in general.
Frito pie – okay so first you make chili and because I am not a monster and a little concerned about finances and waistlines, I will allow you to put a bunch of beans in there, even though Texans know this to be a sin. It’s okay, though, because you’re going to take that chili and serve it over a bowl of Fritos, and then you’re going to put some grated cheddar on top, and maybe some sour cream to cut the heat if you made the chili right, and then you’re going to eat the whole thing while you obsess over the cheese/chili/Frito ratio. You’re welcome.
Chevre – tangy and creamy and perfect. It’s excellent on bread or crackers; every winter solstice we slice little rounds of baguette, top them with olive tapenade and a round of chevre and stick it under the broiler, because it looks like the moon in a dark winter sky. But to really just go for it, buy some the next time you grab a rotisserie chicken from the store. Classes the whole thing up. (Chevre was the first thing I ate last year after I could eat solid food again; I made my husband bring it to the hospital. I have no regrets.)
Blueberry scones, clotted cream, and strawberry jam – the Cooks Illustrated recipe makes the best scones. I make my own jam every June with berries my kids have picked at one of those pick-your-own farms – I like my jam very simple with just berries, lemon juice, and sugar. Also you should probably have tea with these. Just come over and I’ll make it for you.
Eggs and toast – Two eggs, over-easy so that the whites are set, with a little salt and lots of pepper. Two slices of toast, buttered. In your mind, picture each slice of toast cut into three strips, but be patient – you are just establishing your game plan. Cut the first third off, and eat that with a lot of the white of the first egg – you get to use your fingers for that part! Next, put what’s left of that egg on top of the rest of the piece of toast. Now you’re going to cut through the yolk to cut that piece of toast in half, and it’s going to make an unholy mess of your plate. You’re going to use your fork to drag the increasingly-sodden toast through the hot egg yolk, so that your plate is smeared with delicious egg yolk and, okay, probably a little bit of butter. The great thing is that after you finish the first egg and slice of toast and are feeling bad about how much yolk you wasted, you get to do it again with the second piece and try to do better! There is always space for improvement.
Corn and avocado salad – steamed or roasted corn, just barely cooked, cut off the cob into a bowl. Cube in an avocado. Sprinkle the whole thing with lime juice and season with salt, pepper and a little Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning if you have it. Eat immediately before the avocado can start to brown or get soft, and suddenly it’s summer.
Chicken Noodle Soup – I am sort of obsessed with this, not just as an eater but as a cook. It’s really the broth that gets me; I will never get over how you can just take a pot of water, put in a raw chicken and some vege and herbs and stuff and suddenly you have this amazing, delicious, silky broth – it is the simplest form of alchemy. And then you can use that broth for anything, but you know that what you really want is a simple, homemade chicken noodle soup, with egg noodles and big chunks of carrots and celery and delicious chicken. I make this at least once a week in the winter and both of my kids can now make a pot without a recipe as long as the chicken has already been butchered. I’m pretty sure this means they’re ready to live on their own.
Cream cheese and lox – I don’t care how I get it. A bagel is good, but I also love a good Philly roll. Just give me all the fishy, briny, creamy goodness.
Diet Caffeine Free Dr Pepper – okay this is not a food so I’m calling it okay for #11. This is a vice, but it’s mine and I own it. I cannot justify this, and I won’t. (I used to go full-throttle – I cut back on caffeine when I was pregnant. I’m back on our favorite wonder drug now that the kids are teenagers, but the way I drink soda is shameful, and NOBODY needs that much caffeine in a day.)
Now I’m hungry. (NB: If this is all I can eat for the rest of my life, I will die young, but I will die happy.)
Thanks for having me!
Aaron finishes the song and Stephanie snatches the mic out of his hand, crooks her finger at Nik and launches them into a reprise of their performance of “Dancing on My Own” from the homecoming weekend they all spent here at the house back in senior year. Stephanie still has questionable rhythm and tragic pitch—she loves to sing, which is why they have a karaoke machine in this house, but it’s one thing she will admit she doesn’t have much of a gift for—but there’s a reason Nik majored in music at The University of Texas, and his voice has come a long way.
Somehow, this deliberate throwback to a memory that was never anything but happy seems different than what Aaron has just done. He sits on the sofa, flanked by Alex and Jasmine, hating them both a little for participating in it even while he smiles. Nik dances—how can you not, with this song—but he still watches Aaron, gives him a little head-tilt during the chorus, and it’s charming and devastating and infuriating.
Jasmine leans to murmur, “Oh, I see how it is.”
“Oh, shut up.”
“You might not be desperate, but I’m not sure about him. He’s coming hard, baby.”
About the Author
Mila McWarren grew up in Texas, but has happily made her home on the East Coast for the last decade. In her day job she works as a social scientist and has spent the last 10 years developing her fiction writing online. She lives with her husband and their two kids. When she isn’t using working, writing, or hanging out with her family, she likes knitting and watching television, because they go together like peanut butter and chocolate, two of her other great loves.
Where to find the author:
One $25 Interlude Press gift card. Five e-book copies of ‘The Luckiest’
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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