CULINARY THRILL SEEKING: Blooms for all seasons

Published 4:18 pm Saturday, January 2, 2016

Two bright pink azalea flowers on a shrub greeted me Christmas day as I pulled back the curtains.

Grateful for our mild winters, Southeast Texans can look to their landscapes for a variety of blooms now. Some are even more unexpected than usual.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I visited a friend with a little bouquet featuring yellow copper canyon daisies, purple “wandering jew” blooms, a fragrant rosemary, a stalk of succulent and a tropical leaf.

She later sent a photo, proving the bright colors popped against her purple wall. That made me happy, so the gift kept on giving.

Head to the far corners of your back 40 to see what’s blooming out there just for you.

New Orleans story

I’m nearly done with an advance copy of “The Feathered Bone,” which Julie

Cantrell begins with a field trip at Mardi Gras world in New Orleans, the ferry to Algiers and Jackson Square.

That’s heaven to me, and I can picture, feel and smell all those spots. But this story is about an abduction. Amanda is in charge of some children, including her daughter and her best friend. The friend goes missing and this story covers the years after and how that day affects so many in a community. As chilling is the story of Sarah is, Amanda, a social worker, is learning how to deal with tensions in her marriage and her daughter’s coping with Sarah’s loss. Amanda hears others give her advice she has doled out all these years to others and it sounds strange to hear it back.

The title reference is to a feather that a palm reader in Jackson Square gives Sarah minutes before her abduction. A feather bends, but it is difficult to break, is the theme of a very memorable book.