Meet Mina Kitchen, a forty-something single who likes to cook - and cook and cook. In fact, her zest for whipping up trays of canapes is dwarfed only by her weird luck and mountain-lion size tabby cat, Vinnie. That, and her godmom's tendency for blackmailing new members into joining St. Bart's. Okay, maybe Mina's Swiffer-addicted neighbor, Vito, is a bit weird, too.
Salt & Pepper Books
Meet Mina Kitchen, a forty-something single who likes to cook - and cook and cook. In fact, her zest for whipping up trays of canapes is dwarfed only by her weird luck and mountain-lion size tabby cat, Vinnie. That, and her godmom's tendency for blackmailing new members into joining St. Bart's. Okay, maybe Mina's Swiffer-addicted neighbor, Vito, is a bit weird, too. As if all that wasn't enough, Mina's a Jersey girl transplanted in the midst of the Amish-flavored countryside of Lancaster, PA.
Things get really complicated when she learns that her neighbor Vito is in a witness protection program, and her dry cleaner deals in prescription samples. Throw in a few mysterious flaming feces flingers and a fuse box labeled in Arabic, and you have a recipe for catering disorders.
Kitchen Addiction! will keep you smiling when you're not LOL-ing. Set in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, you'll find a surprising cast of characters, humorous plot twists, red herrings and actual recipes. Well, some of the recipes are real. The others you might to take with a pinch of salt, and some Tums.
If you're looking for a funny fiction read, packed with humor, excitement - and recipes - look no further. Lund's debut "chick lit" novel blends fun characters, great dialogue and zany capers into a frothy fiction that's sure to amuse. The novel also delivers a virtual tourist romp through the actual streets of Lancaster City and its surroundings.
I leaned my face against the screen door until my forehead waffled. I smelled onions, peppers and kielbasa cooking in my kitchen. Again.
I come home for lunch every day to feed my cat and my cockatiel and sometimes myself. With the exception of my pets, I live alone. And with the other exception of my neighbor Vito, who’s usually here. Like now. Vito’s retired, a good guy, and considers himself a bit too much like family. Which means he’s in my kitchen more than I am.
I bought the townhouse from Vito over a year ago and still can’t summon up the chutzpah to make him relinquish his spare key. Or to change the locks, in case of hurt feelings. But that's
mostly for sentimental reasons. Or as Ma puts it, seventy mental reasons.
My half of our adjoined homes belonged to Vito’s late wife Marie, who went on her final shopping trip to the HomeWares in the sky long before she could feather the ‘Her’ part of the ‘His and Her’ nests they’d bought as retirement presents for each other.
But that’s me. Sentiment matters and anything resembling a hard cold fact hangs out in the lunch meat drawer until the fuzzy stuff complains. This outlook sometimes frustrates my executivestyle Ma, who’s from the no-nonsense style Bronx. Ma scraped
her way up, with and without Dad, to pearl-earringed Ridgewood, New Jersey. She lost her Bronx accent long ago and hates it when environmental factors sometimes kick my ‘Joisey’ into gear.
When my sister and I were kids, the only thing that gave Ma away were the occasional screams accompanying a wooden spoon upside our heads. Other than that, she seems perfectly L. L. Bean.
I'm Mina Kitchen – Mina being short for Wilhelmina. I'm named after a great-grandmother I never met and plan to thank in the hereafter by prodding a heavenly fork in her virtual side. Not
because of inheriting her weird name, or even weirder nickname. It’s mostly for inheriting her oddball catering disorder.
Family legend still regales Fat Friday of '55. Great-Grandma Mina – Dad's grandma – invited neighbors for a dinner that included a 25-pound turkey with all the trimmings. Which would
have been fine, except the turkey dinner was prefaced by a ham,
hot dogs, lasagna, meat loaf, barbeque ribs, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, stuffed cabbage, stuffed shells, stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, and a pork and sauerkraut casserole. And three different kinds of bread. And rolls. And salads. And don't forget
the carrot Jell-O mold. And never mind the appetizers served with the cocktails and hand-made bar trimmings before that. But I wax foodie; I love this story. It always ends happily ever after with, “And no one was able to roll away from the table until eleven
o'clock that night.” Although that might have been because Grandma Mina served one pie per guest, just to balance out the trays of blintzes and ice cream and all.
For the record, the legendary guests to Fat Friday included: Mr. and Mrs. DeMicco; Yorgios and Hale Papadopoulos, with their toddler and Gramma Papadopoulos; Bob Dietrich and his
secretary Cheryl; and Sid and Sally Klingenbaum with their newly
barmitzvahed triplets. Whether Great-Grandma cooked all that food to impress, or because she was diversity sensitive, we'll never know. All we know is that this was the first and last time Bumpa – my great-grandpa – let her cook for large and/or diverse crowds. They still had some humdinger dinner parties post-Fat Friday, Ma
says. But Bumpa put the spatula down about Mina's cooking for more than four guests. From then on, only bonafide caterers covered neighborhood parties. Bumpa's heartburn couldn't handle
the menus, plural.
I gritted my teeth, accepted my household and entered. The smoke alarm went off, the cockatiel shrieked and Vito jumped up and down at the smoke detector with a potholder in one hand and a giant Modess pad in the other. I walked to the back of the kitchen
and opened the screen door, and turned on the exhaust fan. The air was confettied with cockatiel fluff. I was also pretty sure it was sizzling in the pan alongside the kielbasa. Just another normal lunch in my abnormal household.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry, Toots,” Vito apologized in his usual triplicate. “I just gotta ask you to do this favor for me, so I thought I’d pay up front and make yous a nice, hot lunch.”
Of course that was precisely what I wanted, it being August and
feeling like 1,000 degrees. Vito’s heart was in the right place. But
I sometimes wondered what occupied the space his brains were
supposed to rent.
“Anyways, I got an extra load of dry cleaning I was hoping you’d take over for me,” Vito explained, waving the giant Modess pad at the smoke detector. I looked closer. It was a Swiffer pad.
“I was gonna do a quick Swiffer after lunch.” He blushed. I’d finally broken down and bought a Swiffer Wet Jet last April and it was still Vito’s favorite toy. My rugs and furniture might be full
of bird fluff and kitty fur but you can eat off my kitchen floor most
any day, thanks to Vito.
Sadly, Vito is also a dry cleaning junkie. I don't know why he
owns this many dry clean only clothes. But unquestioning schnook that I am, I make a few runs a week to the dry cleaner for him. I drive past it on the way to work anyway, so it’s no biggie.
And what the heck, it accrues bonus Swiffer points for me, too.
“Sure,” I said. “I’ll pick up Monday’s drop-off, too.”
“Well sure, you wouldn’t want to pick something up without dropping something off. It confuses people.”
“Right...” I said and grabbed a bunch of carrots out of the fridge, then went to the sink to wash and slice them. I had to. It was the only available produce. Vito shook his head. “Tough week?” he asked. I sighed and