Mary: Are you ready, Paige? Get ready for the grilling! Just kidding. Tell us a little bit about yourself growing up, in Iowa. And why did you move to Utah?
Paige: Thanks, Mary! So fun, and I've got some marshmallow filled hot chocolate right here. Iowa was actually stop number eight. My dad was a football coach so we moved around a lot when I was a kid. Football coaches either get fired or have to keep moving to advance their careers. Fortunately, he didn't get fired, but the moving around did make for a pretty nomadic childhood. When I finished college, I searched for a job in advertising. I got a call Christmas morning 1987 with a job offer at Harris and Love Advertising in Salt Lake City. I packed up my two-seat sports car and hit the road. I had my clothes, my albums (vinyl) and my stereo. What more did a girl need?
Mary: It’s the holidays, and we have some fun traditions that have been in the family for years, and some new ones that my husband and I have started. What traditions, if any, do you have?
Paige: We have traditionally been late -- late getting the decorations out and up, late putting up the tree, late getting cards in the mail, etc. I don't know why, but as much as we love the holidays they always sneak up on us. "Late" has become the tradition -- we had to accept our faults somehow.
Mary: What is your favorite holiday food? And do you have a recipe to share with us? We love new recipes!
Paige: Microwave peanut butter fudge. It's addictive and delicious. We could eat it year around, but we only allow it in December. Here's the recipe:
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12-ounce jar chunky peanut butter
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
Combine sugar, margarine and evaporated milk in a 3-quart glass dish. Microwave, uncovered, on High for 5 1/2 to 6 minutes, stirring once or twice. Cook for 3 minutes longer, stirring only if necessary to prevent boiling over. Stir in remaining ingredients until everything melts together and is combined. Pour into a buttered 9 X 13 dish. Chill for two hours. Cut into squares.
Be careful. The final mixture is hot, hot, hot.
Mary: Okay that's on the list to make for Christmas now. LOL. There’s still plenty of coffee and cocoa if anyone needs a refill. Now Paige, I’ve heard of some strange writing partners but a nine pound dog named Gizmo? There has to be a fun story behind that. (I know I usually don’t get into the writing stuff here, but sometimes you just have to ask)
Paige: When Gizmo was a puppy, she loved being on her back with her ears flopped up. In that position, she looked just like the Gremlin (from the movie Gremlins) of the same name. It isn't a very girly name, but when we noticed the resemblance, we couldn't come up with anything else. She hangs out with me while I'm writing; sometimes on my lap but mostly curled up on a blanket on the floor.
Mary: We like to talk about food, drink and travel here at the garden, and sometimes gardening. However, I admit the closest I’m going to come to having a beautiful garden is my cyber one. I have a black thumb—everything dies. Anyway, Paige, where in the world would you say is your favorite place? And where do you want to go and why?
Paige: So far, the most beautiful place I think I've been was on a horseback ride at the Utah/Idaho border. It was fall and we were riding underneath a canopy of thick trees full of yellow and red leaves. It took my breath away and I've never forgotten it. Where would I like to go? Easy, Italy! Everyone I know who has been there loved it and it just seems so . . . wonderful.
Mary: Do you have a favorite city? I have a tie between San Francisco and New York City. I’m off to Chicago and I will see if that makes it a three way tie. And I have a favorite restaurant in both. Do you have a favorite restaurant in your favorite city?
Paige: I love Chicago -- Gino's Pizza was a fun experience. I love Kansas City, too. There are so many delicious barbeque joints in Kansas City. I wish I had opportunity to try more of them. I've only been to Seattle once but I suspect I could fall in love with that city and all the seafood restaurants. Hmm. I'm clearly having a hard time picking just one.
Mary: I’ve had a great time learning more about you, thank you for joining us today, Paige.
Thank you, Mary. Cheers and Happy Holidays, everyone!
FYI --Paige and I will both be at a signing at Borders Books at 132 E. Winchester St. Murray, UT on December 11, 2010, 4:00 to 6:00 pm. Please come and visit us, introduce yourself and say Hi!