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“This really is a celebration!” Frannie squealed with delight, and rushed forward to give the bride-to-be a hug, nearly spilling her champagne punch.

Tricia stepped back and let the others surround Ginny to give their hearty congratulations. Some part of her felt wistful as she remembered announcing her own engagement to Christopher and the whirlwind of parties and arrangements that occurred afterward. It had been the best time of her life. That idea disturbed her now. Surely the life she had was one to be envied, and yet the thought that her best days might already be behind her . . .

Captain Baker stepped close and whispered in her ear. “Penny for your thoughts.”

“Not a good bargain,” she said, grateful she’d managed to keep her voice steady.

“We’ve both got new adventures ahead of us. You’ll soon have a new employee to train, and I’ll soon have a whole new life. I hope you’ll be a big part of that life.” He raised his glass, looking hopeful.

Tricia raised hers to clink against his.

Then again, who said the future didn’t offer pleasures yet to come?

Angelica’s Recipes

Turkey Curry

2 cups milk

2 chicken bouillon cubes

2 cups diced peeled apples

1 cup chopped onion

1 rib celery, chopped

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons curry powder *

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken

Hot cooked rice enough to serve four

2 hard-boiled eggs, diced (optional)

½ cup dry roasted peanuts (optional)

Minced cilantro (optional)

In a small saucepan, heat the milk and bouillon, stirring until bouillon is dissolved. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, sauté the apples, onion, and celery in oil until tender. Stir in the flour, curry powder, salt, and pepper until blended. Gradually add the milk mixture and lemon juice. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the turkey and heat through. Serve over rice. If desired, garnish with chopped egg, peanuts, and cilantro.

Serves 4

*If you’re like me and prefer your curry hotter, use up to 2 tablespoons hot curry paste.

Pasta With Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Artichokes

6 ounces uncooked penne

2 hot Italian sausage links

1 8.5-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, oil reserved

1 8-ounce package of sliced mushrooms

3 tablespoons chopped scallions

6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (we like a lot of garlic)

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained

Cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente.

Partially cook the sausage links (about ten minutes), and then cut into coins.

Pour half of the reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into a large frying pan and sauté mushrooms and garlic until soft. Add the sausage coins and cook through (about another five or ten minutes). Add the sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts to warm through. Add the pasta and mix thoroughly. Coat with the remaining reserved oil. Top with the chopped scallions.

Serve warm with crusty Italian bread.

Serves 2