Fresh soup, sandwich, quiche or scone? And to wash down whatever you choose to have, how about a dirty chai latte?
If you happen to be dining at Sara's Harmonie Way in New Harmony, Indiana, an educated guess tells me you'll be just as taken with the menu and the food as I was my first visit there. And behind the counter was none other than local chef and journalist, Denise Rapp of the New-Harmony Gazette.
My first encounter with Denise was at a gathering at the NHGazette office. After getting acquainted there, I began reading some of her work as a foodie-columnist for the Gazette. After reading a few of her recipe listings, I'd decided she'd managed to impress me personally and professionally.
Denise turned out to be a delight to interview. We met in Carol's Garden, a beautiful park of her choosing which is a really nice place to get acquainted. Denise has a sparkling, effervescent personality, and there we could talk and laugh, enjoy the beautiful rivers' land scenery and weather while she shared some of her life's experiences with me and hopes for the future.
I couldn't help but wonder if the majority of the locals know that Denise has authored several books, and plans are in process to have them published and available to the public soon. She's also hoping to eventually produce her own YouTube cooking channel.
She gets big applause from me in both of these endeavors. YouTube is one of my favorite sectors of the indie biz community and Denise has the class and talent to be a superb fit in such a venue.
A good fit
Although Denise is from central Indiana, near the capital city of Indianapolis, she wears life in the small town of New Harmony like a well-fitting, comfy and favorite shoe. She exhibits a genuine, deep love for the country life and simple living which includes cooking healthy meals for her family and clients.
As a wife and mother of two, Denise incorporates her cooking talents both at home and on the job. She's not just a self-taught chef, she's also a recipe and menu designer with a passion for designing healthy dishes that taste great and are made with fresh, locally resourced ingredients rather than factory processed.
If you've ever dined at Sara's Harmonie Way you've likely experienced her success in this. I have and she truly wowed me with both the food and the drinks. Other friends and family are equally impressed with the fare at Sara's. My sister, Alicia has made it a regular stop on her way through town every week, to pick up a new favorite, Dirty Chai Espresso. Yup, it's delicious, addicting and made with stuff that's actually good for you.
Denise's love for New Harmony was obvious during our talk. Her husband is a Posey County native and they decided the area was a good place to raise their children. Instead of weekend dates in the big city, they pack up food and their bicycles and head to Harmonie State Park where they can cook on a grill, read books (or write them) while lounging on a picnic blanket near the banks of the beautiful Wabash River.
Sound serene and idyllic? Good, 'cause it is and Denise and her family
are putting it to good use. Sometimes it's during these simple outings that she gets ideas for writing. Other times it's when she's working at something and while she works, the story develops. She pulls from a variety of environments and experiences to mold and shape her stories and the characters in them.
Hopefully, it won't be long until her children's literature is readily available for little ones to enjoy. In the meantime, those of us in the older genre can enjoy reading her work in the monthly editions of the New-Harmony Gazette while sipping one of her awesome lattes and munching on a lavender cookie or one of their signature scones.
If you get there first, save me a seat and a copy of the paper!
My thanks to Denise for the enlightening and exciting news she shared during her interview. She easily qualifies as a valuable asset to the New Harmony indie biz community and I'm very pleased with the opportunity to get more familiar with her and her work.
Also, my thanks to my sister, Alicia Phillips of On Story Street, for providing the photography for this post.
We wish Denise huge success in her endeavors and we'll be the first in line to applaud her with the release of her first book.
That's it for this one!
God bless you, thanks for the read and please don't forget to thank a veteran at your next opportunity!
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