I have just made a wonderful connection via The Wild Geese Irish Social Network and thanks to my Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partnership that I wanted to share with fellow members.
Thanks to the efforts of The Wild Geese admin team, I was invited to orchestrate a contest involving recipes from my latest cookbook "Christmas Flavors of Ireland." Several members participated including Cynthia Neale, a fellow Irish writer. She contacted me about her "prize" (a copy of the book at a discounted price) and during our back-and-forth emails we learned that we shared so many common interests, especially in cooking. While she specializes in Irish historical fiction, she's writing a cookbook in honor of her 87-year-old mother titled "Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet Memories and Desserts." She was thrilled to know I had written an afternoon tea cookbook and shared the news with a fellow writer, Lucinda Marcoux, who sent her this reply:
Hi ... a fellow writer friend here in New Hampshire emailed me this afternoon and asked how my cookbook was coming along. I told her I had one excellent endorsement in line and when I told her it was you, she was ecstatic and told me this story:
"I nearly jumped out of my chair when I saw the cookbook author's name is Margaret Johnson! Her cookbook called “The Irish Pub” is the one I have been enjoying for years. When I first bought it (at Sam’s Club) I brought it home and snuggled onto my couch. I immersed myself in the pictures and stories of the Irish pubs and glanced through the recipes. It was her pictures and short stories that kept me interested and delighted with every page! I highlighted the pubs (from her book) that I wanted to visit when we went to Ireland. Unfortunately, because of the distances, I couldn’t visit all the ones I wanted to. But … we did get to The Brazen Head and I told the bartender it was because of HER cookbook! When I make shepherd’s pie it is Margaret's recipe only (I never use any other recipe for shepherd’s pie). So, you can see why I am thrilled over this connection for you!"
Naturally, I was delighted, flattered, honored -- but even more, thrilled that such wonderful coincidences can materialize thanks to The Wild Geese Irish Social Network. Thanks especially to Kelly O'Rourke and Ryan O'Rourke for all their work on my contest and on The Virtual Síbín!