Dames Who Read: Recipe for Disaster

By Toria Emas


Stacey’s Castle

It’s never a “Recipe for Disaster” when Dames gather for Dames Who Read. May 3rd was no exception when we toured Logan Square with author Stacey Ballis who is renovating a historic three apartment walk up into a single family home. While on “The Boulevard” we viewed the inspiration for the restoration and were able to see the laborers in action.


Judith Dunbar Hines welcomed the group at her Richmond Avenue home with a glass of wine before we set out to visit a couple of locations mentioned in Stacey’s novel. First stop was Nancy Kamp’s Half Italian for a glass of Prosecco. We didn’t have time to eat the Italian Sandwich made famous in “Recipe for Disaster”, but we did shop for unusual pasta, sauces and other Italian delectables.

Dinner was at Buona Terra on California Avenue–with a story all its own. Lying dormant for two years while the restaurant scene rebounded after 9/11, the owner’s mother lovingly painted vineyard murals above the bar and throughout the restaurant.


We dined on bruschetta, chicken and a divine pasta dish while quizzing Stacey on the how to’s of writing as well as trying to determine which characters in her stories resemble family or friends. Stacey introduced us to the phenomenon of “procrastobaking” which most Dames have at one time or another used as an excuse to delay completing a project.

Stacey with Nancy Kamp







Of course no Italian meal is complete without cannoli, but for Dames more is better so we had to finish with Stacey’s “Emergency Chocolate Cake”.

Filled with good food, friendship and conversation our appetites are ready for a light summer read. Look for the next chapter of Dames Who Read in Amuse Bouche.

Thank you Judith for another delightful evening.

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