Tips from the corner table (2)-1
travel Writer

About Tips from the Corner Table

By Carla Perugini-Erickson

Let's go way back.  5th grade to be exact.  Summer school for creative students.  It started with a story I wrote about the adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Pickle.  Yes, two traveling pickles, offering sensible life advice about brine and benevolence.  Don't laugh, it won first place in the creative writing contest at Community School in Prospect, Connecticut.  

Fast forward 40 years . . . .zip quickly through the late 80s when my hair and alcohol consumption competed in a race to be the biggest at Fairfield University and when my aspirations to become a journalist were discarded by the allure of wealth and influence with a law degree.  Stop for a minute in early 90s when life experiences blossomed (or detonated is probably more accurate) and countless hours were spent deciphering judicial opinions in the bowels of the Suffolk Law School and weekends were spent slinging (and sipping) drinks in a haunted Charlestown tavern.  Linger around the mid-90s when my side hustle boss at the Salty Dog in Faneuil Hall became my baby daddy and my husband (in that order!), disrupting this law graduate's caviar aspirations for a box of instant family.  Swallow hard through the late-90s when my baby sister, whose brilliant witticisms tempered my stoic seriousness, unexpectedly died, leaving all of us numb and robotic.  

When our youngest was old enough to withstand temporary parental deprivation, and our oldest was old enough to boil water to make a box of Kraft to feed her, the old, dusty jar of pickles resurfaced on the shelf, and Mr. and Mrs. Pickles (admittedly more soured than the cucumbers they were in the 5th grade) boarded a jet plane to an unfamiliar destination, the first stamp in the passport of many subsequent adventures.  Thereafter, Mrs. Pickle's brine and benevolence of 40 years has seeped quietly into a column for the local newspaper, The Prospect Pages, where "Tips From The Corner Table" found its first home for many years.  Thanks to skills of millennial daughter (earned through expensive college degree underwritten by Bank of Brine and Dill), the blog was born to give eternal life to the salty, sentimental stories of a reluctant lawyer who has spent the past 40 years chasing an identity that ghosted her since 5th grade . . .  fortunately, in the shadows of the brackish waves of some Caribbean destination, in the saucy remains of spaghetti in a Tuscan Osteria in Florence, in the tangy, plucky sounds of banjo from the tenured fingers of a jazzman on the streets of NOLA and in the lipstick traces on the crystal rim of a Riedel on a hillside Napa    . . . here I am, the aspiring writer, sitting anonymously on the side of the plate, pleasantly fermented and just waiting to snap before being pressed into hot dog relish.  
The past 25 years have been a fast-paced bullet blending the blessings and curses of wearing multiple hats . . . I am mom of three entertaining daughters, Jesse Camille (restaurant namesake), Carly Lauren (my late sister's twin and soon-to-be elementary classroom ruler) and Sam aka The Seedlin' (a teenage compulsion of curls, cleverness and capability) and a solo son, Mikey (golfing and cocktail-making prodigy).  I am wife of hockey-obsessed, Boston-prejudiced Larry Erickson, who operates our family restaurant Jesse Camille's in Naugatuck, CT with his daily bitter pill of angst and humor.  I am daughter of legendary "Mama Camille" who co-established our restaurant in 1996 and still keeps us on our toes with her octogenarian opinions and feisty advice.  Read me as I struggle to keep my head, spirits and bank account out of the gutter as a self-employed attorney who moonlights as a wine partaker, a meatball maker, a poetic penman and an adventure undertaker!  
If you are interested in foodie tips, wine lines, travel tales and suggested ales with a healthy dose of sentimental quirkiness, this blog will suit your taste.  Like a midnight menu in a Greek diner, it has a little bit of something sweet, salty and pickled for everyone.

by Carla Perugini-Erickson

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