I was asked about my hobbies and interests recently, and I have quite a few, but they all revolve around the same thing: anything old. And I mean OLD. I love to do stained glass work, having been inspired by old church windows, and I enjoy needlework; the same kind the ladies learned to do by working on samplers hundreds of years ago. I also love hunting for antiques. My house is full of them. The older something is – and the more nicks it has it in – the better. I also have a passion for old homes, I’m intrigued by creepy cemeteries, I love Art Deco jewelry, and black and white movies. Heck, when I was a little kid, I really liked old people! Weird, I know.
There’s just something about the uniqueness of old things, and the fact that they survived long enough to have gone from being a “new” something to being an “old” something. I wonder about the stories attached to them, and the amount of probable “near misses” they had that nearly prevented them from achieving the rank of old age.
As far as I’m concerned, one of the best places to see many wonderful antiquities is in the South. Now, that’s not to say that the North doesn’t have their fair share. I know they do. But since I live in that part of the country where collard greens and peanut butter pie are staples in any respectable household, I guess I’m just a bit partial to that place south of the Mason Dixon Line, with all of its glorious and not-so-glorious history. I love it enough to write stories about it, and many of my characters were inspired by true life characters – both the young and the old. Continue reading “Peanut Butter Pie by Janie DeVos”
When The Grits Hit The Fan
Country Store Mysteries, Book #3
Despite the bitter winter in South Lick, Indiana, business is still hot at Robbie Jordan’s restaurant. But when another murder rattles the small town, can Robbie defrost the motives of a cold-blooded killer?
Before she started hosting dinners for Indiana University’s Sociology Department at Pans ‘N Pancakes, Robbie never imagined scholarly meetings could be so hostile. It’s all due to Professor Charles Stilton, who seems to thrive on heated exchanges with his peers and underlings, and tensions flare one night after he disrespects Robbie’s friend, graduate student Lou. So when Robbie and Lou go snowshoeing the next morning and find the contentious academic frozen under ice, police suspect Lou might have killed him after their public tiff. To prove her friend’s innocence, Robbie is absorbing local gossip about Professor Stilton’s past and developing her…
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Poisons, prophecies—and a peculiar past . . .
When a local woman begins searching for a couple she hasn’t seen since the 1960s, Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast manager Kelly Jackson and the crime-solving group, the “Silver Sentinels,” are quick to help out. They’re also quick to guess that they’re in over their heads after the woman is found dead beside the body of a Greek fortune teller—and a fellow Sentinel gets attacked. As Kelly juggles work and her responsibilities at a food and wine festival in town, she and her sleuthing posse must confront a killer obsessed with old secrets . . . and solve a murder mystery more than fifty years in the making . . .
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On the day before Valentine’s Day, I set out to make lemon curd for the second time in my life. I used the recipe on the Pioneer Woman site by Erica Kastner and hereby apologize for any sacrilege that results from my hackneyed efforts.
You see, I’m kind of a klutz in the kitchen. I have some anecdotes that would curdle your curd. Anyway…
The one thing I had going for me was the incredibly fresh, beautiful Meyer lemons given to me by a friend a few weeks ago. Yes, in the middle of winter, California trees are offering up fruit… sorry if that hurts anyone’s snowbound feelings. 😉
So what is lemon curd, really? It’s a buttery, lemony kind of thing you can spread on scones or shortbread (or what have you). It’s decadent—you may wish to scroll quickly past the photo of all the butter that goes into this further down the page—and very British. And that’s why I’m blogging about it today. My novel Avenged takes place in England and while there is no specific mention of lemon curd, I feel absolutely certain that my character Eleanor, the manor’s maid, would have delivered this delicacy on her mistress’s breakfast tray many times. Continue reading “Lemon Curd by Lynn Carthage”
Ingredients . . .
3¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¹⁄³ cup sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
²⁄³ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup dried apricots, diced
¹⁄³ cup candied ginger, diced
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 cup buttermilk
Parchment paper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in butter. Add the apricots, ginger, and lemon peel. Add the buttermilk and stir until just mixed. You may need to add a little more buttermilk, depending on the humidity level of the day. Knead for five turns, folding and pressing with the heels of your hands. Form into two logs and place on greased baking sheets (or use parchment paper instead).
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Cut into hearty triangular wedges. Serves one entire book group. Enjoy!
—Recipe from Morgan Sheehan Continue reading “J Bird’s Famous Recipe For Apricot Ginger Scones by Jacqueline Sheehan”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ It was nice to be back in touch with the folks of South Lick, Indiana. And let me just say that When the Grits Hit The Fan, the third instalment in the Country Store Mystery series, is one of the best cozies I’ve ever read to date! I mean, seriously, I couldn’t wait to pick up where I’d left off each and every time! I got not just a few, but ALL of the elements that I appreciate in a good mystery; suspense, a great setting, intriguing and quirky characters, a learning experience, a little bit of romance and a climactic, edge of your seat ending. There’s no fluff in this story. It’s a solid mystery with characters that are so distinctly original and amusing it’s hard to believe they’re fictitious. My favorites are…
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