Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

White Witch - Larry D. Thompson, Author



Miss Scarlett’s Rum Cream Pie

5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup dark rum (may add a little more)
1 env. Unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water
1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 block of unsweetened chocolate
Chocolate cookie crumb crust – 9” (2 store bought shallow crusts or 1 large homemade crust)

Soften gelatin in ½ cup cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.  Heat gelatin to a boil (but do not boil), stir to dissolve and set aside to cool until just warm.  Beat egg yolks and sugar until light, stir in gelatin.  Gradually add rum beating constantly.  In a separate bowl whip cream.  Fold the pie mixture into the whipped cream, spoon into crusts.  Chill until cold.  Garnish with grated chocolate on top.

Chocolate cookie crumb crust

25 original Oreo Cookies or your favorite crisp chocolate cookie
5 tablespoons unsalted melted
1.      Finely crush the cookies in a food processor or in a plastic bag and roll the sealed bag with a rolling pin. You do NOT need to remove the filling from the Oreo.

2.      Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together with a fork. Press crumbs into the bottom of the pie plate.

White Witch - Review by Martha A. Cheves

Will, Manny, and Rodney met at the front of the Ritz promptly at ten and were met by a green hotel shuttle.  When the driver opened the door, he said, "Morning, gentlemen.  Looks like a beautiful day for golf.  You ready to take on the White Witch?"  "White Witch, what White Witch?" Rodney asked.  "That's the name of our golf course.  Named after Miss Annie Palmer.  Folks around here used to call her the White Witch."  "I saw some attractive young ladies drinking a White Wich cocktail in the bar last night.  She have her own brand of liquor, too?" Manny asked.  "No, suh.  She's been dead for about two hundred years.  If you don't mind, I really prefer not to talk about her.  Let's just say she's just a legendary figure in these parts.  Ask around.  Someone will tell her take, just not me."

Will, Manny and Rodney work for a company named Global American Metals.  Global has been given a permit to mine bauxite in Jamaica but the permit came with a cost in the amount of a bribe of $500,000.  Their CEO Alexa Pritchard has assigned Will Taylor as head of security and the more he hears about the mines and the destruction they will be doing to the rain forest, the less he likes working for Alexa.

As it turns out, the land to be mined was granted to the Maroons by King George II back in the 1700s.  But, the only proof of this is a treaty that must be proven as an original in a court of law.  This is something Alexa will fight to prevent from happening, no matter what the cost.

This book had me flipping pages.  After reading the Prologue I found myself going to the internet to research the information I would be reading.  My questions were: Was Annie Palmer the "White Witch" and her plantation Rose Hall real?  Was she a real witch?  Did she actually do the things she was accused of doing?  Is there really a group of people called the Maroons?  Was the land really granted to them by King George II?  And, were they able to keep their land?

As I found my answers to these questions and more, it made reading the book even better.  This book is one that will teach you some Jamaican history while keeping you engrossed in a great story.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Oney: My Escape From Slavery - Diana Rubino & Piper Huguley, Authors


Martha Washington's Famous Candy Recipe is a delicious no-bake treat. Martha didn't have a fridge or microwave, but Mt. Vernon winters were cold enough to put it out to chill.
Their open fire served as their microwave. A bit of elbow grease did the job of our electric mixers. 

Yields36

Chilling Time1 hr


Ingredients
3 cups pecans
2 cups coconut
4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained and pat dry
2 cups chocolate candy melts
Instructions
Place pecans and coconut into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Using an electric mixer, cream sugar and butter together until light. Add milk and the chopped nuts and coconut and stir until well mixed.
Roll between your palms into small balls, forming each around a maraschino cherry. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Place chocolate melts into a glass bowl and melt in the microwave. Heat on high for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until all chocolate is melted and smooth.
Dip each ball of candy into the chocolate allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. 
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and allow to harden.



Oney: My Escape From Slavery - Review by Martha A. Cheves

It was up to me to figure when to leave the Washingtons for the last time.  Not in the morn.  I helped dress Lady Washington as usual.  Not in the afternoon.  I repaired hems as usual.  Not afore dinner.  I set the table as usual.  The hour finally came - while they ate dinner.  I will never forget the date - May 21, 1796.  Nothing heavied my heart - not remorse, not guilt, not sadness upon fleeing my master and mistress.  Raw thirst for freedom overcame all that.  I walked straight past the Washingtons and out the front door.  When I shut it, I left them - and my forced bondage - behind me.

Oney Judge is a slave that was owned by Martha Washington.  She served the lady well and was treated well.  But when she found what her future fate was to be, she knew it was time to run.  And she did.

Lady Washington had received several slaves from her late husband.  They were hers to 'use' as she needed but not to sell.  They would have to be passed on to others in the family.  This apparently was part of the endowment that came along with marriage during this time in history.  In the book she appeared to be fond of Oney and treated her a lot like she would her own granddaughters.  She allowed her to learn to read and write and bedded and fed her well.  Then came the time when her true granddaughter was to marry and Oney was to be passed on.

Reading this book I wasn't sure if it was history or simply a story, so I did some research and here is what I found:

Oney "ona" Judge, known as Oney Judge Staines after marriage, was a mixed-race slave on George Washington's plantation, Mount Vernon, in Virginia.  Beginning in 1789, she worked as a personal slave to First Lady Martha Washington in the presidential households in New York City and Philadelphia.  In 1796, there was an advertisement in the Philadelphia newspapers documenting Judge's escape to freedom from the President's House on May 21, 1796. His nephew, Burwell Bassett, Jr., traveled to New Hampshire on business in September 1798, and tried to convince her to return.

After reading this, plus much more, I found that this book is based on history and knowing that, it made reading even more interesting and enjoyable.  If you're a history buff, you can't help but love this book.



Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Ka - Mary



FLOATING BANANA WALNUT SURPRISE

2 cups All-purpose flour
1 cup   Mashed bananas
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Shortening
2 tsp    Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Walnuts

Beat sugar, shortening and eggs together until light. Add mashed bananas. Sift flour with baking power, salt and baking soda. Stir into creamed mixture, beating until smooth. Stir in walnuts. Pour into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Cool before serving.


The Ka - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

Chione was in awe making her way around the immense dimly lit chamber.  Magnificent history spoke from the etchings.  Her heart quickened.  She wanted to read and learn who had been laid to rest in the burial chamber of this opulent tomb, yet the unfinished tasks at the first tomb took priority.  Tauret's tomb would not allow her to focus her attention elsewhere until the mission of that discovery could be satisfied.

As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be an Archaeologist, but I had one really big problem.  I'm very claustrophobic.  So I now rely on old things above ground and reading about those below ground.  In The Ka, Chione took me not only to the Valley of the Queens, she also took me on a journey where history, in a sense, sometimes repeats itself. With all its history and vivid detail, the author must have spent vast amounts of time doing research.

Chione, along with a group of archaeologists embark on a finding that will take them deep into the earth and all of this has come about due to the dreams and visions Chione has seen.  But it seems that this group of archaeologists are not as normal as they believe they are.  They have been brought together to do something more than uncover history.  They, too, are just as special as Chione and as time goes on, they will see for themselves just why they were all brought together. 


So, I now have one question for you.  Do you believe in reincarnation?  If not, you might after reading The Ka.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Freedom's Light - Robert J. Saniscalchi, Author



Gloria's Chicken Mix

Ingredients:

1) 4-Fuji Apples peeled and sliced
2) 1- medium red onion sliced 
3) 3- Red Potatoes peeled and sliced
4) 2- Chicken Breasts
5) chopped garlic to taste
6) Seasoning to taste

Cooking:

A) Pour some olive oil into large frying pan with medium heat.
B) Add Ingredients and after ten minutes put cover on and low heat.
C) Stir and Turn over chicken.  Continue cooking until potatoes are soft.
D) Slice up cooked chicken breast and mix everything into a large bowl.
E) Season to taste  

    Enjoy with a nice glass of your favorite wine.

Freedom;'s Light - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Rob was interrupted from his peaceful sleep by the ringing and vibrating of his phone.  He reached over Ashley to grab it, and what he heard coming from the other end of the line froze him, words that took some time to sink in:  "Eagle's Claw," the recording repeated over and over.  Rob put the phone down.  "Damn it!  Ashley, honey, you need to get up, sweetie," he said gently nudging her.  Ashley was slow to wake but realized something was dreadfully wrong, as soon as her sleepy eyes landed on his distressed face. "Rob, what is it?"  "Something bad has happened," Rob replied, frantically searching for the TV remove.  "I need to see the news.  There's been...some kind of major terrorist event," he said. 

What had happened was one of the worse attacks the U.S. had ever seen.  Two planes had just flown into the World Trade Center.

Rob is a member of an elite team called Light Force.  They were being sent on a mission to investigate and report back the activity that was taking place at a terrorist base in Afghanistan.  Washington believed it to be a missile with the intent to make another attack on the U.S.  What Rob and his team find is far more dangerous than a missile and they find themselves without radio contact in which to order an air attack.  Their only option is to destroy it themselves.

I'm not a fan of books regarding war but I did watch on television as the towers came crashing to the ground and the thousands of innocent people crashed with them.  After reading the first few pages of this book I found myself wanting to read more.  What takes place within the pages are fiction, I assume since I've never seen news of these events, but the possibilities of this having taken place are quite possible.  It brought home to me the true acknowledgement of those brave men and women who protect us every day at the risk of their own lives.  I recommend this book to be read by everyone in the hopes that the next time you see one of these brave men and women, you'll take a minute to stop and just say "Thank You!"

This is one of those books that I would love to see made into a movie.  You can bet I would go to the movies to see it!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Finding Billy Battles - Ronald E. Yates, Author



Kaw River Kitchen Mystery
(Make sure you read the story behind this dish which will be at the end of book review)

(A premium chili recipe created along the banks of the Kansas River by a Jayhawker. You may use ground beef, cubes of beef or pork, or ground meatless soy/vegetable crumbles. In each case, the amounts listed for each ingredient in the list below remains the same. I usually double or triple the ingredients so I have enough to enjoy for several days.)


INGREDIENTS

Main Ingredients

2 lbs. coarsely ground beef  (or soy/vegetable crumbles)
2 lbs. (or a 40 oz. can) of kidney or pinto beans
2 medium onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2, 14 oz. cans of chopped tomatoes (note: some are “chili ready”)
1 garlic clove, minced (in lieu of garlic glove, use 1 tsp. garlic powder)
3 Tblsp. Canola or Olive oil (or other vegetable oil)

Herbs & Spices

2 Tsp. salt
3-1/2 Tsp. chili powder
½ Tsp. black pepper
½ Tsp. crushed red pepper
½ Tsp. paprika
½ Tsp. oregano
2 Tsp. cumin seed, ground
1 Tblsp. brown sugar
½ Tblsp. dry mustard
1 Tsp. celery salt
1 bay leaf
1 dash Tabasco sauce
1 Tblsp. white vinegar

1 cup water

Optional: I cup of red wine (or you may substitute another cup of water, if a thinner chili is desired). Add the wine about ½ hour before serving.

Directions

It is best to use a large professional-quality heavy steel or aluminum pot, though a Teflon-coated pot is fine. It should be at least 6 quarts and preferably 8 quarts or more in size.

Prepare all ingredients BEFORE beginning to cook!

Add onions and oil to pot and sauté for a few minutes. Add meat (or veggie-crumbles) and stir. Add beans. Add remaining ingredients to meat, beans and onions. Simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. Cook longer for better flavor—6-8 hours. (For even better flavor, after cooking, put chili in refrigerator overnight and when ready to eat, heat up for about 1 hour). Add wine about ½ hour before serving. Serves 10.


Finding Billy Battles - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of - Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

"I made it a point during my life to keep a record of my comings and goings, events that I experienced, people I met - both good and bad - and places I traveled to," he continued.  "I have written something like twelve journals.  About a dozen years back, I began writing my memoirs based on those journals.  Never finished it.  I don't expect you to understand what I am about to tell you right now.  You are still a boy.  But later, when you are grown and you have finished your education, you will better understand things.  It is just as well, because I prefer that a lot of what I am writing not be available to others until after your grandmother and I are gone."  "Ted, I want you to take my journals, my memoirs, all my belongings, and someday, perhaps twenty years from now, you can help me set the record straight about some things I did, people I met, and some events I witnessed."

These were the instructions Ted Sayles' great-grandfather Billy Battles gave him at the young age of 12.  Forty years later, Ted received some old chests filled with a historian's treasure - firsthand accounts of some of the most significant events and people in nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century history.  The journals within brought to life places such as Tombstone, the Crystal Palace Saloon, and the OK Corral, as well as people such as Wyatt and Virgil Earp, Doc Holliday and even Bat Masterson.

As you read Finding Billy Battles, you'll travel with him as he works as a scribbler for several newspapers that had sprung up in the west.  You'll also feel his fears as he faces some truly dangerous men of the time.

I don't normally enjoy books of this time but following Billy became a truly exciting journey for me.  It became a book I didn't want to stop reading.  It's educational as well as enjoyable and one I would recommend for everyone.  I do believe you will enjoy it as I did.  Now I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series titles The Improbable Journals of Billy Battles.  I expect it will be just as good.


THE STORY OF KAW RIVER KITCHEN MYSTERY
(This goes with the recipe above)

  The Kaw River, also known as the Kansas River, cuts through the heart of the rolling Kansas plains, fed by the Big Blue and Black Vermillion rivers that flow from the north. It is neither an especially impressive nor noteworthy stream. For example, it doesn't compare with more majestic tributaries like the Mississippi or the Missouri Rivers, which are known for their breadths and lengths and histories as rivers of commerce.

  Instead, the Kaw was known by the Cheyenne, Comanche, Oglala Sioux, Kiowa and Kickapoo Indians who lived for centuries along its banks as the "water of the tall grass." The Kaw was a good place to water horses and livestock and to hunt the millions of buffalo and antelope which once ruled the Kansas plains.

  Both the Oregon and Santa Fe trails followed the Kaw's banks before the two famous routes leading west from Westport, Mo. (now Kansas City) separated with one leading off into the vast northwestern prairies and the other into the arid badlands of the southwest. The wagon ruts left by thousands of covered wagons and buckboards can still be seen along the Kaw's banks. 

  Not far from its western source, is Ft. Riley, home of the 7th Cavalry. And this is where the story of the chili you are about to consume begins.

  Most people will remember the 7th Cavalry for its disastrous encounter with the Sioux and Cheyenne Nations at The Little Big Horn River in what is now Montana. Among those with Gen. George Armstrong Custer on that fateful day on June 25, 1876 was Capt. George W. Yates, an officer attached to the 7th Cavalry since 1874 and a veteran of countless battles and skirmishes with the plains Indians.

  Prior to his posting at Ft. Riley and his untimely demise at the crest of a hill overlooking the Little Big Horn, Capt. Yates had served in the Southwest Territories. There he met and married Estella del Carmen Huerta, a woman whose ancestors were Spanish landowners in New Mexico. It was the Huerta family cook who first introduced Capt. Yates to Southwestern chili--a piquant and biting concoction made with suet, pork and beef shoulder and spiced with coriander and ancho, pastilla and casbel peppers.

  When he and Estella moved to Kansas, Capt. Yates had to adapt his chili recipe accordingly. There was no coriander or ancho, nor did pastilla and casbel peppers grow along the Kaw River. 

  The result is what has come to be known in the Yates clan as Kaw River Kitchen Mystery. 

  Why mystery? 

  Because when asked what he put into his chili, Capt. Yates would only say: 

  "I go out along the Kaw and whatever I find growing wild that hasn't been buried under buffalo chips or defiled by cattle and horses I put into my saddle bag. Then I just add meat and beans. And I'll be damned if it isn't a mystery to me why the outcome is edible."

  Capt. Yates's creation has undergone a few subtle "adjustments" in the intervening years. For example, you won't find many of the exotic flora (or fauna) indigenous to the Kaw River in the current version. 

  But by and large the Kaw River Kitchen Mystery of today is pretty close to the original version--except for the occasional buffalo chip flake or two that old-timers swore gave Capt. Yates's concoction just the right touch of "mystery."  

Enjoy!


Ron Yates,

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Murder in Mount Dora - De Miller, Author


Recipe for Gooseberry Pie

Make your own crust –
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         3/4 teaspoon salt
·         1/2 egg, beaten
·         1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
·         3/4 cup Crisco
·         1/2 tablespoon vinegar
·         1/4 cup water
Blend flour, sugar and salt.
Cut in Crisco to pea sized pieces.
Mix together egg, water and vinegar.
Add to flour.
Mix until moistened and a soft dough forms.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling.

Make the filling –
·         1 cup sugar
·         3 tablespoons corn starch
·         1/8 teaspoon salt
·         2 cans Oregon Fruit Gooseberries (unless you grow your own)
·         1 tablespoon butter
Mix sugar cornstarch and salt. Add the syrup from the gooseberries and cook over medium heat until thickened in a small sauce pan. Add the gooseberries and butter away from heat, then pour into crust. Seal with crust on top.

First bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower to 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.






Murder in Mount Dora - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Trent Cooper, 20-year newspaper vet for the Kansas City Star has retired.  He and his photographer Horatio Cook are moving to Mount Dora, Florida.  Trent has great dreams of finally having time to write his first novel.  He finds the perfect house and discovers the perfect spot for writing in a little cafe called Stairway to Heavenly Goodies.  And that is where he's busy writing his novel when Horatio interrupts him with news that there was a body found by fishermen, in the lake.

About 75 years earlier Meyer Lansky opened up a casino in the little town of Eustis, Florida.  His right arm man Bobby Skinny Boy Aieli is the one he goes to when someone gets out of hand and things need to be 'handled'.  But with the problem that Lansky finds himself faced with in connection with one of his employees, he decided this was one he would take care of this himself. And the best place for him to handle this is out in the middle of the lake.

Then comes Meredith Archibald.  She saw the news of the bones being found and believes it to be her grandfather.  Meredith was adopted when both her parents were killed when she was only 3 months old.  She has searched for her real family for some time and after meeting with an aunt in New York she knows this has to be him.  So, after scraping up all the money she has in the world she takes a trip to Mount Dora and meets with Trent in hopes of hiring him to help her prove the identity of the man in the lake.

This book has to be one of the most attention holding books I've read.  It flips from the early 1900's to 2007. I've never enjoyed reading books during the 1900's but this book I couldn't put down.  It's full of mob history along with a story that kept me involved.  The more I read, the more I wondered if this author might have known a lot of this history 'first hand' or knew someone who did.  I recommend this one to anyone who loves a really great story, and a little history along the way.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sprig of Broom - Susan Whitfield, Author



Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin is basically a chicken stew. The “Coq” in its name
means “rooster.” Today we use chicken pieces.
It tastes even better the day after it’s made.

Ingredients:

Step 1: Marinade Chicken Thighs
1 cup red wine (Tin Cup Merlot or a Beaujolais works well)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup onion, chopped fine
3 lbs chicken thighs (2 packages (about 10 pieces), frozen, skinned)

Mix first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Add skinned thighs.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 18 hours. Longer is better. Strain
off the red wine marinade, and save it. Discard bay leaves and
onion bits.

Step 2: Prepare Vegetables and Broth
2 slices low-sodium bacon
1 parsnip, cut into small chunks
¾ cup carrots, cut into chunks
1/3 cup flour
2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 small can tomato juice (6 oz.)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
2 onions, sliced the long way (or 25 pearl onions)

If using pearl onions, cut an X into them at the top before peeling,
and drop them (with peels on) into boiling water for two
minutes. Remove, discard water, and let onions cool. When cool,
the peels will slip off. Set aside. If using regular onions, use half
in next step and save remainder for last step.

Cook bacon in a deep skillet until crisp and crumbly. Remove
bacon and set aside. Place carrots, parsnip, and first portion of
sliced onion into skillet and sauté until onion is golden. Add 2
Tbsp. of flour (save the rest) and stir to coat vegetables. Cook
floured mixture 5 minutes, stirring often. Slowly add stock and
then tomato juice to pan. Add fresh thyme. Simmer 30 minutes.
Cool and strain to remove vegetables and thyme sprigs. Set aside.

Step 3: Brown chicken and mushrooms
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Reserved flour
1 package button mushrooms (8 oz.)
Dry the marinated chicken thighs with paper towels. Dredge
chicken pieces in flour until coated lightly.
Heat oil in a clean skillet. Place chicken pieces in hot oil and
cook until golden, not deeply browned. Do this in small batches
to keep the oil evenly hot. Remove chicken pieces. Save oil and
bits of chicken and flour in pan. Brush or wash mushrooms to remove
grit. Peel mushrooms, saving stems. Cut tops and stems into
rough quarters. Add to hot oil and cook until browned. Remove.

Step 4: Combine and bake
Chicken pieces
Reserved vegetable broth
Reserved red wine marinade
Reserved onion, bacon, and mushrooms
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Place browned chicken in an ovenproof pan. Strain the vegetables
out of the broth. Pour the broth over the chicken. Add the
reserved red wine marinade. Scrape bits from pan with mushrooms,
and add to chicken. Place reserved sliced onion (or peeled
pearl onions), crumbled bacon, and mushrooms around chicken
pieces. Bake for 1½ hours or until chicken is tender.
Traditionally served over egg noodles, with salad and crusty
bread. Serves 4 to 6.


from Killer Recipes submitted by Cash Anthony, author of “Yes, She Bites”, “A Bona Fide Quirk in theLaw”, and “The Stand-Inand numerous short films and screenplays


Sprig of Broom - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Many years ago I discovered the author John Jakes and fell in love with his Kent Family Chronicles.  This series started way back with this family following them from England to America.  They went through the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and taming the west.  I eagerly read every book until I reached those that took place around WWI.  That is when I stopped reading.  I love reading history, but only periods and the time from WWI until now has never interested me that much.

Now.... I've read the Bible from beginning to end and enjoyed it very much but I don't like history that takes place much after that, especially the history of Kings and Queens.  So when I saw that one of my favorite authors had written a book that dates in the year 1127 I thought, no way!  I've read everything written by this author but she has always written murder mysteries.  How can a suspense writer possibly write about this time period and keep the reader interested, especially me?

Well.... I read her book.  I was so infatuated with the story that I didn't want to put the book down.  Her story is basically about Geoffrey Plantagenet who married Dowager Empress Matilda who was the daughter of King Henry I.  Matilda had been married before but after losing her husband King Henry and Geoffrey's father made a deal for the marriage.  Geoffrey was very young when this marriage took place.  He was only 15 years old!  The story continues on through the trials that Geoffrey is put through by Matilda.  The death of King Henry and Matilda's journey to take his place.  The birth of their children.  Geoffrey's mistress and child.  And then Geoffrey's is ask to join the Knights Templar and vow to their code of honor.

Author Susan Whitfield has truly amazed me by writing a book so full of history, from a time that has always bored me, and made it so interesting that I want to learn more.  She is a great historian!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys - Linda Maria Frank, Author


A Wonderful Seasonal Treat - 
Poached Pears and Ice Cream

Peel, core, and halve your pears, Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou.
Place them flat side down in a large heavy skillet, and cover half way with apple juice.
Sprinkle liberally with brown sugar
Add whole cloves, allspice and a cinnamon stick.
Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered until the liquid becomes syrupy. Keep an eye on it.
Cool and add your favorite ice cream or whipped cream.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve with thin crisp cookies.
Hint: French Vanilla coffee or Lemon Ginger tea go very well with this dessert.



Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

We were in a valley of shapes I couldn't believe were not made by humans, humans with a fabulous imagination.  Conical formations called fairy chimneys in various sizes spread away from us in every direction.  The color of bleached bones, they sat majestically among the gray-green brush and white clay like soil.  The air shimmered from the heat.  I could smell the odor of clay mixed with a faint herbal scent that must have come from the brush.  Some of the fairy chimneys had windows and doors.  Could people actually live inside?  It was dry here, and hot.

Anne Tillery has joined her boyfriend Ty at an archaeological dig in Turkey.  He and his best friend Cedric are at the dig representing Vermont University.  They will be working alongside a Dr. Atsut who is in charge of the project.  Ty, Cedric and Dr. Atsut are trying to prove that human remains at one of the earliest known archaeological sites in Turkey contained DNA that would link them to the first humans that evolved in Africa.  But, accidents and missing artifacts seem to be plaguing the site and there is even fear that it may be shut down.

As I've found out in other books of this series, Annie is quite a detective.  Hopefully she, with the help of Dr. Atsut's twin children, will be able to make the connections that will end the accidents and theft before the Turkish government steps in to put a halt to everything.  In doing so, Anne finds herself escaping two attempts of kidnapping which leaves her no choice but to call her own father for help.

This book gave me so much history of the Fairy Chimneys that I had to see for myself if they were real.  They are and they are amazingly beautiful!  Seeing what these unusual cities look like made the book even more enjoyable.  As I read I was not only enticed by the story but I could also picture where events were happening.  If you like mystery as well as archaeology, you'll not want to miss reading this book.

Fairy Chimneys

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Belle and the Officer - B. J. Robinson, Author


Recipe for a Southern Barbeque
(B.J. Robinson's Special Recipe)


I’m from the South and my husband is from the North, so I was used to Southern barbeques. What he called barbeque was simply plain grilled to me, so we had to mess our differences. He grills his with no sauce, and I use Kraft honey barbeque sauce on mine. He enjoys steaks and burgers. I enjoy those, but I also enjoy hot dogs and chicken legs as well as boneless lemon-pepper chicken breasts, which he doesn’t like. I like to make homemade potato salad, but he doesn’t eat it. He opts for a baked potato. That’s okay. I have leftover potato salad, and the flavor goes through it, and it’s even better the next day.

In the South, we use barbeque sauce. I thought since this book was a book about the North and South, and the characters enjoyed barbecues and fish, I provide a southern barbeque. The northern one is easy. Just put it on the grill plain, at least my husband’s version.

Step 1: Grill the meat until lightly browned and sauce. Some put sauce on it while it is raw. I do. He waits. It works either way. I like mine not burnt, but dark and a little black won’t hurt me.

You can also barbeque fish or shrimp. Love them both.

Step 2: The Potato Salad:

Peel, wash, and clean about three pounds of potatoes or use a five-pound bag if you have someone else to help you eat the salad. Boil potatoes and three eggs. Peel eggs and chop. Dice pickles, olives, green onions, and use about one teaspoon mustard, if you like it. Leave out the onions if you don’t care for them. Some people do not use the mustard in the potato salad and use only mayo. I like both. If you like, you can use spicy mustard. I usually use the yellow.

Mix and include the mayo to taste. Season with salt, pepper, or seasonings you enjoy. Tip: If you refrigerate the potato salad and let it get cold, and you have used the green onions, you will find the flavor goes through it more. You will need to refrigerate it regardless to keep it from spoiling, but some people like to eat it while it’s fresh and hot. I enjoy mine cold.

To me, a barbeque is not one without potato salad. I have discovered I also enjoy the Amish potato salad and if I don’t have time to make my own, I will buy a container of it from Publix, but I still like my homemade the best.


The neat thing is you can make the potato salad to suit your tastes by putting in or leaving out what you please. If you’ve never tried a southern barbeque, you might find you like it. However, my husband still doesn’t eat potato salad and will put no sauce on his meat. He wants it just plain grilled. We used to enjoy this potato-salad recipe for family gatherings of any type. It goes well with many dishes besides barbecue. Fried chicken and potato salad is a given. It goes well with beef stew. For the Fourth of July, we always had barbeque and potato salad. Enjoy. 


The Belle and the Officer - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Alice held the cold metal key in her palm.  She'd keep it on her until her beloved returned.  He didn't have to tell her to visit and remember him.  Memories fought each other in her mind.  Visions of them on picnics, at family barbecues, fishing in the great Mississippi River that ran behind their homes.  He didn't have to tell her to remember.  How could she ever forget?

Lonnie was the love of Alice's life but there was a war going on and he had decided to defend the South.  He promised her that it would be a short war and over in no time, then they could announce their engagement, be married and love forever in the home he had built for her.  'Oh please let that be true, she prayed.'

To pass the time and be of help Alice worked in the hospital that housed the southern boys who were wounded.  She became the light in the eyes of some of the patients giving them hope and encouraging them to hang on and get well so they can go home to their own families.  Then came a Union Colonel named Bert Russell with his own wounded and needing a place for them to be care for.

As Alice got to know Colonel Russell, she couldn't help but feel a slight tingle in her heart but how could that be when she loved Lonnie.  So when Lonnie shows up in the hospital in a Union uniform instead of a Rebel, Alice found her whole life about to change.

This is a beautiful love story as well as a story in history.  The feelings Lonnie had for Alice as well as the feelings Bert developed for her had me cheering both on and wanting more.  The outcome will leave you wanting more too.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Memory Keeper - Larry K. & Lorna Collins, Authors


Candied Walnuts

1 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp. butter
1 - 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1.  Heat a heavy bottom pan to medium high heat.  (Lucy and Fiona would probably have used an iron skillet.)
2.  Place nuts and butter in the hot skillet.  When butter is melted and nuts are coated, sprinkle sugar (and cinnamon if desired) over nuts, stirring until caramelized.
3.  Pour out on cool surface (parchment paper today).  Separate nuts and cool.

Lucy and Fiona fill small fabric bags to sell, but they will keep longer in an airtight jar.

The Memory Keeper - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

"What is he doing here?"  I heard as I worked in the padre's quarters shortly after Maria and I were married.  "Tomas helps me."  The padre's voice was firm.  "I can no longer walk the grounds and warehouses, and he is good at ciphering.  Among other tasks he totals the mission products for my reports to the governor."  "Well, I'm here now, and I will take care of the mission property.  Too many Indians are employed."  He took off his jacket and laid it over a chair.  Then he turned to me.  "You may be able to help me in other ways.  Show me to the guest quarters.  My family of twenty-two will arrive in a few days.  They will require adequate accommodations."

Tomas has just met the new majordomo that would be taking over the mission.  And take over is exactly what he did as well as just about run it into the ground.  All work that the Padre and the Indians done over the years storing up grains, wine and cattle will no longer be controlled by the Padre but by Santiago Arguello with the work being done by the Indians as he makes his own family comfortable.

In the 1800s Indians were not allowed to be taught reading and writing but Fray Barona saw something in Tomas that prompted him to teach the young boy in secret, allowing him to help with the record keeping at the mission.  Unknown to Tomas, this would later lead to a future unexpected by most Indians of that time. 

I'm from the South and the southern history tells of the slaves and eventually their freedom but we're taught very little about the Indians and the slavery they actually lived through.  Even more so, we hear very little about the Southwestern Indians that were in a fact, slaved by the Spaniards/Mexicans.  This book has become an eye opener for me.  I've found it quite interesting to read their trials as they go from the uneducated to educated.  As they go from what were called property owners but the slavery that went along with that ownership in the form of all proceeds going to the government.  And as they evolve in their freedom as they become citizens of the United States when California becomes a state. 


This has been a very enjoyable reading in history but it has also been a heart touching reading as I followed the family of Tomas' mother as she lives in her old native ways and his father as he tries to bring her into the newer ways of the mission.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ellen's Gold - James Walker, Author

 
 
Shrewsbury Lamb Cutlets

8 lamb cutlets
1 tbs of olive oil
1/4 ib of (button preferably) mushrooms
4 tbs of redcurrant jelly
1 tbs of worcester sauce (do you have that in USA? Its vinegar/malt vinegar based, so I suggest malt vinegar would be an okay substitute)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs of plain flour
1/4 to 1/2 pint of stock
seasoning - pepper/salt to taste
dash of nutmeg
parsley

Brown cutlets in oil. Slice mushrooms. Place cutlets and mushrooms in casserole. Place jelly, worcester sauce(or equivalent) and lemon juice in a pan and
stir over a low heat for 2 minutes or so and then add the flour and the stock and bring steadily to the boil in order to make a gravy. This can be thickened to
taste by adding a little more flour. Add seasoning, nutmeg and parsley and then pour over cutlets and mushrooms.

Cook @ 325 degrees for 90 minutes.
 
Ellen’s Gold – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds
 
From its frontispiece it was apparent that the book had been published in Augsburg in 1784. It was so dusty that he wondered if it had gone unread and forgotten for nearly as long. What intrigued him about it though were the words written in English across the cover “two times eight,” not once but three times. It seemed very strange, and when he began to thumb through the book he also discovered the words, again in English, “10 times 10” had been written on a couple of pages. It also looked as if these pages had been glued together and then pulled apart. Further on still he discovered that two pages had been cut out of the book. Then, most surprisingly, he came across a drawing on a blank page. It was clearly a crude map of a locality, which meant nothing to him except that it included a road marked as leading to Erfurt. The book had effectively been defaced, but clearly with some deliberate purpose rather than through mindless vandalism. Suddenly, he felt something lying under the flap at the back of it. To his surprise it was a letter, or part of a letter, for there was no signature, dated 13th December 1813, and written in English.
 
Max Kelber owned a book shop and when Frau Paulsen offered her large collection of books, he made the trip to her home to take is pick. Among the books he found the mystery book with its puzzling code, map and then a letter addressed to just the name Ellen. The letter, also written in English, gave what appeared to be coded directions to the treasure that was hidden near the town of Erfurt. But who is Ellen and where exactly is the treasure?
 
Ellen Charpentier lives is from and lives in Paris. Colonel Michael Korsowski is from Poland and is serving under Napoleon in his battle against Russia to recover land that once belonged to Poland. With Ellen and Michael, it was love at first sight and the more they saw of each other, the more they knew they were meant for each other no matter what. Ellen, a widow, was free give her heart to Michael but he was married to a woman who refused to grant him a divorce so Michael became a career soldier as his only means of being out of a marriage that had no love. As the war takes Michael and his troops into Russia, they are able to capture the city of Moscow. Along with the capture they discover riches beyond anyone’s dreams. This, he believes, will be his ticket to a happier life. Even if he can’t marry Ellen, they can take their share of the treasure and go to America to start a new life together. But what Michael nor anyone within his commend counted on was the severity of the Russian winters. As they lost men and horses they were also faced with having to do something with the treasure. This eventually left them with no choice but to bury it with hopes of coming back after the war ended.
 
Reading Ellen’s Gold was like reading a history book but an enjoyable history book. The battles were clear enough that I felt like I was actually ‘reading’ a movie. I could picture each event in my mind as I read along. I could see the frozen Russian winters, the struggles that Napoleon’s armies had as they tried to survive the cold without food for themselves nor their horses. I could also feel the desire each man had to keep the treasure safe so that when the war was over and he received his share he could start a new life of ease and comfort.
 
But, if the letter was found years later within a book, was the treasure ever found? Will Kebler search for this treasure for himself? Will any of the men who carried it so far out of Russia live to collect their share? The answers to those questions and more are found within the book which I feel you will enjoy searching for as you read Ellen’s Gold which is really two stories in one; the 1st being the survival of not only the treasure but also Michael and his men. The second story is more of a gothic novel with kidnapping and murder. All-in-all Ellen's Gold is a really top grade book!

 
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