Tuesday, September 15, 2020

RECIPE FOR DISASTER by Kathleen Lawless @kathleenlawless

 I am the least organized person I know. Please don’t flinch, but this colorful disaster is my much-loved and well-used box of recipes. I’ve tried dividers, color coded index cards, even a binder with plastic sleeves.  Eventually they all turn into this kind of jumble, so somewhere along the line, I gave up.

 As I poke through looking for a specific recipe, I know if it’s scribbled on a post-it, handwritten on an index card, torn from a newspaper or glossy magazine, or most recently, printed on 8 ½ x 11 paper from the internet.  I can visualize what I’m looking for and usually (not always) find it quite easily. I have handwritten recipes from my no-longer-with-us mother-in-law, and friends I have not seen in years. Every recipe has a story—where it came from and why it made it to the “keeper” box.

 I enjoy thumbing through and finding recipes I had forgotten about, although I do get frustrated when a recipe hides and I have to look through twice to find it.   

 Which made me wonder about women in the old West.  Did they write down recipes or keep them in their heads?  Not everyone was literate.  Were recipes verbally passed from mother to daughter, containing a pinch of this and a handful of that? I’ve seen some old-time recipes, and it’s obvious the cook had to be flexible depending on what was readily available.

As a child, I remember eating my grandmother’s turkey stuffing and asking her how she made it.

          “I just got it out of my head, dear.”

          To which my father replied, “If you keep taking the stuffing out of your head every year, Mother, pretty soon there will be nothing left.”

 I don’t talk a lot about food and cooking in my books, so was pleasantly surprised to learn that Percy, my hero in HOPE is quite a cook, with an array of spices collected during his travels. I love it when the characters surprise me this way.

 Percival Bloom is a much-loved secondary character from the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers series, and readers insisted he deserved his own HEA.

HOPE, Book 1 of Widows of the Wild West, launches a new series that grew from the previous one, and contains cross-over characters.  

           Percy turned to Hope impulsively.  “Would you like to come for supper tonight?”

          “Where?  Out to your treasure-hunting site?”

          “Silly, Hope,” Percy said indulgently.  “I recently purchased a house here in town.”

          “You own a home?  And you cook?”

          He gave a modest smile.  “I have always believed no matter what I undertake, I am honor bound to do it well.”

          “Of course you do,” Hope said.  “Might I guess you found time in your travels to train with some of the more famous chefs around the world?”

          “A lesson or two, here and there,” Percy said.  “I’ll see if Laura and Brody Mason are free to join us.  Brody is the surrogate big brother of the Mason clan, and was recently elected town mayor.  You’ll like Laura, his wife.” 

          “That sounds very nice,” Hope said.  “I don’t cook much, but is there something I could contribute?”

          “Not a thing.  I’ll call for you at the hotel around half-six.”

          Percy left her in the hotel lobby after their tour, along with the distinct impression he didn’t want to be alone at his house with her.  Hence the impromptu dinner party.

          Despite that, she was curious to see the place Percy called home and meet at least some of the people here who had drawn Percy back into their midst.  She was quite certain the quest for the missing ship of black pearls was only part of the attraction.

 HOPE releases on September 22nd and is available for preorder.   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DSL7Y8H    

Sign up for Kathleen’s VIP Reader Group to receive a free book, updates, special giveaways and fan-priced offers.    http://eepurl.com/bV0sb1




Julie Lence said...

Nice blog, Kathleen, and Congrats on your upcoming release! I have a few old-west cookbooks. Some things in them I wouldn't dare to make let alone eat, but I do have a few favorites. Most of my heroines can cook, but Lydia was all thumbs in the kitchen. It's always fun to work with a character who is different. Hugs and have a great day!

kathleen Lawless said...

Thanks, Julie. I make a few old west favorites like cornbread and buttermilk bicuits and chili to name a few, and am forever grateful for my crockpot and modern oven.My hat is off to our ancestors.

Hannah Rowan said...

It's nice to see someone who "organizes" the way I do! Great excerpt!