Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I hope today everyone of my friends and fans are surrounded by family and friends, enjoying good home cooking or a gourmet meal. However you are celebrating, here’s wishing you love and warmth wherever you are.

My family is back at my aunt’s house in Central Virginia again today.  Family from North and South have converged on her house once more, the one time of the year I get to see these folks in person. All the fixin’s have been prepared for another real old-fashioned Thanksgiving meal.  Everyone has brought their own special dish–mine is collards, my Dad’s secret recipe (which I divulged on my blog yesterday!).  I’m sure I will eat too much, but I’m not going to regret it one minute afterwards. 🙂

As in other years, below is a video of my favorite Thanksgiving hymn.  I post it each year because to me it holds the spirit of the holiday.  Hope you have a safe and happy one!

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

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Southern Comfort Food ~ PawPaw’s Collard Greens

Thanksgiving is here! Where am I today? In the kitchen cooking for the feast. Well, not exactly.

A napkin from our Thanksgiving Day set

My Thanksgiving traditions have changed over the years. All the years I grew up my parents and I had Thanksgiving lunch at 12:00 noon. I’d get up, watch the parades on TV, then set the table with china, glassware, tablecloth and linen napkins that were used only once a year on Thanksgiving. All the dishes that loaded the table were the same each year. In addition to the turkey and giblet gravy we had potato salad (never creamed potatoes for some reason), butter beans, squash and onions, deviled eggs, sweet potatoes, collards, dressing, brown & serve rolls, and pumpkin pie. Our plates were so loaded there was never room for seconds. And the butter beans,  squash, and collards all came from my father’s garden.

This tradition lasted long after I was married and my husband and two daughters all came to PawPaw’s and Memaw’s for Thanksgiving. With my mother’s death in 2001, my dad no longer wanted a big dinner, so I moved the dinner with all its trimmings to my house for several years, eventually moving it back to my dad’s house. After my father’s death in 2005 though, suddenly I wanted something completely different.

So my husband and children and I started traveling on Thanksgiving  Day to Berkeley

Cacapon State Park Lodge

Springs, WV for Thanksgiving at the Cacapon Lodge, a wonderful old pine paneled 1950s era lodge, with a dear friend of my husband’s from college. After stuffing ourselves at the lodge’s buffet we would adjourn to the lodge’s rec room and play cut-throat Scrabble. I was deemed the Scrabble Whore (SW for short) because I planned every play for the maximum number of points.

After many years of this tradition, my aunt and cousins started having a big family Thanksgiving celebration at my aunt’s house. Of course my family was invited and we began our current tradition of taking a side dish and having a fun day of food and family.

Fresh Collard Greens

From the beginning of this traditional Thanksgiving outing, my sole side dish to bring has been my father’s melt-in-your-mouth collards. I’ll be cooking them tomorrow and into Thursday, as I cook one pot for my house and one pot for the celebration. In fact, I cook a whole Thanksgiving feast–almost all the dishes I grew up with–so that after Turkey day, I can still enjoy all the dishes I so love for at least four or five days more.

PawPaw’s Collard Greens

 

3  pounds of collards, fresh or frozen. If fresh, be sure to wash thoroughly and trim the             stalks off and tear into pieces your desired size.

1 lb hog jowl bacon (only hog jowl will do. No other part of the pig–i.e. ham, bacon, fat              back will work)

salt and pepper to taste

Slice the hog jowl (it also comes pre-sliced) and layer the bottom of a slow cooker* to cover. Add 1/3 of collards (or one package frozen). Spread evenly over the hog jowl. Layer another layer of hog jowl and add another 1/3 of collards (a second bag frozen). Layer another layer of jowl and the final 1/3 of collards. If there is any jowl left, lay it on top.  If using fresh collards, add 1/2 cup water.

Cook on High setting for about 4-5 hours.

Check collards at 5 hour mark, stirring gently. Add water if they aren’t moist. Replace lid and switch to low setting. Cook an additional 6 hours, stirring every few hours and adding water as necessary (if they seem to be sticking to the sides of the slow cooker, add water).

After 12 hours the collards should be tender and melt-in-your mouth good. Serve with your Thanksgiving meal.

*My father originally cooked his collards in a pressure cooker that was, while much quicker, much more scary. I was always sent out of the kitchen when he was cooking them in case of an explosion. Eventually, he discovered he could get the same results by cooking the collards slower and longer in the slow cooker.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Come back next week for pics of my Thanksgiving and another recipe full of southern comfort. 🙂

 

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Medieval Monday: First Encounter Blog Hop Winner!

 

MedMon

TheFirst Meet Winner

is

Karen Markuson!

Congratulations, Karen! You’ll be receiving a copy of Betrothal from me shortly along with a copy of every book that’s been a part of this Medieval Monday theme.

Below is a list of the different Medieval Monday authors. Thank you, ladies, for a great hop and a special Thank You to Ashley York for organizing Medieval Monday!

And thanks to everyone who participated in our First Meet Blog Hop!

Authors

ASHLEY YORK

BAMBI LYNN

CATHY MACRAE

ELIZABETH HOBBES

JUDITH STERLING

LANE MCFARLAND

LAUREL O’DONNELL

MARY MORGAN

NICOLE LOCKE

RUTH A. CASIE

SHERRY EWING

BARBARA BETTIS

CECI GILTENAN

 

And here’s more holiday cheer with another

 excerpt from my Medieval Christmas story,

Seduction at the Christmas Court.

Excerpt:

“This entertainment will be tedious. I would much rather retire for a good night’s bedding right now,” he whispered, the puff of his breath tickling her ear and sending prickles of excitement down her neck.

She laced their fingers together. “’Twill be finished ‘ere long, my love. Then you can wield your weapon with a vigor yon knights cannot.”

He laughed and drank deeply. “Aye, sweet Alyse. My skill with both weapons outshines any other knight.”

“As you will not want me to be judge of that, I think, I will demur to your claim, although I will test your skills again with the one blade ‘ere the night is done.”

At Geoffrey’s bark of laughter—so loud it turned heads on the dais their way—Alyse settled back to watch the mummers, her cheeks burning, but a pleasant anticipation building within as well.

The mummer playing St. George took the center spot in the Great Hall and began a sing-song rhyme that soon had the court laughing at its nonsense. A stream of knights—played in turn by the other mummers—approached, made their rhyming challenge, and were quickly slain by St. George, whose wielding of his sword became swifter and swifter. He slayed the knights in such short order that by the time he faced the final knight, he did no more than look at the Turkish knight than the man fell down, his toes jingling softly as he landed on the soft rushes covering the floor.

A burst of laughter and applause followed that performance as the quack Doctor shuffled forward, his “magic potion” in a large bottle, gripped in his hand.

Thoroughly engrossed, Alyse laughed and clapped her hands. She held her breath and leaned forward as the Doctor poured the potion down the throats of the slain knights, spoke his own rhyme over them, and one by one, they began to twitch and dance, the rush-strewn floor seeming to come alive as they did. The room resounded with merriment as all seven knights revived.

Loud applause burst out from the courtiers, many of whom threw gold and silver coins onto the floor. Geoffrey tossed a gold florin to the Turkish knight. “For my lady’s pleasure,” he called.

The man nimbly caught the coin and made a deep bow. “Thank you, my lord.”

With a lecherous grin, Geoffrey grasped Alyse’s arm and urged her to rise. “And now allow me to attend to my lady’s pleasure as well.”

 

Blurb:

Christmas tidings of comfort, joy, and temptation

Alyse and Geoffrey, Lord and Lady Longford, have journeyed to the glittering Christmas Court of King Edward III in the year 1349 to wait upon the king and take part in some Yuletide merriment. However, when Geoffrey is suddenly called into the king’s service again, Alyse must remain at court, attending the queen and persuading her rebellious sister to accept an unwanted betrothal. When rumors of Geoffrey’s death arise, Alyse fends off an old suitor who wants to renew their friendship. But how long will he take “No” for an answer?

Buy Links:

Seduction at the Christmas Court is currently available in the boxed set More Christmas Lovin’ for just .99!

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/More-Christmas-Lovin-Lisa-Kumar-ebook/dp/B076NMYN2G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

Titles in the Time Enough to Love Series:

 

Posted in Historical Romance, Medieval Monday, Medieval Romance, Promotion, Seduction at the Christmas Court, Seduction at the Christmas Court | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 11/19/17 Falling in Time~ “What’s Today’s Date?”

weekend_writing_warriors_header3

Again this week I’m sharing from the book I’m revising as part of NaNoWriMo. Yeah, it may be a little outside the rules, but I’m expanding the novella by 50K words, so I think it works out the same. They have a badge for Rogue NaNos, so I’m going for it!

Anyway, its a time travel novella that was published in a boxed set several years ago, then called Crashing Through Time, now changed to Falling in Time. I’m turning it into a full length novel.

Corinne McGowan is on a sightseeing plane ride when the engine fails and she crashes into the countryside around Cornwall. Answering a call of nature, Corinne finds an old well in the forest (think the one from The Ring). She’s mesmerized by the sound coming out of the well and it pulls her into it. She comes to in the same woods and tries to find her way back to the crash site.

In today’s snippet, Corinne has met the rider from last week’s snippet. He declares he is Ian Hunterly, the nephew of her master’s thesis research topic. I’m skipping a few paragraphs ahead. Ian has produced a gold watch from his pocket. (Very creative punctuation used to adhere to the WWW guidelines.)

He pressed a button and the watch cover flew up; he held it out for her to see, but she knew the inscription by heart.

“‘To I. H. on the joyous occasion of his majority,’ except, the word occasion—”

“Occasion,” he interrupted her this time, “is spelled with two ‘esses’ instead of one, but how the devil do you know this?” His eyes flashed with anger, and he snapped the watch closed with a menacing click.

She had no explanation to give him: that watch was real. She’d swear it was the same one she’d seen in the museum for not only did she recognize the inscription with its misspelling, but also the small z-shaped ding on the inside of the case near the stem. She’d wondered how and when that had happened, fascinated by a piece of the watch’s history she hadn’t uncovered.

Perhaps Ian will tell me himself.

Frantic laughter bubbled up at the thought and she clapped her hand over her mouth and stepped back, wanting to put distance between herself and the man who couldn’t be who he claimed. Making one last ditch effort at sanity, she whispered, “What’s today’s date?”

 

 

BLURB for Falling in Time:

More than hearts can be broken when you fall through time.

Theatre professor Corinne MacGowan is in a sightseeing plane that crash lands in a field in Cornwall. She wanders away from the crash site, led by a strange buzzing in her head that is coming from a black well (think The Ring). She falls down the well and ends up in Cornwall in 1868 at the home of her Master’s thesis subject, playwright Sir Robert Graysill. She immediately meets Sir Robert’s nephew, Ian Hunterly, and once she comes to terms with the fact that she has fallen through time, realizes from her research that Ian is doomed to die within a matter of weeks. Can she save him and change history? Or let history run its course and lose the man she has come to care for?

Check out my Amazon Author page for all my works!

Books in The Handful of Hearts series:

 

 

 

 

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here.  There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

 

 

Posted in Falling in Time, Historical Romance, on Victorian Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Time Travel Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Southern Comfort Food ~ Big Mama’s Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing

Thanksgiving is upon us! Where has 2017 flown?

The wonderful thing about Thanksgiving, as most people will tell you, is the scrumptious food–some of which I only get to eat once a year on Thanksgiving. Today I’m sharing one of those “once a year” recipes. Not that it couldn’t be eaten on any other day. But I find it a little labor intensive and with my working and writing schedule, it’s something I undertake only on Thanksgiving: Big Mama’s Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing.

Big Mama is what I (and all my dad’s family) called my grandmother. My grandfather was Big Daddy (of course I hadn’t read Tennessee Williams when they were alive) and I grew up right next door to them.

Big Mama’s cornbread dressing is the only one I’ve ever seen that takes two days to make and comes out in little cakes rather than a casserole dish full. Each time I eat it I am immediately transported back to my childhood, to our Thanksgiving table. My father worked shift work, so I never knew when he would be home for dinner. Most days I ate by myself in front of the television. However, Thanksgiving was the ONE day in the whole year that I knew my father and mother and I would be sitting down together to eat.

Boy, it was quite a spread. And always with my grandmother’s dressing. The sage and poultry seasoning are what give it that pungent taste that lingers on the palate. The savory cornbread from which it is made is to die for on its own. I used to sneak pieces of it while my mother was waiting for it to cool.

Just thinking about it I can’t wait for next week!

Big Mama’s Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing

1 1/2 to 2 cups self-rising corn meal

1 TBS flour (I substitute gluten-free flour for mine)

1 TBS baking powder (Rumford’s is all I ever use)

1/4 package Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Stuffing Mix

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 cups warm water

1/2 cup chicken or turkey broth

2 eggs, well beaten

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

Sprinkling of Sage and Poultry Seasoning

 

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Grease baking pan on bottom and sides.

Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, oil, warm water, eggs, celery, onion and seasonings together well. Pour into pan and bake 30-45 minutes.  Cool completely. (This step was usually done the day before in my mother’s house so the cornbread could get good and cold.)

Crumble cornbread into large bowl. Add 1/4 package of stuffing mix (for a gluten-free version I have used gluten-free croutons. This year I’ve found actual gluten-free stuffing mix!) and enough chicken or turkey broth to moisten. Shape into cakes and put in greased pan. Bake at 300 for about 40 minutes or until firm and cooked through.

Since I won’t make mine until next week, I don’t have a picture of mine exactly, but I did find this pic that is very close to my finished product. (I’ll have a picture of mine after Thanksgiving.)

Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Come back next week for another recipe full of southern comfort. 🙂

Posted in Cooking and Recipes, Southern Comfort Food | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Medieval Monday: First Encounter! ~ Winners Announced Next Week!

 

MedMon

First Meet Winner

will be Announced Next Week on November 20

The winner will be chosen from people who have followed along with an author each week, reading their snippet and commenting on each of the blog sites they were on.

Below is a list of the different blogs for the authors because it’s not too late. You can go to each of my snippets, or any other author, leave a comment on each blog post and you’ll be entered to win.

Authors

ASHLEY YORK

BAMBI LYNN

CATHY MACRAE

ELIZABETH HOBBES

JUDITH STERLING

LANE MCFARLAND

LAUREL O’DONNELL

MARY MORGAN

NICOLE LOCKE

RUTH A. CASIE

SHERRY EWING

BARBARA BETTIS

CECI GILTENAN

 

And with the holidays around the corner,

here is an excerpt from my Medieval Christmas story,

Seduction at the Christmas Court.

Excerpt:

Alyse stared in horror as Guy nonchalantly raised her hand to his lips. The skin seemed to shrink, as though it would crawl off her bones to escape his touch. She longed to snatch it away from the vile man however, mindful of the thousand eyes that marked her every movement, she instead gave him a coy look and a nod. “You are kind to remember me, Guy, now that you have my sister to wife. I doubted you would give me a glance in the wake of her beauty.”

Geoffrey moved closer to her, his hulking presence a subtle warning.

An she knew her husband, he was now sorely tempted to run Guy through with his sword. Thank God it lay safe in their chamber. “I give you good evening, Sir Guy. It has been long since last we met at my father’s house.” Remind him who had triumphed that evening and mayhap he’d keep his distance and his head.

“Too long, cherie. Perhaps now we are to be kindred, we will see much more of one another.” His gaze rested on her mouth and he licked his lips.

Bold villain. Alyse drew closer to Geoffrey. The man’s dark-eyed gaze would peel the clothes from her like the skin from an orange an she endured it much longer.

Face blackened in a scowl, Geoffrey bumped her side as he stepped between her and Guy. “My wife will enjoy her sister’s company as often as she likes while we are at court, Sir Guy. An you are in the room you may bear them company as well during the Christmastide. Should you journey to Longford after you are wed, of course, we will always open our home to you.” Her husband’s teeth clenched so tight his jaw creaked. He’d rejoice in Guy’s company when the last trump sounded.

“Pippa,” Alyse said, turning to her sister, sorry that she must bear witness to Guy’s disrespect. Pray God His Majesty never heard tell of this conversation. She grasped her sister’s hands, pulling the girl from Guy’s side. “’Twill only be a short time ‘ere we are gone from here. This feuding twixt Guy and Geoffrey will last only so long as we remain here. Once you are married—”

“Once I am married to him there will be no escape, Alyse.” Pippa’s voice, hard-edged, flat, and filled with anger, made her cringe. “I will be forever chained to a man who cares nothing for me, only for my sister.”

Blurb:

Christmas tidings of comfort, joy, and temptation

BLURB:

Alyse and Geoffrey, Lord and Lady Longford, have journeyed to the glittering Christmas Court of King Edward III in the year 1349 to wait upon the king and take part in some Yuletide merriment. However, when Geoffrey is suddenly called into the king’s service again, Alyse must remain at court, attending the queen and persuading her rebellious sister to accept an unwanted betrothal. When rumors of Geoffrey’s death arise, Alyse fends off an old suitor who wants to renew their friendship. But how long will he take “No” for an answer?

Buy Links:

Available in the boxed set More Christmas Lovin’ for just .99!

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/More-Christmas-Lovin-Lisa-Kumar-ebook/dp/B076NMYN2G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

 

Titles in the Time Enough to Love Series:

 

Posted in Historical Romance, Medieval Monday, Medieval Romance, Promotion, Seduction at the Christmas Court, Seduction at the Christmas Court | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weekend Writing Warriors ~ 11/12/17 Falling in Time~ A Practiced Air

weekend_writing_warriors_header3

This week I’m sharing from the book I’m revising as part of NaNoWriMo. Yeah, it may be a little outside the rules, but I’m expanding the novella by 50K words, so I think it works out the same. They have a badge for Rogue NaNos, so I’m going for it!

Anyway, its a time travel novella that was published in a boxed set several years ago, then called Crashing Through Time, now changed to Falling in Time. I’m turning it into a full length novel.

Corinne MacGowan is on a sightseeing plane ride when the engine fails and she crashes into the countryside around Cornwall. Answering a call of nature, Corinne finds an old well in the forest (think the one from The Ring). She’s mesmerized by the sound coming out of the well and it pulls her into it. She comes to in the same woods and tries to find her way back to the crash site.

In today’s snippet, Corinne has met the rider from last week’s snippet. He declares he is Ian Hunterly, the nephew of her master’s thesis research topic.

Mr. Ian Hunterly

He plopped down on the wooden turnstile and wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand and said, “My hat, please.”

She plucked it from beneath her arm and handed it to him, trying not to smile.

He seated it firmly on his head with a practiced air.

Corrine stared, her heart lurching in her chest. With the hat, the coat, the boots, this guy was the spitting image of the oil painting she’d discovered of the real Ian Hunterly, who’d been born in 1833 in London and died in 1868 in Cornwall. She looked closer, searching his face for some sort of prosthetic device. Actors never looked that close to the real thing without special effects. She frowned for his face looked like…well, his face. Clear, tanned skin and features that were obviously his own. The hairs on her arms pricked to attention.

 

BLURB for Falling in Time:

More than hearts can be broken when you fall through time.

Theatre professor Corinne MacGowan is in a sightseeing plane that crash lands in a field in Cornwall. She wanders away from the crash site, led by a strange buzzing in her head that is coming from a black well (think The Ring). She falls down the well and ends up in Cornwall in 1868 at the home of her Master’s thesis subject, playwright Sir Robert Graysill. She immediately meets Sir Robert’s nephew, Ian Hunterly, and once she comes to terms with the fact that she has fallen through time, realizes from her research that Ian is doomed to die within a matter of weeks. Can she save him and change history? Or let history run its course and lose the man she has come to care for?

Check out my Amazon Author page for all my works!

Books in The Handful of Hearts series:

 

 

 

 

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Warriors here.  There’s some fantastic snippets to be read.

 

 

Posted in Falling in Time, Historical Romance, on Victorian Romance, On Weekend Writing Warriors, Promotion, Time Travel Romance, Weekend Writing Warriors | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments