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Food for Thought

I love food! Well, really who doesn’t? Until recently I was known as someone who cooks and bakes on a regular basis. Adjusting to being and empty-nester has changed that a bit but I still enjoy baking and cooking.

My extended family can truly cook up a storm. You will never leave their house without being well fed and watered. In this case I promise you will have all the coffee your heart desires. This love of food and family is something that I have illustrated throughout my series The Cattleman’s Daughters. In all of my books you will find some reference to food and none more so than when sitting down to a meal with the James family.

Readers have commented on how lively and boisterous the Broken J Ranch is, especially at meal times. This comes directly from my experience of meal times at my grandmother’s house as I was growing up. For the newcomer, or outsider our chatter, open discussions and multiple discussions all at one time could be a bit overwhelming but to me it was the sound of home.

My mother’ family had twelve children in it and they had a fair share of their own so when we came together, (something we did often) there was food and fun and fellowship. Very loud fellowship.

These events usually went as follows. Family members would arrive in dibs, drabs and large dollops to be met with the smell of wonderful foods and a very large pot of coffee. If there was a job to be done everyone would pitch in and it would soon be finished. Food would follow in every imaginable variety along with a cacophony of conversation. Once dessert was served with yet a bit more coffee and dish duty begun. The family would then warm up their instruments and begin to play and sing.

The farm where my mother and her siblings grew up is now lovingly cared for by a family member and we still often congregate there to visit and eat.

We grew up eating what I like to refer to as farmer food. Farmers would always have things like milk, eggs, butter, and vegetables. You will see these meals prepared and served amongst the hustle and bustle of the James household.

Foods like creamed eggs and fried potatoes, that Katie served for Will. Or macaroni and tomatoes. Home baked bread was a staple and breakfast was a meal to prepare everyone for a day of hard work.

One item I highlighted in Fiona’s story was what my family calls flap jacks. Now I know that flap jacks can refer to several different things, usually pancakes, but in my home a flap jack is a bit of bread dough rolled flat and fried in a skillet. Someone pointed out that this is known as Indian Fry Bread and that is true but in my family the flap jack is what it is.

On October 21st I’ll be celebrating one year as a published author. Some friends of mine have gathered up their goodies and are trekking over to my site to help me celebrate. Come join us then and enter my contests to win the essential Pennsylvania Grange Cookbook as one of the prizes. Bring along a recipe to share and join us at my Authorversary!


Now let's meet some of the fantastic authors who are joining us at this little shindig.

Meet C.J. Samuels: CJ will drop by with a cup of coffee and a friendly smile on October 19th to share a little bit of herself with all ya'll. Don't miss her then.

CJ Samuels was born and raised in rural Ohio. After more than twenty years working

in service at an auto dealership, she picked up the proverbial pen and began writing, thanks to a lot of encouragement from her family and friends.

CJ always has a pot of coffee on, and a welcoming chair, for anyone who needs to talk. CJ was the daughter of the local preacher and had three kids of her own. From attorney, to finished construction builder, to a Marine – CJ’s kids are her pride and joy.

CJ has many “adopted” extra family members, including eleven grandchildren that she claims as her own. CJ is a born and bred Buckeye fan. She has three rescue dogs, an English bulldog named Sammie, a chi-weenie named Lucy, and a beagle mix named Lucky. In each of her books, you will find stories from her family history. In her eyes, family is most important.

Meet Sandra E. Sinclaire: Sandra E. Sinclair is a dreamer and hopeless romantic. Sandra grew up in London, England where the skies are often gray and the streets could be cleaner. However, she doesn't let this dampen her spirits. She loves her hometown and considers herself a true, blue Londoner, who is happy to find her sunshine overseas, and she does as often as she can. It’s through traveling abroad that she finds her inspiration for her stories. Her stories are designed to elicit every emotion in her readers. You will laugh, cry, be shocked, and titillated. The one thing you won't be, is bored. Facebook

Meet Kari Trumbo: Kari will be comin' round the mountain on October 16th to introduce herself to you

and don't forget to check in with Kari at 4:30 during the party on the 21st.

Kari Trumbo is a co-writer of the best-selling Cutter’s Creek series. She is a writer of Christian Historical Romance and a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. When she isn't writing or editing, she homeschools her children and pretends to keep up with them. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing with the worship team, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of nineteen years, two daughters, two sons, and three cats.

Places to follow Kari:

Meet Hildie McQueen:

"McQueen is an intense and emotional storyteller that will keep you turning the pages all night long."~Liliana Hart, NYT Bestselling Author of the MacKenzie Family Series"Hildie McQueen tugs at heartstrings while bringing love in the American wild west to life." Kirsten Osbourne, USA Today Bestselling Author of Historical Western RomanceAmazon bestselling author Hildie McQueen loves action, love and unusual settings. Author of western historical, Highland historical, paranormal and contemporary romance, she writes something every reader can enjoy.Most days she can be found in her pajamas hiding from delivery men while drinking tea from her David Gandy coffee mug. In the afternoons she browses the Internet for semi-nude men to post on Facebook.Hildie's favorite past-times are romance conventions, traveling, shopping and reading.She resides in beautiful small town Georgia with her super-hero husband Kurt and two unruly Chihuahuas Pepito and Lola, her assistant.Visit her website at Facebook: /Twitter:/HildieWrites

Meet Lori Hudson:

Hello folks, and thank you, Danni, for inviting me to contribute to your blog! First a little bit about myself! I’m a Michigan writer who loves to write “tween” books that feature a little mystery, adventure or fantasy. Some of my themes include mermaids, ghosts and dragons, and most have my favorite animals – dogs and horses -- tucked within their pages. When I’m not writing, I enjoy a variety of craft projects, digging in my garden, walking my dogs, or riding my beloved ex-racehorse, “Silver Blur.” One of my craziest recent projects? Making a huge papier mache dragon modelled after the main character in one of my books (The Lost Dragon). My plan was to take her along with me to some of my book events, but I’ve discovered she isn’t super crazy about travelling, and she’s very unhappy outside (especially when it rains), so right now she’s occupying a place of honor at my dining room table. I’m not sure what will happen when Thanksgiving rolls around and we need her chair for one of my family members to sit in. I expect, though, that she’ll be gracious about it. She’s pretty friendly, even though she looks rather fierce, and so long as no one mistakes her for a turkey she’ll likely be content. Are you interested in seeing a picture of me and my dragon at a recent event? Check out: Facebook

This talk of Thanksgiving and turkey reminds me of eating, and the theme of Danni’s blog, “Food for Thought.” Here’s an excerpt from one of the Amazon reviews of my book The Secret of Mermaid Island: “And please, someone invent frollops for real. It drove me insane every time they ate one” What’s a frollop? You might wonder. In fact, I might wonder, and I’m the one who invented them! This is one of the joys (and challenges) of being an author. You can make up fun things and put them in your books. But what happens when you invent something that sounds so delicious that your readers would like to have the recipe? That’s what happened with frollops.

A frollop, as described in The Secret of Mermaid Island, is a “frozen pop with a dollop of ice cream.” The characters on Mermaid Island enjoy visiting The Frollop Shop and sampling the weekly flavors. In fact, in The Mermaid’s Gift part of the story revolves around the friends’ participation in a contest to make the most creative new frollop flavor. Wait, frollop? New flavor? When I wrote the Mermaid Island series I’d never made a frollop at all, let alone created a new flavor, and now I was getting inquiries about how to make one.

How to get started? Especially for someone who doesn’t count cooking (or much of anything in the kitchen) among her talents? Well, a little bit of trial and error go a long way – in writing, as well as in creating frollops! I tried a bit of this and a bit of that, thought long and hard about how best to introduce some unique flavors, did a lot of taste testing (not too much of a hardship, since ice cream is one of my favorite foods), and here’s the final result:

2 cups lemon lime soda (Seven-Up, Sprite, or your favorite generic)

4 cups ice

⅔ cup sugar

2 packets of Kool-Aid, any flavor (mix and match if you like and see what unique flavor you can come up with!)

Vanilla ice cream (or go wild and try a fruit flavored sherbet)

Put ice, sugar and Kool-Aid in a blender, mix until ice is in small pieces (think of a slushie); pour soda over the mixture and stir; put a dollop of ice cream or sherbet on top and serve immediately. This should make three or four frollops, depending on how large a glass you use. Enjoy! Please let me know how you like my recipe, and I hope you’ll try out some of my books as well. I love to hear from readers and writers alike. Here are my social media links:Email – jwadewrites@yahoo.comWebsite - Author Loraine Hudson / Judith Wade - Facebook- Mermaid Island Books - AmazonTwitter - Goodreads -

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