November Tea Party Winners: Carrie Fancett Pagels' copy of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection - Debbie Curto, Christmas tea - Andrea Stephens, Golden Tea body wash Joy Ellis, lighthouse earrings -- Pegg's SIL from Lake Ann and Perrianne Askew, Pegg Thomas's Leather journal - Shelia Hall, and Writing Prompts book goes to - Connie Porter Saunders

Friday, January 12, 2018


One of the fun aspects of writing fiction is being able to incorporate meals into our stories. Just like everything else with historical fiction, it’s critical that the ingredients were available during the period and location, and that the methods of preparation are accurate. When I write about food, I can almost smell and taste it.
In the sequel to A Heart Set Free which is due to be released in early September, I included some ethnic dishes that have continued to be favorites throughout time, not only in the character’s homes and countries of origin but also in mine. I hope you will try and enjoy them as much as we do. 
When reading fiction, do you enjoy reading about the food the characters eat?

A Scottish favorite  Cock-a-Leekie Soup

12 lbs. frying chickens, cut up   ~   6 cups water    ~    2 medium carrots, sliced, sliced    ~  1 stalk celery, sliced  ~ 12 cup barley   ~   2 teaspoons salt   ~                                                14 teaspoon pepper    ~ 1 12 cups cleaned & sliced leeks & tops    ~ 1 bay leaf                     
In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat chicken in water to boiling. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and cool slightly; remove chicken from bones and skin. Skim fat from both Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and return to broth.
Add remaining ingredients Bring back to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

 ~  ~  ~

           Swedish Sailor’s Beef Stew  Sjömansbiffgryta
This Swedish stew is a favorite, very simple, yet very tasty. 
It is best to cook it in an enameled cast-iron casserole because it goes into a very hot oven for quite a while. Most of the liquid gets absorbed and the casserole becomes a little crusty. You can deglaze the casserole with a bit of water if you like and pour it over the stew, which should be transferred to a serving bowl.
•        2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
•        6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
•        2 1/2 pounds onions (about 5), quartered
•        2 1/2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and cubed
•        3 large carrots cut into pieces or baby carrots
•        Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
•        3 cups beer (lager) (Heineken has a can sold that is exactly that size - amazing)
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss all the ingredients except the beer into a large ovenproof casserole.
2. Pour the beer over the stew, cover, and cook until the meat is very tender, the potatoes are breaking apart, and the beer is absorbed-about 2 hours.
All alcohol is cooked out of the dish. It is for tenderizing and flavoring.


  1. I want to try the Swedish Sailor's Beef Stew!

  2. Perhaps because I like to cook, I enjoy using meals and food in my novels, and I have to caution myself not to overdo it. As a reader, I think it adds texture to the story. I'm glad to see that you include food details in your books--I'm looking forward to that new release.

  3. Those both look so good for a wintery day like today!

  4. They are, Paula, and they're easy. Thanks for stopping by.


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