Posted in This and That

Hot Water Pie Crust

In honor of the Holiday Season, which is rapidly approaching, I want to share with you my grandmother’s recipe for a hot water pie crust. It is, without a doubt, THE best recipe for a pie crust. You simply must try it.

3 c. all purpose flour, sifted before measuring

1/2 c. lard

1/2 c. butter

1 t. salt

1/2 c. boiling water

Measure the flour into a bowl and set aside. Place the lard and butter into a bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir until it is creamy. Add the salt and mix well. Then add the flour. Don’t worry about over mixing, as in this recipe, it doesn’t matter. When the ingredients are combined, chill for several hours or overnight. Then roll out as usual. 

Posted in This and That

For the Love of Yarn . . . (or, what I do when I’m not writing)

I’ve always loved yarn. This smitten-ness came upon me when I was quite young. A favorite aunt of mine showed me what to do with a crochet hook, and for years afterward I crocheted everything I could; it became my favorite hobby. I’ve made over thirty afghans, dozens of rugs, a plethora of toys, lots of silly potholders, a few truly ugly jackets and some beautiful Christmas ornaments.

Knitted hats for Christmas elves
Crocheted blanket
Crocheted blanket

Knitting, however (the other thing you do with yarn) was different. It took me several years to learn how to knit. I’m admitting this because I think I’m not alone here. Some of us just have a hard time figuring it out. I don’t know if it was because I learned how to crochet first, or what.

Crocheted blanket

My mother was an excellent knitter, and so was my great grandmother. She knit socks for her eighteen children in Denmark. So impressive. Once I got the hang of it though, I was smitten again. I set aside my crochet hook and began to knit. Everything. I, too, love to knit socks, but I will knit just about anything that strikes my fancy—sweaters, blankets, scarves, shawls, leg warmers, vests, ponchos, hats, mittens, slippers, toys . . . a few years ago, I knit up an entire Noah’s ark for my grandchildren.

Noah’s ark animals, with Noah and his wife
These teddy bears are the size of an average two-year-old child
Posted in Books

The Dancer & the Cowboy – Catalyst Series Book 2 . . .

. . . is now only $0.99 for a Kindle version. My books aren’t deep and brainy, and they won’t end up on the New York Times Bestseller list, but they are fun. And sometimes, that’s what we need more than anything else.

The Dancer and the Cowboy, Book 2

Celina is the director of a prestigious ballet school in Dallas. Her father passed away recently and her elderly mother is living all by herself on a ranch in Montana. The hired man just quit and she must find someone to run the ranch until they can sell it, and convince her mother to move back with her to the city.

Catrina’s Uncle Cody, from Book 1, leaves his cattle ranch in Idaho and goes to Montana to help take care of the ranch. When he learns of Celina’s predicament—that her mother refuses to leave—he begins hatching a plan to help her.

In despair, Celina decides she will have to quit her beloved teaching job in order to care for her mother. She returns to Dallas to finish teaching her final semester, planning to come back to Montana during spring break; but when she arrives at the ranch, she finds that the furniture and belongings are gone, and so is her mother!

Fun Facts: Book 2

I really enjoyed writing this one because my daughter is a ballerina, so it was fun reliving many of those beautiful experiences through Celina. Cody and Celina were originally named Ben and Belle, but then I got the idea for how I wanted to name all my characters in the series, so I changed them.

Also, I play pinochle (and euchre) and I think I can (humbly, of course) describe myself as a kick-ass player. I used to take my father to the senior center in Salmon, Idaho and play pinochle on Monday and Thursday afternoons, just like Mrs. Bradshaw and Cody.