My heroine is back in the kitchen, and still struggling. She’s feeling a tad more confident and has moved beyond “Johnny Cakes” to something a bit more complicated: Railroad Cake. My source for this recipe was printed about the time railroads came through the Old West. I think we can safely assume it must have been served in a dining car. Interestingly enough, railroads not only changed the face of the landscape but also brought new recipes to the West.
Not much is recorded on railroad dining, but what few references I found referred to a limited menu. This cake recipe reflects the need to keep things simple yet palatable. Most coach passengers carried their own nonperishable food with them to save what precious few dollars they had.
I’m going with the assumption that my heroine traveled to the West by train, sampled this cake and begged for the recipe. She may have had to pay for it. You, however, get it for free. SO…here you go (modified for the modern kitchen).
Baking Time: 30 minutes
Oven Temperature: 350 degrees
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, blending well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to creamed mix slowly, alternating with lemon juice and buttermilk. When well blended, turn out into two 8-inch cake pans that have been well-greased and floured. Place in a preheated oven. Done when an inserted toothpick comes out dry.
A slice on a bed of hot cream is a nice touch of the Old West. You can sprinkle with powdered sugar for a decorative look or substitute almond extract for the lemon juice for a more nutty flavor .
So, who’s going to try this recipe with me?
I sure had a fun day chatting about all these poor unfortunate animals. I hope you enjoyed it too.
The winner of the $25 Amazon gift card is………………..
Congratulations, Cathy! I’ll contact you for your mailing address.
Some years ago I saw an article in a newspaper that caught my attention. I’m always finding something of interest so I scurry off to find the scissors to clip it. This one has lain in my desk drawer until I recently ran across it when I moved. It’s amazing what all I found during this move. And I discovered I’m a bit of pack rat. Not a good thing to be when you have limited space. But back to the article I found.
Did You Know………..
A full grown bear can run as fast as a horse.
Reindeer milk has more fat than cow’s milk. I wonder if Santa knows this?
It takes forty minutes to hard boil an ostrich egg.
Chickens that lay brown eggs have red ear lobes.
It’s physically impossible for pigs to look up into the sky.
A group of owls is called a parliament.
Female swine will always have an even number of teats or nipples, usually twelve.
It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs because their knees cannot bend properly in order to walk to back down. So if you take a cow upstairs you’ll just have to leave him there or lower the unfortunate animal with ropes. LOL I can sense a story in this.
A goat’s eyes have rectangular pupils.
Bees must collect the nectar from two thousand flowers in order to make one tablespoon of honey.
A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won’t. I don’t know why.
There were tons of other examples of interesting trivia that made me laugh but I’m saving space.
Do you have anything of interest that’s stored away? I’ve love to hear about it. To celebrate my move I’m giving away one $25 Amazon gift card.
I love horses for their beauty and power. But the few hours I’ve spent riding left me so sore from bouncing up and down that I could barely get out of bed the next day. At my age, I’ll probably never be much of a rider. But just once, I would like to ride a Peruvian Paso.
The Peruvian Paso is a light saddle horse known for its gentle disposition and smooth ride. The breed is distinguished by a unique four-beat gait called the paso llano, in which the front and back legs on the same side move forward together (most horses move the legs on opposite sides together). The result is a ride as comfortable as a rocking chair.
This gait isn’t taught, it’s natural to the breed. Foals move this way as soon as they’re able to run. So how and why does this happen?
Smooth-gaited horses, known as Palfreys, existed in the Middle Ages, as well as the Jennet, noted for its ambling gaits. Peruvian Pasos trace their ancestry back to these horses, as well as to the Barb, which contributed strength and stamina, and to the Andalusian, which added style, conformation and action.
The first horses arrived in Peru during the Spanish Conquest in the 1500’s. More bloodstock came from Spain, Jamaica, Panama and other areas of Central America. As the big haciendas and plantations developed, the owners and overseers needed a horse they could ride long hours and distances. Over time, Peruvian breeders kept the bloodlines clean and selectively bred for gait, conformation and temperament. They wanted strong, hardy animals that were comfortable to ride and easy to control. Over four centuries, their dedication to breeding only the best gaited bloodstock resulted in the modern Peruvian Paso.
To appreciate this amazing gait, you’ll want to see it in motion. This video shows a group of Peruvian Pasos performing in a show. Notice the part where the riders gallop around the ring holding filled wine glasses.
Have you ever seen a Peruvian Paso? Do you have a horse, or have you ever wanted one?
My July Harlequin Desire book, THE SANTANA HEIR is set in Peru. My hero, a Peruvian millionaire playboy who suddenly finds himself in charge of the family empire, raises Peruvian Pasos on his estate. My heroine, who was tragically injured by a horse in her teens, regains her love of riding by working with these beautiful animals.
Next month, after my author copies arrive, I’ll give you an excerpt and a giveaway. Meanwhile, you can learn more about the story on my website, or on amazon.com, where the book is available now for pre-order.
Here’s a link.
The winner of Miss Martha’s LOVE STAYS TRUE is………
Woo-Hoo! I’m doin’ a happy dance for you, Lori. Someone will contact you for your mailing particulars.
My father handed me a pack of letters in 1994. They were letters he’d saved that my grandfather had given him. As I read them, I became fascinated with Sarah Louise Dyer, my great-grandmother. One of the letters for Sarah came from my great-grandfather and was written in 1864 a month or so before he was captured at Nashville and taken to Maryland as a POW.
That letter sparked my interest in our family history and genealogy. So began a trek to the past that uncovered more and more about my great-grandparents and their families. As I discovered interesting facts and information about Manfred Whiteman and Sarah Dyer, I had to write about them. Using the facts I had and adding my own ideas to fill in the blanks, the story Love Stays True was born.
My husband and I first visited St. Francisville, Louisiana and Woodville, Mississippi as a vacation in the summer of 1994 a few months after receiving the letters. We spent time in the courthouses in both places and uncovered documents that gave me dates, times, and information about births, deaths, and marriages. Through these documents I began to piece together the relationship between Manfred and Sarah, or Sallie as she was called by her family, and became a book for my family to enjoy.
The images below are of the marriage entry in the Grace Episcopal Church log, the inside of the church, and the historic marker that stands outside the church.
The book circulated in the family for a number of years until I decided to expand it into a novel. After more research and more visits to St. Francisville, I began the novel. We submitted it to a number of publishers, but none were interested in another Civil War novel. Finally, we submitted it with two other ideas as a series to my editor who wanted another series from me. She liked it and offered a contract.
This month, that novel will be released as Love Stays True, the first book in the Loves Journey Homeward series. At our annual Cousin Camp a few months ago, we had great fun talking about the book and the information my cousins Tom and Holly had found through a website. They are all looking forward to getting their copies of the book.
Stories are all around us, and the past contains more than we’ll ever be able to write. We’ve already discovered that our grandmother’s family had just as much history and drama in their background as did the Dyer and Whiteman’s. Who knows, there may be a book there, too.
What have you discovered about your own family history? Even if you haven’t researched your family, do leave a comment and be in the drawing for a copy of Love Stays True. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment so we can contact you if are the winner.
Alamo survivor? Could that be right? I thought everyone died at the Alamo. Isn’t that what made it famous? Well, all the fighting men who made their stand at the mission, did, in fact, die. But there were others present–women, children, slaves–who didn’t perish during that fateful battle in 1836. Susanna Dickinson was one such survivor.
Susanna joined her husband, Almaron, in San Antonio in December 1835 after her home back in Gonzalez, TX was looted. She hosted many of the men at her table (including David Crockett) and took in laundry for the men at the fort. On February 23, 1836, she and her daughter Angelina moved into the Alamo with her husband due to the increased threat from Santa Ana and his army.
On March 6, after the battle was over, Santa Ana collected her along with the other women, children, and slaves, and questioned them before eventually releasing them with a gift of a blanket and two silver dollars. But to Susanna, he gave a special task. She was to carry a letter of warning to Sam Houston. One of the slaves accompanied her for protection. She and her daughter left on March 7 and finally found her way to Gonzalez where Houston was camped by March 12. Susanna accomplished her mission at the tender age of 22.
Unfortunately, her tale hit a rough patch after the death of her husband at the Alamo. Penniless and with a child to support, she married a man named John Williams. The man turned out to be a brute who beat both Susanna and young Angelina. Susanna wouldn’t take the abuse, so she petitioned Harrisburg County for a divorce and was granted one of the first in that county’s history. She attempted marriage three more times without success. Either death or divorce ended each of the relationships. Nevertheless, Susanna received praise from the Baptist minister Rufus C. Burleson for her work nursing cholera victims in Houston, where he baptized her in Buffalo Bayou in 1849.
Finally, in 1857, she met a German man in Lockhart, TX and became Mrs. Joseph Hannig. They moved to Austin where Joseph set ran a successful cabinet and furniture shop. They remained married until Susanna’s death in October 1883. After all she’d been through, I’m so glad she finally found the love of a good man.
Susanna Dickinson inspired my characters in Short-Straw Bride. As you probably recall, all four Archer brothers were named for heroes associated with the Alamo: Travis, Crockett, Bowie, and Neill. Their mother (named Susanna, of course!) had a healthy dose of Texas pride and took the call to “Remember the Alamo” to heart.
In just a couple weeks, the next Archer brother’s story will hit the shelves. Stealing the Preacher is Crockett’s story. Three years have past since Short-Straw, and Crockett has trained with a local minister to prepare himself for his dream of ministering to a congregation of his own. But when he’s on his way to a final interview, he’s abducted from a train by a gang of aging outlaws and faced with the choice of either escaping to follow his own dreams or staying to help the daughter of his captor fulfill hers.
Stealing the Preacher is avilable for pre-order now! Just click on the cover to order from Amazon.
To read the first 3 chapters for free, follow this link to my Facebook page. If you “like” the page, you gain immediate access to the content. Enjoy!
Question for you:
Do you know someone who was named for a historical figure? Or do you have family names that have been handed down through the generations?
My oldest son carries on the WDW tradition. My husband’s initials are WDW and his father’s initials are WDW. So it was important to Wes that we carry that on with our son. Finding a W name we both liked was a bit of a challenge. I finally opted for Wyatt (what western fan wouldn’t love such a name – Wyatt Earp, anyone?). The D came from my father who passed away when I was 16. His middle name was Dale, so now we were bringing in family tradition from both sides. Then, we we told my grandmother the name we had selected. She was giddy and thanked us for naming him after her. I hadn’t known until that moment that her maiden name had been Wyatt. How cool is that? I love names that are rich with family meaning!
The Fillies are quite excited to have this dear lady pay us a call.
Miss Martha will tell us how researching her family history led to lots of story ideas for her books. I dearly love to hear about love stories about grandmothers and grandfathers and what life was like when they were young and foolish. I don’t tell this to many folks but I come from a long line of bootleggers. Don’t rightly know if they found love but they sure could find stashes of whiskey up in the hollows.
And in addition to getting acquainted with Miss Martha, you’ll get a chance to win a copy of her newest called LOVE STAYS TRUE.
So, get your rears in gear and head over to the Junction come Saturday.
We’ll be expectin’ you!
CONGRATS TO KRISTEN, ELLIE AND BONNIE JEAN !
Send me your email address and I’ll have your prizes auto-delivered to you. How’s that for good news?
Thanks everyone for sharing part of your day with me!!
As a childbirth and parenting educator, I often show my classes a beautiful film about an infant’s journey into this world called The Miracle of Birth. But today, I’m altering the phrase to The Miracle of Growth, something almost as awe-inspiring as bringing a baby into the world – growing your own garden. I do NOT have a green thumb, so all the credit for our little patch of nature goes to my husband. And I get to watch the beautiful process of growth from the sidelines, but I can’t tell you how exciting and fun it is to see those first buds sprout from the ground. I’m not sure who’s more excited, my hubby or myself.
The patch of land was cleared and planted.
Weeks later, we see life! Oh and the Angel Trumphets (top) are on the other side of the house!
We now have this: (monsterous, isn’t it for our little patch of land!)
Check out our snap peas!
Can’t wait for corn!
Would you believe there are 12 different veggies in our garden? What about you… do you get green and dirty as a gardener? Or are you like me and only enjoy watching from where it’s clean and dry? What’s your favorite veggie?
To celebrate the release of Sunset Seduction this June – a Romantic Times Top Pick! — I’m giving away three $5.00 Amazon gift cards today!! Tell me your veggie tales!