Tasty Tuesday: Lamb Pie #colonial #recipe #howtomake #lamb #dinner #entree

I must admit my adaptations of colonial recipes for Tasty Tuesday are becoming more aggressive. At least for this recipe. I’ll explain as we go.

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryTo make a savory Lamb or Veal Pie.

Make a good puff paste crust, cut your meat into pieces, season it to your palate with pepper, salt, mace, cloves, and nutmegs finely beat; lay it into your crust with a few lamb-stones and sweetbreads seasoned as your meat; also some oysters and force-meat balls, hard yolks of eggs, and the tops of asparagus two inches long, first boiled green; put butter all over the pie, put on the lid, and set it in a quick oven an hour and a half, and then have ready the liquor, made thus: take a pint of gravy, the oyster liquor, a gill of red wine, and a little grated nutmeg; mix all together with the yolks of two or three eggs beat, and keep it stirring one way all the time. When it boils, pour it into your pie; put on the lid again. Send it hot to table. You must make liquor according to your pie.

I know many people who make their pie crust from scratch. That’s not something I’ve mastered and I find it simpler to buy ready-made crust from the store. But by all means, if you enjoy making your own, you’ll not hear anything but praise from me. More power to you!

The mystery in this recipe for me is with regards to the pie lid. I didn’t take the time (sorry, my bad) to research into what a “good puff paste crust” might be, figuring I needed to keep my final recipe as easy to make as possible or I’d probably never make it again. Thus my choice to use ready-made crusts. But in writing this post, I did take the time to dig a little deeper and found out that there are three distinct kinds of pastry crust: puff paste, standing, and short crust. The puff paste does take quite a bit of time to prepare, so I’m glad I didn’t worry too much about using that kind of crust for my adaptation of this receipt. If you’re curious, you can find out more over at Savoring the Past. For me, the store crust tasted good and was easy, too.

Two ingredients that I either don’t know where I’d find, if in fact I wanted to, or just didn’t bother looking: lamb-stones (i.e., testicles) and sweetbreads (i.e., pancreas). Here again, if you’re more adventurous than I am, go for it!

This is yet another recipe that calls for brown gravy made from the first recipe I adapted, the broth. I made a good quantity and then froze it in individual Ziploc bags to use as needed. Same with the broth, for that matter, as I didn’t want to have to make it frequently. Here’s one of the things hubby and I have discovered: we’re not as big a fan of so many dishes with rich sauces. Especially ones that use so much heavy spices like mace, cloves, and nutmeg. I think a decent substitute for this recipe instead of using the gravy would be to use a small amount of both the oyster liquor and the asparagus water and add the remaining ingredients into that. It would be a lighter taste, not quite as rich but still tasty. And fewer calories, too.

As I’ve said before for other recipes, I’m not a huge red wine fan and don’t typically have any on hand or open. So I used chardonnay instead. If you prefer red, though, that’s fine as well.

So here’s my recipe, which I may make a different version of later. I’m not sure I’ll make force-meat balls again, for instance. But only time will tell. Here goes:

Betty’s Lamb Pie

 

Sauteeing Force-meat balls
Force-meat balls

Ingredients: 

Pie crust for two-crust pie

½ pound lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces

Ground black pepper, to taste

Ground mace, to taste

Ground cloves, to taste

Ground nutmeg, to taste

2-3 oysters, chopped

16 force-meat balls, browned and drained

2 yolks of hard-boiled eggs

Asparagus-canned1 14.5-oz can asparagus spears, drained (I used 50% reduced sodium)

1 cup gravy

¼ cup oyster liquor

2 oz. white wine

1 egg, beaten

Instructions:

Lay one pie crust into 9” pie pan

Combine meat and seasonings in a small bowl; layer in pie pan

 

Lamb Pie ready to top
Lamb Pie ready to top

Add chopped oysters and browned meat balls, egg yolks, and asparagus 

In a saucepan, combine the gravy, oyster liquor, wine, and egg. Stir well and heat until boiling.

Pour gravy into pie pan.

Add top crust and crimp edges as for any two-crust pie.

Place in a preheated 350 deg F oven for 45-60 minutes, until the crust is brown.

Note that I didn’t use butter “all over the pie” since I had poured the gravy mixture in which I figured would keep everything moist enough.

Lamb Pie interiorThe resulting pie was very good if rich for our tastes. The overall concept is a good one, and one I can tinker with another time. So how adventurous are you with your recipes? Do you make your own crusts? Eat organ meats?

Starting next week we’ll be talking about fish and cooking techniques. Looking forward to trying to make lobster and salmon!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Here’s the first book in the A More Perfect Union series, Emily’s Vow:

Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

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Tasty Tuesday: Beef Collops #colonial #recipe #howtomake #beef #entree #whatsfordinner

What better way to celebrate America’s Independence Day than by adapting a colonial recipe into a modern version? This next colonial recipe was very easy to make for Tasty Tuesday! It’s delicious, too!

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryBeef Collops.

Take some rump steaks, or tender piece cut like Scotch collops, only larger, hack them a little with a knife, and flour them; put a little butter in a stew-pan, and melt it, then put in your collops, and fry them quick for about two minutes; put in a pint of gravy, a little butter rolled in flour, season with pepper and salt; cut four pickled cucumbers in thin slices, half a walnut, and a few capers, a little onion shred very fine; stew them five minutes, then put them into a hot dish, and send them to table. You may put half a glass of white wine into it.

 

IMG_2389
Beef steak cut into collops

This one didn’t have nearly as many changes necessary to put it together. As I’ve said before, I omit salt in most recipes unless it’s required for rising (like cookies and such). I’m very sensitive to salty foods and my hubby has had issues with kidney stones in the past, and that’s one of the possible culprits. So instead I use herbs and garlic to provide flavor.

 

 

IMG_2388
Have all ingredients ready

For the “pickled cucumbers” I used “stackers” that are flat slices of pickle and then diced them to be about the same size as the pieces of walnut. Again, this was with an eye for how the ultimate sauce would present when served.

 

I estimated the size of a walnut based on the pieces I had on hand, and then chopped them up a bit more to make them easier to blend into the sauce.

Capers are not something I have used in the past so I didn’t have them on hand. While I was visiting a dear friend and fellow author, Linda Joyce, she let me sample one from her stash. They are quite tart and briny, so if you do want to use some, just use a couple since this recipe is not for a large quantity.

 

IMG_2391
Collops frying

This recipe calls for brown gravy made from the first recipe I adapted, the broth. I made a good quantity and then froze it in individual Ziploc bags to use as needed. Same with the broth, for that matter, as I didn’t want to have to make it frequently.

 

So here’s what I ended up with and I think I may have to make this one regularly. Yum!

Betty’s Beef Collops

Ingredients

¾ lb steak, cut up into small pieces about the size of a matchbook

¼ cup flour

½ cup brown gravy

2 T butter

1 T butter rolled in flour

1/8 tsp pepper

½ T garlic, chopped

1 T walnut pieces, chopped

1/8 cup onion, diced

¼ cup white wine (optional)

Instructions

 

IMG_2393
Ready to serve!

Have all ingredients at hand before beginning. 

Lay steak on a cutting board and lightly score both sides.

Sprinkle flour on both sides.

Melt 2 T butter in deep skillet.

Fry the collops quickly until browned.

Add remaining ingredients, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and then serve.

If you want to reduce the amount of butter, you could fry the collops using cooking spray, but I’d keep the piece of butter rolled in flour to provide the gravy/sauce. We really did enjoy this for dinner the other night. It’s fairly simple to make and yet is very tasty indeed!

Wishing all my American fans a very happy Fourth of July!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Literary Classics International Book Awards - Youth Award Winning Book
Literary Classics International Book Awards – Youth Award Winning Book

During the 1800s, daring and courageous girls across America left their unique mark on history.

Milly Cooper galloped 9 miles through hostile Indian Territory to summon help when Fort Cooper was under attack.

Belle Boyd risked her life spying for the Rebels during the Civil War.

Kate Shelly, when she was 15, crawled across a nearly washed-out railroad bridge during a ferocious thunderstorm to warn the next train.

Lucille Mulhall, age 14, outperformed cowboys to become the World’s First Famous Cowgirl.

These are just a few of the inspiring true stories inside Hometown Heroines—American Girls who faced danger and adversity and made a difference in their world.

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Tasty Tuesday: Scotch Collops #colonial #recipe #howtomake #lamb #entree

Ready for a delicious adaptation for Tasty Tuesday? This recipe for Scotch Collops took some serious thought to update to something my hubby and I might enjoy. And that we could afford. Here we go!

First, as always, comes Hannah Glasse’s receipt from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy:

Art of CookeryTo dress Scotch Collops.

Take a piece of fillet of veal, cut it in thin pieces, about as big as a crown piece, but very thin; shake a little flour over it, then put a little butter in a frying-pan, and melt it; put in your collops, and fry them quick till they are brown, then lay them in a dish. Have ready a good ragoo made thus: take a little butter in your stew-pan, and melt it, then add a large spoonful of flour; stir it about till it is smooth, then put in a pint of good brown gravy; season it with pepper and salt, pour in a small glass of white-wine, some veal sweet-breads, force meat balls, truffles and morels, ox palates, and mushrooms; stew them gently for half an hour, add the juice of half a lemon to it, put it over the collops, and garnish with rashers of bacon. Some like Scotch collops made thus: put the collops into the ragoo, and stew them for five minutes.

 

Lamb Cuts
Lamb cuts

Whew! This one was a challenge on several fronts. First the call for veal (again) which in my area is running around $26/pound. Out of my price range. So what might I substitute? I thought of chicken, but then realized the veal would have a beef-like flavor, not a poultry taste. What else is lean and has a hearty flavor? After some thought, I decided to use leg of lamb cut thin and into small pieces. Off to the store I went… But the only leg of lamb in my local Publix grocery store was organic and cost $36! Nope. My hubby stopped at Sam’s Club on his way home, and they were sold out of leg of lamb, too. So I went to a local meat store the next day and they also were sold out of leg of lamb. I don’t understand why nobody had any all at the same time. But the lady at the meat store pointed out a package of frozen lamb cuts. Small pieces with bone, it turns out, but they were approximately the right size and shape. Or at least close enough. So that’s what I used. However, next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll use the leg of lamb cut to shape.

 

Notice that Mrs. Glasse says to “have ready a good ragoo” which meant I needed to fix that before I started sautéing the lamb. So let’s look next at the ingredients for the ragoo.

Butter, flour, a pint of brown gravy, pepper, salt, white wine, veal sweet-breads, force meat balls, truffles and morels, ox palates, mushrooms, and lemon juice. Whoa. Veal sweet-breads? What are they? Off to look them up only to find it’s the pancreas of the calf. Um. No. I couldn’t bring myself to include them. Sorry, Mrs. Glasse!

 

Fried Force-meat Balls
Fried Force Meat Balls

Okay, so force meat balls. I’d made them earlier about the same time I made brown gravy from the broth, so now that I know they’re going into a brown gravy dish, I put some into a heated frying pan and browned them on all sides. Since I made them with butter shavings, I didn’t need to use any other oil or spray in the pan. Then when they were browned I removed them from the pan and set them aside to continue with the ragoo recipe.

 

 

Diced Mushrooms
Diced Mushrooms

Truffles and morels and mushrooms? First, I knew truffles are a kind of fungus, but I had not heard of morels before. Turns out they’re related also to truffles and mushrooms. If I’ve eaten either of them, I couldn’t tell you what they tasted like. If you have and would like to let me in on the experience, I’m all ears. However, both truffles and morels are expensive and difficult to locate. That’s not the point of adapting these recipes, to make it expensive and challenging to prepare. So I only used white mushrooms readily available from my local grocery store.

 

Ox palate was next. You know, the actual roof of the mouth of an ox? Nope, sorry. I’m not even sure where I’d locate one. I could find ox tongue at my local meat store which was a good sized piece of meat (believe it or not), but no palate. So I skipped that ingredient as well. I did think about how back in the 18th century they used every piece of the animal they’d butchered. To make broth or stew or whatever. I wonder what happens to the pieces we don’t see at the grocery store? Research for another day!

 

Sauce for Collops
Ragoo
Sauteeing Lamb Collops
Sauteed Lamb Cuts

I mixed the other ingredients together to simmer while I fried the bacon “rashers” or thin slices  – in my case, I used what I had on hand: 2 slices of bacon halved. Once the ragoo and the bacon were ready, I sautéed the lamb cuts to brown them and cook them to medium doneness, then put them in a dish and poured the hot ragoo over, garnishing the finished dish with the bacon.

 

Here’s my adapted recipe…

Betty’s Scotch Collops

Ingredients:

1 lb. Lamb, boneless, cut thin

¾ cup flour, divided

2 T + 1 T unsalted butter

1 cup brown gravy

2 oz. white wine (I used chardonnay)

16 force-meat balls, browned

5 mushrooms, diced

2 oz. lemon juice (equivalent of juice of ½ of one lemon)

2 slices bacon, halved and fried until crisp

Instructions:

Cut lamb into small, thin pieces.

Scotch Collops
Scotch Collops ready to serve

 

Sprinkle ¼ cup flour over the meat.

Set the meat aside while you make the sauce or “ragoo”…

Melt 1 T butter in a saucepan.

Stir in ½ cup of flour until smooth.

Add gravy, seasonings, wine, force-meat balls, mushrooms and cook gently for 15-20 minutes.

Add lemon juice.

Melt 2 T butter in a deep skillet.

Brown the collops over medium-high heat.

Remove to a serving dish.

Pour the ragoo over the collops.

Garnish with bacon slices and serve.

Hubby and I really enjoyed the combination of flavors. The only problem we had was the numerous small, sharp bones that the lamb cuts contained. That’s why next time, and in my recipe above, I’m calling for boneless lamb.

You can probably tell from the ingredients that this is a rich dish. We had enough for two meals for each of us. I’d recommend pairing it with something light, like steamed broccoli or a tossed salad and maybe some garlic toast.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did! What do you think about truffles and morels? Have you tried them?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books (including excerpts) and upcoming events.

Emily's Vow Finalist SealIn 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal…

Emily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Despite her half-hearted protests, her father insists Frank Thomson is the perfect man for both her protection from the vengeful British and as a husband. Frank always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns Emily’s been imprisoned for her father’s privateering, he risks his own neck to free his love.

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1wZML3a

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obL3tT

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1t75sMh

Google: http://bit.ly/13Bll94

Tasty Tuesday: Making Brown Gravy & Force-meat Balls #colonial #recipe #howtomake #gravy #meatballs

I’ve starting to really get into some interesting historical “receipts” to convert for Tasty Tuesday! Today we’ll look at how we can use the broth I shared here to make brown gravy and force-meat balls to use in other “made dishes” I’ll talk about in upcoming weeks. Ready?

The next step is to make the brown gravy. First, you need to realize that in my house my hubby has always made the gravy. So that’s my first challenge with this recipe. Second, I needed to translate the original recipe into something not only understandable but also to a manageable quantity. Let’s look at Mrs. Hannah Glasse’s 1802 recipe:

Art of CookeryWhen you want very strong gravy, take a slice of bacon, lay it in a stew-pan; take a pound of beef, cut it thin, lay it on the bacon, slice a good peace of carrot in, an onion sliced, a good crust of bread, a few sweet herbs, a little mace, cloves, nutmeg, and whole pepper, an anchovy; cover it, and set it on a slow fire five or six minutes, and pour in a quart of the above gravy; cover it close and let it boil softly till half is wasted. This will be a rich, high brown sauce for fish, fowl, or ragoo.

Her instructions are actually the second half of the broth recipe. Since I reduced the quantity of broth, I also reduced the quantity of gravy by using smaller quantities of meat. Instead of a pound of beef, I used several pieces of stew beef that I sliced thinner. I used four baby carrots whole, and added basil and thyme as my sweet herbs. I did not use any anchovy, and used 2 cups of broth (“above gravy”) instead of one quart. For some reason, I forgot to take pictures but it was a simple simmering of ingredients and then removing the bits and pieces. My pups were happy with their treat, too!

Betty’s Brown Gravy

Ingredients:

1 slice bacon

¼ lb. stew beef, cut thin

4 baby carrots

1 small onion, sliced

1 bread crust (end slice)

Basil, to taste

Thyme, to taste

Mace, to taste

Nutmeg, to taste

Cloves, to taste

2 cups soup broth

Instructions:

In a large saucepan, lay the bacon on the bottom. Layer the beef, carrots, onion, bread, and herbs and spices.

Cook on medium heat until the bacon sizzles and the beef begins to brown.

Add broth. Cover and simmer until cooked down by half.

Remove the meat, bread, and vegetables.

Store gravy tightly covered in the refrigerator or divide into containers to freeze.

Now I have brown gravy to use to make the other dishes I’ll be adapting. See, there is an order to the progression of the recipes I’ve chosen!

Another ingredient I needed to make to have on hand for the made dishes is force-meat balls. Essentially, these are small meatballs used as filler and seasoning in dishes that are similar to what we call casseroles and pot pies.

Here’s what Mrs. Glasse would have me do:

To make Force-meat Balls.

Now you are to observe, that force-meat balls are a great addition to all made dishes; made thus: take half a pound of veal, and half a pound of suet, cut fine, and beat in a marble mortar or wooden bowl; have a few sweet herbs shred fine, a little mace dried and beat fine, a small nutmeg grated, or half a large one, a little lemon-peel cut very fine, a little pepper and salt, and the yolks of two eggs; mix all these well together, then roll them in little round balls, and some in little long balls; roll them in flour, and fry them brown. If they are for any thing of white sauce, put a little water in a sauce-pan, and when the water boils put them in, and let them boil for a few minutes, but never fry them for white sauce.

Ground TurkeySo the first thing I’ll say is that I didn’t want to use veal due to the expense. Instead, I chose another lean meat, ground turkey. I think it most likely has a similar consistency as ground veal. Note that when she says “cut fine” that would end up being very similar I would think to ground meats today. At least, I think it’s close enough.

Shaved butterLast year I made Martha Washington’s sausage and in doing so had done research as to a proper substitute for suet, which is difficult to find in my area. The result proved interesting. Frozen stick butter that you grate/shred and blend in. So that’s what I used in this recipe as well. However, there are other substitutes you may prefer to use.

All IngredientsMy intent with these adaptations is to make new doable recipes from the historic ones. Therefore, when she calls for sweet herbs I’m choosing from what I have in my spices and seasonings collection. So this time I thought Italian seasoning would taste good with the turkey and other ingredients. Other possibilities that come to mind are thyme, basil, dill weed, and rosemary.

Mace, cloves, and nutmeg are strong spices, so I used only a sprinkle of each. (We’ve determined that mace is a bit overpowering for us, so less is definitely more.) For lemon peel, I used lemon zest (grated lemon rind). I omitted the pepper and salt, but feel free to use them if you’d like.

For egg yolks, I put one in and then decided to use two to have the proper consistency. If you make these, then you can decide whether you want to use both or just one, depending on the quantity you’re making.

Betty’s Force-meat Balls

Ingredients

1 lb. ground turkey

1 stick unsalted butter, frozen then shredded

½ T Italian seasoning

Sprinkle of mace and nutmeg

½ tsp lemon zest

2 egg yolks

Rolled into BallsInstructions

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly, breaking up any lumps of butter to evenly spread it in the mixture.

Roll the meat mixture into balls. I placed them on waxed paper for easy handling. (See note below)

Note: Uncooked balls can be divided into containers (I used quart-sized freezer bags) and frozen until needed.

I’ll talk about how I cooked these for use when I share the recipes I used them in. I kept out 17 to use in the Scotch Collops recipe for next week’s post but froze the rest in 3 batches of 12.

Take a moment to consider the large amount of food the 18th-century cook must have been making. Then think about how long it would take to fix just one meal. I imagine she was pretty relieved that the evening meal was usually cold meats and lighter fare. Keep in mind the cook would not have ready-made seasoning to sprinkle on like I did, nor already ground meat to use. I know how long it took me to figure out the recipe, let alone prepare it for use. Of course, she might have some things ready to use from making different foods, but still, I think it was quite a feat to send dinner to the table.

Next week I’ll share how to put together a made dish using these ingredients and many others! Until next time!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

I thought I’d share a little about Elizabeth’s Hope, so you know what the serialized novella is all about. And remember, it’s not on sale yet, only available for my newsletter subscribers. In each newsletter, I also include a link to the novella as released up until that point, so you won’t miss out on any of the previous chapters. Enjoy!

Elizabeth's HopeCAUGHT BETWEEN DUTY AND LOVE

Joining the revolutionary army was the honorable thing to do—but Jedediah Thomson hadn’t realized how long he’d be away from the lovely, spirited Miss Elizabeth Sullivan. They’d only begun their courtship when the occupation of Charles Town, South Carolina, trapped her in the city, making it dangerous to get to her.

Elizabeth Sullivan feared for her brothers, fighting for American freedom; for her father, pretending to be a loyalist; for family and friends, caught between beliefs; and most of all for Jedediah, the man she loves, who was doing his duty. She cherished every moment they had together, knowing how swiftly it could be taken away.

And that made her willing to risk everything to claim a piece of him forever….

Tasty Tuesday: Oyster Sauce #colonial #recipe #howtomake #seafood #sauce

Oyster SauceToday’s Tasty Tuesday post is about making oyster sauce from scratch. I’ve never had this kind of sauce before, so it was an interesting challenge to make it. Unlike the broth recipe that required a good deal of adjustments, this one proved remarkably simple to tweak into an easier version. Let’s start with the original recipe…

Art of CookeryOyster Sauce is made thus.

Take half a pint of oysters, and simmer them till they are plump, strain the liquor from them through a sieve, wash the oysters very clean, and beard them; put them in a stew-pan, and pour the liquor over them, but mind you do not pour the sediment with the liquor; then add a blade of mace, a quarter of a lemon, a spoonful of anchovy liquor, and a little bit of horse-radish, a little butter rolled in flour, half a pound of butter nicely melted, boil it up gently for ten minutes; then take out the horse-radish, the mace, and lemon, squeeze the juice of the lemon into the sauce, toss it up a little, then put it into your boats or basons.

So the first consideration was the oysters themselves. I’ve seen how oysters are shucked (opened and shells removed) and knew that was not something I wanted to include in making this sauce. Nope. So I went to my grocery store and bought a pint of oysters shucked and ready to use. That way I didn’t need to figure out how you beard an oyster…

Then the equivalencies for a “blade” of mace and “anchovy liquor.” Both easy enough to deduce. A blade is a small piece of the spice, but since the original recipe called for removing it and I’m using ground, I reduced the amount from the approximate equivalence of one-half teaspoon ground mace equals a blade, to one-quarter teaspoon. The anchovy liquor is created by simmering anchovies in water and salt, which Fish Sauce lists as the only 3 ingredients. So I used a tablespoon full of that.

The horseradish is subjective, a “little” is a matter of taste after all. I found where one tablespoon fresh horseradish is the same as two tablespoons prepared. Again, since it’s supposed to be removed, I reduced the amount to one-half tablespoon.

I love the idea of rolling butter in flour. It seems to be a fine way to measure the right proportion needed. I chose to use one tablespoon stick butter (unsalted) and rolled it in flour until covered and then added it to the saucepan.

Simmering SauceThe resulting sauce was good and I’m likely to do it again but with a few minor changes. First, we tried it with grilled steak but didn’t like the combination of flavors. The next night we had the remainder over baked salmon and we enjoyed that much more. Second, I think after simmering the oysters the first time, cutting them up a bit would make a more balanced sauce instead of having the whole oysters in it.

So here’s what I ended up with.

Betty’s Oyster Sauce

Ingredients:

8 oz. raw oysters, shucked and cleaned, ready to use

¼ tsp ground mace

¼ fresh lemon

1 T Fish Sauce

½ T creamy horseradish sauce

1 T butter rolled in flour

¼ lb butter, melted

Directions:

Simmering OystersSimmer 8 oz oysters in their juices on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Strain and reserve the liquor.

Place oysters in a saucepan and add remaining ingredients.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove the lemon, squeeze the juice into the sauce.

So what do you think? Does this sound like something you’d like to try? Do you know how to shuck oysters?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The fourth and final story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series follows the trials and decisions of Evelyn and Nathaniel as they try to adjust to life after the British occupation of Charleston.

Evelyn's PromiseDetermined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc

Tasty Tuesday: Historical Cooking Techniques for Meat #colonial #recipe #howtomake #dinner

 

Wmbrg Kitchen
A working kitchen in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Imagine preparing a meal using the tools and vessels available.

Today for Tasty Tuesday we’re going to talk about how meats were prepared back in the 18th century. We need to remember that the cooking utensils and heat sources were very primitive and basic. A kettle over an open flame, to be exact. Or a spit turned by hand, usually by one of the children, to evenly roast meats. Thankfully, we have much better tools and utensils as well as cooking apparatuses. But for a moment, let’s pause and consider what an 18th-century cook had to work with and how she’d prepare the family’s dinner.

 

Art of CookeryIn The Art of Cookery, Mrs. Glasse discusses how to prepare various kinds of meat. Most of the time she says to boil the piece of meat, but she also talks about frying things at times. The kinds of meat she would have worked with are also different from a typical American dinner table. Ox palates and ox heads being two that come to mind. Also, rabbits make an appearance now and again in addition to the typical shank (or shin) of beef. Also the “scrag of mutton” which I’ll talk more about next week, being part of the neck of the sheep. In fact, many of the meat dishes require boiling like what is done for soups and stews, the topic of next week’s Tasty Tuesday post. You can find the complete schedule of recipes I’m planning to try – unless I chicken out and choose a different one… – by going to this post.

I wonder about what is not written in the cookbook as to techniques used and the assumed knowledge of the 18th and early 19th century cooks. I enjoy reading the language of the book, with its use of “enough” as in “when they’re enough take them out and lay them in a dish” – which means when they are finished/done put them in a dish. But what kind of dish would they have used? A flat one? A bowl of some sort? What kind of presentation did they aim for when laying out the food?

She also talks about “force-meat” which is a way of making something similar to meatballs that you stuff into larger cuts of meat. I’ll be making my version of this to share with you for the June 20 post. Many of the dishes in the book are ones we wouldn’t want to try. Sometimes because of the current cost of a particular item (veal for one!) or because it’s a cut or part that doesn’t appeal to our tastes. For example:

To dress a Fillet of Veal with Collops

For an alteration, take a small fillet of veal, cut what collops you want, then take the udder and fill it with force-meat, roll it round, tie it with a packthread across, and roast it; lay your collops in the dish, and lay your udder in the middle. Garnish your dishes with lemon.

Notice that she doesn’t say to cook the veal, in this recipe which follows another one similar on how to fix veal. In the one for how “To dress White Scotch Collops,” she says to throw the collops of veal into a stew-pan and put some boiling water over them, stir them about, then strain it off, then add some broth and seasonings to it. So here’s an example of assumed knowledge that you need to look back at earlier entries for how to prepare the meat as well as know how long to cook them or know when they are done. Collops, by the way, are small rounds of meat. I’ve never tried udder and do not care to. But you must give them credit for not wasting any parts of the animal!

Another recipe she talks about is how to stew ox palates. I know some people enjoy tongue of various animals but have you tried the palate? Here’s what she says to do with it, in case you’d like to…

To stew Ox Palates

Stew them very tender; which must be done by putting them into cold water, and let them stew very softly over a slow fire till they are tender, then take off the two skins, cut them in pieces, and put them either into your made-dish or soup; and cock’s-combs and artichoke-bottoms, cut small, and put into the made dish. Garnish your dishes with lemon, sweet-breads stewed, or white dishes, and fried for brown ones, and cut in little pieces.

A made-dish is one that combines meats and vegetables into one dish. Sweet-breads are the thymus of the calf or perhaps the pancreas which is apparently pretty tasty, but again it’s not something I’m interested in trying. And I know my loving, supportive, patient hubby would not want me to serve it to him, so that’s another reason to pick different recipes to adapt. Also, I think she means to use stewed sweetbreads for “for” white dishes and fried for brown ones.

What kind of meats have you tried that are not typical fare? Did you like it? Would you want to have it again?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions! Until next time!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The second story in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series is one of my favorite ones. Poor Amy has some tough decisions to make…

Amy's ChoiceWhen Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence without a word of goodbye, Amy picks up the pieces of her heart and chooses independence. When Benjamin returns unexpectedly, Amy flees to the country to help her pregnant sister and protect her heart.

Benjamin Hanson knows he hurt Amy, but he also knows he can make it up to her after he completes his mission. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from the vengeful British occupation.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1COKdqg

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZHT9Pl

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1zlf2Vk

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Google: http://bit.ly/1ocTIfL

Tasty Tuesday: Potato Pudding #colonial #American #history #recipe #sidedish #whatsfordinner

Art of CookeryTasty Tuesday brings us to my adaptation of Potato Pudding from The Art of Cookery. The original recipe seems fairly straightforward until you consider the methods of cooking available then versus today. So let’s start with what Mrs. Glasse would have us do, shall we?

Boil two pounds of potatoes, and beat them in a mortar fine, beat in half a pound of melted butter, boil it half an hour, pour melted butter over it, with a glass of white wine, or the juice of a Seville orange, and throw sugar all over the pudding and dish.

The first stumbling block for me is that I do not own a mortar. But I do own an electric mixer that I use to make mashed potatoes for special occasions like holidays.

IMG_2150I’m going to guess that I used about one pound of potatoes, but to be honest, I did not weigh them. I used these four because I thought it would be enough for two to four servings, which it ended up being.

The second boiling of the potatoes would have been done in a tightly woven cloth placed in a kettle of boiling water over a fire. After thinking about the options, I decided to spoon the whipped potatoes IMG_2152into a casserole dish and then I could bake the final casserole instead of boiling it again.

Notice that she also blended butter, wine or the juice of a Seville orange, then threw sugar over everything, which was intended to counter the bitterness of the wine or orange. I chose to use butter and sweet orange juice to approximate the blend of flavors she was aiming for. My hubby is not fond of wine in sauces, so I didn’t choose to use it but feel free to try some if you’d prefer.

IMG_2154Be careful when you go to melt the butter! I put it in the microwave for what I thought was a short amount of time, but the butter ended up exploding. I had to clean up the mess and try again to achieve the desired result.

The resulting casserole was indeed a hit around here. It was fairly easy to make and again included only whole, fresh ingredients readily available at my local grocery store. I hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did.

IMG_2157Ingredients

4 medium-large baking potatoes

4 T butter, melted

1 T butter, melted

¼ cup OJ

Instructions

Wash, peel and cut up the potatoes into large pieces

Cover with water in a saucepan and boil until just tender

Drain the water from the potatoes.

Add 4 T melted butter.

Beat with mixer until creamy but sticky

Put in a casserole dish and bake at 300 deg for 15 minutes.

Combine 1 T melted butter and ¼ cup OJ. Pour over casserole and warm through.

I think this may become a new favorite dish to make. What do you think about wine in the sauce? Should I have tried it anyway?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The second book in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series, Amy’s Choice, continues the saga of women seeking personal independence during the American Revolution.

Amy's ChoiceWhen Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence without a word of goodbye, Amy picks up the pieces of her heart and chooses independence. When Benjamin returns unexpectedly, Amy flees to the country to help her pregnant sister and protect her heart.

Benjamin Hanson knows he hurt Amy, but he also knows he can make it up to her after he completes his mission. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from the vengeful British occupation.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1COKdqg

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZHT9Pl

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1zlf2Vk

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Google: http://bit.ly/1ocTIfL

Tasty Tuesday: Spinach & Eggs #vegetable #recipe #historical #American #whatsfordinner

Time for Tasty Tuesday and the first of my adapted recipes from The Art of Cookery! The original recipe was called Stewed Spinach and Eggs. But it’s more than just those two ingredients. Here’s the complete recipe from the 1802 edition:

Art of CookeryPick and wash your spinach very clean, put it into a saucepan, with a little salt; cover it close, shake the pan often; when it is just tender, and whilst it is green, throw it into a sieve to drain. Lay it in your dish. In the mean time have a stew pan of water boiling. Break as many eggs into cups as you would poach. When the water boils put in the eggs, have an egg-slice ready to take them out with, lay them on the spinach, and garnish the dish with Seville orange cut into quarters, with melted butter in a cup.

So the first thing I had to do was interpret the intent behind the cooking and figure out what exactly the finished dish would look like.

IMG_2147It’s obvious what “pick and wash” the greens means, and then to put them in a saucepan – it would have to be a big pot by our standards with a lid. I chose a large soup pot with a lid.

Then to drain it in a “sieve” or colander before putting it in a “dish” of some kind. I imagined the finished dish to present nicest on a small platter but any kind of bowl or casserole dish would suit.

IMG_2145Then in a “stew pan” break eggs into cups to poach them, or boil them until done to your liking. Hmm, I thought. Hubby and I are not fond of poached eggs, so that had to change. Hard boiled eggs would also serve the purpose, and allow for slicing to provide even more color and thus improve the presentation while staying close to the taste combinations.

IMG_2148Then lay the cooked eggs on the spinach and add quartered “Seville” oranges, which I discovered are known for being bitter/sour. I can’t get Seville oranges easily in my area, anyway, so I’d have to adapt that as well. I chose a lovely navel orange and used it to provide a contrast to the other flavors.

IMG_2146I also do not cook with salt due to previous health concerns (diabetes and heart disease for my dad, and kidney stones for my hubby), so that would also need to go. Then the bit of melted butter to dip the green into. I wasn’t sure about the butter being needed either, but I could see some kind of moisture was needed to cook the spinach greens. So instead of butter and salt, I used some extra virgin olive oil and minced garlic. By cooking the greens this way, the need to drain the spinach was eliminated. I simply spooned the cooked greens onto the platter and garnished with the eggs and orange.

Here’s my adapted recipe for Spinach and Eggs. We really enjoyed it, and I hope you will also!

IMG_2149Ingredients:

2 pkgs 6 oz each baby spinach leaves

1 T olive oil

Minced garlic to taste

2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

1 naval orange, segmented

Instructions:

Heat the first three ingredients in a large covered pot until the spinach is tender.

Arrange spinach on a platter. Add sliced eggs and orange segments. Enjoy!

While I don’t always add the orange and eggs, I have found I really enjoy cooking the spinach this way every time. The greens taste so fresh and yummy with all natural ingredients that are easy to purchase at my local grocery.

What do you think? Sound good to you? Do you think any other greens would also work in this kind of recipe?

Next week, Potato Pudding, which isn’t what you’re probably thinking it is… Until then!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser—a former beau—promises to recant if she will marry him.

Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.

Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer—the only man she’s ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family’s reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1wZML3a

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obL3tT

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1FCoy5L

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1t75sMh

Google: http://bit.ly/13Bll94

Tasty Tuesday: Historical Cooking Techniques and Dressing Veggies #colonial #recipe #sidedish #whatsfordinner

It’s Tasty Tuesday once again. Time to dive into the ins and outs of cooking techniques and the preparation of various vegetables available on typical dinner tables of the colonial and Early American period.

We’ve all seen campfires and open hearth cooking fires, if not in person then in a movie or documentary, right? Have you ever thought about how you’d cook dinner or breakfast? I think maybe one day I’ll enroll in one of those colonial or primitive cooking classes to find out exactly how they managed over an open flame.

For now, I will rely upon the guidance of Virginia Elverson and Mary Ann McLanahan who wrote Revolutionary Cooking. They note that:

Revolutionary CookingMost cooking was done in large iron pots; in the fireplace the pots were suspended over the fire or raised above the embers by means of little legs. Lug poles of wood or iron were built into the fireplace wall, providing a rack on which to suspend the cooking pots. These poles were later replaced by a more practical swinging crane. The distance from the fire was adjusted by S-shaped hooks, adjustable trammels and chains. Though utensils had long handles, the cook in her long full skirt had to be extremely careful to avoid live coals and spitting grease. The floor was swept constantly and scrubbed around the hearth to prevent the house catching fire. (p9-10)

Apparently, most foods were cooked by stewing, slow boiling, or roasting. A dish that combined both meat and vegetables was known as a “made dish,” which was easier to make. Frying was avoided due to the inherent danger of fire from spitting grease. Roasting was done on a spit which was turned by hand, most often the job of one of the children in the family. A pan beneath the skewered meat caught drippings to be used in making other dishes.

Art of CookeryI was amazed by the variety of vegetables that were available to American cooks in the 18th century and beyond. The Art of Cookery gives specific directions on how best to prepare spinach, cabbage and “young sprouts,” carrots, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, potatoes, “cauliflowers,” French beans, artichokes, and asparagus.

The overall directions from The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy for how to dress “greens, roots, etc.” I think is good advice yet today:

ALWAYS be very careful that your greens be nicely picked and washed. You should lay them in a clean pan, for fear of sand or dust which is apt to hang round wooden vessels. Boil all your greens in a copper or sauce-pan by themselves, with a great quantity of water. Boil no meat with them, for that discolours them. Use no iron pans, &c. for they are not proper, but let them be copper, brass or silver.

The techniques used in the 18th century really were similar but at the same time very different from our options today. The directions for “dressing” the vegetables all steer the cook toward boiling them, greens in a “great deal of water” and potatoes in “as little water as you can, without burning the sauce-pan.” Interestingly, for both broccoli and asparagus Mrs. Glasse recommends the following presentation:

Broccoli-MorgueFileWhen the stalks are tender it is enough [they are ready to eat], then send it to table with a piece of toasted bread soaked in the water the broccoli is boiled in under it, the same way as asparagus, with butter in a cup.

It took me a little while to figure out why the butter is put in a cup. The melted butter is to be used for dipping the stalks with your fingers before eating them. Keep in mind that forks weren’t a common utensil in America until the second half of the 18th century. (More on the history of forks can be found here.) Then they would have been more frequently used by the upper echelons of society. The Art of Cookery is geared more toward the middle and upper class since the cook needed some education in order to read and understand the instructions. Literacy was not necessarily a priority when building a new society, at least not for the working men and women laboring to literally build farms and towns.

Next time I’ll share the first adapted recipe, Stewed Spinach and Eggs. For the complete schedule of what I’ll be sharing in the weeks and months ahead, check out this post.

Do you find it interesting to think about how our abilities, habits, and things we take for granted have evolved along with the new technologies? What else do we take for granted as having been around forever, like forks, but actually have not been around all that long? I can think of hot pads, since the early cooks used their long skirts often times to pick up hot vessels. What else?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Adapting American 18th Century #Recipes #cooking #history #whatsfordinner

I’ve been talking a lot lately about my paranormal romances, but don’t forget my first love is historical fiction! As I wrote the 5 books in the A More Perfect Union series, and am writing some other historical fiction stories to share with my readers soon (I hope!), I found myself wondering about what folks enjoyed eating during the 1700s when my series takes place. They didn’t have processed foods and some of the other not-so-healthy options we have today.

So on a recent research trip to Virginia, I came across two cooking books that contain “receipts,” or what we call recipes today, for colonial era meals and desserts. I figured I’d try some of them. Maybe they would prove healthier alternatives. Something new and different to tempt our palates.

Art of CookeryThen one night my husband and I were watching the 2009 movie Julie and Julia and it dawned on me. I could do the same sort of thing as the Amy Adams character, Julie, did but on a modified basis. Julie, after all, decided to make all of Julia Child’s dishes. I’m not that dedicated! Doing so would take all my time, and I need to be writing after all. And after reading through the contents of both books, I knew there were limits as to what my husband would be willing to try. Me, too, but I’m more adventurous than he is.

The two books are The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy; Excelling any ever yet published by Mrs. Hannah Glasse, and Revolutionary Cooking: Over 200 Recipes Inspired by Colonial Meals by Virginia T. Elverson and Mary Ann Revolutionary CookingMcLanahan.

My plan over the next 6 months is to try to make a variety of sauces, meats and fish, vegetables, and maybe some of the desserts. The two books together provide me context and equivalencies so I can more easily adapt the ingredients and quantities needed. If I can adapt the desserts to reduce the quantity, since many of the receipts seem to make quite a large amount of cake/pie/cookies. Specifically, here’s what I’ve laid out to attempt to adapt to something that my hubby and I – and my readers – might enjoy:

May 9 Veggies and cooking techniques
May 16 Stewed spinach and eggs
May 23 Potato pudding
May 30 Meats and cooking techniques
Jun 6 Brown gravy
Jun 13 Oyster sauce
Jun 20 Force-meat balls
Jun 27 Scotch collops
Jul 4 Beef collops
Jul 11 Lamb pie
Jul 18 Fish types and cooking techniques
Jul 25 Salmon – broiled, and baked
Aug 1 Salmon au Court-Bouillon
Aug 8 Lobsters
Aug 15 Fowl and other birds
Aug 22 Brown Fricasey with chicken
Aug 29 Roast chicken with chestnuts
Sep 5 Stewing chickens
Sep 12 Duck with green peas
Sep 19 Collops and eggs
Sep 26 Salmagundy
Oct 3 Apple pudding
Oct 10 Apricot pudding
Oct 17 Stewed pears
Oct 24 Pound cake

The cooking techniques described in the two books are very different from today’s abilities with our ranges and ovens, mixers, and even cooking surfaces to work on. As I work through these receipts, I will talk about what the differences are. For example, boiling a pudding then meant putting it into a closely woven fabric and tying it tight at the top, then lowering it into a kettle of boiling water over an open fire. Obviously, that is not a method I’d employ in my own kitchen, so I’d make some adjustments and tell you how it worked out.

AMPU Covers-4Have you read any of the A More Perfect Union series? The latest story, Elizabeth’s Hope, will release in time for Christmas and is actually the introduction to the rest of the series. In order, the rest of them are Emily’s Vow, Amy’s Choice, Samantha’s Secret, and Evelyn’s Promise. But as noted below, I’m sharing a chapter of Elizabeth’s Hope each month with my newsletter subscribers, including a link to all the chapters new subscribers may have missed up to that point.

So are you with me? Shall we try some new wholesome, whole foods from centuries old recipes? I think it will be an interesting and enlightening journey to make. I wonder whether the lady characters in my historical romance series would be surprised at how cooking has changed since their time.

What do you think? I hope you’ll take this adventure with me! I’m heading to the kitchen now…

Betty

Elizabeth's HopeP.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union series, with my subscribers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The most recent release in the A More Perfect Union series is Evelyn’s Promise (January 2016). Here’s more about her story…

Evelyn's PromiseDetermined to make her own way in the newly independent America and live free of the dictates and demands of another husband, widow Evelyn Hamilton faces soaring post-war inflation as she struggles to provide for herself and her infant son.

Militiaman Nathaniel Williams visits Charlestown, where his heart is ensnared by a smart, beautiful widow, forcing Nathaniel to make the hardest decision of his life.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1SCcwTJ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1nW5AEd

Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1nifyz4

iBooks: http://apple.co/1UVyy1p

Google: http://bit.ly/1XbQsyc