LOREE: Hello, Readers!
Cerella and I are having a hard time accepting the fact that it’s November already! Where we live, the trees are pretty much leafless, there’s a nip in the air, and we’re even seeing Christmas tree-laden trucks on the highways!
So we thought…why not slow things down with some of our favorite rib-stickin’ Autumn recipes to warm up your kitchens…and your hearts!
Here’s a family favorite side dish that’s a welcome (and easy!) change from the traditional green bean casserole. Even when I double or triple the recipe, I never have leftovers!
CERELLA: I’m adding Loree’s green beans to my list of holiday foods to try! Lemon and pine nuts? I’m there!
On a sweeter note, my family has a long-held tradition of what we call “Cookie Baking Day.” Instead of hitting the stores the day after Thanksgiving for Black Friday deals, my extended family would gather to cook 100+ dozen cookies in preparation for Christmas. We construct makeshift tables of sawhorses with wooden planks, line them with brown paper bags, and then load them with a variety of cookies. As a child, I loved Cookie Baking Day. Not just for the obvious reasons (taste testing!) but because the kids’ job is to paint the sand tarts with dyed egg washes and then decorate them. Silver pareilles become Santa’s buttons, cinnamon dots become ivy berries, and green and red sugar sprinkles add a little sparkle to everything our impression cookie cutters (now antiques!) can create: presents, stockings, toy soldiers, and even turkeys.
Over the years, Cookie Baking Day has created many fun stories, but my favorite is always the one about my great aunt, Violet, and her quest for rum. In true Jack Sparrow fashion, when it came time to make the rum balls, we realized we had no rum. Aunt Violet, although a teetotaler, volunteered to make the run to the state liquor store for the necessary ingredient. Aunt Violet was a doll, but she had a bit of a blunt and abrupt manner. She charged into the liquor store wearing her dough-splattered apron, her clothes besmirched with puffs of flour, and her white hair on end. When the clerk asked if he could help her, she demanded rum. He asked what sort of rum. She replied, “I don’t know; I just need some rum!”
I’m sure liquor store clerks are used to all manner of customers, but I like to think Aunt Violet made their day. In honor of her memory and to celebrate our Cookie Baking tradition, here’s our family recipe for Rum Balls.
Whether you’re in the States and celebrating the Thanksgiving tradition, or one of our readers in another country, we hope your autumn season is filled with family, friends, and blessings!
With nearly 5,000,000 books in circulation, best-selling author Loree Lough's titles have earned numerous 4- and 5-star reviews and industry awards. She splits her time between her home in Baltimore and a cabin in the Alleghenies (where she loves to show off her “Identify the Critter Tracks” skills). The release of Once a Marine (#1 in the “Those Marshall Boys” series for Harlequin's new Heartwarming line) brings Loree’s number of books in print to 104! Loree loves to hear from her readers and answers every letter, personally. Visit her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and www.loreelough.com!
Cerella Sechrist lives in York, Pennsylvania with two precocious pugs, Darcy and Charlotte, named after Jane Austen literary characters. She has won various competitions and a scholarship for her writing, which include devotionals, full-length plays, and novels. She divides her time between working in the office of her family’s construction business and as a barista to support her reading habit and coffee addiction. Her novels exhibit her love for both the written word and food in fiction. You can find her online at her website www.cerellasechrist.com where she pens “Literary Fare: Fiction & Food”, a blog for readers.