Boney's Trail Biscuits

I've been reading Prairie Song by Mona Hodgson - a story about a brave young woman who believes that the best way to help her grieving family is for them to pack up everything and join the Boones Lick Wagon Train, heading west.

The book is filled with likeable characters. One of my favorites is Boney. He's the trail cook on the wagon train. I can just imagine Boney pulling the chuck wagon into camp, then jumping down to unload his dutch ovens and tin coffee pot. I can see him opening a big sack of flour to start mixing up biscuits to serve with a big pot of beans. I can practically smell the beans boiling and see the butter melting on the hot biscuits. It just makes my mouth water!

My Dad making biscuits.
I guess this strikes a resonant chord with me because my dad used to love to make biscuits. He also worked on a ranch in Prescott, Arizona, spent several seasons fur trapping around Williams, Arizona and worked a gold mine in Bumblebee, Arizona.

Is it any wonder that I love western fiction? Dad would have loved to join up with a wagon train and I'll just bet he would have volunteered to be the camp cook!

I was excited to see that Prairie Song author, Mona Hodgson posted a recipe for Boney's Trail Biscuits the other day, so I just had to try it. My hubby (Mr. Lee) gave me a hand because biscuits are just not as good unless a man has a hand in makin' them (IMO).

We didn't have a dutch oven, so we improvised and baked them inside, but they turned out really great. Here's how we did it...

 Measure & mix dry ingredients

Cut in the butter, then add in the buttermilk

Turn out, knead and...

...then roll out.

Cut and place on your best old blackened cookie sheet. (Do you have one of those?)  I think I will roll them out less to make the biscuits a little thicker next time.

Bake, basting with butter just before done.

Hubby thought they needed more butter basting right after they came out.

Mr. Lee wanted the leftover scraps to fry

Because his dad used to fry bread dough.

It does look yummy, but I can't eat all that fat

Then, he drizzled it with honey

So, we got Boney's Trail Biscuits - two ways

I ate mine with sugar-free blackberry jelly.

We had a lot of fun baking together, talking about our Dads (who are both gone, now) and talking about what life would have been like on the trail west. I offered to let him read Prairie Song. He asked if it was a girly romance book. I admitted that there was romance, but lots more that he would like. I doubt he'll read it, which leaves me wondering why he has such an aversion to romance!

Boney's Trail Biscuits tasted great! You can find the recipe here. (There's also a great recipe for Boney's Campfire Beans (haven't made that yet). Scroll down the page for the biscuit recipe.

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Book Review - The Anonymous Bride by Vickie McDonough

Ooo-whee! There are mail-order brides flocking into Lookout, Texas and all bent on marrying one man - the town marshal, Luke Davis. Too bad Luke doesn’t know anything about it!

His ornery cousins, Mark and Garrett thought they would help Luke get over Rachel Hamilton by finding him a new bride, but they didn’t count on so many women showing up to claim one man and they didn’t know that Luke’s heart was forever Rachel’s.

What ensues after the brides arrive is too much for anyone to handle, especially Rachel Hamilton, who runs the boarding house where all the brides are staying until this whole mess can be sorted out. How can she be expected to house and care for women who are set on marrying the only man she ever really loved?

I was confused by the title The Anonymous Bride when I first saw it, but it made perfect sense after reading the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Vickie McDonough gives us lots of characters to fall in love with. My favorite was Jack (Jacqueline), Rachel’s feisty little tomboy daughter, who’d rather run around barefoot in overalls than wear a calico dress. And she’d just as soon go fishin’ with the boys than learn to cook or do handwork. I guess I can relate to Jack because I was raised with 5 brothers and a passel of cousins – most of which were boys. You had to be rough and tumble if you wanted to survive in my family. And fishin’ was one of my favorite ways to pass a summer day – still is.

While the whole town wondered which mail-order bride the marshal would pick, I had no doubts that Luke and Rachel would iron things out and find love again. My main concern is what the other brides are going to do now. None of them can return home, so they’re going to have to find a job or another man to marry.

Since The Anonymous Bride is book 1 in the Texas Boardinghouse Brides series, my guess is that the other brides will find their men in one of the next two books in the series, so I’m picking up book 2 off my to-be-read shelf right after I finish this review!

Do yourself a favor and pick up the series. If you like inspirational westerns with a humorous undertone, you'll love these books.

Happy Reading,

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I am not a novelist!

 Okay, it's official (sort of) I am not a novelist.

For the past couple of years, I've been obsessed with writing fiction. Obsessed in that I think about it all the time, study the craft, start novels only to stall in the first several chapters. I have lots a few good story ideas and have about 10 novels started. No kidding - 10.

Why do I want to write a novel?
  1. I love reading good fiction
  2. When I read them, I think...I could probably do that
  3. I got this warped idea that if I write fiction, rather than non-fiction, I will be considered a real writer.
 I've prayed about it (more like begged God to give me a good idea and help me write the book), but keep hitting a wall each time I sit down at the computer.

No, that's not true. I hit the wall when I try to work on a novel, not when I sit down at the computer. You see, I'm a blogger...make that an avid blogger (7 active blogs right now, plus a web site or two, as well as maintaining a blog for the writing group I belong to and contributing to a blog for my local Christian book store), so I am writing...just not fiction.

What do I enjoy writing? Blog posts.
What do I love writing? Devotionals

So why am I making myself miserable trying to write a novel? (Because I really think I can do it...and will do it...someday, but not right now.)  For now I'm going to focus on something that's been on my heart for a while.  I'm going to write a devotional book for my family (and anyone else who wants to read it). I'm not getting any younger and my grandsons are getting older. As much as I want to be around to see them graduated, married and raising a family of their own, I don't know if I will be able to.

There's so much I want to tell them about God and life and how He makes it all worth while. About how to face the trials of life with His help. About stepping into their God-given purpose in life. I want them to have a book they can carry though life to let them know how much God loves them and how much their Grandma loved God.

Some may think this is morbid - writing a book for after you're dead, but not me. It's my legacy.

I'm praying that God inspires my writing, because He knows what they will need in the future. Feel free to pray along with me.

Perhaps devotionals were what I was mean to write all along. My first 2 books were devotionals, 2 of my blogs are devotionals and it's what seems to flow from my spirit to the keyboard. Perhaps being a real writer means writing what you are called to write.

I'll just keep enjoying the work of all those who are called to tell God's story through fiction. You're amazing writers!

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Should You Be an Indie Author?

I just read this awesome article by Randy Ingermanson titled, Should You Be an Indie Author?  For the first time, I understand the real differences between vanity publishing, traditional publishing and indy (independent) publishing.

Randy does a great job of explaining things in a fun, fictional way. Meet Sam the Plummer and his Mama, Minnie as she tries to decide which publishing option is best for her.

This article is actually part 3 of a series Randy is doing on self publishing novels.  I plan to go back and read the first 2, but this one is strong enough to stand alone and give you an overall understanding of your publishing options.

Pop over and read this article now - Randy Ingermanson's article.

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Book Review – Prairie Song – Hearts Seeking Home, Book 1, by Mona Hodgson

I’ve often wondered what life must have been like for people who traveled in a wagon train headed west. I don’t have to wonder anymore, because Mona Hodgson has given me a glimpse into the lives of those brave pioneers. Folks filled with regret for the family, friends and possessions they were leaving behind, overshadowed by an excited hope for their future – the promise of a new beginning out West.

Prairie Song lets us walk the trail along with young Anna Goben, who is hoping that the Promised Land of Californian will be just what it takes to pull her mother and grandfather from their grief over the loss of Anna’s brother. Anna is gutsy and determined to keep her mother’s secret while doing her best to keep her sober and help her grandfather regain his zest for life.  She’s just as determined to squelch her growing interest in trail hand, Caleb Reger.

Caleb clashes with that feisty little redhead, Anna Goben before they ever hit the trail. She’s independent, beautiful, and trouble as far as he’s concerned. Besides, Caleb has other things on his mind. Like Jonah from the Bible, he’s running from God’s calling on his life and his past failures. He’s hoping that five long hard months on the trail just might help him outrun his past.

But God has his own plans for Caleb and Anna. This adventure will take the though trials, tragedy and the discovery that God’s plans truly do include a hope for the future that neither of them ever dreamed of.

Visit the author online
Pre-order Prairie Song - Release date - August 6th, 2013

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