CoverFinalLG-SnowOnMagnoliasWelcome back to Bon Amie with the second book in the Series.  In SNOW ON MAGNOLIAS you will meet the five LeBlanc brothers,  and a cast of many as the story tells of rejection, the promise of second chances, and the wonders of superstitions.   Enjoy this sneak preview.

 Sam sat in the old rocker;  its’ paint worn from daily use.  He rocked gently on the gallery outside his bedroom.  The smell of fresh rain lingered in the air, a ring around the moon gave promise of more to come.  Was there anywhere on earth that smelled as great after a rain than Louisiana?  He thought not.

     He stifled a yawn, stood and stretched out his arms.  The sight of headlights as they snaked down the winding lane caught his eye.  Who could be calling at this hour?

    Sam made his way to the place where the car slowed to a stop and in the shadows of a grand oak tree he moved a clump of moss out of his way and waited to greet the intruder.  

     The car stopped under the outside lights and the driver’s door opened.  He watched as bare legs unfolded out of the small sports car.  The legs of a woman.

     Sam stared in disbelief as the red head stood in the beam of light.  He looked at his watch.  1:16 AM. A red headed woman on a Monday no less, stood before him.  Everyone in Louisiana knew what that meant, especially Sam.

I love to cook.  I think cooking came to me naturally.  You see I grew up in a house where cooking was an every day affair.  Mom always had something bubbling on the stove, a pot of beans, or a mess of greens, some meat of some kind, and of course a pot of rice.  

My mother was a great cook, I like to remember sitting with her around the kitchen table while she chopped onions and peppers are some other kinds of vegetables into tiny cubes.  “If you cut everything evenly they will cook evenly,” she would say.  She would tell me stories of when she grew up and I would steal a bite of raw potato or bell pepper.  “The secret to good cooking is in the seasoning, and attention you give your dish.  Take your time.”

Mom owned and ran restaurants as I grew up.  I remember one she owned next to the rail road track in our small town.  The train would stop and the engineer and others would hurry into mom’s place and order whatever was left over from her plate lunches.  If she had sold out of meat they would order the gravy and corn bread.  

My dad worked at the police station and he’d give mom a call and tell her to get the workers back on the train, they had blocked the track long enough.  She’d send them on their way with a generous helping of her cracker pudding to eat on their trip.

Our home was always open for drop-ins.  As a child, I often wondered why we had the smallest house, yet we always had a table full of people stop and eat a meal with us.  I know now it was the way the food tasted and the way my mom and dad made them feel welcome.  

premium-saltine-crackersI have tried to have that same attitude with people usually around the holidays, we have had many people at our house for Thanksgiving other than our family.  But it’s still not quite the same as un-invited guest that crowed around your table.  Mom would add another cup of shrimp to the gumbo or make the meatballs a little bit smaller. Memories for a life time.

Here’s my mom’s recipe for Cracker Pudding. 

MOM’s CRACKER PUDDING

Line a cake pan with a box of saltine crackers smeared with butter.  Sit aside. 

2 large cans of evaporated milk   1 large can sweetened condensed milk

2 Tab of vanilla                             4Tab of corn starch

4 Tab of sugar                              2 eggs

Heat milk and vanilla, mix corn starch, eggs and sugar together, add a little bit of heated milk, stir well add mixture to the rest of heated milk, cook, stirring constantly until thick, pour over crackers, serve warm.  

Mom said this was sometimes called a ‘Poor Man’s Pudding.’  Not to me, it tasted better than any high priced dessert I can remember eating.

I’m giving away a box of pralines from New Orleans and a Starbucks giftcard. To enter, leave a comment and tell me the names of Joelette’s sons (hint- read the excerpt from Under the Sassafras) and I’ll randomly pick a winner. 

Enjoy, Hattie Mae

 

photoTo launch my first book, Under The Sassafras, I wanted to offer a quick giveaway.  This book gives the reader a glimpse into the traditions and life of the cajuns.  And with most cajuns they surround themselves with hard work, good food, and toe tapping music.  So come along with me as we travel along the bayou into the town of Bon Amie, meet the characters, taste their food, cry and laugh with them and hopeful you will fall in love with a few. Let me introduce you to MaeMae, she will steal your heart and cause your mouth to water.

GIVEAWAY.

Feeling hungry?  How about a plate of warm Pain Perdu (Lost Bread), covered with melted butter, smelling of vanilla and nutmeg.

The first five responses with your e-reader choice and email will receive a free copy of Under the Sassafras and MaeMae’s recipe for her Pain Perdu.