Looking at the present:
Bryan MacConnell, retired US Cavalry officer, hopes to find the one thing that’s eluded him—a family. When his home is burned to the ground, he gathers his grandfather and the old man’s best friend, and heads toward the unknown West determined to start a new life in the Cherokee Outlet in the Indian Territory.
Looking for the past:
Megan Floyd, orphaned as a child, is determined to discover the truth of her parents’ murder and the fate of her older brother. With her foster brother as an escort, she joins a small wagon train headed east from her adoptive parents’ home in Colorado. As much as she loves the Floyds, Megan yearns for her own family.
Looking to the future:
When marauding Indians and wild weather toss Bryan and Megan together, will they be torn apart or will they discover what they’ve both been searching for—a life full of love and family?
“I thoroughly enjoyed Riding the Storm. Ms. Vanlandingham tells a captivating tale of two lost souls who are searching for what they need to feel complete. They fight the weather as well as their growing feelings for each other. This is a well done, and a fast, interesting read.” Review by Callie Hutton, USA Today Best Selling Author of Historical Romance
As promised, here are a few more recipes from my upcoming book, Riding The Storm. Truth be told, most Native American tribes didn’t use seasonings in their ancestral dishes, which I find interesting. Would the food taste bland? Since I grew up and still live in Oklahoma, I’m surrounded by great Mexican and Tex-Mex foods, which lean toward the spicy side.
Through my research, I discovered some of the Caddo secrets for making their dishes taste good. Believe it or not, one of the foods they used is persimmon fruit, fresh and ground. They pulverized the fruit into a flour for thickening stews, making breads, and cakes.
The Caddo, along with other tribes, also used Bear oil, which was incredibly long-lasting and had a sweet taste, and is their version of today’s butter or vegetable oil.
The Caddo made lots of stews out of the various meats found on the prairie or in the forest. They hunted deer, rabbit, elk, turkey, bear, and sometimes buffalo, although this was not prominent in their diet.
They would add various other ingredients, depending on the time of year or what they had stored in their underground storage pits. Some of the foods they added: Persimmon flour for thickening and sweetness, corn, beans, squash, and always salt.
SUNFLOWER SEED CAKES
Grandfather cooked this tasty treat for breakfast and one recipe usually makes about fifteen cakes.
3 cups shelled sunflower seeds
3 cups water
6 tablespoons fine cornmeal
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup bear oil
Simmer the seeds in the water for one hour. Drain and grind. Mix cornmeal and honey into the ground seeds, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a stiff dough. Shape into firm, flat cakes 3 inches in diameter. Brown the cakes in hot oil on both sides. Drain on paper and serve.
This is such an easy and versatile recipe that Grandfather baked with most everything, especially stews, soups, and even for a simple breakfast–very similar to Mexican tortillas. Make about 15 tortillas.
1 3/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/8 cups hot water
Mix together in a bowl until combined then knead until pliable and smooth. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more cornmeal. If the dough begins to dry out, sprinkle with water. Cover dough and let stand for 30 minutes. Divide dough into 15 balls and hand press each until flat. Place in preheated skillet and cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until browned and slightly puffy. Do the same for the other side. Keep the bread covered until ready to serve.
Thanks for stopping by and let me know how you enjoyed the recipes!
A great website for more information about the Caddoan society and their wonderful history, go to http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/tejas/fundamentals/index.html
Hi everyone! In my upcoming release, Riding The Storm, Megan Floyd (the heroine) cooks several meals along the trail and I thought it would be interesting to share some of her recipes.
Doughnuts are a sweet staple in today’s society. Everyone loves doughnuts. But, did you know doughnuts were also an easy dessert the women could make on the long trail west. Even better, they made a delicious breakfast the next-morning.
I found a terrific website giving homage to many recipes from “Chronicles of the Old West”
Here’s one of the recipes Megan used (originally from the Daily Missoulian newspaper):
Put a frying kettle half full of fat over the fire to heat.
Stir together one pound of flour, one teaspoonful each of salt and bicarbonate of soda, and a quarter teaspoon of grated nutmeg.
Beat half a pound of butter to a cream and add to the flour mixture.
Beat the yokes of two eggs to a cream and add to the mixture. Beat the whites to a stiff froth and reserve them.
Add enough sour milk into the flour and sugar to make a soft dough and then quickly add the whites of the eggs.
Roll out the paste at once, shape and fry.
I also found this on the Chuckwagon website. A sweet treat from the Crandell family who brought it west to Arizona in the 1800s.
Baked Apple Pudding
3 large grated apples
1 cup sugar
1 cube butter
½ cup nuts (almonds and pecans work well)
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Beat egg, sugar, and butter then stir in apples. Mix well. Add the dry ingredients. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Top with cream or a white sauce.
My next post will have some of the meat dishes. Hope you enjoy these!
A group of Oklahoma authors were invited to write a series of short stories with a recurring theme based on the curse of a Scrimshaw doll:
In the late seventeenth century, a zealously protective father feared his daughter’s betrothed would betray her. A gypsy attempted to hex the girl with this spell: All those who betray you will suffer. Only true love can break the curse. The child was holding a doll her father had fashioned out of some mysterious bone. As luck would have it, the curse was buried within the doll and carried on through the centuries. Our first installment picks up with the young woman’s daughter, who inherited the doll.
These stories, in various genres, were published with The Wild Rose Press as individual releases but have now been combined in two boxed sets, each containing five stories.
My historical western, Trail of Hope, has been included in the first boxed set, Cursed, which is now available through Amazon or The Wild Rose Press. Here’s the lineup for each boxed set:
Pirate’s Proposal – Diana Layne
The English Lily – Kae Elle Wheeler
Trail of Hope – Heidi Vanlandingham
Fading Rose – Tamrie Foxtail
The Last Daughter – Jessica Ferguson
Coming August 16, 2014:
Volume 2: Burdened includes
The Color of Betrayal – Kathy L Wheeler
Thicker Than Water – Alicia Dean
Skinbound – Anna Kittrell
Tessa’s Treasures – Callie Hutton
The Bone Bride – Tamrie Foxtail