Our August days are historically hot and sunny, but this year August has seemed our turnaround time moving us from summer into fall. That usually happens throughout the month of September when the mornings and evenings cool and you take your sweater with you outside but shed it in the middle of the warm days. Except for a week of 80’s weather, our mornings and evenings are pleasant and cool with day temps in the mid-70’s. This turnaround time finds me melancholy as saying goodbye to summer is always bittersweet.
Adventures in Writing and Reading
Sister Kathy and I had a wonderful time at the B n B Family Lavender Farm in Sequim, WA. This was our fourth time as artists in residence during July’s Lavender Festival and each year we meet wonderful people and make new friends. My books sold well, including my cozy mystery, The Books of Rules. It isn’t a book with much mention of lavender, but once an author has established a reputation and a loyal readership, subsequent books do well also. When I first began writing and decided my books would become a trilogy, many authors shared this with me and I have found it to be very true, gratefully so.
The next cozy railway mystery is chugging along, and I plan to have the manuscript off to Editor Sally by end of December. My research has felt somewhat stymied as trying to find specifics regarding the job responsibilities of railway guards post-war has been challenging. Duties during the war were necessitated sometimes by need as well as by those assigned. Post-war duties were delineated more clearly as additional workers were available, rail routes weren’t being bombed and damaged with an “all hands-on deck” response. I always wish I had asked my engineer father many, many more questions about railroading in general and his experiences specifically.
I have been reading Alice Hoffman’s outstanding novel of historical fiction, “The Marriage of Opposites”. The story is set in the 1800’s on the island of St. Thomas (now the Virgin Islands) as well as in Paris. The book tells the story of famous French Impressionist painter Jacob Abraham Camille Pizzaro and his unique family, especially his strong-willed mother Rachel and the fascinating life she led. If you love historical fiction, I highly recommend the book.
Gardening and a Recipe
As the summers flowers are beginning to fade and the vegetables ripen towards harvest, I will be spending more hours in the gardens, beginning to clear some beds and dig potatoes, onions, and carrots up from the ground, leaving some in for later in the fall. And why, oh why, do we plant so much squash?!
Summer peaches are plentiful and delicious! Below I have shared a recipe for a peach crisp that I hope you enjoy.
Ingredients for the Peach Filling
- 6 – 8 peaches peeled, cored, and sliced
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tbls flour
- 2 tsps lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
Ingredients for the Crisp Topping
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tbls melted butter
- Blend all the ingredients together for the peach filling and let it sit while you make the topping
- Blend all the ingredients together for the crisp topping
- Pour the peach filling into an 8 x 8 baking dish
- Cover with the topping
- Bake at 375 for 35 mins. The topping will not be very brown, just toasted