Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cooking With Authors Rose and Alice!

What if two authors who both have devotionals got together on a blog and shared two holiday recipes?

Cool idea, isn't it? We thought so!

Today I have fellow devotional author Rose Chandler Johnson to talk about cooking! She has a recipe for pecan pie. I'll be sharing my bread in a can recipe from my fifth novel, Still Life in Shadows.

But first, Rose's new devotional is God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). I had her as a guest here shortly after her book was released. This devotional meets women in their daily lives and invites them to draw closer to God.

My devotional, Getting Out of Bed in the Morning (Leafwood Publishers), is a companion through grief and loss, and for those who seek comfort from God in the midst of great sorrow.

Both devotionals offer tips on writing as a way of discovering more about yourself and more about God.

So without further ado, here's Rose to tell us about pecan pie.

Rose’s Southern Pecan Pie
Pecan pie was one of the first holiday desserts I learned to bake when I first got married in the 70’s. It quickly became a family favorite as everyone declared mine to be the best Southern pecan pie they’d ever eaten. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter feasts would not be complete without my pecan pie. If you follow my directions, your pie will turn out perfectly and it might become a family favorite.

2/3 cup of light brown sugar lightly packed in the measuring cup
1/3 cup salted butter, melted
1 cup light corn syrup (I use Karo.)
3 large eggs well-beaten
1 to 1 ½ cups pecan halves
One 9-inch pie crust homemade or a frozen deep dish pie shell (thawed with the edges fluted)
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix sugar with melted butter, then beat in eggs (which are already beaten), next add corn syrup and beat some more until well-blended. You can beat by hand or use your electric mixer. The color will be caramel.
3. Stir in the pecan halves until all are nicely coated. Pour into the pastry shell.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake the pie for 40 minutes. At this point the center will still be shaky, but the pecans will be brown. Make a tent of aluminum foil over the pie. This will allow the custard to bake completely without burning the pecans. Bake 10 to 15 more minutes until the pie is puffed up under the aluminum foil. The center should not be shaky. Be careful not to let the pecans burn.
5. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Some people do serve it warm, but the custard is liable to be runny if it’s warm.
6. Hats off to the chef! Your Southern Pecan Pie will be delicious.

Ashlyn’s Bread in a Can

I like modern technology and that includes the oven and range, but when it comes to making bread, I don’t mind being old fashioned. Neither does Ashlyn. She’s the sheriff’s daughter in my Southern novel, Still Life in Shadows. Ashlyn makes bread.

Not just any bread, but bread steamed inside a can. Generations ago when there were no stoves and only fires to cook over, bread was made this way. A coffee can was used to pour flour, milk, and other ingredients into and then the can was sealed and steamed in a kettle of water. As the water boiled, the bread inside the coffee can, baked. After two hours, the can was removed from the pan and if greased well, out slid a round bundle of bread. Often known as Boston brown bread due to the color of the flour and the molasses, some cooks also added raisins as an ingredient.

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup corn meal
½ cup rye flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup molasses
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Stir flours and cornmeal together in a large bowl. Add baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir. Pour in buttermilk. Add molasses and mix well. Stir in raisins. Pour mixture into one greased 1-lb. coffee can and attach lid securely. Fill large cooking pot with boiling water so that it covers the can halfway when placed in pot. Put lid on pan. Steam bread for two hours (I keep it on simmer). Remove can from water. Carefully run a knife around the inside of the can to loosen the bread from the sides and then invert the bread onto a cooling rack. Serve hot in rounds with butter.

Read the reviews for God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea at Amazon.
Read the reviews for Getting Out of Bed in the Morning at Amazon.


Deborah H. Bateman said...

Thanks for sharing this post about your devotionals and sharing your recipes. The pecan pie looks so good and I love the idea of making the bread in cans even thought I've never done it before.
Merry Christmas to you and yours,
Deborah H. Bateman

alice wisler said...

Thanks for stopping by and for your comment here, Deborah!

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Alice, you are so cleaver. Thank you for having me on your blog today. It's such a pleasure to share about my sweet devotional and our favorite pie. I want to see pictures of others who make these foods using our recipes. :-)

alice wisler said...

Thanks for being my guest, Rose!

Lane Hill House said...

Merry Christmas, Alice and Rose,
Thank you for sharing these anytime of the year recipes! y-u-m
I have Rose's devotional but missing your story, Alice. Blessings, Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

Lane Hill House said...

Still Life in Shadows, the bread recipe mention is what I meant I am missing, Alice. I have both of your devotionals. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

alice wisler said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen.