Friday, December 24, 2010

Memories


It's the time of year when families and friends gather to share food, gifts and memories.

My January contemporary western release, Bridled Heart, which was released early this week in print from my publisher Wild Rose Press is about Gina Montgomery. She's a woman who had the strength to heal herself after a childhood of sexual abuse and learned to help others heal. She encounters the one man who will test the order and rules she's made to keep herself from falling apart.

One of the characteristics I give Gina in the book is a strong memory of her mother. The one person who's love, even after her death, she clung to for strength. And the memory that surfaces in the book is the scent of baking cinnamon rolls and the comfort and love she feels when she eats one.

Do you have any memories that certain foods conjure up?

Here is the blurb and excerpt from Bridled Heart and at the end is my recipe for Cinnamon Rolls.

Blurb
A specialized placement schedule and self-imposed vow of celibacy keeps ER nurse, Gina Montgomery, from getting too close to anyone. Music is her only solace and release from a past laced with abuse. But when that music draws the attention of a handsome bareback rider, her chosen solitary life—not to mention her vow—gets tested to the limits.

Holt Reynolds let his younger sister down when she needed him most. With the similarities to his sister far too evident in Gina, he can’t get the woman out of his head, or her poignant music out of his heart. But how can he find a way to free her bridled heart before the past resurfaces to destroy their one chance at happiness?

Excerpt
“Why do you help with this event?” He laced his fingers together resting his hands on the table in front of him. His coffee-colored gaze held admiration.
She dropped her gaze and picked at her napkin. His interest was flattering, and he hadn’t attended the event just to inflate his image. If that had been his agenda, he would have stayed to be photographed with the person who purchased his art. She peered into his smiling face. He waited so patiently for her to answer. By this time most men would have given up on her and moved on to someone else. She searched his eyes. He seemed genuinely interested.
She took a deep breath and hoped she wasn’t going to regret divulging more. “I see so many children in the ER rooms who…” she turned her head and chewed on her cuticle. When they arrived needing her care, she put aside her emotions and did the job, but afterward, she always broke down. How could a parent do that to a child? She knew how it felt to grow up feeling different.
He placed a hand over the one on the table. “It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me. I can see their plight affects you.” He squeezed her hand. “I could tell when you were playing the piano your heart is filled with sorrow.”
She stared into his eyes. The sincerity of his words and the acceptance of her pain, even though he thought it was all for others made her want to weep. She hadn’t had anyone care about her in so long, she didn’t know how to act.
Jerking her hand out from under his, she stood. “I have to go.”
“Wait.” He snagged her hand as she grabbed her coat from the back of her chair. “Do you have a phone number?”
He held her firm but gentle. Warmth spiraled up her arm and settled in her chest. Why didn’t she feel frightened or invaded by this man? She shook her head. She didn’t want to see him again. If she did, it would be hard to remain faithful to her vow. He’d started to seep into the empty cracks created over the years.

Cinnamon Rolls

3 1/2 - 4 1/4 cups flour
3 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
1 C milk
1/2 C water
1/4 C margarine

In a large bowl thoroughly mix 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved yeast.
Combine milk, water, and margarine in a saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are very warm.(I use the microwave) Margarine doesn't need to melt. Gradually add to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/2 cup flour. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; place bowl in pan of water at about 98 degrees F. Let rise 15 minutes.

Turn dough out onto floured board. Roll out 12" by 20". Spread with soft margarine sprinkle liberally with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up the long side like a jelly roll and cut into 18 pieces. Place cut side down in a pan that has melted margarine and sprinkled with brown sugar. Let rise 15 minutes in draft free warm place.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Frost with powder sugar or butter cream frosting. 18 servings.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Paty Jager
www.patyjager.net
www.patyjager.blogspot.com

15 comments:

  1. The recipe for the cinnamon buns looks real good. I might have to try that.

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  2. Paty,
    My grandmother in Bend,Oregon made the best cinnamon rolls, but she never taught me to bake bread. My grandmother from Texas never baked bread. ;-) She taught us how to make sugar cookies instead. I remember both my grandmothers cooking for us when we visited. I have a vivid memory of my Oregon grandmother twisting the dough with her thumb and first two fingers and an easy turn of her wrist to make one kind of sweet rolls. Those were warm fun times. Both of my grandmothers taught me to play the piano though. :-) Your story sounds like a wonderful romance. Wishing you many happy readers.
    Happy Holidays!
    Jeanmarie

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  3. I love cinnamon rolls. Now, I'll have to go make some! I don't really make bread, but I have a 100-yr-old recipe for a dough that calls for water instead of milk. It makes a very soft dough, perfect for cinnamon rolls. Nice post. Celia

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  4. Paty, your new book sounds very intriguing, but must have been quite difficult to write and keep balanced. Hot rolls bring a memory of my mom. She used to make hot roll dough every Friday for a 3-day refrigerator roll recipe. We'd have them on Saturday evening and then on Sunday for dinner. If there was dough left, she'd make cinnamon rolls for Sunday supper. She lost the recipe because she used to make them so often she didn't need to check the recipe. When she stopped making them and forgot, she couldn't locate the recipe. Not tha our family needs more fattening foods, but I do wish we had her recipe.

    Thanks for sharing. Good luck with sales and Merry Christmas.

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  5. Thanks for stopping by Wilma. It is a good and quick recipe.

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  6. Thanks Jeanmarie.
    I live in Redmond, Oregon 15 miles north of Bend. My grandmother that lived with us while I was growing up did a lot of baking and I learned by watching. And love to bake when I have a crowd to enjoy the goodies.

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  7. Celia,
    Thanks for stopping in. This recipe isn't super fluffy like store bought rolls, but it works well with the sweetness.

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  8. Thanks Caroline.

    The book was hard to write in many ways. But I hope it will be an enjoyable read for many.

    This time of year my food memory is my mom making batches of fudge, divinity, and toffee candy. She was a wonderful candy maker. I on the other hand flop more candy recipes than I can conquer but I love baking different kinds of cookies.

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  9. Making cinnamon rolls brings back so many different memories, but maybe the most traumatic was the year I made hockey pucks instead of the beloved cinnamon rolls.

    I have a friend named Nettie who was raised in Oklahoma. It doesn't matter what she cooks, it is always delicious. Every New Years Day she made a huge batch of cinnamon rolls and luckily for me, I was usually invited to spend the holiday with them up to when I got married.

    I fell in love with a G.I. and the first time he came to visit me, I decided to find out how to make Nettie's cinnamon rolls so I could impress my starving military man. I thought I followed the recipe (NOT) and thought the recipe meant that I should put them on a cookie sheet just like all the cookies I make. Well, if you can imagine these little round things crystalized to the cookie sheet, probably about a quarter of an inch thick, and my heart broken because I had completely blown the recipe - you've got the picture. When he arrived and saw what happened, my very own hero took a knife, chiseled the cinnamon rolls off the cookie sheet and ate them. I knew then I had a real hero and I have been married to him for 42 years. :) Yep, that's a good memory that started out iffy.

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  10. Paisley,
    That's a great memory!I think a man isn't a hero due to his looks but his actions and that memory truly shows a hero.

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  11. Paty,

    Your story sounds sweet even though the heroine has been through such a horrible experience.

    My grandmother used to make cinnamon rolls, homemade rolls, sugar cookies, German chocolate cake, Milk pie and so many wonderful things.

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  12. Thanks Sandy. I tried to keep it light yet make sure her past and her struggle to be normal was evident and to hopefully help others not feel so alone in their own struggles.

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  13. Paty, Great story and wonderful cinnamon rolls! My favorite smell from Christmas is cookies baking. That brings many happy times decorating with icing and candies.

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  14. Ooh that recipe for cinnamon buns looks yummy, I'll have to try it, well get hubby to try it, he's the cook around the place.

    I love the sounds of your story, I usually fall for tortured heroes, but a heroine tortured by her past intriques me.

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