Welcome to my Holiday Traditions & Memories event, where some wonderful authors are sharing favorite traditions and/or memories with you. Today’s guest is Kerry Schafer, author of the best-selling urban fantasy Between.
Kerry was born and raised in Canada, moved back and forth across the border several times, and finally settled on a compromise. She now lives in Washington state, but within an hour’s drive of her home and native land. Her childhood book collection traveled with her through all of those moves, and although she now owns a Kindle she continues to acquire books and bookshelves. During her lifetime, Kerry has worked as a lumber piler, an OB nurse, a secretary, and a substitute teacher, among other things. No matter where she lives or what she is doing, she finds a way to create writing time. Currently she balances writing and family with her work as a mental health counselor. The second book in the Between series, Wakeworld, will be released next month, and Kerry also has a novella series called The Dream Wars available through Kindle (link at the end).
After you’ve read Kerry’s post below, you can see more wonderful traditions and memories shared by readers in the comments on my 30 Days of Holiday Magic giveaway. Share your own story over there for a chance to win, too!
The Traditions of Food
I love traditions.
I don’t want to go visiting at Christmas, or go to Hawaii, or take a cruise. I really don’t even want somebody else to make dinner – I want my turkey prepared the way it always has been. I also want my leftovers.
Even so, holiday traditions have come and gone over the years. Every death in the family, every birth or marriage or new alliance, has brought change. Some traditions have fallen away; some new ones have come along to replace them. For example, I made my first ever pecan pie this year for Thanksgiving, and based on the responses of the pie consumers I don’t think I’ll ever be allowed to not make a pecan pie again.
We have a live tree every year. Since we live on forested land, most years we cut it ourselves (read – the Viking and I watch while our offspring cut down a tree and haul it home). There are treasured ornaments that come out every year, including a collection of tree ornaments made by the boys when they were little.
Most of the traditions revolve around food. I have recipes I make every year. There’s carrot pudding and cranberry casserole bread, sugared walnuts, and an array of cookies. No matter how busy I am, I always find time to make them all.
One of my favorite recipes is for the shortbread cookies my mom has been making ever since I can remember. They pretty much melt in your mouth, with just a hint of buttery sweetness.
Kerry Schafer’s Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup margarine, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cups flour
1/8th tsp salt
Whip together the butter and margarine until fluffy. Add in the sugar and cornstarch and beat well. Add in flour and salt until well mixed. Using a cookie press, press the dough onto pans, decorate with colored sugar or sprinkles, and bake in 350 oven until just golden brown – about 8 to 10 minutes.
These freeze well, but there’s generally no need for that as they also vanish at an alarming rate. Bake at your own risk.
What if you could order a custom dream? Any kind. Dark and twisted, sweet, sensual, or redemptive. For the right price, a dream runner will deliver one to your doorstep.
Jesse Davison skipped town the week she turned sixteen, with nothing but the clothes on her back and her father’s vintage Indian Scout motorbike. She swore never to return to the town where in one night of tragedy she lost everything she ever loved.
When news of her estranged mother’s death calls her home, she hopes for some time to sort out ten years of tangled emotions. But Jesse’s job doesn’t exactly allow personal days. She’s been forced into service as a runner by the Dream Merchant to pay back a debt for her own dream of revenge, and there are always orders to fill.
Struggling to figure out her mysterious inheritance is more than enough to get a girl down, and things get even worse when the man Jesse loathes—ex-boyfriend Will Alderson—shows up. But she soon discovers the person she’s been running from might just be the one she should be running towards. Too bad she’s been dreaming of killing him for the past ten years.