Holiday Cheer – Pam LaBud and Pecan Pie

by Anna on December 15, 2014

Hi everyone!   Thank you Anna Kathryn for setting out the welcome mat and inviting me in to your blog home. I chose my recipe from my dear friend, J.D. Faver’s A Texan in the Kitchen cookbook.  I hope you’ll give it a try! One of my holiday favorites, (and one, even a non-cooker like me, can easily make), My Own Fool Proof Pecan Pie!

 

My Own Foolproof Pecan Pie

Easy and perfect every time. This is a delicious and predictable pie that is always sure-fire to please. Good for holidays or any days.

3 eggs lightly beaten

¾ cup dark corn syrup

¾ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup pecan halves

1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell

3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

Combine eggs and corn syrup; mix well. Add sugar; mix thoroughly. Stir in salt and vanilla. Let stand about 5 minutes. Meanwhile spread pecans evenly in bottom of pie shell. Stir melted butter into syrup mixture; pour over pecans. Be sure all the pecans rise to the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is firm.

So, gentle readers, once the decorations are up, the gifts are wrapped and you’re relaxing by the fire with a yummy cup of eggnog, how about curling up with a book?

Always and Forever

ALWAYS AND FOREVER is a time traveling tale where an English Regency Earl is kidnapped by a ghost and taken to 1245 Scotland, where he must pose as the long lost husband of a young woman in order to save both her and her younger sister from certain death at the hands of a cruel clan chieftain.

 

One moment Robert was lying trussed up in his bed, talking with an unfamiliar figment of his too bloody fragmented imagination, and the next he was lying on the frigid ground wrapped in what appeared to be a cocoon of animal hides and a ragged, faded plaid cloth. He’d no idea of how he’d gotten there, nor did he care. He was confused, angry, and freezing to death.

“Where do ye think he’s come from?” a young girl’s voice said over him.

Robert might have damn well told her, but he was too busy shivering and grinding his chattering teeth.

“I don’t know. Seems simple enough, though. Hasn’t said so much as a word since I found him,” another woman answered, her voice really not sounding much older than the first, but there certainly was an air of authority to it.

“He seems a kind sort. Look at his face, ’tis but a bit prickly. Do ye think he’s like Gil Davies? They say his face is as smooth as a gel’s.”

Whatever a “gel” was, Robert was sure he didn’t fit the description.

“Sssshaved,” he muttered.

Both women stopped what they were doing and looked over at him.

“Did he say something?” the younger one asked. Robert cracked open one eye to see the girl–who couldn’t have been more than fifteen or sixteen years old–leaning over him. She had long blond hair, which was tangled and looked as though it hadn’t seen a comb for some time. She had clear green eyes and a soft expression on her face.

“I dunno,” the second woman answered. She too leaned over Robert, and suddenly he was struck by the notion that he’d seen her before.

Despite his incapacitation, a rush of desire ran through him. His groin tightened as she leaned over him, a wash of her pale blond tresses landing gently on his chest.

“So beautiful,” he managed, though his throat burned like fire and it took all his energy to force the air from his lungs.

That was when he remembered exactly what had happened.

“It canna be!”

“Jenna? What is it? What’s wrong?” the younger girl asked. Jenna only shook her head, backing away from him.

“I don’t understand,” he heard Jenna say. Turning to his side, he tried to focus his eyes on the two women standing at the mouth of the cave.

Jenna, the older one, towered over the smaller, blond girl. “He’s the one from my dreams, Caitlin. Do ye not see it?”

“How could I? ‘Tis yer dream, ye know.”

The other woman began to pace. “That pock-faced devil Hobart has done me a terrible dirty trick.”

“I don’t understand. What are ye talking about?”

“Do you remember last summer when I went to bed sick with the ague? Thought I was going to die. In the midst of my misery, he came to me.” She glared at the stranger. “The devil invited me into his bed and touched me in a way not befitting a proper young lady.”

“Ye never told me that.”

“I was too ashamed.”

“He dinna force ye, did he?”

The other woman hedged. “Not exactly. I was in such a state, delirious and all, I rather enjoyed his attentions.” She shook her head. “But that means nothing. He’s the devil for sure and we’re in worse trouble than ever before.”

The smaller woman shook her head. “Then let’s leave him here. He’ll freeze to death, and no one will be the wiser.”

Robert was appalled at her barbaric suggestion and meant to say so, but before he could speak out the first syllable, Jenna spun on her heels and threw herself on the ground to kneel beside him. She pulled a short blade from her cloak and held it to Robert’s neck.

“I don’t know which part of hell ye came from, but I mean to tell ye this. Ye’re our only way out of the stramash we’re in, and I’ve no intention of giving myself, or my little sister, to that demon Carrick. Do ye understand?”

Robert gurgled loudly, his throat seeming to close up. As he lay helpless, he saw the other woman cautiously approach and kneel behind Jenna.

“Are ye going to kill him then?”

Jenna paused, clearly giving it some thought. “Not yet, but don’t think I won’t hesitate to do so if ‘tis needed.”

Behind the two women, Robert could see an all too familiar shape take form. It was the gnome, who had likely come to make even more sport of Robert’s predicament.

“Enth,” Robert tried again. He didn’t like not being able to speak clearly, his disability choosing that moment to taunt him.

“I dinna think ye’d care for it too much,” Jenna said. “Still, there’s naught to be done about it. If ye try to betray me or my sister, I’ll cut yer throat, but not before I’ve separated yer balls from yer nether regions, aye?”

For the briefest moment, Robert saw a hint of something fearful cross her dark, green-eyed expression. Fear and desperation lived beneath her expression.

Though he’d seen her several times in his dreams–the porcelain face, complete with high cheekbones, a perfect brow, and a mouth so round and luscious that it practically begged for kisses–Robert realized that he’d never really seen her at all.

At least not like this.

Before he could answer, the gnome cleared his throat.

“Ye need not worrit for him, lass. I’ve fixed it so that he shall not be a chatterin’ away like a magpie. He’ll only be able to speak in your presence and no other.”

Jenna spun on the little man, her expression twisted with fury. “Are ye bloody insane, man? What have ye done to us?”

The gnome crossed his arms indignantly. “I’ve only done as ye asked, gel. Found ye a fine young man to use as ye wish. He’ll be totally at yer whim. I don’t expect ye to thank me for it, I suppose, but a well wish or three would be most welcome.”

“Yer bloody daft. What he is, is even more trouble.”

“He’s a bit on the lame side. Canna walk far or fast, but that’ll keep him from running off, ye see. Also, he’s got a fair face, so as not to disturb yer delicate sensitivities.”

Jenna chewed her bottom lip. The sight of those perfect teeth worrying across her lovely mouth almost made Robert melt.

“It sounds reasonable enough, I guess.”

“More than that, I’ve given him rather indecent tendency toward ye. ‘Tis true, every time he gets close to ye, he’ll get a terrible cockstand.”

Jenna stepped back, clearly abashed.

“Go on, look for yerself.”

“I will not!”

Robert would have seconded her refusal had he the ability to do so. Before he could even gurgle his disapproval, the smaller girl, Caitlin scooted forward and lifted his covering. “Aye, ’tis true, Jenna. He’s got a fierce thickening for ye. My goodness, he’s well endowed!”

Robert could have died right there on the spot.

“Caitlin! What in blazes do ye think yer doin? Leave the man be, will ye!”

Deep in his heart, Robert found a bit of sympathy for Jenna’s embarrassment, which as it turned out, was as uncomfortable as his own.

The gnome chuckled. “Now, lass, don’t ye be getting yerself so worked up over such a thing. The fact is, it’s a poor spell at best, and like yon laddie’s enthusiasm, it will likely diminish if ye give it little attention.”

Jenna only huffed her disapproval and turned to her sister. “Cover him up, Caitie, afore he catches his death. We canna have him freezing in that condition, now can we?”

Caitlin nodded, and giving Robert an appreciative grin, tucked the shirt around him once again.

Relieved, and considerably warmer than a moment before, Robert sent her a grateful nod. She acknowledged it with a tilt of her head and then turned back to her sister.

“Verra well, Hobart,” Jenna began, “I suppose he will do for the time being, though how we’re to get him down the side of a mountain, just Caitlin and I, I’ve no idea.”

Hobart yawned wide and nodded in Robert’s direction. “You’ll do bonny well, aye.” He then turned around, walked two steps and disappeared.

Robert suspected his chances of ever getting back to his sane existence evaporated along with him.

 

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