Molasses Cookies and Pistachio Ice Cream

“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  ─ Lewis Carroll

August is here and with it, the launch date for the e-book version of MacCullough’s Women. The last ten days I have been tweaking the story and “straightening the collar” like the nuns in grade school used to do with our uniforms. This requires reading the book again and again because every time you add or subtract something you run the risk of leaving an extra “the” or “him” in your wake. It’s a lot like walking to the end of the diving board, looking down and then turning around and walking back. But, as I have not yet had my breakfast, like the Queen quoted above, I believe that I am finally ready to jump. The cover designer has told me that the cover should be available next weekend so we are on schedule. The book will go to an independent proof reader the end of this week who will hopefully catch any stray left-overs that I have not caught.

I am launching the e-book version first to take advantage of the rapidly changing world of publishing. This makes sense for a first time writer because it allows me to offer the book to readers at a much lower price than the print edition which will be coming out in October. If you don’t own an e-reader there are free applications that you can download that will enable you to read the book as an e-book. More on how to do that later…

I have been told that I have been a little cranky and distracted as I have slogged through this last phase of writing. Not to worry though, a scale check this morning assured me the self-medicating I have been doing with ice cream and molasses cookies is working! This weekend I decided to take a short break and read once again (Yes, I am a re-reader of books and have read this one several times.) one of my favorite book, The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. I love this story. It encompasses everything, that as a reader I look for in a book, and as a writer I admire. I read many, edgy, critically acclaimed literary novels that have been awarded big publishing prizes. I am often left thinking that while I certainly admire the talent, and the imagination it takes to write one of these books, I would not have wanted to be the one to have sent that story or those characters into the world, not so with The Shell Seekers. I think I love this book because it is about very believable people, people like you and me, each with their own strengths and failings, who are doing the best they can living lives that just might remind you of your own.  First published in 1987, this is a wonderful way to spend your languid August days. I highly recommend it along with a plate of molasses cookies and a dish of pistachio ice cream. Enjoy!

                                                Molasses Crinkles

            1 cup brown sugar                                1 teaspoon cinnamon

            ¾ cup shortening                                  1 teaspoon ginger

           ¼ cup molasses                                    ¼ teaspoon salt

                 1 egg                                                    ½ teaspoon cloves

              2 ¼ cups flour                          2 teaspoons baking soda

Mix brown sugar, shortening, egg and molasses.  Mix in dry ingredients. Shape dough into walnut-size balls. Dip tops in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes @ four dozen cookies

This recipe was given to me by magical my godmother, Viola Duggan, who could have stepped right from the pages of The Shell Seekers.

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