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Starting a New Book Series: Ozark Grannies’ Secrets

To join in more of the fun, check out Ozark Grannies’ Secrets on Facebook

Over the summer, I was selling cookies and books as well as some produce at the farmers’ market and even though there were times when we were busy, there were also times when we weren’t so I would talk with other vendors about things.

One of the topics was the fact that everyone liked my gardening books, but they didn’t just want general information, they wanted specific information about gardening in the Ozarks. If you know anything about the Ozarks, you know that we have a unique weather pattern. The statement that says “if you don’t like the weather, it will change” applies more to the Ozarks than any other part of the country maybe the world. This led us to thinking about how to better share the Ozarks with others through recipes and stories of people who can still share what makes the Ozarks so special.

This led to the idea that newcomers to the region probably won’t have a garden the first year, but just because they don’t have a garden doesn’t mean that they can’t eat from the land. The Ozarks has a rich landscape that produces all kinds of forageable foods many of which can’t be found in other places. Therefore, our book title is Gourmet Weeds. A gardening book is something we will want to write in the future.

Because it’s not the only book in the series, we decided we needed to have a brand for the series. we soon came up with the idea of Ozark Grannies’ Secrets. This series will cover a variety of topics that relate to the Ozarks.

What is an Ozark Granny?

What is an Ozark Granny? An Ozark Granny has often been referred to as an older woman who handles the home births of the backwoods families that didn’t have access to hospital care. However, an Ozark Granny is much more than that! Our series’ definition uses that extended definition when we call ourselves and anyone whose stories, we tell in the book who are Ozark Grannies.

More than just backwoods midwives, Ozark Grannies were the women with the knowledge of the old ways. They could make a meal of what they could find in their backyards or pantry shelves or woodsheds and knew how to heal using methods that were common to the area using home remedies. They had experience in gardening and could feed their families on a very low income. They had skills for making crafts from things that others would likely throw away.

The Series

In our book series, it is our intention to include recipes of different things that an Ozark Granny might have had in her recipe book or at least in her head. In this book, we are making it a point to specifically choose recipes in this book that at least one of the originators of the series has personally used. In future books, we hope to include recipes and stories from other Ozark grannies we meet around the Ozarks. If you live in the Ozarks and you have a recipe or story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Join our Facebook page and message us with your story and/or recipe.

Our First Book

Gourmet Weeds, Volume 1 is the name of the first of the Ozark Granny Secrets series.  In this book, we will be sharing our stories about these forageable foods, and the wonderful recipes where we have used these greens, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. You too can use in your meals using what’s growing in your backyard, the woods, or the fields. We only include recipes of our foraged foods that require only the addition of common store-bought staples.  No exotic ingredients are required.

Be sure to join our Facebook group and learn some Ozark Grannies’ Secrets and learn more about our progress on our first book of the Ozark Grannies’ Secrets series. Click here


Here’s a sample of my most recent creation, my super-simple version of the peanut butter cream pie.

Can a Writer Find Time to Make Dessert When She’s Facing a Deadline?

I have those days when I spend the entire day just writing. Like right now. I have a self-imposed (I am an indie-author, after all) deadline for the end of this week for my book The Four Seasons Vegetable Garden. My plans are to spend as much of this week as possible so that I can get the Kindle edition published this weekend. I am also redoing research on my next novel in Book VII of the Locket Saga–Two Rivers. I wrote the first draft of this novel several years ago for NaNoWriMo, but since the demise of my old computer, I no longer have that draft, so I have decided to start over. The good news about this book is that the research is mostly straightforward, but it is taking time. Plus, spring is upon us and there are gardening chores that are coming front and center.

Therefore, over the next several weeks, my life is going to be very busy. Therefore, something must give and some of that will be time with my husband, cooking, and cleaning. However, I do want to please my husband, so I like to give him something from time to time to remind him that my writing and gardening aren’t more important to me than he is.

Despite my busy schedule, I like to give my husband something from time to time to remind him that my writing and gardening aren’t more important to me than he is.

Cygnet Brown

One of the ways that I like to show him that I still love him is by making something special from time to time and nothing says special as much as dessert. A crockpot meal or a pasta or rice casserole always seems more special when there’s a decadent homemade dessert to follow. The problem with this kind of dessert is that most of them take a lot of time to prepare and I don’t have the time for that. Therefore, I have created a simple but decadent cream pie that is to live for! And the best part is that it only takes about fifteen minutes to make including clean up!

The Original Experiment

I created this dessert based on a product put out by the Tastefully Simple Company. They had (maybe they still have, I don’t know) a key lime pie mix that you add certain ingredients, and the result is a key lime type cream pie. I discovered that I could make a similar product using lime gelatin instead of their mix.

Key Lime Cream Pie

Ingredients:

1 graham cracker pie crust

1 package cream cheese

1 4 oz package of lime gelatin (dry powder)

2 small containers of whipped topping (like Cool Whip)

Jellied lime candy slices or slices of fresh limes

Mix the cream cheese and lime gelatin and add the contents of one of the containers of whipped topping. Spoon mixture into graham cracker crust. Top with whipped topping and decorate with lime candy or fresh limes. Cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Store any uneaten pie in the refrigerator.

Once I knew that I produced a winning product, that led me to create other similar desserts using similar desserts. Here are a few of my successes.

Strawberry or Strawberry-banana Cream Pie

Ingredients:

1 graham cracker crust

1 package cream cheese

1 4 oz. package of strawberry or strawberry banana gelatin (dry powder)

2 small containers of whipped topping

Fresh strawberries or fresh strawberries and fresh bananas

Make like the key lime cream pie but instead of lime gelatin, use strawberry or strawberry banana gelatin. Also, I put just half of the gelatin mixture into the graham cracker crust then add fresh strawberries or fresh strawberries and bananas, add the rest of the gelatin mixture, top with the whipped topping, and then decorate with sliced strawberries or sliced strawberries and bananas.

Raspberry Chocolate Cream Pie

Ingredients:

1 Oreo pie crust

1 package cream cheese

1 4 oz. package of raspberry gelatin (dry powder)

2 small containers of whipped topping

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Fresh raspberries

Chocolate syrup

Make mixture like the strawberry pie, but instead of strawberry gelatin, use raspberry gelatin. Place half of the gelatin mixture into an Oreo rather than graham cracker crust, then add a layer of fresh raspberries then add the rest of the gelatin mixture onto the raspberries. Now, take the remaining container of whipped topping and mix into it a teaspoon of dry cocoa powder and top your pie with this. Next, drizzle chocolate syrup onto the chocolate whipped topping and decorate with fresh raspberries.

Peanut butter Chocolate Cream Pie

This is my most recent concoction and has somewhat similar ingredients but doesn’t have any gelatin at all.

Ingredients include:

One package cream cheese

¼ cup of peanut butter

½ cup vanilla yogurt (Greek or regular vanilla yogurt)

1 container whipped topping.

¼ cup of powdered cocoa

1 graham cracker crust.

Chocolate syrup

Mix the cream cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, cocoa, and 3/4s of the container of whipped topping. Spoon into the graham cracker crust and then spoon the remaining whipped topping. Decorate by drizzling chocolate syrup onto the top of the pie. Like all these cream pies, cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Now It’s Your Turn

How about you? Are you an author? Do you have a fantastic easy quick dessert or meal recipe that makes your family feel special but still allows you the time you need to write? I would love to interview you here on my blog! Let me know in the comments below or message me on my Facebook Page and I will get back to you.

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