*UPDATE*

I have updated my review and giveaway policies page (now just titled Policies above). If you are entering a giveaway, please read and abide by the applicable policy.

Attention Authors! If you arrived here looking for information on the Two Sides to Every Story guest post series, see the tab at the top of the page for more info!


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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cover Crush: A Death by Any Other Name

cover crush

We can all say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but I guarantee that we all have done so at least once! Cover Crush is designed to feature some of those covers that have caught the eye as a standout on the bookshelf.

death by any other name

I have LOVED all of the covers for Tessa Arlen’s books!  They have a very different feel than most other covers that I see.  The colors are vivid and beautiful and there is a clarity that makes the image pop.  There is always a beautiful home featured as well.  Someone is doing an excellent job with these covers.

What are your thoughts on this cover?

I wonder what my friends are crushing on this week? Let’s check it out: (to be updated as they post)

 

keep calm and support book bloggers

 

 


Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Book Review: Christmas Spirit by Annie Boone

I am participating in a blog tour for the Christmas novellas that are part of the Cutter’s Creek series and this week I will have a review of Christmas Spirit by Annie Boone, but I will also be sharing some other content as well.  I previously featured a review of Season of Love by Vivi Holt and an excerpt of that novella.  Don’t worry about if you have never read a book in this series before, you can still dive right in and enjoy the season with these novellas without prior knowledge.  So, first just an intro to the series and then my review of Christmas Spirit is below that.  Enjoy!


1

It’s a Christmas sugarplum celebration! Christmas in Cutter’s Creek means a Christmas social; sugarplum contest, dancing, a dash of mayhem and a heaping helping of romance.

First off is Kit Morgan’s Recipe for Christmas. This novella is set in 1866 and is the very first Cutter’s Creek Christmas social, and so much mischief happens, it’s a wonder they had another!
Lucius Judrow from Love is Blind has a brother and he’s on his way to Cutter’s Creek. Come see who Eldon meets in this hilarious and sweet romance!

The next is Vivi Holt’s Seasons of Love. It takes place in 1872. The social has changed just a bit. You’d think they’d learned with all the trouble, but no, the social is more fun than trouble. Margaret is a lonely school teacher from the East looking for a little love and adventure. She finds just that and a whole lot more in this sweet Christmas romance!

Third Christmas novella is just a few years later and the social has changed yet again, to a cider competition! The contestants get a little rowdy and words are said that might ruin Christmas! Felicity will need special help to solve this mess. Find out more in Annie Boone’s Christmas Spirit.

The fourth and final Christmas novella takes place in 1892 and rumors of Christmas social’s past dominate the festivities. Carol needs to find a husband and the new doctor in town provides a great opportunity. A snowball fight leads to romance in Kari Trumbo’s A Carol Plays.


Find the Cutter’s Creek authors on Facebook!



christmas spirit
Christmas Spirit by Annie Boone
Book 12 in the Cutter’s Creek series
ARC, e-Book, 121 pages
October 27, 2015
★★★★☆
goodreads button 

Heat Level:

Genre: Historical Romance, Western, Christmas

Source: Received from Author for Review
A handsome cowboy. A sweet young woman. A stranger from New York.
Felicity Lipscomb has loved Josh Garrett almost as long as she can remember. She thinks he’s nothing short of amazing. She doesn’t have the confidence to let him know, so she longs for him quietly, hoping one day he’ll notice her.
When she overhears a conversation just before Christmas, Felicity gets an idea she’s sure will help her finally snag her dream man. To make her plan work, she needs to learn to cook. The Christmas Festival Cider Competition is the perfect opportunity for her to prove her kitchen skills to the handsome cowboy.
Then the festivities begin. Secrets are revealed. Tempers flare. Nasty words are exchanged. All at a time when people should be joyful. In the blink of an eye Felicity’s happiness shatters. Can the stranger from New York make things better? Will his purpose for being there bring people together when they’ve been torn apart?
Pick up a copy to find out if renewed Christmas Spirit comes to the sweet little town of Cutter’s Creek just when they need it most.
Christmas Spirit is the first book I have read in the Cutter’s Creek series that is from a different author. Annie Boone brings us a sweet novel where the heroine is sort of having a conflict of identity. She has been in love with her best friend’s brother since she was a young girl, but didn’t realize he has any interest in her. Upon discovering that he is indeed interested, she struggles with the idea of remaking herself into the woman she thinks he wants. But does he really want that? At the same time, Josh is struggling to take over the responsibility of the ranch because his father has been quite ill and to be able to deal with the downturn that is befalling it. Can he potentially support a wife and family? These hardships make their relationship all the more real because I think that a lot of people today can identify with many of these ideas, even if they aren’t in the exact same manner.

There are some comedic moments in this novella as Felicity tries to learn how to cook, and boy does she make quite the mess of it! Also, the cider judging scene was more than I could have expected from it – dramatic it certainly was! I quickly got behind Felicity and Josh – I think many young girls have a secret crush on their best friend’s brother, and this story played on that very well. All the family members have to intervene in their little ways to push them forward toward each other.

Although this was a brief novella it offered a lot in the way of characterization and world building. I had a very clear idea of who the main characters were and some of the side characters as well. The Cutter’s Creek novellas have done a good job of integrating different ethnicities and cultures into the town. In Christmas Spirit, we learn a little something about the Chinese experience and cultural contributions.

Christmas Spirit embraces the true idea of the season: celebrating with friends and those you love, friendly competitions, food, and some religious elements (however this element is not used heavy handed).

While I haven’t read any of Annie Boone’s other contributions to the Cutter’s Creek series, I could immediately recognize that two of the side characters, Nick and Jemma, had to be from one of the other novels in the series. And I was right! They are the main characters in Becoming a Family and I look forward to reading their story as I found them interesting and I want to know more about their backstory. I also feel that there might be a subsequent novel about Josh’s sister on the horizon (but that is just a guess)!

Buy the Book: Amazon


Other Books in the Cutter’s Creek Series
The Cutter’s Creek series is a loosely interconnected series of novellas that all take place in Cutter’s Creek, Montana, each written by a different author.

the healing touch
The Healing Touch
by Kit Morgan (Book 1)

strong one
The Strong One
by Vivi Holt (Book 2)
[My Review]

new beginning
New Beginnings
by Annie Boone (Book 3)

a lily blooms
A Lily Blooms
by Kari Trumbo (Book 4)

a penny shines
A Penny Shines
by Kari Trumbo (Book 5)

becoming a family
Becoming a Family
by Annie Boone (Book 6)

betrothed
Betrothed
by Vivi Holt (Book 7)
[My Review]

love is blind
Love is Blind
by Kit Morgan (Book 8)

cherished
Cherished
by Vivi Holt (Book 9)
[My Review]

The Other Cutter’s Creek Christmas Novellas:

recipe for christmas
Recipe for Christmas
by Kit Morgan (Book 10)

season of love
Season of Love
by Vivi Holt (Book 11)
[My Review]

a carol plays
A Carol Plays
by Kari Trumbo (Book 13)


Find Annie Boone: Website | Facebook
 



Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, December 5, 2016

Book Review: Journey to Hawk’s Peak by M.K. McClintock

journey to hawks peak

Journey to Hawk’s Peak by M.K. McClintock
Book 5 of Montana Gallaghers Series
ARC, e-Book, 244 pages
Trappers Peak Publishing
October 19, 2016
★★★★☆
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction, Western

Source: Received from the Author for Review

One woman's desperation to escape would become the greatest journey of her life.

Amanda Warren arrived in Briarwood, Montana with one satchel and a dream. After death destroyed her happiness, she fled, unwillingly to believe that was the end, yet her weary spirit thought only of survival.

Then she met the Gallaghers.

They took a chance and gave her a home and a family, but is she strong enough to make a new start?

Ben Stuart has seen more of life than he wants to remember, but with the Gallaghers he had found a place where he could forget times gone by and live the life he always wanted. When Amanda arrived at Hawk's Peak, Ben saw a woman hiding from secrets and running from her past. Will he be able to convince her that the journey is over?

M.K. McClintock introduced us to Amanda Warren during Gallagher’s Choice, book 3 in the series, but her past and where she came from was clouded in mystery. I hoped that we would find our more about Amanda and her story finally comes to life in Journey to Hawk’s Peak. This story was told is a different format from that of the first 4 because we are not being fully introduced to any new characters here, we are just digging a little deeper into Amanda and also her love interest, Ben Stuart, the head ranch hand at Hawk’s Peak. While we already know much about Amanda, we are learning about what made her who she is now that we didn’t have before. It’s not told in a completely linear fashion – I mean, the past is told mostly in order and the present is told in order, but we get flashbacks to the pertinent events as they are necessary which helps reveal Amanda’s character over time.

One of the things I love about McClintock’s storytelling is that it isn’t easily classified – it’s a little bit romance, a little bit action/adventure, and a little bit western. There are obvious overtones of something brewing between Amanda and Ben and I loved how it was a slow build that wasn’t the focus of the story, but still a significant supporting aspect. Amanda ended up at Hawk’s Peak because she was running from her past, and as usually happens, the past comes back to haunt, and this time it brings a lot of danger with it. The Gallagher crew gear up to help Amanda figure out what truly happened at her hometown that led to her need to flee. There is a kidnapping, a shooting or two, a fire, children being born, and many other kinds of chaos. There is something happening on every page to keep the reader’s attention.

We also got to enjoy the ever increasing crazy Gallagher clan that we have grown to love throughout the series. Everyone is there, however with the size of the cast, some only have passing moments while others play more significant roles. I don’t know if I have a favorite character; I do still find Ethan dreamy, but Ben gave him a run for his money here!

The only reason I gave this 4 stars was that some elements felt a little repetitive, although told in a new way. We have had a kidnapping before and people terrorizing the ranch, which the characters even acknowledge during the story, but it is a different story ultimately which I still very much enjoyed!

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Also by M.K. McClintock:
The Montana Gallagher series includes the following novels:

galagher's pride_thumb[1]
Gallagher’s Pride
(Book 1)
[My Review]

gallagher's hope
Gallagher’s Hope
(Book 2)
[My Review]

gallagher's choice
Gallagher’s Choice
(Book 3)
[My Review]

angel called gallagher
An Angel Called Gallagher
(Book 4)
[My Review]

Other M.K. McClintock books:

home for christmas
A Home for Christmas
(Short story collection)
[My Review]

Find M.K. McClintock: Website | Newsletter | Facebook |Pinterest |Twitter | Youtube | Blog

 


Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Top 5: Non-Fiction Books I’ve Read

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I realized that I only make lists at the end of the calendar year when I’m looking back at what I have accomplished, but there are so many other times when a list of awesome things would be appropriate.  I know I’m always finding cool bookish things that I want to share with you all, so I’m starting this Top 5 series to highlight some of those items.  This month, in keeping with Non-Fiction November, I’m highlighting the Top 5 Non-Fiction Books that I have read thus far – and boy was that list hard to narrow down!

5. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

devil in the white city

I have always been interested in crime stories, since I was a criminal justice major in my undergraduate work.  I loved how Larson integrated a true crime story with that of the process of creating the St. Louis World Fair.  The juxtaposition and how it all came together was seamlessly done.  I would read anything that Larson writes. 

My REVIEW of Devil in the White City

4. Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson

isaacs storm

Funny that I was just talking about how I would read anything by Larson!  Isaac’s Storm was the first book that I had read by Larson and that really started my love of his style.  The narrative of this epic natural disaster was frenetic and dramatic and I found myself sucked into the world of early weather forecasting in a way I NEVER expected.

My REVIEW of Isaac’s Storm

3. The Circus Fire by Stewart O’Nan

circus fire

This was the first non-fiction book that I can remember being truly passionate about.  It consumed by life during the weeks in which I was reading it.  It was all I told my husband about every day after listening to it on my ride home from work.  It didn’t hurt that I was working and driving through the areas being featured in this book at that time.  It was so reverently written.   This was the first non-fiction that I can remember crying about while reading.

My REVIEW of The Circus Fire

2. Rebel Yell by S.C. Gwynne

rebel yell

The top two books were a real struggle for a decision and not much at all separates them in my book.  Rebel Yell is a book that I highly recommend to everyone I know.  It is a book that made me truly feel compassion for a member of the Confederacy.  S.C. Gwynne creates a man, not just a stereotype.  It was so well researched and I again couldn’t stop telling my husband about this book and I cried at Jackson’s death.  I couldn’t put the book down!

My REVIEW of Rebel Yell

1. Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard

destiny of the republic

Presidential fiction has always fascinated me and the awesome thing about this book is it brings to life the man who was among our shortest serving presidents and one of those who was sadly assassinated.  To say that I learned SO much is an understatement.  But beyond the life and death of the president, Millard tied in a wide variety of other pertinent topics as well: the process of antiseptic sterilization and the medical care (or lack there of) that President Garfield endured and how the process of the telephone and Alexander Graham Bell factored in.  It was just a well written piece about an undervalued subject.  I was emotionally tied to this book and could tell that Millard was invested in her subject.

My REVIEW of Destiny of the Republic

Really these top 3 books were interchangeable in my mind and could easily be in the top spot depending on what elements I was analyzing.  If you are looking for a non-fiction to read, I could HIGHLY recommend all of these books in a heartbeat.

Do you have a favorite non-fiction book?

 


Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Book Review: To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

to-capture-what-we-cannot-see

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin
ARC, e-Book, 304 pages
Flatiron Books
November 29, 2016
★★★½☆☆
goodreads button

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received for review and buddy read via Netgalley

Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young Scottish widow and a French engineer who, despite constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France--a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear.

Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family's business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile live--one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman's place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.

To Capture What We Cannot Keep is the most recent buddy read that I took on with my friends Stephanie at Layered Pages and Colleen at A Literary Vacation. We were so excited to read this one together because of the idea of the construction of the iconic Tower; ultimately this turned out to be somewhat of a dud for all of us, leading us to consider how we are selecting our next read!

One thing that Colin does exceptionally well is craft a world that you can see, feel, touch, and smell. It comes to life off the page, no matter if it is a dank alleyway or the lap of luxury. We were constantly enthralled with the way even such simple things that we experience every day were described in a whole new way. Some of the best world crafting I have ever read! Here are a couple of my favorite examples for some flavor:

“The room had gradually lost its allure. It was too hot, the air too close, and the smell of perspiration and shoe leather had become overpowering. The gold and paint, the class and crystal, were as cloying as the scent of the white lilies that had been artfully displayed in a vase on the mantelpiece.” (Chapter 37)

“At the top, a door opened on to a warren of rooms set around a huge chandelier, the lowest of its crystals falling only inches from the floor. It was impossible to stand upright; Emile had to stoop. The worker lay in bed in the back room, a filthy curtain drawn across the top half of what was once the drawing-room window.” (Chapter 14)

The other element that I found fascinating and done to perfection was the integration of the building of the Eiffel Tower into the story of two young adults and their chaperone travelling abroad. The two elements couldn’t be more different, but came together in seamless perfection. Emile is one of Eiffel’s right hand men and as such he is right in the thick of every disaster and upheaval that occurred during the process of erecting this behemoth. I honestly found the portions related to the Tower to be the most interesting of the whole novel and could have handled even more set on the scene.

The rest of the novel held a lot of promise, but did not live up to the expectations set out in the description. Cait as a chaperone for Alice and Jamie was plain awful at her job; I mean, she is there for one reason and can’t even keep track of these two as they run off every five minutes. And while this could lead to some interesting antics, they never turned out to be all that exciting. Alice is SO naïve it was cliché. Jaime, while somewhat more worldly, is still quite naïve as demonstrated in a few select scenes. I found them to be paper thin – actually I found most of the characters to be that way. Cait is disappointed with the options left her as a widowed woman and some of that is explored, but I never was made to really care about what option she would choose in the end. Even the touted romance between her and Emile seemed based on very little and was certainly not enough to drive the plot or make a difficult decision. The character with the most promise was Gabrielle, Emile’s mistress, who was sure to leave trouble in her wake, and she did, but I certainly expected a lot more from her considering how disappointed I was with the rest of the plot and characters.

Speaking of the plot, it moved at an almost glacial pace, sometimes feeling like we were going in reverse. Many chapters would pass by with almost no forward progression; I was often left waiting for something to happen only to be left disappointed with the little bit that did. Ultimately I just wanted to get to the end of the novel to see how it resolved, but I didn’t exactly care what happened to the characters either. So much promise, but not enough follow thru.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Find Beatrice Colin: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

 


Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court

Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Pairings: Non-Fiction November

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I am excited to bring a new featured series to you all today – introducing Book Pairings! If you are anything like me, sometimes you get hooked on a subject while reading your current book and you can’t let it go upon closing the cover.  Sometimes you want to know more about the real subject involved, while other times you might just want to pick up another novel about the same thing.  Maybe you are even looking for other categories like film or music that might pick up on elements of something you read.  Here is where Book Pairings comes in.  Each installment of Book Pairings will have a theme that pairs up several books with something else that would compliment them beautifully (most often this will be other books).  I’m excited to explore where this will take me!

So where will this inaugural installment take us?  I wanted to continue with the Non-Fiction November theme and thought it might be fun to pair up some fiction with non-fiction on a similar subject.  Then I thought “How cool would it be to integrate my selections from my Wish List this month?”  Yeah, well, some of those titles were on very obscure subjects so I had to flex my mental muscle a little to find pairings (and one of them is something of a cheat). 

In an effort to not repeat myself, if you want to know more about the non-fiction books on this list, check out my Wish List post.  I will include blurbs for the pairings in the below post.


City of Light, City of Poison by Holly Tucker | Charlatan by Kate Braithwaite

IMG_20161124_074047_240000

I had to think long and hard about this one before I realized it shouldn’t have been so difficult.  City of Light, City of Poison is a non-fiction book set during the reign of Louis XIV and is about Nicolas de la Reynie who was the first police chief of Paris.  Much of his time was spent dealing with the dark occult underbelly of the city at the time.  Charlatan, a novel released just a couple months ago by Kate Braithwaite exists in the same world and explores the Affair of the Poisons.  A great combination!  You can read more about Charlatan and the story behind the Affair of the Poisons in Kate Braithwaite’s guest post.

About Charlatan:

1676. In a hovel in the centre of Paris, the fortune-teller La Voisin holds a black mass, summoning the devil to help an unnamed client keep the love of Louis XIV.

Three years later, Athenais, Madame de Montespan, the King's glamorous mistress, is nearly forty. She has borne Louis seven children but now seethes with rage as he falls for eighteen-year old Angelique de Fontanges.

At the same time, police chief La Reynie and his young assistant Bezons have uncovered a network of fortune-tellers and prisoners operating in the city. Athenais does not know it, but she is about to be named as a favoured client of the infamous La Voisin.

"This book kept me reading into the night... luxury and squalor, royal scandal and sorcery... how could it not?" Fay Weldon, author The Life and Loves of a She-devil.

Ice Ghosts by Paul Watson | The Terror by Dan Simmons

IMG_20161124_074224_568000

The story of the Franklin Expedition to the Arctic has always been one of those tragedies that has fascinated me.  The expedition was attempting to explore uncharted areas of the Northwest Passage and was stranded in the ice before ultimately all the men ended up dying.  What is kind of cool is that Paul Watson, author of Ice Ghosts, was on the ship that discovered the wreck in 2014 of one of the Franklin ships the HMS Erebus, so that lends some legitimacy of the book.  In The Terror Dan Simmons spins a tale of this Franklin Expedition and what they might have encountered and how the psyche might have been affected by being stranded in the Arctic.  I really enjoyed this book and it would appeal to both historical fiction and horror fans while not falling squarely into either category.  You can check out my review of The Terror here.

The Zoo by Isobel Charman | Minsk: Poems by Lavinia Greenlaw

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Ok, so here is the cheated a little bit one – I noticed that I sort of worked myself into a real corner with the specificity of a book about the founding of the London Zoo – (The Zoo).  Accordingly I had to be a little creative with this one and found something really kind of cool to pair with it.  Minsk is a book of poetry about a bunch of things but one section focuses on the different exhibits as they opened at the London Zoo! How cool is that?!   Segments such as “Bunk” feature the opening of The Raven’s Cage or “Spin”, The Giraffe House.  There is a great preview of many of these poems on Google Books.  I’m not the biggest fan of poetry, but I was excited to be able to tie these two together. 

March 1917 by Will Englund | Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

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The events leading up to WWI have been heavily studied and discussed and have resulted in several different interpretations regarding the onset of the war.  March 1917 looks specifically at the entrance of the United States into the war and what the myriad of events that occurred during that month meant to the war – talk about a microhistory!  In Ken Follett’s sweeping epic novel, Fall of Giants, he explores the war through the eyes of many different characters from varying backgrounds which I found all encompassing.  There is even a chapter directly focused on March 1917.  You can read my review of Fall of Giants here.

Battle Royal by Hugh Bicheno | Queen by Right by Anne Easter Smith

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I don’t know about you, but I find the period of English history about The Wars of the Roses to be more fascinating that almost any other period of English history (closely in contest with Roman Britannia and the time of the Saxons/Norman Conquest). Battle Royal is part one of a two part series following these Wars during the 15th century.  In Queen by Right, author Anne Easter Smith looks at the origins of the wars, beginning with the Duke of York, but from the perspective of his wife, Cecily.  I really enjoyed seeing this perspective that is the road less traveled in Plantagenet history.  You can check out my review of Queen by Right here.


Are there any better titles that you would pair with these non-fiction ones?  I’d be interested to hear if you have anything else for The Zoo as I looked long and hard and didn’t want to venture into the SciFi world.

 


Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekend Cooking: Apple Pie

weekend cooking

Hi everyone! I know it’s been awhile since I have posted one of these, it’s been crazy with moving to the new house and everything.  One of the things I am sure that many of us made this week for Thanksgiving was some sort of pie, and for me that always means apple pie!  When I thought about apple pie it brought me back to our experience cooking over the open hearth at Old Sturbridge Village back in February where one of the items we had was apple pie!

One of the things that I found most surprising during that experience was that in the 1800’s apple pie would not have been eaten as a dessert, but rather with the meal! How cool is that!?!  I’m all for eating pie with my meal because I never have room for dessert after, however it felt a little bit strange as we are so programmed that a sweet comes as a dessert.  The other thing that was fascinating was that you would typically eat a cheese, like cheddar, with you pie – a bit of each in every bite.  I had not tried this before, and was a little hesitant, but OMG how the flavors of the two compliment so well!  I encourage you to give it a try with you next pie – we meant to this Thanksgiving, but forgot to buy the cheese…next time for sure!  An apple pie also was easy to prepare even when apples were out of season because it could be prepared using dried apples that were put up at the end of autumn for storage.  A very versatile recipe.

Apple Pie
Makes 1 - 9 Inch Pie

Recipe from The American Frugal Housewife, 1833

When you make apple pies, stew your apple very little indeed; just strike them through, to make them tender.  Some people do not stew them at all, but cut them up in very thin slices, and lay them in the crust.  Put sugar to your taste; it is impossible to make a precise rule, because apples vary so much in acidity.  A very little salt, and a small piece of butter in each pie, makes them richer.  Cloves and cinnamon are both suitable.  Lemon brandy and rose water are both excellent.  A wine glass full (about 2 oz) of each is sufficient for three or four pies.  If your apples lack spirit, grate in a whole lemon.

Modern Translation from Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook:

Ingredients:

6 cups apples (fresh or dried) or 2 cups applesauce
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. cloves or cinnamon
Piecrust for a double-crust pie
1 Tbsp. butter
½ tsp. salt (optional)
1 Tbsp. lemon peel, if apples are sweet
1 Tbsp. lemon brandy or rosewater (optional)

Directions:

1. To prepare apples, follow one of these three methods:
     a. Peel and slice apples, toss with sugar and spice until all are coated.
     b. Peel and core whole apples, slice into rings.  Put into saucepan with 1 inch of water on the bottom, sugar, and spices.  Stew for 10 minutes.
     c. Put dried apples in a bowl and cover with water.  They will swell up in a couple of hours in a warm place.  Put apples, a small amount of water in which they soaked, sugar, and spice into a saucepan and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Prepare piecrust

3. Line a 9-inch plate with pastry.

4. Arrange prepared apples in pie plate.  Add juice if stewed.  Dot with butter.  Add salt, lemon peel, and brandy or rosewater, if desired: Cover with top crust, make slits to let steam escape. 

5. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour if stewed apples are used or for 1 hour and 15 minutes for uncooked fruit.

IMG_20161123_200131
Not a 2-Crust Pie – A Dutch Apple Version

Ok, so I didn’t have the foresight to have taken a photo of the pie when we were at the event (it was eaten too quickly), but the above photo is a picture of a Dutch apple pie that I made for this Thanksgiving that was fairly similar.  Everyone thought the pie was spectacular.  The team that made it followed the traditional method and used uncooked, fresh apples, cloves, and a pat of butter.  It was an excellent contribution to the dinner and I highly recommend playing around with the recipe a bit to meet your needs.  It would be interesting to try it out starting with dried apples and see how the final product comes out.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and anything even remotely cooking related can participate in this event.

 


Copyright © 2016 by The Maiden’s Court