Have you noticed a lot of baking posts lately? Well, baking helps me think. When I need to work through a scene in a book, I bake or walk. The extra walking is necessary because of all the baking, but it's not the eating of the baked goods that is therapeutic, but the act of baking itself. It's like the process of making tea, which some believe can be even more relaxing than the tea drinking.
Do the Gallaghers drink a lot of tea? Some of them, but coffee would have been more common.
An old west cook, Oliver Nelson, wrote that he used about 175 pounds of coffee beans each month. “The men half lived on coffee,” he wrote. (TrueWestMagazine.com) Coffee was the beverage of choice in the wild Rocky Mountain west, and is among most of the folks in the Gallagher series.
Me? I'll take scones and tea any day, and these scones are especially good.
Excerpt from Gallagher's Hope
Isabelle allowed the portly man with a graying mustache to help her down from the stagecoach. He’d been traveling in their same direction ever since St. Louis and though kind, he told Isabelle more about himself than she wanted to know. Even so, when he let go of her hand and tipped his hat in a farewell gesture, a small sense of loss crept into Isabelle’s heart. He had spoken to her more on the journey than her family’s so-called friends had after the funeral. Shaking the maudlin thoughts from her mind, she held Andrew’s hand as he stepped off the stage. One of the stage drivers unloaded their baggage and then accepted a pouch from an older man who waited nearby. The man turned toward them, and Isabelle saw kind, brown eyes in a wrinkled face.
“You waitin’ for someone, ma’am?”
“No, sir, we’re not.” She glanced around, uncertain about what to do next. Andrew squeezed her hand, and she looked down at his tired eyes. The last stretch had been long and tiring for them both. “Is there a place to eat nearby?”
“Well, sure. Tilly’s Café is just over yonder.” He pointed toward the telegraph office. “Walk that way and you’ll see it.”
“Thank you, sir.” Isabelle paused, never having been in a situation to carry her own bags. She released Andrew’s hand and lifted one bag into each hand, then studied the large trunk.
“Uh, ma’am?” The man stepped forward. “I’m Loren Baker, proprietor of the general store.” He pointed to the building behind them. “You can leave those here for a spell. I promise to keep an eye out.”
“That’s kind of you, Mr. Baker, but . . .” Isabelle glanced down at Andrew’s tired eyes. “If you’re sure it’s no trouble.”
“No, ma’am, no trouble at all.” His warm smile helped put Isabelle at ease. “Might you tell me your name, ma’am?”
“Miss Isabelle Rousseau. I’m the new schoolteacher.”
“Well, I’ll be. Miss Rousseau.” Mr. Baker smiled. “We’ve been expecting you. A lot of folks around here will be mighty pleased you’ve come.”
Excerpt from Gallagher's Hope copyright © MK McClintock
Make time every now and then to escape into a good book and relax with a pot of tea and a tasty treat.
The Tea: Echinacea Plus from Traditional Medicinals
The Treat: Blueberry Lemon Pecan Scones