Jessie: I am always delighted to host guests on the blog and today is no exception. I am certain readers here will enjoy Dorothy’s books. Let’s give her a warm welcome!
A MURDER—WITH A SWEET ENDING
Hideaway Grove, the fictional setting for my Sewing Studio mystery series, is everything I could dream of in a small, quaint, touristy town. There are art galleries, specialty shops, boutiques, and cafés, and a village green with a gazebo and a bandstand. The homes are painted creamy pastels, all with flower boxes and white picket fences, a storybook land come to life.
Idyllic—except for the murders that take place there, of course.
When Abbey Chandler’s life in Los Angeles falls apart, she retreats to Hideaway Grove where she spent wonderful summers with her aunt Sarah who owns Sarah’s Sweets, the only bakery in town. As Abbey tries to adjust to life in a small town—and solve a murder—she gets involved with a charity project making pillowcase dresses for girls in Africa. To do this, she converts the large storage room in her aunt’s bakery into a sewing studio.
This is the premise of the Sewing Studio mystery series I came up with— mysteries and sewing. But I found myself spending more time in Aunt Sarah’s bakery, and what a sweet treat that turned out to be.
In Hanging By A Thread, the second book in the series, Hideaway Grove is gearing up for a women’s convention. The group was founded in the 1950s, so the organizers insist that everything about the convention have a 50s theme. This presented a great opportunity for me to explore desserts that were popular during that era. I found several mouth-watering recipes—and a few that I’m not so sure about.
I collected every vintage cookbook I could find to come up with 50s desserts Aunt Sarah would recreate for the event. Most of them sounded delicious—coconut cake, carrot cake, Devil’s food chocolate cake, pineapple upside-down cake. A few of the vintage recipes I found didn’t sound quite so sweet—turnip custard, prune whip, and prunella cake.
I enjoy baking—Christmas treats are my favorite. My family has several holiday must-haves. One is sugar cookies. I’ve been baking them since 1967, first with my sister, then with my daughters. Another favorite is the Holiday Pumpkin Roll, a recipe that’s been in our family for decades. For us, it wouldn’t be Christmas without these special treats. You can find the pumpkin roll recipe on my website.
Also on my website, you can enter for your chance to win a personally autographed hardcover edition of Hanging By A Thread.
Readers, how about your family? Do you have favorite recipes you make each holiday?