Which character in our Custer’s Mill Mystery series would you like to chat with and have a cup of tea? What would you want to talk about?
Mary-I’d like to have tea with Mia, Emma’s aunt. She seems to be a good listener and the type of person who is caring and concerned for others. She would be able to share stories of Emma, Sissy, and Serafina as young children. I’d also be able to ask her about Emma’s mother so I could get to know more about her. Mia would know a lot of the history and stories of Custer’s Mill that I hope she would share with me.
Tammy - I’d love to spend time with the late Bertha Brubaker. She was truly a woman in the know! Although elderly and spinsterish, Bertha was the hub of her community, the “grapevine” of the information world, and a role model for every up and coming ingenue! Bertha would have advice for every situation — from setting a proper table to running an estate.
Barbara-I would like to spend a few afternoons having tea with Professor Nelson, Emma's great-uncle. I'd ask him about Ruth. Perhaps we could talk about how they communicated while having a secret relationship. I hope he'd feel free to share the struggles and pain they both suffered by keeping their relationship secret. I wonder what he'd do now, if he could have another chance to let the world know about their love. Would he be able to give up his professorship to marry Ruth? And I want to see his house and overgrown garden!
We’d love to hear which character you would like to chat with and have a cup of tea. You can fill in your answer below and send to The Chimney Rock Chronicle, P.O. Box 862, Broadway, VA 22815. All of those who respond will have a chance to win a $10 gift certificate to Jackson’s Corner in New Market.
As with many things during the past two years, the last book in our Custer’s Mill Series was put on hold. We are so grateful to our faithful readers who have continued to enjoy our first two books: Murder on Rosemary Street and The Mountain’s Secret (check out the reviews we found on Amazon). Our followers have repeatedly asked when the third book in our trilogy would be available. Well, the wait will soon be over. Here are just a few things to think about as we refresh our website and make the complete Custer’s Mill Mystery series available on Amazon this summer. Will Emma return to Custer’s Mill after her vacation in Europe or will this experience cause her to yearn for more adventures. Is Jake satisfied to stay with Kate in Custer’s Mill? Did he miss his chance with Emma? What really happened to Serafina after college? Where was she for those five years, and what made her run back to Custer’s Mill? Answers to these questions and much more await you in Book 3-Revenge Comes Twice. Stay tuned.
I don’t know about you, but when the grey days of January hit, I’m ready to enjoy some warm soup and chili. In fact, today I made the Spare Change Diner’s Potato & Ham Soup. It was yummy. In case you haven’t tried it, you can find the recipe in our blogs.
One of our family’s winter recipes is my mom’s easy chili. She grew up in Indiana and brought this recipe with her when she moved east. I liked the chili as a child, but I learned to really appreciate it when I grew up and had children of my own. As a working mom, I looked for quick recipes I could make in about 30 minutes. Give this recipe a try.
1 pound of ground beef
½ cup of onion (chopped)
1 can of Tomato Soup
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 cans dark red kidney beans (drained)
2 teaspoons of chili powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional-Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Brown the ground beef in a skillet and add onions. Cook until onions are translucent and beef is not pink. Add Tomato Soup, tomatoes, drained beans, and chili powder. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes on low. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese when served.
The last years of my mother’s life she had progressive dementia. There were many things she forgot, but she didn’t forget this chili. The last time I made it for her, she said, “this chili tastes like home.” I hope it helps you stay warm on these cold winter nights and brings you that feeling of home.
There are some messengers in the valley that herald the changes of the seasons. As we say good-bye to summer and welcome in autumn, the hardwood trees begin to display colorful hues of yellow, orange and red, and the apple trees are dotted with their ripe, juicy fruit. We are so lucky to have so many choices in fruit orchards here in the Shenandoah Valley. Two of my favorites are Paugh’s in Quicksburg and Showalter’s in Timberville.