Tag Archives: Silki the girl of many scarves Canyon of Doom

Pa Dubie’s Tater Soup


*This recipe is more than 90 years old.

(l-r) Jodi Lea Stewart, Granddad Thomas Elmer Woods, Grandma Ollie Pearl Williams Woods

  • 1 quart potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • bacon pieces and drippings for seasoning as desired
  • salt and pepper
  • water
  • cornmeal
  • chopped green onions, optional

Peel and chop about 1-quart potatoes. Cook with a medium onion, chopped. Salt and pepper to taste. Use some bacon pieces and/or bacon grease for seasoning. Use your own judgment about water. Cover them well. When done, mash well and thicken with cornmeal. Sprinkle chopped green onions on top (optional).

Comment: My grandma called my granddad “Pa Dubie.”
Comments from two of the eleven Woods kids:
Dad liked cornbread with this soup — Dean
Always give this soup to people with mumps — Dimple

 

 

Arrow

Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.

If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindlethe Nook and most other eBook readers.

Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:

Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?

Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hands.

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.

Ma Dubie’s Hot Bean Dumplings


This is my grandmother’s *Ollie Pear Woods* recipe from the old days when survival meant using EVERYTHING.

  • left-over pinto beans made real juicy with extra water
  • lots of red or green peppers {Grandma Woods grew her own}
  • biscuit dough rolled out very thin and cut in 1”x 4” strips (homemade dough only…oh, all right, use Pillsbury©, you silly thing!)

Bring beans and juice to a rolling boil. Cook as many as you want or need. Drop dumplings in bean juice. Heat through (doesn’t take long) and serve immediately.

Comment: My granddad called my grandma “Dubie.”
Comments from one of the eleven Woods’ kids:
This recipe came from Mother Woods, 1921, living in Frog Spring Hollow in Jay Hills. Sure tasty. Don’t get it too hot (spicy), or you’ll drink lots of water — Woods kid Dean.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.

Sassy Sassafras, the Root Beer Tree


My grandfather, Thomas Elmer Woods, learned a lot from the Five Civilized Tribes: medicine, ceremonial dancing, and how to survive.

After his mother died soon after giving birth to him and his twin sister, his sister was sent to live with relatives in the Pacific Northwest. Elmer headed to Indian Territory, Oklahoma, in a covered wagon with his mother’s brother and his wife. He was two weeks old, and the year was 1884.

Native American Ways

Indian Territory consisted of the lands of the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks (Muscogees), and Seminoles, along with twenty-two other tribes.

Elmer got along well with his Native American neighbors. They trusted him enough to let him dance with them whenever he wanted. They taught him their secrets of survival, like how to use roots, leaves, bark and plants to make medicines.

He used that knowledge for his family, and for others, his whole life. The longevity his eleven children enjoyed speaks for the wisdom of those natural preventives.

Case in point – my mother. She’s 88 years young and still bakes the best pies you ever tasted, does her own grocery shopping, drives thousands of miles by herself and can still cut a rug when she really wants to.

She’s Elmer’s eighth child, and one of the tonics she grew up on was sassafras tea.

Thinning (purifying) the blood

Elmer insisted that his family members drink sassafras tea liberally every spring to thin their blood after the long, harsh Oklahoma and Missouri winters.

Sassafras trees, with their irregular lobed leaves and aromatic bark, grew wild and plentiful in the woods. Elmer gathered roots every spring. After thoroughly cleaning a root, or hunks ofSassafrass Roots root, he placed it in a pot of water to boil. Soon, the water turned a beautiful clear pink. When the family was fortunate enough to buy sugar, they added it to the spicy tea, along with fresh cow cream.

It didn’t take much persuasion for eleven little country kids to want to start thinning their blood and ridding themselves of their sluggish winter bodies!

As a very young child, I remember seeing a pan on my grandma’s stove with a big tree root poking out of the top. That was fascinating! The tea tasted wonderful, and I wanted lots and lots.

Later on, when I was a teenager and more snooty sophisticated, I doubted my granddad’s theory about sassafras tea thinning the blood.

How ridiculous, I thought.

Pure folklore.

Dumb.

Then I grew enough brain cells to check it out for myself.

I found out that sassafras tea is recognized as a natural anticoagulant.

Anticoagulant = blood thinner. Fancy that.

Ever notice how much smarter grownups got after our teen years?

In early America, sassafras and tobacco were the main exports from the colonies to England. Sassafras was revered for its medicinal qualities, as well as for the beauty of its wood.

Alas, sassafras tree byproducts, including sassafras tea, are controversial these days, which is why it isn’t the main ingredient in root beer anymore.

The dried and ground sassafras leaves are still used to make filé powder for certain types of gumbo.

And lots of people just go right on using the mysterious tree’s bark, leaves, and roots.

A good argument in favor of doing that might be my granddad. He lived into his eighties with no medicines other than the natural ones he learned from The Five Civilized Tribes. He hand-delivered all of his eleven children, survived total economic depression with nothing but his two hands to make a living and played a mean banjo and fiddle with no lessons.

Maybe there really is something to “thinning the blood” with sassafras tea every spring. You think?

Have you ever tasted sassafras tea? Did you know it was the main flavoring in root beer at one time, or that some people thought of the sassafras tree as the root beer tree? Did your family use any old-timey “medicines” that didn’t come from a pharmacy?

I love to hear from you.

Just for fun . . .

Borrowing unauthorized media is driving me to the edge.

Borrowing unauthorized media is driving me to the edge.

 

 

 

Arrow

Feel free to wander around my website. It's guaranteed non-toxic.

If you like Sassy, Danger and Mystery, you'll love my any-age novels. Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT and Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM are available at your nearest Barnes & Noble Bookseller, on this website, Amazon, B&N.com and more. For your convenience, it’s also available on Kindlethe Nook and most other eBook readers.

Book Three of the Silki trilogy, VALLEY OF SHADOWS, launches fall 2016. Here's a quick synopsis:

Bummed that yet another summer has passed all too quickly, Silki and her best friend Birdie head out for one last hurrah at the Navajo Nation Fair. When the fun is overshadowed by the theft of a famous horse, Silki is plunged into a baffling adventure teeming with international undercurrents and intrigue. What’s more, boy-crazy Birdie is fluttering her eyelashes at Silki’s good-looking, visiting cousin at every turn, and Rez legend Old Man Concho is coughing up secrets dating back to 1942. What possible connection could he have to the Japanese tourists, and will Silki discover an ancient truth about the Valley of Shadows in time to save Lava, the leader of the Ghost Herd, as well as salvage her own broken heart?

Meet my CANYON OF DOOM AND VALLEY OF SHADOWS illustrator, the Drawing Hands.

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.

Movies and the Lucky 7


I’m traveling a different path with this blog as I discuss movies and the Lucky 7 (which I’ll explain later). How do they relate? They don’t!

Bear with me, and we’ll have a little fun.

The movie experience

A fellow writer in our Facebook writing group recently posted a blog about how going to the movies was a cruddy experience and that no movies are worth seeing anyway.

I respectfully disagree.

PopcornEvery Friday night, my hubby and I put on our sweats or jeans and tennis shoes, put our dogs in charge of the house (yes, we let them use weapons!) and head for the movies. I have to admit that my husband and I are both workaholics in our chosen fields, so this Friday night ritual is more than entertainment – it’s a rite of passage into the weekend.

Sitting in the plush, comfortable seats of our favorite theatre with a big bag of delicious popcorn and our cold drinks, we allow our minds to relax and refresh as we totally engage in another world for that brief stretch of time.

I’m the emotional, sensitive type, so I go through the whole gamut of emotions as I munch and crunch my once-a-week popcorn splurge.  I laugh, cry, expect, worry, hope. I sit on the edge of my seat to aid the good guy in his pursuit of justice. I inwardly cheer when a parent understands, a love is reunited, a boy defeats a bad villain, a girl finds her long-lost mother, a country is saved, an evil plan is thwarted.

Sometimes, I lean over and whisper the next line to my hubby. He whispers, “How did you know that?” I whisper back, “I’m a writer.”

It feels wonderful to guess exactly what the screenwriters will “say” next. Try it sometime – you’ll like it!

When hubby and I are not pleased with the ending of a film, we spend many happy moments on the way home discussing how it could have been written differently to give x, y, or z results. That’s better than medicine for a writer’s soul, let me tell you!

I admit that not all movies are worth seeing.  

We’re very selective about the content and intent of what we feed our brains. Additionally, we cringe at some of the trash movies we see adults taking their young children, pre-teens and teens to watch. I feel sorry for those young minds and spirits having to absorb garbage that isn’t productive or positive. End of subject.

People at the Movies

My fellow writer I mentioned earlier said babies cry and people leave their cell phones on and it’s just a generally awful experience in the movie theatre itself. Again, I disagree.

It has been years since I’ve heard a cell phone ring or a baby cry during a movie. Once, a baby started fussing, and the mom immediately took the baby out of the auditorium. End of problem. One time, I forgot to turn my phone off and it rang! I almost died of mortification, but people turned to me and smiled. They understood. No big deal. Hey, we’re out to have fun, not get our rears tied in a knot.

Popcorn

If the popcorn is lousy, I’m not going back. A theatre chain that rhymes with “shave” used to be our favorite, until they started serving popcorn that tasted like cereal. Put it in a bowl, add milk and sugar and you could have breakfast with that dry, tasteless stuff.

To make matters worse, they cut out providing *free* Kernel Season’s Popcorn Seasoning (White Cheddar is to die for), or even making it available to buy in the itty bitty shakers. Big mistake. With so many choices available, why would a business go backward in providing the best for their customers? Mind-boggling.

You knew it was coming:  For whatever reasons…Jodi Lea Stewart’s humble list of favorite movies for 2011.

  • The Iron Lady (what can I say? It’s Meryl Streep in a fascinating role)
  • Water for Elephants (almost as good as the book – rare, indeed)
  • Moneyball (Brad’s best)Water for Elephants
  • Soul Surfer (most inspirational)
  • Sherlock Holmes 2 (lots of sleight-of-hand fun)
  • Hugo Cabret (amazingly imaginative)
  • Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts? I’m there)
  • The Ides of March (makes you wish we could have government without politicians)
  • Captain America (standing up for mom, apple pie, and the American way!)
  • Real Steel (you’ll cheer at the end)
  • The Help (fab, except for the pie thing…should have just added ex-lax)
  • Thor (Chris Hemsworth is just so…so…well, anyway)
  • Tower Heist (stupid, corny and makes you laugh)
  • Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas – enough said.)
  • Limitless (if you read my blog about Squeeze, this guy got into it and added steroids!)
  • The Lincoln Lawyer (more Matthew McConaughey movies, please)

What is Lucky 7?

Lucky 7 is a little tornado that blew into our WANA112 writing group recently.Lucky 7 Meme

Here are the rules of the game:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 authors, and let them know.

If you don’t yet have 77 pages of your current work in progress completed, just choose the first seven sentences.

I’m tagging my authors first. Only one author is in our writing group, but that adds a nice bit of seasoning – sort of how Kernel season’s White Cheddar seasoning livens up popcorn, you know?

Nikki McCormack, Kristen Lamb, J.r. Sanders, Chris Eboch, Carol Buchanan, Sue Cauhape, Dutch Henry

Here are the nine (shh!) seven sentences from my current Work in Progress: Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: CANYON OF DOOM

A shaky sigh rose from my stomach and leaked out as a sob.

“Stop bawling!” Talastic ordered, frowning at me like I had two heads. Her scowl dissolved into quivers. “I don’t want to live, Silki…I just…”

She closed her eyes. Teardrops pushed past her eyelashes and raced down her dirty cheeks. Her whole body shook as she shrieked and pounded the ground with her fists. I stared at the sky so Talastic and her sorrow could be alone.

Would her outburst cleanse her soul of its torment?

So there you have it – my blog featuring two very different subjects that purposely don’t tie into each other. I had oodles of fun, and I hope you did, too.

 

Arrow

 

Of course, a visit isn’t a visit without a two-way conversation. I know you’ll have lots to say after reading  our seven tagged authors’ Lucky 7 lines, so fire away!

I truly hope you’ll pick up a copy of my novel Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves: SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT. The print version is on sale at Amazon for only $11.21!!! For your convenience, it’s also available for Kindle, the Nook and for most other eBook readers. If you love the Southwest and kooky little characters that make you laugh aloud as authentic danger and mystery swirl at every turn, you’ll love this novel! The second book in the series, CANYON OF DOOM, debuts in early 2013.

While you’re here, please have a look around my website. To sign up to receive notices of my new blogs, recipes, appearances and media news, just leave your email address above. I’ll take care of the rest. Y’all come back soon … I miss you already!

 

Jodi Lea Stewart was born in Texas and grew up in Apache County on a cattle ranch near Concho, Arizona. She left the University of Arizona in Tucson to move to San Francisco, where she learned about peace, love and exactly what she didn't want to do with her life. Since then, Jodi graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Business Management, raised two children, worked as an electro-mechanical drafter, penned humor columns for a college periodical, wrote regional western articles and served as managing editor of a Fortune company newsletter. She currently resides in Texas and New Mexico with her husband, two Standard poodles, two rescue cats and numerous gigantic, bossy houseplants. SUMMER OF THE ANCIENT is Jodi's debut novel and Book One of the Silki, the Girl of Many Scarves trilogy. CANYON OF DOOM came next, and VALLEY OF SHADOWS hits the shelves summer of 2016, completing this exciting and fun adventure-mystery set in the Navajo Nation. Next on the horizon? A historical mystery novel set in the 1930s told through the eyes of a sharecropper's daughter.