SPECIAL DELIVERY by JUDI LYNN
Every Mill Pond romance has food in it. Probably because I love to cook, and even more, I love to feed people. To me, food is social and it shows you care.
My sisters aren’t that fond of cooking. In fact, they just don’t. So, when our mom got Alzheimer’s and my sister, Patty, insisted on taking her in, she’d take Mom out for lunch almost every day. But when Mom got worse and couldn’t leave the house, I tried to pitch in. We live close enough, that when I cooked supper for my family, I cooked a duplicate supper for Patty’s house. My sister considers cooking torture, and Mom liked home-cooked meals. So, food was one way that I could help Patty and show Mom I cared (even though she didn’t remember it). We did that for a year and a half.
In SPECIAL DELIVERY, Karli is a traveling nurse. When Mill Pond’s mailman, Keagan, calls to say that her mom’s dad is reaching a point where he can’t take care of himself, Karli has a month off between jobs. She decides to be nice to her mom and go to Mill Pond to help Axel—her mean, troublesome grandpa. She can spare her mom the worry and help him decide on a health care plan. Axel, of course, refuses to cooperate. He doesn’t want a visiting nurse. He doesn’t want Meals on Wheels. He refuses to choose a nursing home. Karli stays to try to find something that will work for him, but in the meantime, she cleans his house and cooks for him. And Axel loves her home-cooked meals. Karli surprises herself by starting to like the old coot. Even more surprising, she’s falling hard for Mill Ponds’s mailman. And food makes both men happy, so she cooks for them to show she cares.
Keagan is impressed with her apple dumplings. Here’s a recipe:
APPLE DUMPLINGS (for 9×9, sprayed pan)
1/3 c sugar
2 c flour
¾ c shortening
2 t. baking powder
1 t salt
Blend together, then add 1/2 c milk.
Divide dough into 6 balls, roll out and fill with:
8-10 peeled & sliced apples.
Cover with sauce:
¾ stick butter
1 T flour
2 c sugar (I use less, so not so sweet, but do to taste)
2 c water
1 t. cinnamon
Bring to a boil. Pour over dumplings.
Bake at 375 degress for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown.