Wednesday, November 27, 2013
So as I talked to my mom and made the list, she said, "Make sure you buy the cheap frozen pumpkin pies, not the expensive ones. And for heaven's sake, don't you try to make one!"
No, I was not offended by her request/demand/suggestion. After my first attempt at making a pumpkin pie from scratch a few years ago, my family made me swear never to try to make one again. Yes, it was that bad!
Picture it...Illinois...2009...Thanksgiving. A woman on the cusp of menopause. A family gathered for the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner......A woman (me) makes two of the most beautiful pumpkin pies she'd ever seen. She was happy, elated, over-the-moon proud of her accomplishment. She'd never made a pumpkin pie before. They were beautiful.
We had finished stuffing ourselves with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, bread, green bean casserole and all the other things we make for this meal. There is always room for pie. I'm not sure, but I think that is on our family crest. As we all sat around my mother's living room, men with belts undone and everyone awash in the afterglow of a fine meal, it was time for pie.
My husband's favorite pie is pumpkin. I had made the most beautiful pies, quite proud of myself as this was my first attempt and quite frankly, they could have graced the cover of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. I was almost giddy with pride and could not wait to give a big slice to my husband.
So we cut the pies, plated them, some with whipped cream some without. My husband prefers his without. My daughters helped me serve the family. I was too full for pie (I'd rather have mashed potatoes for my dessert.)
I sat with unconcealed excitement, next to my husband, waiting to hear how wonderful the pie tasted. Everyone took a bite as I smiled and waited.
It was like watching synchronized swimming. All forks went down on plates at same time. My husband, God bless him, didn't even flinch, but the rest of the family did.
"How does it taste, honey? Is it good?" I asked with a big smile.
He cleared his throat. "I think I'm just too full."
Now, I've seen my husband consume an entire pumpkin pie in one sitting and that was after a big meal. I knew something was up. I looked around the room. No one was eating the pie, save for my son, who had a half a tub of cool whip on his slice. My daughters were glancing at each other, my mother had gone seven shades of gray. I caught a glimpse of "should I flee now?" in my son-in-law's eyes.
I looked at my husband. "What is wrong?" I whispered in his ear. "Are you ill?"
Kevin leaned in and whispered, "Honey, um, how much sugar did you put in the pie?"
"Sugar? What sugar?"
He blinked. I blinked.
"I used pumpkin pie filling. All I had to add was some milk and eggs. Everything else was already in it."
That is when the room erupted into a fit of laughter. My mother, who normally has my back in all situations, was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down her face.
"Did you read the recipe on the back of the can?" My daughter asked.
"Yes, I did miss smarty pants!"
"Did you have your readers on?" My other daughter asked.
Insulted, I stomped to mom's kitchen, found a can of pumpkin pie filling and began to read the recipe on the back. Damned print was so tiny! I grabbed my glasses from my purse while the traitors I used to call family continued to laugh. I began to read the recipe aloud and stopped, dead in my tracks. "Evaporated milk, cinnamon, salt....damn."
Sugar? How on earth did I miss it? I didn't even think to add sugar, thinking it was already sweetened. "But apple pie filling and blueberry pie filling, they all have the sugar already in it! Why in the heck doesn't pumpkin pie filling???" I went nine shades of red. My daughters fell to the floor, rolling, holding their sides, unable to breathe because they were laughing so hard.
"Now I know why alligators eat their young!" I told them.
My son piped up. "Its okay if you put enough cool whip on it." He was sincere, God love him.
My husband smiled, patted me on the head and told me not to worry, he still loved me. My daughters were not so kind. They made me swear never, and I do mean never to bake another pumpkin pie again, at least not without my reading glasses and adult supervision.
My youngest daughter bought pumpkin pies last night. The expensive ones - but don't tell mom.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Suzan's Chili Recipe
(I'm a 'dump' cook. I usually toss things in until they look and taste right.)
1 Large can tomato juice
1 Medium can Brooks Chili Beans - mild or hot, your choice
1 pound ground beef - I use 90% lean
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
Sunday, October 27, 2013
So I went into my copy of Rowan’s Lady to double check. Low and behold, there they were: errors that had, I can assure you, been fixed previously.
I believe I have figured out what happened. I had major technical issues when it came time to convert Rowan’s Lady from a word doc to the epub version. For some strange reason, I could not get the ‘comments’ sections (comments left by my beautiful editor) to go away. I ended up having to strip all of the formatting from the document then copy and paste it into a new document. I then had to reformat every single paragraph. Why it did not save the changes to begin with, I do not know. But something happened where it did not save the changes. Technology can sometimes be an unruly and ugly beast and taming it is sometimes next to impossible.
I have contacted my KDP liaison via email (it is Sunday night) and I have uploaded the corrected version. I have also made the decision to hire a professional formatter for all future books so that I don’t have a problem with conversion ever again. (It can take hours to convert the document, and sometimes I end up cussing like a drunken sailor!)
These errors are not the result of bad editing. I have a beautiful, talented editor and she does a phenomenal job.
I take full responsibility for not checking the document one final time before uploading. As I said before, I had made all the final changes and edits, but for whatever reason, the file got corrupted.
From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for the inconvenience. I never want to publish anything that has glaring errors. I want my readers to be able to read my stories without being distracted by typos or errors.
Hopefully, Amazon will be able to send you updated/error-free versions very soon.
Again, from the bottom of my heart, I am most humbly sorry!
PS: My KDP liaison just responded to my email! He said they will take care of everything tomorrow! :D
I thank you all, in advance, for being understanding. I'm told that I'm not the first author this has happened to. I won't make this mistake again, I promise.
I think you're all just beautiful and I appreciate each and every one of you.