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#4 Rendezvous With A Writer OutWest

February 14, 2021

#4 Rendezvous With A Writer OutWest

Welcome to this week's Rendezvous With A Writer OutWest featured book round-up. Find these books, and many more like them, on our separate book website We've curated book lists representing the complicated, compelling, and engaging culture, history and diversity of the American West. This week's book selections were posted on our OutWest Shop Facebook daily post February 14 - February 20, 2021. Discover titles about Arizona, Baking, Wine and more.

     Arizona State Flag
                                                Arizona State Flag
FEBRUARY 14 - “ARIZONA, THAT DREADED AND THEN UNKNOWN LAND, and the uncertain future was before me.” In 1874 young bride Martha Summerhayes knew nothing about the wild territory where she and her army officer husband would be stationed.

My sister recommended Summerhayes’ memoir, VANISHED ARIZONA, when I was looking for a book to mark ARIZONA STATEHOOD DAY - February 14, 1912. What a wonderful read! I felt like my best friend was recounting her adventures and sharing her confidences with me. Harsh travel conditions, the challenges of life on a remote army base, the perils of Apache attack, and the fight to raise a healthy baby - Mattie endures them all and finds herself accommodating to the frontier in ways that surprise her.
                        Vanished Arizona by Martha Summerhayes Book Cover
Louise Barnett in her introduction to VANISHED ARIZONA writes, “All of the adventures, hardships, disappointments, and upheavals endured by the gently brought up easterner are told with an honesty and forthrightness that have captivated generations of readers.”

"Women usually like to talk over their trials and their wonderful adventures, and that is why I am writing this, I suppose. Men simply will not talk about such things."   --- Martha (Mattie) Summerhayes

Make a friend of Martha Summerhayes, and check our Arizona Book List for other great reads.
---Post by Book Guide WENDY
                            Vanished Arizona by Martha Summerhayes Book Cover
I LOVE this book, and posted a second book cover, this one with an introduction by Dan L. Thrapp. When I first fell in love with the huge story of the WEST I was a sponge...and eager to put "flesh on the bones" of the dry dates and facts of it's history. As a docent touring the public through the galleries of the Autry Museum, it was wonderful to use Mattie's experiences to bring the West to life. The retelling of her story - the climate, people, food, joys and disappointments, life on a military fort with excursions into the countryside are fascinating. You'll fall in love with everywhere she traveled and lived...with Arizona, California, Nevada...and with Martha Summerhayes.

Whenever we visit Arizona we enjoy seeing Saguaro Cactus, Hummingbirds, and hearing Coyotes. The handmade metal Ann Clark Cookie Cutters bring the southwest home! Click each for details!
Ann Clark Cookie Cutter Howling Coyote With Recipe CardAnne Clark Cookie Cutter Saguaro Cactus with Recipe CardAnn Clark Cookie Cutter Hummingbird with Recipe Card
A note about the Flag of Arizona - the 13 sun rays of red and yellow honor Arizona's picturesque landscape, center star represents it's rich copper deposits, the shades of red and blue are the same as in the USA flag. This flag design was adopted February 17, 1917. Arizona was admitted to the United States as the 48th state on February 14, 1912. 
---Post by Book Guide and Arm Chair Time Traveler - Bobbi Jean
Apple Cookie Jar
  Apple Cookie Jar...Where All Cookies Lived...For A Short Time

FEBRUARY 15 ... HAVE YOU BEEN THROUGH THE GUMDROP MOUNTAINS? Say “Yes” - if you’ve ever played Candy Land! Today is NATIONAL GUMDROP DAY! Bobbi Jean and I started reminiscing. Our mother made the best Gumdrop Cookies. Sweet with gumdrops and coconut, they were a rare treat. They were stored in this apple cookie jar (though not for long!). Here's our Mom's recipe from my stash of family favorites.
Gumdrop Recipe Side 1  Gumdrop Recipe Side 2
Open that old recipe box of yours! It’s somewhere in the kitchen. (Mine wasn’t where I expected it to be!) If you find a favorite cookie recipe, share it with us by entering it in our “BAKING WITH LOVE CONTEST”. You still have time; the contest runs through February 20. Click the video link for easy entry instructions,
Find more delightful baking cookbooks browse our Cooking, Grilling and Baking Book List.  
-----Post By Book Guide WENDY

         Polish Dessert Book Cover
FEBRUARY 16...PACZKI DAY! You may call it MARDI GRAS, PANCAKE DAY, OR FAT TUESDAY, but in Chicagoland we’re all about the paczki (PONCH-kee), traditional Polish doughnuts filled with jelly or cream that, for many, are the last sweet indulgence before Lent. Everyone has a favorite flavor - and knows THE best bakery to order from.

Just look at the cover of POLISH CLASSIC DESSERTS! Don’t you wish could grab one of those paczki to have with your coffee? Laura and Peter Zeranski serve up a feast of delicious treats including babkas, cookies, tortes, and sweet pierogi.         
                        Tasting Colorado Cookbook
TASTING COLORADO offers much more than pancakes. But who could resist the Cowboy Corn Cakes on the jacket? A mouth-watering photograph accompanies each recipe, all of which come from Colorado restaurants, inns, and resorts. Recipes were tested at high altitude, a bonus if you live above 5,000 feet.

                         The Runaway Beignet Bookcover
Beignets, as well as King Cake, are Mardi Gras staples. A little magical sugar brings THE RUNAWAY BEIGNET to life. Through the streets of New Orleans the “beignet boy” is chased by musicians and artists - and the baker who wished him into being. After an exciting and exhausting day, beignet and baker are happily reunited. 
---Post by Book Guide WENDY

FEBRUARY 18...C IS FOR COCKTAIL COOKIE, a tasty morsel to nibble on while sipping a glass of wine. “The taste is slightly sweet, definitely salty and just a touch rich...” is Dorie Greenspan’s description of her Sesame-Sea Salt Cookies.
                           Dorie's Cookies Book Cover
There are twenty-five recipes in DORIE’S COOKIES to accompany wines and beers. Any of them would be perfect for NATIONAL DRINK WINE DAY, which we celebrate today. Goat Cheese and Chive Cookies, Triscuity Bites (made with cream cheese dough), and Cranberry Five-Spice Cookies sound delicious and look good, too; every cookie in the book is photographed. 

The rest of Dorie Greenspan’s book is fabulous. I want to bake my way through it from start to finish. Brownies and bars, everyday treats, and cookies for celebrations and holidays are included. The Cookie Go-alongs and Basics chapter includes curds, glazes, fillings, frostings, and ice cream. You will be convinced to try making your own marshmallow! As Greenspan writes in her introduction, “Whatever I work on, I want it to make me stretch. I want to learn new things and I want to be able to pass them along to you.” She kept her promise!

There is still time to enter your favorite cookie recipe in the BAKING WITH LOVE CONTEST. Check out this video for full details. 
For a selection of books about wine and Western vineyards see our NOW FEATURING LIST. 
Wine is bottled poetry. ---Robert Lewis Stevenson
Wine is meant to be with food - that's the point of it.  ---Julia Child
---Post by Book Guide WENDY

                        Pie School Book Cover 
February 20 ... “CAN SHE BAKE A CHERRY PIE, BILLY BOY, BILLY BOY?” “What? She’s writing about pie again,” you protest. Well, February is National Cherry Month and today is National Cherry Pie Day. In the summer Michigan growers bring their tart cherries to our farm markets - perfect for pie. So why do we celebrate cherries in the winter? - Hmmmm. George Washington, perhaps?

For Presidents Day the bakery-cafe where my husband and I worked years ago made a batch of individual sour cherry / cream cheese tartlets. They looked like luscious jewels, but would anyone come in to buy them? Mondays in that college town were so quiet that I was the only person scheduled to work the bakery counter and the cafe that day.

Wouldn’t you know, the cafe filled up with students ordering bakery items and coffees! The tartlets were a success. I couldn’t keep up with the counter or the diners. Tables piled up with dishes while I refilled coffees. In tears I called my husband, who rescued me by coming in and bussing tables. My hero!

The four cherry pies in Kate Lebo’s PIE SCHOOL include a lattice-topped classic. Whiskey, apricots, apples and cardamom enhance the others. Don’t wait until summer to bake one; sour cherries are available now in the freezer case. Be your family’s hero today.
----Post by Book Guide WENDY

Disclosure: OutWest Shop is an affiliate of and earns a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

                          Rendezvous With A Writer OutWest 
Who are we to be your guides? We are two sisters who grew up in a family that valued reading and encouraged an interest in history and the arts. Wendy spent her career with books. She worked as a children's librarian and as the buyer and manager of the children's department of an independent bookstore. A college major in literature introduced her to the classics of the American West.

Bobbi Jean and her husband, Jim, own OutWest Shop. She was the manager and buyer for a museum store before they started their own business. Bobbi Jean co-hosts The Writer's Block on LA Talk Radio, where she interviews authors of all types. The three other radio shows she hosts involve Western music and horses. Find podcasts of all her shows at OutWest Live!

We love sharing our book knowledge. You are not limited to the titles you find on our lists, though. Use the search box to rustle up any books that you want, and put them in your OutWest Book Shop cart!

Happy Reading! Remember, it's always a Great Day OutWest!

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                       Image Courtesy of
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