Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Memory Bytes today at the Book Boost with Guest Blogger: Shannon Kennedy

Chat with Author Shannon Kennedy 
today at the Book Boost!


I grew up on a pony farm in Silver Lake, a community just outside of Everett, Washington. I say, “grew up” although we didn’t actually move to the farm until I was seven years old. I received my first pony, Star, as an Easter present that year. And I learned everything the hard way, i.e. how to feed carrots, how to avoid being kicked, how ponies see–and no, they don’t like mud puddles. Got that lesson by being bucked off into one and walking home looking like the Loch Ness Mud Monster–Star made it to the barn before I did.

Horses come in all shapes and sizes, especially at the family riding stable. It’s grown over the years and my mother and I are the only ones who work here now. And for me, writing has always provided an escape from every day responsibilities. While I didn’t know that it would take years before I sold my first romance, I wasn’t going to give up on the genre.  Now, I write mainstream western romance as Josie Malone. I write realistic young adult fiction under what the kids at the barn call, my real name, Shannon Kennedy The horse knowledge comes from what I learned on the family farm and now I create heroes who help my heroines save the day.  And yes, sometimes the baggage from fifty years of living plays a big part in my stories.

In the first western romance I did for BookStrand, A Man’s World, everybody raves about Missus Sims’ doughnuts or “bear sign”–yes, sign means what you think it does– “poop,” and Ma Sims as everyone calls her always takes offense at the description. The recipe I had for the doughnuts comes from the 1908 edition of the Fannie Farmer’s cookbook. It was the one my grandmother used and I always got to dump powdered sugar into a brown paper sack and put in the hot doughnuts and shake, shake, shake until the fresh doughnuts were covered with sugar.

And of course, then we got to eat them–my grandfather swore that he always needed a fresh pot of coffee to go with them or it didn’t count. He liked it when we made coffee in the tin camping coffee pot, but Grandma said the electric percolator was just fine. And since it was “her” kitchen, that’s the way things were. If you decide to go with Grand-dad’s coffee, let it perk in the pot until it’s a dark brown–then you can dip the doughnuts.

OLD-FASHIONED DOUGHNUTS

Easier to make and more cakelike than yeast-leavened doughnuts, these doughnuts have a fine, creamy crumb. The temperature of the cooking oil is crucial, so use a frying (candy) thermometer.
  • ½  cup milk    
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ½  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups white flour, approximately
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder    
  • Vegetable shortening or oil for frying
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg    
  • Confectioners' or powdered sugar
  • ½  teaspoon salt, for dusting
  • 1 egg, beaten

Mix the milk, granulated sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, egg, and butter in a large bowl. Add the flour gradually, using just enough so that the dough is firm enough to handle yet as soft as possible. Cover the dough and chill for about one hour. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few minutes. Roll out about a ½ inch thick. 

Cut with a doughnut cutter or sharp knife into 3-inch rounds, cutting out and saving the centers (which can also be fried). Place on a lightly floured piece of wax paper and let rest for about 5 minutes. Using a heavy pan and a thermometer, heat about 4 inches of shortening or oil to 360°F. Fry three or four doughnuts at a time, turning them with a fork or tongs when one side is browned and continuing to fry until brown all over. 

Drain on paper towels and dust with sugar.

Anyway, I love these doughnuts although I haven’t made them for a-while. Maybe, I need to put them in my next young adult novel. Throw Away Teen, the first one in my Stewart Falls Cheerleader series came out from Black Opal Books in December 2012. The second one, Asking For It is due out June 1st.  This series is about a cheer squad at a private high school in western Washington, because “Sometimes, you have to be your own cheerleader.”

Asking For It is about dating violence. The flyer of the squad, Sarah Flynn thinks she’s found the boy of her dreams, only to discover she’s living in a nightmare. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t seem to please him.  When she disagrees with him, it grows harder and harder to explain her constant injuries. Will she even survive to Homecoming, much less the end of football season?  Can she get out of this relationship alive?


Want More Shannon?

 Visit her on the web here: www.shannonkennedybooks.com

Don't forget to pick up a copy of her latest on June 1st!

4 comments:

Alexis Morgan said...

Congratulations on all of your releases! And I love the story about your first pony. :-D

Jacquie Rogers said...

You have me salivating! My mom used to make cake doughnuts and they were so yummy. Gotta wonder if it's the same recipe.

I'm glad you kept at the writing gig. :) Best of luck with all your books, either name!

Rachel said...

Oh yum! I got to learn a little more about you AND get a great recipe! I'm glad to see your newest book cover...and there's that adorable little puppy of yours! :) Congrats on your book release and may there be many more!

Karen Muir said...

A fun blog Shannon. I printed out your Old Fashioned Doughnuts recipe. Your teen series books look cool. You're writing what you know.