Today’s #JusJoJan word prompt is donut courtesy of Linda G. Hill and Liz Husebye Hartmann. Donut, aka doughnut, lends itself readily to one of my hand-me-down family recipes that I referenced in my paranormal-lite western romance, The Gunfighter’s Woman, which is my take on the old cowboy song Ghostriders in the Sky. The excerpt follows the recipe.
Kaye’s Hand-Me-Down Family Recipe “Donut/Doughnuts”
Doughnuts c. 1880
1 tblsp lard, melted
⅓ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
*Enough lard for deep frying
1. In bowl, combine melted lard, sugar, & egg; blend until smooth
2. Add baking powder & salt; blend until smooth
3. Add milk & stir until mixed
4. Add flour; blend until smooth (will be thick)
5. Drop by large, heaping spoonfuls into hot lard
6. Fry until deep golden brown – turn as needed to brown on all sides
7. Remove from pan – drain on towel
8. Let cool for a few minutes
9. Dust with powdered sugar or roll in cinnamon & sugar or drizzle with frosting glaze while slightly warm
Excerpt (634 words) – “G” rating
“Hello, gentlemen. I never turn away an injured or hungry man. Help yourself to water and cool yourselves in the shade over there.” She waved toward the summer table. “But if your intentions are otherwise, I invite you to leave now in the same healthy condition as when you arrived.”
Matt smiled when she lifted the shotgun barrel a few inches to make her not-so-subtle point.
“Thank you, ma’am. I promise, we mean no ill toward you. I expect you’re Mrs. Gérard?”
“Yes. What is your business?”
“We just come through Trinidad headed to Laramie, and we offered to deliver these letters to you.” He reached inside his vest and brought out two letters. The cowboy dismounted, handed his reins to his partner, and walked to Brenna.
Matt crossed the yard, keeping close to the buildings, and though neither cowboy looked toward him, Matt knew from the glances they exchanged they were aware of his approach.
“Thank you. That was thoughtful, but also considerably out of your way.”
“Our pleasure, and we don’t mind.” The cowboy took a respectful step back. “To be honest, we could have been here yesterday, but we’d heard tell you make bear sign— doughnuts—on Sunday mornings, so we waited. And word got to us that the postmaster was looking for someone comin’ this way who would bring letters and…” The cowboy ducked his head, turning his hat in his hands like it was a wagon wheel rolling along.
Brenna smiled at his confession. “I do have doughnuts. They’re still warm. I’ll bring them to the table along with coffee and milk. Make yourselves at home.”
Matt recognized the men. “Akins. Myerson. Been a long time.”
Both men turned to him. Akins, the cowboy who’d done the talking asked, “Caddock? Matt Caddock? Well, I’ll be damned.” He shot a sheepish look toward Brenna. “Sorry, ma’am.” He held out his hand, and Matt shook it. “How did you end up here? Last we heard, you’d taken an arrow somewhere up in the high country. Also heard you hooked up with Archer.”
“You heard right on both, but I got shut of him.”
Akins pushed back the front of his hat, nodding. “I hear what you’re sayin’. He’s runnin’ a mean game. Story is, he blew a section of tracks down around Lamy for the payroll on the train. Waited until dark and wasn’t ridin’ a horse anyone recognized. Looks like he got away with it.”
Myerson added, “Watch your back trail. Couple of fellas in Trinidad said they’d heard Archer’d headed down toward Big Spring looking for you.” He dismounted and shook Matt’s hand.
“Thanks for the warning. He and his boys worked me over down in Maxwell a while back. I left them wishing they hadn’t.” “Well, now that you’re shut of him, best stay that way. Archer kills just for sport, and he likes the sound of big
“That, he does. Always made me nervous that he carried a couple of sticks of dynamite in his saddlebags, though I never was around when he used them. I’d appreciate you not mentioning you saw me here, or anywhere else.”
“That road runs both ways.” Matt nodded that he understood.
The men drank their fill of coffee and milk and, between them, ate a plate full of doughnuts before riding off with more doughnuts tied-up in an old tea towel. Matt waited until the riders were well away from the compound gates before speaking what was on his mind.
“Archer’s got fever for easy gold, and he won’t stop looking until he finds me.” He drew his gaze from the riders to look at Brenna. “I should leave. Now.”
Her chin came up, and her shoulders straightened. “Do what you feel you must.”
Damn her blue eyes.
Until next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time