Monday, January 27, 2014

How to Survive a Montana Winter

by Erin Murphy, from the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, by Leslie Budewitz

In the middle of winter, I am thinking of summer. I love winter—cross country skiing, cocoa by the fireplace, snowshoeing, Mexican coffee by the fireplace, eagle watching on the nature trail, hot buttered rum by the distillery fireplace.

Well, you get the idea.

Really, it is beautiful. Outside the French doors of my cabin is a beautiful clump birch and in the morning, when I sit with my coffee, it seems to emerge from the shadows and dance with joy when the light strikes it.

Okay, it’s winter. Indulge me a flight of fancy now and then, and I’ll make that Mexican coffee for you.

Mexican Coffee 

For each drink:
½ ounce tequila
½ ounce kahlua
1 cup hot, strong brewed coffee
1/4 to 1/3 vanilla ice cream
dash of cinnamon, optional

Set out the ice cream. You want it partially melted.

Make the coffee. (How much you’ll need depends on the size of your serving cup. Use clear glass if you can, for presentation.)

Combine the tequila and kahlua in the serving cup. Pour in the coffee, add the ice cream, and dash of cinnamon. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite part of winter? (And don’t tell me “It ends.”)

Death al Dente is the first in the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries, published by Berkley Prime Crime in August 2013. The series is set in a small, lakeside resort community in Northwest Montana, on the road to Glacier Park. Guess where my author, Leslie Budewitz, lives! Watch for Crime Rib, coming in July 2014.

Leslie is also a lawyer and won the 2011 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction for Books, Crooks & Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law & Courtroom Procedure (Quill Driver Books). Visit her at or


  1. I love the colors of winter, especially on the ice on Lake Erie around sunrise and sunset, not that we've had much sun in Threadville recently... I'd talk longer, but I need to shovel the walks before the day's customers start arriving at In Stitches. I'd better learn to knit mittens. These are wearing out!

  2. I love the snow and how it makes things so white and quiet! And walking outside in the wind and snow. And coming inside to warm up and be so cozy and what else do you have to do but read a few books when it is so cold out! Now summer I can live without...

  3. Love the bright, sunny days. Of course, down here in Ashton Corners, AL we don't have all that snow to contend with but I'd guess it's still okay to have a Mexican coffee. :)

  4. Oh my, Lizzie, yes! Mexican coffee is always in good taste! Elaine, love that quiet hush, and of course, the books! We have the most glorious summers here -- you must come visit! Willow, my author tried to knit mittens once. The thumb came out the palm, and she hasn't knit a thing since! (Of course, she was 10 at the time.)

    1. I would most likely like summer a lot more if I were in Jewel Bay! I will have to visit sometime! (Maybe one of our kids could move there so my husband would be more willing to go there.)

  5. These days I don't do it, but making snowmen and snow angels with the kids were great times. Before central heating, when Jack Frost left beautiful filigree patterns on the windows was lovely.

  6. I rarely drink (and 1/2 oz of tequila would likely kill me, lol) but I am so making this for my besties on our next Girl's Weekend. They will love it!

  7. Ah, central heating. One of the great modern inventions! Funny you mention Jack Frost, Nancy -- he plays quite a role in the 3d Food Lovers' Village mystery, now in progress!

  8. Tara, you can cut the alcohol and still get the great flavors. Have fun with the besties!

  9. I'm not fond of winter. Hate the cold! But if forced to think of some thing I like about winter. I would say it would be the first snowfall when we just get snow and no wind or blizzard conditions. I like the snow, when I don't have to go to work and if I have to go to work, I'd prefer for it to be a raging blizzard and there is no option but to stay home. I don't have to TRY to go to work.

  10. Is there anyone who doesn't love a snow day?! With central heat and piles of books, of course! Thanks for the reminder, Dianne!

  11. I love a cozy fireplace and getting a "chance of snow" in our southwest Georgia weather forecast! :) I can't wait to try this recipe! I love coffee anytime , but especially on a cold winter day.

  12. Sharon, a fireplace makes all the difference, doesn't it? My author just returned from a week in Charlotte, NC -- almost as cold there as in Montana! But the lack of snow and ice made it walkable, and she really appreciated that!