Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cabin Fever

By Monica Albertson
From Peg Cochran’s Cranberry Cove Series

It’s been snowing all week here on Sassamanash Farm—lazy flakes drifting past the windows that soon intensified into a swirling storm that made it difficult to see across the street.  The cranberry bogs, which will be bright red spots of color in the fall, are covered in ice with a dusting of sand on top that will sift onto the plants as the ice melts in the spring.

Fortunately Greg and I are as snug as a bug in a rug to quote an expression my grandmother Albertson always used.  It paints quite the picture, doesn’t it?  Which is fortunate because the snow is piled against the door and it’s impossible to go out.  A fire is crackling in the hearth and my cat Mittens is curled up in front of it carefully grooming herself from head to toe.

I’m afraid cabin fever is beginning to set in.  I’ve straightened our little cottage, run the vacuum, polished the silver, finished my book and but still feel antsy to do something else.  A freshly baked loaf of crusty bread is sitting on the counter filling the house with a delicious warm yeasty smell and I’ve already whipped up a dozen cranberry scones.

But I’m still not ready to retreat to my armchair with a new book.   I open my laptop and begin scrolling through some emails including one from a recipe site that I subscribe to.  Today’s topic is a long article on making sourdough starter.  I read through the ingredients and mentally tick them off in my mind.  I begin to wonder about creating a cranberry sourdough bread for the farm store? 

I’ve created a number of products since I’ve been here helping my brother Jeff—cranberry salsa, cranberry walnut chocolate chip cookies—perhaps it’s time to try something new?

I set about making the starter—all you need is flour and water.  Over time the mixture will pull yeast and bacteria from the air and create a leavening agent that will make your baked products rise. It needs to be “fed” everyday much like a pet.  I am starting to go a bit stir crazy and actually contemplate giving it a name!

What are you doing to ward off cabin fever?

Out Now!

The dead of winter takes on a whole new meaning in the new Cranberry Cove Mystery from USA Today bestselling author Peg Cochran!

On a night of heavy snow and bitter cold, newlyweds Monica and Greg are comfortably nestled before a warm fire when they’re roused by a late-night knock at the door. Surprised to find a troubled and confused woman on the doorstep, Monica is even more shocked when the woman vacantly utters that someone is trying to kill her. Sensing distress but not danger, Monica decides to help this mysterious woman, but her clouded recollections yield little—until she dredges up memories of her sister and a nearby home, where they find the woman’s sister, dead.

Unable to deny her own curiosity or the woman’s request for help, Monica begins digging into the suspicious death, only to discover a murky family history of valuable land, a bullying brother, an unscrupulous real estate developer, and endless rumors of good deeds met with bad blood. And when the trail of the killer begins to turn cold, Monica realizes that while the family wants to bury their sister, someone is out to bury the clues—and if Monica’s not careful, to bury her as well . . .

Includes tasty recipes!

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