Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, DENISE DOMNING and her favorite recipe for Homemade Mayonnaise!
The Seasons Series Book 1
BY DENISE DOMNING
One commanding woman raised by nuns to expect a powerful life. One bitter lord in need of a heir but not a wife. Forced into a marriage neither wants, spark flies.
Rowena of Benfield’s hopes for a life as a powerful churchwoman are dashed when her father steals her from her nunnery. Embittered by his second wife’s betrayal, Rannulf of Graistan wants nothing from the new woman in his bed except an heir. But a tide of treachery is rising and their only hope is to trust, to cherish and to love unconditionally.
Through the hall door came a man bearing a large basket. Wafting along with him was the yeasty smell of his freshly baked wares, while the scent of meat roasting in the cooking shed followed on his heels. Others moved around the tables filling cups with wine for the better folk, while ale sufficed for the rest. At the hall’s end, a musician tuned his instrument while he awaited his meal. The discordant and melancholy harmony wove itself into the newborn gaiety in the hall.
Rowena winced. For all of what remained of her life, she’d preside over a hall similar to this one. Each day she would give the same orders to her maids and hear from them the same reports. If she was fortunate and her husband allowed, she might attend a fair or market in a nearby city or town from time to time. But most likely her home would become her prison. Such was the fate of one who would have been, could have been, a powerful and influential churchwoman.
From the moment they dipped their hands into the basin at the onset of the meal, Rowena couldn’t escape her new lord’s courtly attentions. Too sensitive to the mockery beneath his manner to be flattered, she wondered if his attitude was naught but a ruse to forestall any personal inquiry she might make.
As the none-too-lavish meal ended, the jugglers moved away from the open space left in the center of the room and the musicians took their places. Although they were louder than they were competent, their raucous and gay tunes helped her wean her thoughts away from the man next to her. Later, she lost herself completely in the playacting of the mummers who followed the musicians.
“Do you never speak unless spoken to?” Lord Graistan’s quiet words were barely audible over the noise in the hall.
She tossed a sidelong glance at him. Whatever slight peace she’d enjoyed since the meal’s end dissipated. “I admit to no knowledge of what’s expected of wives. Nonetheless, I’ve always owned the impression that men prefer silent women.”
“You seek only to please me? My lady, you flatter me.”
Rowena sipped her wine to give her time to craft her answer with care. “Odd, but I’d not have taken you as a man so easily flattered.”
Lord Graistan raised a cautious eyebrow. “So, you’ve had the time to judge me better, have you? And how, now, do you feel about our marriage?”
Rowena sighed and set her cup down. What on earth did he expect her to say? “You must content yourself in knowing I’ve only some impressions. Please take no disrespect, but if you find me wary it’s because I am cautious by nature.”
“Wary of me? There are those who’d laugh at that.” He suddenly seemed to withdraw once again into himself, and he turned away.
After a moment, Rowena let her attention return to the actors. Thus, she was startled when a moment later he said, his lips very near her ear, “I assure you, you aren’t at all what I expected. You are an attractive woman.”
Rowena shifted on the bench to look at him. His eyes were soft as he watched her. A strange uneasiness came to life in her stomach.
“I wasn’t taught to think of myself in that way,” she murmured in response to his compliment.
Her husband’s arm encircled her waist, then he pulled her nearer to him on their bench. Before she could protest his lips touched hers. She gasped lightly at the shock of flesh on flesh. His mouth moved just a bit, but it was enough to send a tremor down her spine. Her breath caught.
In an oddly intimate caress, his hand slid up her arm along the closely fitted sleeve of her undergown. Deep in her soul a flame burst into being, awakening life where before there had been nothing. He plied her lips with light, taunting kisses, his fingers drawing small circles in the bend of her elbow. Tiny shivers tingled up her arm.
His mouth brushed her ear. “Did I not tell you they wished us to behave as lovers do?” he whispered.
“What?” Rowena’s mouth barely moved as she spoke. In the blazing warmth his touch awakened, she could find no sense in his words.
“Listen.” He kissed her earlobe, then released her from his embrace.
The hall rocked with cheers. Even the mummers were amused. They began an obscene pantomime of the night’s expected conclusion.
Rowena’s eyes narrowed, her face an icy mask of disdain. “It amuses you to humiliate me. Have you finished or might I expect to fall into other traps before this evening is done? Ah, but then,” she smiled coldly, “it would ruin your pleasure if you were to warn me.”
“Humiliate?” Her husband’s face was devoid of expression. “Not humiliate. I cannot help that I’m tempted beyond propriety by your loveliness.”
The corner of Rowena’s mouth tightened. “Such a glib tongue for one who earlier did all that he could to avoid this wedding. I daresay I should be flattered. Should I believe that you have suddenly discovered that I’m your one true love?” She shot him a mocking smile. “If that’s your claim, then know your words cannot own even the flavor of truth in them.”
“Your tongue cuts me to the quick,” Lord Graistan said with a smile, not in the least wounded.
“Aye, my tongue can be sharp. This you would have known if you’d more closely examined this piece of merchandise before you purchased it, my lord.” She kept the same mocking tone.
His smile didn’t falter. If anything new amusement flared in his gaze. “Wife, you set yourself before me like a keep with its defenses up and its gate barred. I’m dared to lay siege to you. Have a care. You’re too innocent in the ways of this sort of warfare. I’ll reduce your walls to rubble.”
Rowena frowned. He was laughing at her. She started to speak, but he pressed a gentle finger to her lips and smiled a lazy, confident smile.
“Winter nights are long and cold.” He traced his finger down her cheek to follow the curve of her throat, then let his hand slide down her arm to rest atop her hand. “I’ll welcome you with open arms to my bed.”
He beckoned a nearby servant. “Inform your master,” he paused, his gaze going to his father-in-law. Benfield’s master spewed drunken curses at a servant too slow in refilling his cup. “Nay, inform Lady Benfield that her daughter is ready to retire.”
With that Lord Graistan turned back to his wife. “I think it’s time for me to closely, indeed very closely, examine the goods I’ve purchased this day.”
When I’m not writing, my life revolves around my little farm-eight acres of slowly improving red earth (it originally looked like Mars had exploded!) on Oak Creek in northern Arizona. I started with chickens, then there were turkeys and Jersey milk cows. A few years ago, I exchanged Jersey cows for Dorper Sheep, a South African breed that doesn’t need to be sheared and gains all their weight on grass alone (however, they prefer pig food), after an acquaintance informed me that they are “stupid simple” to raise. Stupid simple I can do! Then I fell in love with pigs. Oh, how they make me laugh!
But with livestock came the predators: coyotes, bald eagles, golden eagles, black hawks, mountain lions, and, worst of all, raccoons. Dang those nasty creatures! They kill just because they can; think dogs with opposable thumbs. (Five chickens in one night-they reached in through the chain link and killed the birds with no expectation of being able to eat them.) They are the reason I have livestock guardian dogs. I lost my beloved Moosie (an Akita/Sharpei mix) last year. Bear (a Hungarian Kuvasz) is now training his new partner, Radha, an Anatolian Shepherd, and she has her own chew toy, Rupert, a terrier mutt. Oh my goodness but they’re busy!
You can follow my farm antics at denisedomning.com
Links to Denise’s website, blog, books, etc.:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Denise is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 504 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
NOTE FROM DENISE: (This recipe is my own) For everyone who loves mayonnaise but hates the idea of purchased mayonnaise has enough preservatives in it to sit in the refrigerator for months, this is the best homemade mayonnaise ever. You’ll need a food processor or a strong arm if you’re using a whisk. Do not use any oil that come from a genetically modified seed because it won’t thicken. Makes about a cup and a half of mayonnaise.
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp of your favorite prepared mustard
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 cup sunflower oil (or good olive oil if you like that taste)
Place the egg, salt, mustard, apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of oil into the bowl of your food processor. Turn on the blade and slowly drizzle the remaining oil into the bowl until all has been incorporated. Scrape your mayonnaise into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. It will keep up to a month, but it never lasts that long.
Thanks, Denise, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!