Interlude Press Web Store: store.interludepress.com
Apple iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bitter-springs/id1046777460?mt=11
Meet the author:
Laura Stone is a born and bred Texan, but don't hold that against her. She's a former comedian, actress and Master Gardener, and currently keeps busy as a media blogger, ghostwriter and novelist when not busy raising her three children. They're not fully raised, but then, neither is she.
She lives in Texas as proof that it's not completely populated by hard-line right-wingers. And because that's where the good tamales are. Her first novel, The Bones of You, was published by Interlude Press in 2014 and was named a finalist for two Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Award. Laura Stone at Laura-Stone.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/9LauraStone
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing LAURA STONE author of BITTER SPRINGS. Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
Oh, it's my pleasure, and thank you for having me! I'm a single mother of three, and I have to say, I feel pretty successful about getting two of them in college, and the third enjoying beets. I'm not above employing cheese to get kids to like vegetables. (Boursin crumbled over the top after pan-frying sliced beets in some balsamic vinegar and olive oil.)
Open up your recipe box! Give us something that would thrill us.
The first thing you need to know about me is that I take food seriously, and that I consider Mexican and Tex-Mex the food of my people. I am known for my tamales, and New Year's is a big deal in my house. New Year's Eve is when you cook the wild pork all day long in all the seasonings and spices until it's falling off the bone and flavorful. New Year's Day is when everyone comes over with margarita fixings to wrap, steam, and eat, and we still end up with about 20 dozen tamales to share. You don't get to take any home if you don’t pitch in, though!
My tamale recipe is a family secret, but I can tell you what makes the most amazing refried beans. Oh, goodness, I'm getting hungry just thinking about them. First, cook your beans in seasoned liquid until they're fork-tender. (I usually put in a quartered onion, a bay leaf, some cumin, and a chipotle pepper with enough water to cover by an inch.) Put that on the back burner and grab your big ol' skillet. Cast iron is best, but goodness knows they're a pain in the neck to work with at times, so get what works for you. Now, about those beans: don't drain the liquid, just leave the whole kit-n-kaboodle off to the side.
You can make them vegetarian by using some splashes of the liquid you cooked the beans in and a little canola oil instead of lard or what have you, but that makes me sad. The secret to un-freaking-believable refried beans is bacon. Bacon fat, specifically. Salt pork is also great. You want about two tablespoons for every four cups of cooked pinto beans. Two slices of bacon is two tablespoons, typically, but you'll want to check that for whatever you're using.
Heat the fat in your skillet and ladle your cooked beans straight out of the water into the fat. Be careful of spatters, because you're adding liquid to hot fat! Get your potato masher and start mashing. Check your seasonings—cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, a secret ingredient I won't divulge, so I guess you'll just have to come over on and let me feed you—and keep mashing until they're light and fluffy and bubbling. If you need to add some of the bean cooking liquid so it doesn't look like Play-doh, then add it splash by splash to keep them nice and fluffy and delicious. You want them the consistency of mashed potatoes, not modeling clay.
Last, smack your teenage son's shoulder when he reaches past you with a tortilla chip to scoop the beans out while you're cooking, and then you're all done!
I personally prefer to scoop this into a bowl, top with cheese and jalapeño slices and eat it right then and there. So good!
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26223113-bitter-springs
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Collen M. Good
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Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press Gift Card, First Prize: One of five e-copies of 'Bitter Springs' a Rafflecopter giveaway