November 29, 2015

Peeper's Fruit Elixir-Fixer Recipe & Goodbye Lie Excerpt

If you know Peeper, the grandmother in my Goodbye Lie series, who adopted the Dunnigan family living on Amelia Island, Florida in the late 1880s, you know she has a remedy for just about anything.  She calls them her elixir-fixers.  With her permission, of course, she proudly lets me share another of her recipes with readers of her stories. (Peeper likes to call The Goodbye Lie series HER stories because without her, she points out, "There'd be nothin' but lots a mystery and romancin'.  If it tweren't fer me, and my special way of worryin' Aunt Noreen like I do with my neddlin', well how else would ya be gettin' folks ta laugh whilst they's areadin' all them words ya wrote, Jane Marie?")  

Peeper's Peach Elixer-Fixer
  (Again, with Peeper's permission, I have changed the sugar to natural sweetener, her fresh fruit to frozen, if fresh is not available, and, for easier measuring, her chopped ice to ice cubes. -jmm)

You'll need:
1 cup peeled peaches, blue berries, strawberries or raspberries
7 ice cubes
1 cup all natural non-fat strained plain yogurt (Fage brand)
1/2 cup water
3-4 packets of Truvia natural sweetener, to taste

Beat in blender until smooth.  Makes 3 cups. This makes a meal in itself or a great snack, too. (If you don't like yogurt, fear not.  The natural Truvia sweetens it up so you won't know you're drinking anything healthy.  The kids won't know either.  Or your mate, for that matter!)

The Goodbe Lie- an excerpt

     "Grammy? Peeper? It's me. You both all right?" Breelan called out as she pulled open the screen door that formerly possessed wooden scrollwork in diagonal corners. Now, it sagged on its hinges, plain and broken.
     Grammy was hastily drying the tears on her cheeks, and Peeper was sprinkling wood ash on the bristles of her toothbrush.
     "How often do I have to tell you, Peeper?" scolded Grammy, "If you don't stop brushing your teeth every time you get nervous, you'll polish the enamel clear off of them."
     "Quit pesterin' me. I don't get nervous and a girl's teeth can never be too white," the old woman responded, unconsciously forgetting she was up in years. Turning to Breelan, Peeper answered, "Yes, child. We're fine. We're just a little tuckered is all, except for this big toe a mine. It's all swole-up like a poison pup." Setting aside the dentifrice, she said, "Think I'll be a needin' one a my elixir-fixers afore long. Gram, I know we got plenty a borax and bran for a foot soak, but did I see ya use up the last of the iodine?"
     "You know well and good I did. I poured it across that scratch you got from the chicken wire. Although it wasn't much of a scratch," Grammy explained to Breelan, "Peeper insisted I use all that was left in the bottle. If she'd have let Clover mend the cage when he wanted to, she wouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place." Turning back to Peeper, "And you can't remember anything from one minute to the next. You'll be asking me what your name is any second."
     Breelan watched Peeper reach for her clay pipe as she pulled one knee toward her ample chest to caress her aching appendage. It amazed the girl that a person of seventy-two years was capable of such physical agility. Peeper was the family's resident character, a true hypochondriac enjoying some fifty years of bad health.   
     "I forgit sometimes and so do you," Peep defended. "Just the little things. I remember what's important. Don't be telling me I don't."
     Breelan ran to Peeper, encircling as much of the dear woman's large girth as she could reach in a hearty hug.
     Breaking away, she crossed the small kitchen to embrace her grandmother. "You okay, too, Grammy?"
     "Yes, dear. I'm too tough to let a little old twister get me down."
     Breelan knew her grandmother well though, and realized this last episode had scared the pea waddin' out of her. "Everyone's fine up at the big house."
     "Praise the Lord and amen," prayed Peeper.
    "Daddy has a cut to his forehead," continued Breelan. Alarm tensed the elderly faces and she wished she'd said nothing about it. "But Mama's tending him and he'll be fine."
     "All the same, I best be for goin' up and aiding your ma," insisted Peeper. "My treatments is knowed for miles, ain't they, Bree?"
     Peeper unfolded herself and waddled over to the animal regally perched on the second shelf beside the store of canned tomatoes. Monstrose, the playfully malevolent, no-tailed marmalade cat was grooming himself in a most undignified position. Teetering on her good foot, Peep picked him up cautiously, since it was not his idea, and carried him to Grammy for petting.
     "It's nigh onto dark now, Bree, so wait 'till tomorra ta run over to your cousin's," Peeper told her. "If'n their place is a shambles, won't do no good ya seeing it tonight. All I can say is that it's a good thing your Aunt Noreen and the family is out a town in Savannah or else we'd be alistenin' to her wailin' all night long. I could turn a deaf ear ta her silly sufferin', but I don’t like it none when somethin' worries your Uncle Clabe and the children. He's a good man. Smart, too. I even like that handyman, Joey, he hired last winter. Joey don't take no guff off'n your aunt. Heck, he'll have their place back in shape afore ya know it. Anyhow, go check on our animals and help Clover if'n he needs it."
     "And invite that sod-soaked fellow waiting outside to supper," Grammy suggested. "He looks as if he could do with some of your mother's cooking."  
     At Breelan's hesitation, Peeper urged, "Go on. Do as we're atellin' ya. I'll look after Grammy. We'll be up ta the big house shortly."
     "The devil you say!" Grammy fired back. "No one need watch over me. Why, the way you two hover, you'd think I was some wild phlox and you were a couple of humming birds. Now git, Bree! And get out of those wet clothes quick as you can or Peeper'll be spreading one of her fiery mustard plasters on you, and then you'll know it!" counseled Grammy. 
     Monstrose let lose a soft suffer-sound, not appreciating a second disturbance when Grammy stood up and he landed on the floor. Grammy went to the unbroken front window, lifting it for air. When the sash slammed down, she fetched a wooden spoon to prop it up.
     "Make room for me, too, old lady," whined Peeper as she elbowed her way beside Grammy. Then two curious faces peered out of the opening after Breelan and Breelan's companion.

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