Please welcome Jacqueline Hopkins to the Cafe!
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This is a little story of how my mother’s chili recipe I’ve called Wilderness Chili ended up in my romance, Wilderness Heart.
I grew up in Idaho since the age of five along the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. My parents loved to go camping, which we did almost every weekend while growing up and it was not always to the same place—it was a different state, a different campground, a different national park, a different country.
Around 1974, I think, my parents got into snowmobiling. Let me tell you they are fun to drive and ride. They are also fun to race. We would drive three hours to Red River Ranger Station (a real place I named in the book) where we parked our vehicle, loaded all the gear, food, and clothes onto sleds and rode about 16 miles to Dixie, Idaho. The kids either rode bundled up in snow suits on a sled or on the back of a snowmobile. There were usually several families going, so we might end up on the back of a sled of my parent’s friends.
My parents ended up buying some land and building a cabin a mile past Dixie town. In the summer, we could drive all the way to the cabin. Eventually, they plowed the roads all the way to Dixie in the winter; but we still had to snowmobile a mile to the cabin.
The drive from Lewiston, Idaho to Dixie is about 3.5 hours and has some beautiful scenery along the rivers. There is particular bridge across one of the rivers that is wide enough to take horses across and then a trail leading up the mountain to who knows where. I always wanted to take the hike, but never did, but it got me started on my book idea. This area was where I have Lyn meet Nic for the first time.
I also had a female friend who was a hunting guide during the 1970s; the time I have Wilderness Heart set. An incident that happened to her while out guiding was one she said I could use in the book, so the book is partially based on a true story about her.
After I got married for the first time, the man I married was an ex-career Navy man who used to smoke and cuss, and they were big conflicts within our marriage because I smoked back then and I ‘cussed like a sailor’, besides the fact he was a control freak. So even though my marriage to that man didn’t work out, I wanted my hero and heroine to have a happily-ever-after ending so I gave them one we all wish for.
Do I like to cook? Not really!
I hate to plan menus. I’d rather someone cook for me, and of course, clean up their mess when they do. So if you have read Wilderness Heart, you might ask how I combined my mother’s chili recipe with writing a romance, and how the recipe made it into the book.
Mom’s chili was what we ate on our snowmobile rides all over kingdom come of Idaho and it was very tasty and warmed you right up. If she put a lot of Cayenne pepper in it, you couldn’t eat too much. If there were other families riding with us and they ate the chili, someone would always ask, “Why doesn’t the chili have beans in it?”
My mother would reply, “Because true chili doesn’t have beans in it and we like it this way.”
So Lyn, my heroine, made the chili for every guiding trip she was on and it always elicited an argument from one of the men about the lack of beans in it, and this trip with Nic was no different.
I hope you enjoy Lyn and Nic’s little conflicts, and the overall book as I did writing it.
You can find Jacque all over the internet (including an old genealogy web site still floating out there in cyberspace and sadly needs updating) below:
All Romance Ebooks link – https://www.allromanceebooks.
Follow Jacque’s blog over here – http://jacquehopkins.
Game Page – www.freado.com/users/27790/
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/
Twitter Jacque at @jacquehopkins
Jacque’s Goodreads Page – http://www.goodreads.com/
If you like to cook and would like to try other recipes, including my Wilderness Chili recipe, from some of your favorite romance authors, All Romance Ebooks has put out an anthology of recipes and it is FREE!!! Here is the link for the Passionate Cooks, Free Recipes from Today’s Hottest Romance Authors cookbook.
The holidays are coming up; this is a great FREE gift for the cooks in your life.
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