Anyone who has read the two books in The Mitchell’s Crossroads series by Pepper Basham – Twist of Faith & Charming the Troublemaker is familiar with Ma Mitchell. For those who may not be familiar yet with this delightful series, you can read my reviews for both books by clicking on the titles above.
I’ve invited Pepper Basham to visit today and share with us about Ma Mitchell and the inspiration behind her character. If we are lucky, we may even get a homespun family recipe!
As a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pepper Basham enjoys sprinkling her Appalachian into her fiction writing. She is an award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance, mom of five, speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family. You can learn more about her on her website, www.PepperDBasham.com or connect on Facebook or Twitter.
Without further delay, I’m going to turn things over to Pepper and let her share with you in her own words with us about Ma Mitchell. Please give Pepper a warm welcome!
Some characters come purely from imagination and some are born from real life.
Ma Mitchell in the Mitchell’s Crossroads series has a whole lot of real-life inspiration with some imagination sprinkled in.
The matriarch of the Mitchell clan, she’s an ever-present sounding board, wisdom giver, gentle voice, or firm director. She kind of reminds me of a mother hen gathering up her chicks, whether they were biologically hers or not.
Ma Mitchell creates an environment of welcome.
And, boy oh boy, can she cook!
When I started daydreaming about the Mitchell’s Crossroads series, I drew from my background of being in a large and wonderful Appalachian family, headed by a beautiful matriarch. My Granny Spencer.
A young widow with six kids to raise, her strength, wisdom, and welcome became the root for her own family as well as many other people who were looking for a good meal, friendly company, a compassionate heart, and a listening ear.
My memories are too many to mention, but some of my favorites are having Sunday lunch at Granny’s house where above 25 people at a time would gather and fellowship. I was also one of Granny’s “yard hoppin’” buddies (went to yard sales with her). Another thing that was particularly special to me was listening to family history stories. She could recount back 5 generations or more. Amazing stuff – and more inspiration 😊
So as Ma Mitchell swelled from my imagination into reality, she began to look a whole lot like my Granny in personality, not so much in physical appearance. (I had to leave some imagination in there)
A couple of things readers have enjoyed about Ma Mitchell are:
- Her wisdom- she’s always giving advice in unique ways. Sometimes directly and sometimes through story/example. That’s definitely an Appalachian thing 😉 We love storytelling (true ones and not so true)
- Her kindness – she has a sweet way of drawing the lonesome ones into the family. From Dee to Alex (and more to come), Ma Mitchell opens her home and heart to help people find a place to belong. Her faith definitely shines out in both her wisdom and kindness.
- Her cooking – Yep, she’s feeding a ‘gang’, as she calls them. Any time you enter Ma Mitchell’s house, you’re going to smell something cooking, whether it’s Breakfast Bake, Pot Roast, or Apple cobbler.
In celebration of the release of Charming the Troublemaker and in memory of my Granny, I’m gonna share a few homespun recipes straight from Ma Mitchell’s table.
This recipe is from a 1920 family journal.
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup butter
½ cup jam (of your choice)
½ cup sour cream
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
Mix all ingredients well and bake in layers put together with caramel icing/filling
3 cups brown sugar
½ cup sweet milk or cream
Butter the size of a small egg
Boil and stir until thick and flavor with vanilla
1 c sour cream
1 c sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
A little salt, ginger and cinnamon and flour enough to make dough to roll.
Fry in hot fat (or oil in our case 😊)
Thank you, Pepper for stopping by and sharing with us about Ma Mitchell and about your own Granny Spencer. It is always a special treat to have you drop by for a visit!
I loved the photo’s you shared. They brought back happy memories I have of my own Grandma.
*** GIVEAWAY ***
Pepper Basham is giving away 1 (one) digital copy of her book “Charming the Troublemaker.” Please review the policies here. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page. Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.
To Enter the Giveaway:
1.) Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Do you have a favorite family recipe and when did you last make it?”
2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.
*** Giveaway Ended ***
Congratulations to Chanel M.