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Monday, October 23, 2017

Author Guest Post - Joyce Tremel

Today we are honored to have Joyce Tremel join our blog.  She was a police secretary for ten years.  Joyce is a native Pittsburgher, has two grown sons, and lives in a suburb of the city with her husband. When coming up with the idea for this series, she thought her big city with the small town feel would be the perfect setting for Max's brew pub. She hopes "yinz" guys agree!  I will be reviewing her newest book later this week.  Please welcome Joyce.

Why Pittsburgh?

I’m often asked by readers why I chose Pittsburgh as the setting for my Brewing Trouble series. The reasons are numerous. Anyone who has read the books so far has probably figured out by now that Pittsburghers are a little different. We use expressions like “n’at” and “yinz.” We call thorny shrubs “jagger bushes.” We often use the word “jag” which comes from the Scots-Irish and means “thorn.” When we call someone a “jagoff” we’re not swearing—it just means they’re a jerk, or a “thorn in our side.” There are websites and dictionaries explaining Pittsburghese to non-natives. I actually bought my editor a Pittsburghese dictionary for Christmas.

Pittsburgh is a beautiful city. It’s gone from being a smoky, dirty place in the early twentieth century to a clear and bright high-tech oasis. It’s home to Google and Uber. It’s the first city where Uber is testing self-driving cars. (Frankly, if they can navigate here, they can drive anywhere. We have streets that aren’t even streets—they’re tiny alleys, or sometimes just concrete steps on a hillside.) Our hospitals and medical centers are always on the cutting edge of the next important breakthrough. The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are leaders in research in neuroscience and robotics. There’s a vibrant downtown and cultural district. And one of my characters, Candy Sczypinski, would be highly upset if I didn’t mention the sports teams—the Pirates, the Penguins, and Candy’s beloved Steelers.

I can’t forget to mention the food. We Pittsburghers like to eat! Part of the fun of writing this series has been figuring out what my characters are eating or cooking in certain scenes and developing the recipes. Around here, we love Buffalo Chicken Dip and pierogis, so I invented a recipe in To Brew or Not to Brew (book 1) that combined the two—Buffalo Chicken Pierogis. And what goes better together than caramel and chocolate? Not much, so I came up with Caramel Pecan Brownies in Tangled Up in Brew (book 2). They are to die for, by the way. I had a great time planning the recipes in A Room With a Brew (book 3). Since it takes place around the time of Oktoberfest, I included some German recipes along with some distinctly Pittsburgh recipes like Ham Barbecues and that picnic staple, Pretzel Salad. Never heard of it? I guess you’ll need to read the book. It’s delicious!

We like to have a good beverage or two to wash down all that tasty food. Craft breweries are abundant in the Pittsburgh area. In the real Pittsburgh neighborhood of Lawrenceville where the fictional Allegheny Brew House is located, there are now four craft breweries. Max O’Hara would feel right at home. Pittsburgh also has some top-notch restaurants that rival any you’d find in New York City. You can even find a winery or two not far outside city limits.

It’s also a friendly city. Residents are always quick to help out anyone in trouble. You can often find a fire hall or church hall hosting a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for someone with a medical issue, or for a family who lost their home in a fire. If a stranger asks someone for directions, we’re always happy to show them the way—as long as we don’t have to use north, south, east, or west. We’re more likely to say, “Turn where the Isaly’s used to be.” We might be the only city where the natives give directions on what used to be in certain locations.

So you see, Pittsburgh really does have everything. Maybe in the future when readers ask me why I chose Pittsburgh, my answer should be, “Why not?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Thank you Joyce!   Fascinating how the city is very unique and has it's own personality.

Here is a recipe for all my readers.

Harvest Walnut Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree (from 15 oz. can; not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup canola oil
1/3 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons orange peel

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2
Place muffin liners in muffin tins.
Step 3
In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
Step 4
In a mixer, cream together pumpkin puree, oil, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly mix in flour mixture. With spatula, scrape sides of the bowl while mixing. Stir in walnuts. Pour about ⅓ cup muffin mixture into each muffin liner. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
Step 5
In small bowl, place powdered sugar and orange peel; add fresh orange juice, one teaspoon at a time, and mix until the mixture reaches a consistency to be drizzled.
Step 6

Drizzle glaze on muffins. Let set completely.
                   Recipe from Kings Soopers website



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2 comments:

zuzan said...

amazing

prince said...

Good taj mahel banane ke lie dolat to milti he magar mohbatt karne ke lie mumtaj nahi milti play bazaar kon kaheta hai taj mahel banane ke lie dolat nahi milti. idea. satta kinig Great .

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