Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rains are Here!

What makes Arizonans different from other people? When it rains, others go inside—but we go outside!

Rain is a miracle. We love the feel of those huge monsoon raindrops, the sight of mist rising from the streets as cold water hits hot tarmac, the way the desert smells after a rain. And I get a kick out of hearing the splay-toed frogs, who come out only after a monsoon rain. They sound like itsy-bitsy goats bleating.

This year the miracle was late in coming. June 15th was the official beginning of the monsoon season, like June 21st was the first day of summer, but those dates don't mean a lot when the rains don't come until mid-July and the temps have hit triple digits already in May.

I came back to Green Valley July 18th after spending ten days in Idaho for Gary's 50th class reunion and two family reunions, and I was stricken by how horribly dry everything looked. My area of Arizona is in the Sonoran desert, which gets more rain than the Mojave--Green Valley really is green. But we're in a drought that's lasted 10 years now, and every little bit of rain is precious.

So I was hoping that the rains would have come while I was gone, but no luck. When even the cactus start withering, it's bad.

Then Monday afternoon, I could smell rain in the air. Someone was getting blessed moisture, but not my neighborhood. Later in the evening I heard the first splats of rain on my skylights. What a delightful sound! I crossed my fingers, hoping it would continue for more than just a few minutes. It did, for several hours, which is not usual for the monsoon. Those rains are usually localized, hard, and short.

We heard on the morning news that our area had gotten almost an inch and a half. So Gary and I jumped in the car shortly after six to go see if there was water in the Santa Cruz river. It's dry most of the year, so seeing water running is a real thrill.

I'm happy to say that on Tuesday, July 20th, there was water in the Santa Cruz! And you've seen the photo to prove it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday, and the Rally's over

Interesting how life goes. We plan something, anticipate it, enjoy it while it's happening—and then, before we we're ready, it's over and in the past.

Wednesday morning's agenda was short: breakfast and the closing ceremony, including acknowledgements, video presentations of inspiring words, and a fantastic video roundup of the rally. It was a fitting finale to a wonderful time.

Many thanks to the planning committee and others for making the rally so memorable. We were impressed by the organization of events, the quality of the entertainment, and the venue. Our only complaint was that we could never find the hotel elevator until the last day. Too late for the knees by then.

In the end, Nancy and I were most impressed by the members of the TRA. We made many new friends, I got reacquainted with a Bev Cozzens, whom I knew from my one year in Byron, Wyoming, and Nancy saw a side of neighbors Tom and Elaine Kenny she'd never seen before.

There are events in one's life that stand out, that will be remembered with fondness and, perhaps, longing. For Nancy and me, the 2012 Temple Rider's Rally is one such event.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tuesday at the Rally

Tuesday was packed from early morning until past midnight.

Nancy and I got up early so we could enjoy a leisurely breakfast before going to the temple in time to be part of the 9:00 chapel session. It was a great privilege to be going with these people who were strangers only a few days before, but who were all supporting me with their love and prayers.

The session following and the few moments we spent in the celestial room afterward were made extra sweet because we were in their company.

From the sublime we went to the... Harley-Davidson store for a barbecue lunch. Nancy and I got back to the hotel in time to change before going there. Nancy rode behind Carol Lindsey on her pretty green Gold Wing trike, and I got to ride in Kim's fancy-schmancy red sidecar.

I have to say it tickled me no end to see the folks who didn't have time to change pull up wearing their Sunday clothes--the men in white shirts and ties, the women in skirts and heels. What a hoot. I missed getting the photo I really wanted, one of a clutch of gray-haired ladies admiring the black Harley trike that was in front of the store.

That evening, we went to the Starlight Mountain Theater for supper and a performance of Thoroughly Modern Milly--and got rained out. Not only that, the bus Nancy and I were couldn't get traction on the wet grass, so we had to wait for a big tow truck to get the bus on the road.

Did we mind? Not too much. We were in the best company in the world.

Monday at the Rally

What a day! I got to go on one of the rides, thanks to Dave Harris taking me on his Yamaha (his wife, Jan, rode her Harley).

It was a relatively short ride going through prairie and farmland, from Boise to Mountain Home, then to Nampa and back to Boise, with stops at Emu-Z-Um, a family-owned frontier town with an amazing range of collections, and a pizza place for lunch. I felt very comfortable, even on the freeway. Actually, I loved the trip. I'm thinking I missed my calling as a Motorcycle Mama!

That evening, Nancy and I had a chance to address the group during the Family Home Evening. Nancy spoke about the creative process and had the audience laughing when she went through a series of "What Ifs" using the fictional Big Jim Beattie Bridge as a starting point. (What if Big Jim Beattie was really little?)

I decided to speak on a topic suggested by Mike Simmons when he issued the invitation: What miracles happened during the writing of the book, Leaning into the Curves? When I asked Nancy if she could name one, she said, "That we're still talking!" (More truth to that than you might think.) But for me, the real miracle had to do with temple attendance.

I hadn't been to the temple--hadn't even wanted to go--for a quarter century. But listening to Frank Reece (founder of TRA) and others talk about their love of temple work, I felt--for the first time in a quarter century--a faint urge to attend a session. Other nudges followed, and by the time I told the group this story, I could say that I had a temple recommend in hand and that I would be going with them the next morning!

Following our remarks, Brother and Sister Lundgren of Boise gave a very inspirational presentation on what The One can contribute--a single, small act of service can affect thousands in ways we can't begin to imagine.

All in all, iIt was a wonderful evening, and I'm happy to say that the response to our part of the program was very positive, especially after it was announced that every participant couple and individual would receive a copy of our book.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Landmark Places, Landmark Days

There are landmarks places and landmark days. Since we last blogged we've found one and experienced the other.

While hunting down Deseret Book store Saturday for our book signing, we relied on the instructions we thought we had and the memory Carroll was sure she had to get us there. Neither proved 100 % reliable.

One thing we knew for certain was that the book store was somewhere in the vicinity of the Boise Temple. I can't tell you how glad we were to finally see those landmark spires rising along Cole Road. With the fine directions from a hotel near by we arrived at DB with minutes to spare, enough to take a big breath and enjoy a frozen yogurt next door. We had a great time. The staff at DB were both charming and accommodating and we had the opportunity to connect with a variety of interesting readers.

Saturday evening we were entertained completely by the company at our dinner table and by the wonderful performance of Del Parkinson, classical pianist and professor. We were treated to both the terrific renditions of well loved solos and engaging narrative about the composers and Del's experiences as a performer and teacher. It was a lovely ending to a delightful experience.

Sunday was landmark day in itself, starting with breakfast from 5:30 to 6:30 am so we could arrive back at the temple (the one place in Boise we were sure we could find) by 7:00 am to attend sacrament meeting at the stake center next door. We walked in to the sounds of the TRA choir (you heard right--these bike riding, full armor of God warriors for the cause have a choir, and it's a good one, too) practicing "America the Beautiful" with skill and patriotic fervor. Carroll and I looked at one another with eyes already tearing at the spirit present in the chapel. She made a b-line for the podium and a supply of tissues.

We needed them to get through a meeting that called into remembrance the blessing of living in this country, the blessings of our faith, and the sacrifices our soldiers and our Savior and why their lives have been and are being given for us.

After we stood the sing "Star Spangled Banner" and listened to the closing prayer, Carroll turned to me and said she had never been to a better sacrament meeting. We were both filled to the brim.

The feelings of that meeting alone could have made the whole day, but the TRA don't do things in small measure. We returned to the hotel to have a joint priesthood and relief society meeting on the topic of being our Savior's hands on earth, followed by a small break and a two hour sacrament meeting.

That was all before 12:00 noon. After lunch, a nap, and a quiet walk along the river with a few moments to play our flutes, we dressed in our Sunday clothes again for dinner and a fireside with guest speaker Lloyd Newel, BYU professor and the voice of the Spoken Word & Tabernacle Choir. Brother Newell entertained us, informed us, and enlightened us with his tales of working with the choir. At one point he urged us to develop an abundant mentality, and even in times of trial to look for reasons to praise and not withhold.

That's what I call a landmark day!

This morning Carroll is off on her ride behind a TRA member, dressed in borrowed leather duds and tight fitting helmet. I am looking forward to the trike ride around the parking lot--an activity more in my comfort zone.

Tonight we're the speakers as part of the TRA Family Home Evening, the warm up act before the musical performances of Tom and Janell Lungren. We hope we do the TRA proud.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Is Less More? It just might be.

While researching for our book, Leaning into the Curves, a lady Harley rider, Cindy Gillman of Scottsdale, said she'd done some research on handcart pioneers and learned that they could bring along only 17 pounds of personal items. So on one road trip she limited herself to that amount of things. That was very interesting, so we had our main character, Molly, try to keep to that amount when packing for her first long motorcycle trip.

It worked really really well in our novel. But we didn't think of doing the same ourselves when we packed for our road trip to Boise, where we're attending the Temple Riders 2010 rally. Oh, no. We packed suitcases, garment bags, computer bags, bags of snacks, emergency supplies, and Native American Flutes and songbooks. To say nothing of Audubon reference books and binoculars. And then there was the DVD case, the CD case, and the cooler of Dr. Pepper and diet Coke.

Oh, yeah. I shouldn't forget the case of bottled water!

We didn't think there was anything odd about this until we passes a string of TRA riders on the freeway about a half hour away from Twin Falls and realized how man had managed to pack everything they needed in the hard cases on their Gold Wings and other cycles. Granted, some did have tagalongs--cute little matching trailers, but we might have had trouble fitting our load in the smallest of the trailer.

As we passed the line of cyclists, we wonder what in the world we'd been thinking. Okay, we wanted to be sure we had the perfect outfits and accessories for travel, our book signing, church and temple attendance, planned social activities, speaking, and going to an outdoor theater. But looking at the couples who didn't have trailers, it was obvious we'd overdone it big time.

We spent the next fifty miles laughing at ourselves and the overabundance of things we felt we needed to bring. That brought up some questions:

What did we really need?

What did we need to be prepared and comfortable?

Since we just arrived last night, we're still wondering how much of what we brought we'll actually use. We have already used both of our computers. Nancy has played her double flute, one that provides a drone to the melody. We've changed clothes once, and are glad we've got jammies and clean underwear. And when we go to see Thoroughly Modern Milly in Garden City, we'll be glad to have our jackets and the lap robe that was in the emergency box.

The thing the TRA people brought with them that has impressed us the most--wonder cycles aside--is their joi d'vivre.

Oh, the things Nancy didn't bring that we're really missing..... driver's license (we think it may have been stolen), two credit cards (also under investigation), and the jack for her new Kodak camera that has to be charged. So much for pictures to accompany our blog.

None of the above, whether what we have or what we're missing, is going to change our thorough enjoyment of our day. The TRA folk are off on rides. We'll be working on current projects and signing books at the Boise Deseret Book. The sun is shining, and life is good.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We're hitting the road!

If you've read (or heard about) our book, Leaning into the Curves, you probably realize that Nancy and I spent considerable time talking to and about members of the Temple Riders Association--the group we fondly call a "Mormon motorcycle gang."

We'll, the board of that wonderful group has invited us to attend their rally in Boise the last week in June! We're very excited to be part of the great lineup of activities they have planned. We'll have a chance to speak on Monday night, go on a couple of rides (Nancy will be driving her jeep), participate in the temple service/community service day, and get to know some great people.

Plus, we'll be signing books on Saturday from 2 to 4 at the Boise Deseret Book store on West Overland Road. If you happen to live in the Boise area, come on down! If you don't, but know someone who does, send them the info re: the signing.

We'll be updating our blog every day starting Thursday, when I'll arrive in SLC, and Nancy and I will start signing the 100 copies of our book that will be going to rally participants! Drop in on us and be part of the fun.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Leaning into the Curves Goes on Tour!

That's right ... put on your helmets and get ready for a wild ride around the Internet! Follow the list of blogs to your right. On the posted date, visit that blog and read what the reviewer has to say about "Leaning into the Curves." Join the celebration of this fun new release!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lael reviews Imprints by Rachel Ann Nunes

I’ve always loved paranormal books and have even written some myself, so I was excited when Rachel Ann Nunes announced the publication of her new book, Imprints. She very graciously sent me a pdf and I dived in, reading at breakfast, lunch, in bed, and even at church during a High Councilman’s talk (but only a couple of pages).

I was absorbed by the story of Autumn Rain,who has a gift of being able to pick up emotions or imprints from objects she handles. She even sees scenes of events that have taken place around the object. At the beginning of the story she is asked to help locate Victoria, who has gone missing. When she touches a pendant that had belonged toVictoria, she sees the girl talking with a young man who wears a white T shirt with navy blue lettering proclaiming Only Love Can Overcome Hate, which she recognizes as the standard dress of a nearby commune. She now has a clue as to where to begin looking for Victoria.

Then she becomes involved in a second search, this one for Marcie, the widowed and severely depressed sister of Ethan McConnell, a private eye, who has not had any success in finding her. Autumn senses that Marcie, too, might be with the commune. Attracted to Ethan, as he is to her (a sprinkling of romance is good for almost any story), Autumn agrees to search for Marcie as well as Victoria.

Autumn, child of hippie parents Winter and Summer, has other talents, including being an antiques expert (she runs an antique shop to support herself) and having a wide knowledge of herbal remedies. These interests play into the story, as does hunky, dreadlocked Jake, who runs the herbal shop next door. Jake has been a long time friend, and Autumn is disappointed that apparently friendship is as far as he wants their relationship to go. Oh well. There’s always Ethan . . . .

Using her knowledge of herbs as an entree into the commune, Autumn joins the group at the vast farm they run to support themselves. Jake, good friend that he is, insists on accompanying her. But they must not reveal they know each other or someone might suspect their true purpose in being there.
Now questions begin to arise. Is the commune really the congenial group of lettuce growers they purport to be? Are people free to leave at will as Autumn is told they can? Are the dark underground cellars on the farm merely for the storage of the vegetables and fruit, or could there be a more sinister use for them? And how did a dead body come to be in the woods?

Autumn’s quest to find the missing women, aided by her ability to sense imprints on objects, leads her and Jake deeper and deeper into the life and the secrets of the commune until they find they are in real jeopardy. I told her over and over that she was going to get into trouble if she went to that farm, but did she listen? Of course if she hadn’t gone, there wouldn’t be a story. But I worried about her. I won’t tell my worries because you’ll want to build up your own list when you read this unusual and compelling book.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finding your Voice

And have they ever! From bottom to top, Keleen Miskin, Keri Anderson Hughes, and Meghann Gavin, Tuesday Divas of the extended Atlanta, Georgia, area each have a voice individually and within the group that is unique and beautiful. Their recent well received concert "With a Song in My Heart" performed May 7 & 8 at the New Dawn Theater in Duluth, Georgia, include old favorites like "Almost Like Being in Love", Lerner & Loewe, and new like "Spark of Creation" from Children of Eden by Stephen.

The amazing thing about Tuesday Divas is that while all three singers are professionally trained vocalists with singular styles of their own, in numbers like the haunting "Lullaby" , Gorben, Mattews, & Van Der Saag, they blend into near perfect harmony. Like their voices, their personalities vary and merge through the loose story line and witty dialogue that holds the program together.

"When I Fall in Love" from Fiorello!, Harnick & Bock, was performed with a sense of wonder and realization by Meghann Gavin that brought the tender song to life. Keri Hughes's poignant rendition of the ballad "I'll be There", from Ordinary Days, Adam Gwon, went straight to the heart. And Keleen Miskin's "Grateful", Jeff Bucchino, brought the house to its feet. The concert was truly about finding the remarkable facets of each individual voice and styling and then bringing them with dedication, polish, and a delicious sense of humor in a well rounded package to an eager audience.

Finding your voice was the topic of after performance conversation as well centered around a former student of two of the vocal coaches who is currently working her way onto the national stage as a singer/song writer. When a nationally known vocal trainer, who had also worked with the singer in question, was asked what her chances were, he answered (and I paraphrase), it all depends on her willingness to do the work it takes to find her authentic voice both on stage and in her compositions. And the only way to do that is to have the discipline to keep on singing and to write, write, write.

Same song writers everywhere sing. Finding our unique and authentic voice in our stories takes the same discipline and practice. We write until we begin to purge from our writing all the phrases carefully structured to sound like our favorite author, the banalities, the pretty scenes that have nothing to do with moving the plot along, the tired phrasing, and the endless descriptions filled with ly words. Then we write some more. Somewhere along the line, if we're very lucky, our own unique and very personal voice will emerge, an authentic voice that can tell the stories that haunt us in a way no other voice can. Knock on wood and speed the day!

For an example of a unique and engaging voice already out there on the market check out Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella. This book takes a look at family ghosts both figurative and literal in a delicious romp through solving a mystery, finding a missing treasure, and burying one little know and unloved member of the family. Without giving away the twists and turns, let me say it is one of those stories that leaves you feeling as though you've just tasted the perfect chocolate and all you can say is, "Oh, yeah!"

Another one-of-a-kind voice is presented by Leif Enger in Peace Like a River. This remarkable story about family, faith, and the true nature of miracles is told as though a dear friend is handing you the intimate details of his life as a gift. "Make of it what you will," Rueben, the main character, tells us. I finished this book feeling as though I, too, had been given a gift.

Four out of four star recommendations for both books and another four for Tuesday Divas and the gift of their music.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Yippie Ki-u and a Happy Dance too!

Finally, after all the kafuffle of getting releases for our new release, everything is turned in and Leaning into the Curves is on the shelves just waiting to brighten your day and give you a giggle.
Take a peak at our first review and author interview featuring what it means to be a co-author by Kelly Bryson, Atlanta, at

Monday, May 3, 2010

What's Your Twist?

"What's your twist?" is a new phrasing of the old writer's question, "What's your hook?" It's the question many of the presenters at the recent LDS Storymakers conference asked. What makes your story different enough to catch the eye of an agent or editor? Boiling down half a dozen different lectures and discussions resulted in this advice. Find an ordinary experience your target audience can identify with, wrap it in layers of the extraordinary and increase the stakes for your characters.

Examples included Stephenie Meyer's top selling vampire romances. While teenage romances filled with temptation and angst aren't unusual in today's market, even ones where the hero is a vampire, Meyer's hero is a sparkly vegetarian vampire with remarkable self control. That's quite a twist. More than romance is at stake in these stories, lives lie in the balance.

The Harry Potter stories are all about the familiar experience of going to a new school and making new friends set in the unusual frame work of a boarding school and a magic boarding school at that. And the stakes couldn't be any higher. It's not only about keeping Harry alive and out of the clutches of Voldemort but it's all about saving the world.

Laura Rennert (Searching for Harry Potter: Key Elements of YA and Crossover Fiction) brought Monsoon Summer to our attention, a mother/daughter relationship story played out against the background of helping the poor in India. Aprilynne Pike (Faeries & Vampires, Oh My! Writing and Selling Fantasy for the Young Adult Market) mentioned 13 Reasons Why, a coming of age story dealing with death and loss, but told from both the antagonist's and protagonist's point of view.

Bree Despain (Paranormal Fiction: Delving into the Unknown) pointed out a new trend in paranormal fiction, telling the story from the boy's point of view. It's a twist that's beginning to sell.

I applied this criteria to a recent reads and two old favorites. Lovely Bones was easy to break down. It is the story of surviving loss of a loved one, a universal experience we all can relate to, told from the point of view of the murdered child, a poignant twist.

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe four siblings struggle to find their places in the family structure during their parents absence, a scenario easy to identify with. The intensity of that conflict evolves into life and death proportion when a simple game of hide and seek leads them into the war torn fantasy world of Narnia.

Even successful picture books meet this standard. Take Cat in the Hat for example. Every child knows how hard it is to resist the temptation to misbehave when left home alone. Throw a giant talking cat in a striped red hat bent on mischief into the mix and the mundane becomes magical and mystifying mixed up with the well recognized fear, what will happen when Mom comes home?

Whether you're writing for children or adults the formula for finding that hook or twist to catch the agent or editors eye is the same. Choose a universal experience that your audience will identify with, wrap it in layers of the extraordinary, and create stakes high enough for your protagonist that your reader will feel compelled to turn the page and find out what happens next.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crusty Old Broads Go to College

[From NewsitemStorymakers Post]
by Lael Littke

"Nancy, Carroll, and I are dazzled to learn that the first book of our Company of Good Women trilogy, Almost Sisters, is on the assigned reading list for a class titled The Literature of Mormon Women at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California. A note in the class syllabus adds, "You'll want to read Three Tickets to Peoria and Surprise Packages as well." The class is taught by Claudia Bushman, adjunct professor of history in the recently established Mormon Studies Program of the university. Prof. Bushman and her husband, Richard (author of the definitive biography of Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling, published by Knopf in 2005) both recently retired from teaching at Columbia University in New York. Richard is the first holder of the Howard Hunter chair in the Mormon Studies Program, and Claudia is pioneering the LDS women's studies field. Our trilogy deals with the friendship of three women from different parts of the country over the course of 25 years. And by the way, Crusty Old Broads is a complimentary appellation, rising from an incident in the early part of Almost Sisters."

Lael sent each of us the announcement as well as the syllabus from the class. Questions students were asked to consider in the syllabus included: "Who is the audience for this book? What do the authors say of the LDS community? What do we learn of the author? How has she interpreted LDS life? If she writes of a past (or future) time, what does her interpretation say about the relationship between the period of writing and the period written of? What skills does the writer display? What are the tensions in the book and how do they reflect LDS life?" (The Literature of Mormon Women, Claudia Bushman, Syllabus, Spring 2010)

I would love to be a fly on the wall during those discussions. Our Lovely Miss Lael has been invited to join the class at the end of the semester. We'll look for a more detailed report then.

A few of the other books and authors included in the reading list were The Giant Joshua by Maureen Whipple, A Little Lower Than the Angels by Virginia Sorensen, Lighten Up by Chieko Okazaki, and Goodbye, I Love You by Carol Lynn Pearson. We feel honored to be in such company.

Releases for our New Release

For those of you wondering where our newest release Leaning into the Curves (Deseret Book)has been, it's been waiting in the warehouse for Carroll and me to get all the releases necessary sent to our product designer from people we quoted, a real organization whose name we used, and living individuals featured in our story.

It's been an adventure and an education in the legal hoop jumping to get this book on the shelves. We learned some important steps to take when building fiction around living private persons and registered or tradmarked organizations.

First, know you legal responsibility and liability. A careful reading of your contract with your publisher is a good place to start. Ours clearly stated that obtaining all the needed written legal releases was the authors' responsibility. Verbal permission isn't enough!

Next, keep a running list of the name of every living person you use in your manuscript other than recognized public figures, every statement quoted, and every trademarked or registered name mentioned. Make sure that list is complete. One legal staffer recommended even story lines most loosely based on real life experiences of someone other than the author should begin with obtaining the written permission of such usage. Know how to contact everyone on your list.

Get in touch with your publisher's legal department for copies of the forms needed. We suggest you send each participant two copies, one for them and one with a SASE for you. Upon receipt of the original signed document, make a copy for your own files and forward the original to your publisher.

It's easier than it sounds. When everyone we contacted realized how positive the image portrayed was, they were delighted to provide us with the needed forms and we eager for the novel to be a success. But we were lucky. The book had already gone to print and they could have as easily said no.

So don't take the risk. Don't wait until you have the galley in hand to start the process. Believe me, nothing, no reassurances, no electronic facsimile, no he said she saids will get those books out of the warehouses and on the the shelves until the publishers have the original releases on file. So stay ahead of the game and do the legal hoop jumping when you start your stories.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Carroll's Christmas Eve Posole Rojo

In 2003 we moved to Green Valley, Arizona, just 40 minutes north of the border. That year, we started a new Christmas Eve supper tradition: tamales and posole. So many people have asked for the posole recipe that I decided to post it for you to enjoy.

The most important ingredient is Red Chili Paste made by the Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company. There is a very big difference between "red" soups and sauces that use tomatoes as a base and those that have red chili paste as a base. FYI, this chili paste isn't hot, just very rich and aromatic.

It's not possible to achieve the wonderful flavor of this posole without this paste, so if you can't find it in your grocery store (it comes in a jar), go to, click on Products, and order a jars or two. If you make a lot of Mexican dishes, you won't regret it.

Okay, here's the recipe. Don't be put off by how long it is. Because the soup is best made the day before, on Christmas Eve all you'll have to do is prepare the vegetables you serve with it.

Carrolll's Christmas Eve Posole Rojo

Step 1:
4 pounds country-style pork ribs
6 cloves of garlic

Put ribs and garlic in crock pot. Sprinkle liberally with ancho chili powder and a little cayenne pepper. Cook on high until pork is done enough to shred. Drain liquid inter gravy separator, pour off fat, and reserve liquid. Shred pork. Mash garlic and reserve to put in soup.

Step 2:
In a large soup pot, put the following ingredients and let simmer to develop flavors. Tastes best if made a day ahead of time.

1 quart chicken broth
8 cups water
1 jar Santa Cruz Spice Co. Red Chili Paste
2 tbs. ground cumin
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 small can diced green chilis
2 28-oz cans of white hominy
Shredded pork, smashed garlic, and reserved juice
Correct seasoning with additional chili powder, cumin, and salt
This is especially important if you decided to add more liquid. I usually do, because what we all love is the broth!

Step 3:
Serve with the following accompaniments:
Diced avocado
Thinly sliced cabbage
Chopped green onions
Diced radishes
Dried hot pepper flakes
Grated cheese
Lime wedges--a squirt of lime in Posole is a must!
Tortilla strips or chips

Step 4: Enjoy!