YAY!! Welcome to the 2015 Debut Author Bash! I actually have the privilege of hosting TWO debut authors. Be sure to follow/subscribe to my blog so you remember to read both! On the 15th, I’ll be hosting Stephanie Tromly, of ‘Trouble Is A Friend Of Mine.’ But today, it’s all about Marie Marquardt, author of Dream Things True.
I haven’t had the joy of reading it yet, but it was one of my top anticipated debuts of 2015. The premise sounds romantic, and rough in the most realistic way possible. Definitely a modern Romeo & Juliet. (although hopefully, with a happier ending.)
Click to expand Evan, a soccer star and the nephew of a conservative Southern Senator, has never wanted for much — except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two-years-old, excels in school, and has a large, warm Mexican family. Never mind their differences, the two fall in love, and they fall hard. But when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) begins raids on their town, Alma knows that she needs to tell Evan her secret. There’s too much at stake. But how to tell her country-club boyfriend that she’s an undocumented immigrant? That her whole family and most of her friends live in the country without permission. What follows is a beautiful, nuanced, well-paced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one’s family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives.
Evan, a soccer star and the nephew of a conservative Southern Senator, has never wanted for much — except a functional family. Alma has lived in Georgia since she was two-years-old, excels in school, and has a large, warm Mexican family. Never mind their differences, the two fall in love, and they fall hard.
But when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) begins raids on their town, Alma knows that she needs to tell Evan her secret. There’s too much at stake. But how to tell her country-club boyfriend that she’s an undocumented immigrant? That her whole family and most of her friends live in the country without permission. What follows is a beautiful, nuanced, well-paced exploration of the complications of immigration, young love, defying one’s family, and facing a tangled bureaucracy that threatens to completely upend two young lives.
Holidays are coming up. A LOT OF HOLIDAYS. Holidays all over the world, from multiple different cultures, time periods, countries, continents and religions, are queueing up.
But I’m pretty sure that every person, no matter the origin, can find some kind of tasty food that they LOVE.
So I asked Marie to write a post about her favorite Hispanic & or Latino dessert was, and her favorite American-ish dessert was. Here’s her answer! They both sound really delicious, so I’m including a little something – something for you guys in case you also want to investigate these delicious treats.
Hi, Rachel! Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today – and to talk about dessert, one of my favorite topics of all time!
I’ve come up with a dessert combination inspired by my debut novel, Dream Things True. The novel is a a love story between Evan, a privileged Southern boy, and Alma, a Mexican immigrant to Georgia. It draws from my own experiences growing up in a Southern family and, later, spending a good deal of time in Mexico and with Mexican immigrants in Georgia.
Whenever I travel in Mexico during the holiday season, I’m always treated to ponche navideño, or “Mexican Christmas Punch”. It’s a warm punch made from sugar cane, cinnamon sticks, and basically any fruit that happens to be around. It doesn’t really count as ponche, though, unless it includes guavas and tejocotes. Tejocotes are little orange fruits that taste kind-of like pears. When they soak in the ponche, their skin gets soft and almost creamy. They are muy sabrosos (super tasty)!
Drinking ponche navideño always reminds me of the times I’ve been invited to celebrate Las Posadas in small Mexican towns. Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration re-enacts Mary and Joseph seeking “posada”, or a place to stay, in preparation for Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Traditionally, the entire town gathers on the plaza (town square) each evening leading up to Christmas to re-enact this together. They follow two people (usually kids) dressed up as Mary and Joseph, or carrying statues of them. They go door-to-door, knocking and asking for a place to stay. They’re always turned away at the first couple of homes they try to enter, but then they’re finally invited in, and the town shares a meal together, or maybe just dessert, but always ponche navideño.
In my family, no Christmas dinner is complete without chess pie. I bet you’ve never heard of it. Most people haven’t, unless they’re from certain parts of the South. This is a real shame, since it’s the absolute best. The ingredients are nothing special: sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, and (strangely) white vinegar. My grandmother, who taught me how to make this pie, has two theories for why it’s called chess pie. The first is that it’s made from ingredients that can always be found in your “chess” (which is another way of saying your pantry). The second theory, and my personal favorite, is that when a Southern woman would make the pie for company, and a guest would say, “This pie is delicious. What kind is it?,” the hostess would respond (in a deep Southern accent), “Oh, Sugar! It’s jes’ pie.” (With the deep Southern accent, “jes’” and “chess” sound a lot alike!)
Yes, it’s just pie: super simple ingredients, but magical qualities. Because, whenever we eat chess pie, we get to make a pie wish. For those of you not familiar with pie wishes, the most important thing to know is that, as long as you don’t tell anyone what you wished for, your wish will come true. Really. In case you have a wish you’d like to turn into a reality, here are a few simple instructions: (1) Cut off the tip of your slice of pie and push it to the side of your plate. It should look like a small triangle. (2) Eat the rest of the pie – every last bit of it. (3) Close your eyes and spin your plate three times, counterclockwise — must be counterclockwise! (4) Using your fork, eat that last piece of pie from the tip. (5) While swallowing that delicious last morsel of chess pie, make a wish. (6) Sit back and relax, ‘cause that wish is gonna come true, Sugar.
Ponche Navideño and Chess Pie. I think I’ll call this combination of desserts Alma & Evan’s Christmas Wish. I like to imagine the two of them sitting down together, sharing a mug of ponche and gobbling down a couple of pieces of chess pie, but saving the end corners, of course! Then they’d both spin their plates counterclockwise and make a pie wish. Even though they’d never know it — since they would be sworn to secrecy — I think they’d both make the same wish. I really hope that wish comes true.
Give it a try!
Personally, my favorite Christmas treats are candied pecans, or chocolate covered graham crackers! But I also like molasses chips…and churros….and toffee….. and hot chocolate, marshmallows (with peanut butter)….vanilla pudding… or Muddy Buddies.
OHHHhhhh or doughnuts.
I obviously eat WAY too many treats. hehe…
What about you? What holiday treats are your favorites?