Christmas and Holiday Funny Names

Funny Christmas Names Make for a Holly Jolly Holiday!

by

Craig L. Foster

 

This is a special time of year and to celebrate this season; and by scanning census, voting, birth and death records found at FamilySearch and other genealogical websites, as well as online directories, an avalanche of funny and interesting names were found that celebrate Christmas and winter.

 

There are a number of people with the first name of Avalanche. It, of course, would have been better if someone had been named Avalanche Snow.  There are, however, people named Snow Ball, like a girl born in 1918 in Hempstead County, Arkansas and another Snow Ball who was a member of the Royal Navy in 1881.

 

Other names celebrating winter and its weather are:

Snow Removal Blizzard 1993            Colorado Springs, CO

Winter Day                    1845           Romsey, Hamp., ENG

Jack Frost                     1940           Pueblo, CO

December Snow           1996           Las Vegas, NV

Winter Snow                1930           East Grand Rapids, MI

 

As a result of the white stuff, all kinds of winter fun take place. Probably the people across the country surnamed snowman have a good idea what to do with the snow, but Frosty Snowman, Columbus, OH in 1990 and Frosty T. Snowman of Park City, UT in 1996, would have the best idea. Whether or not they have some magic in that old silk hat is not known.

 

But Christmas is the main reason for the season. And while most of us get Christmas for just one day each year, the following people have Christmas every day:

Merry Christmas          1930           San Francisco, CA

Merry Christmas          1940           Fitzgerald, GA

Merry Christmas          2013           Mountain View, CA

Merry Christmas          2013           Killeen, TX

Merry Christmas          2013           NYC, NY

Merry Christmas          2013           Englewood, FL

Noël Christmas             1881            Grand Narrows, CAN

Christmas Day              1940           Columbus, OH

Alfred Christmas Eve   1911            London, ENG

Feliz Navidad                1885           Cojutepeque, EL SALVADOR

Joyeux F. Noel              2009          Brooklyn, NY

Yuletide Smith              1920           Wolf Creek, KY

 

Christmas time is the time to celebrate. Christmas bells will be ringing and Christmas Bells (1990, Boaz, AL) certainly appreciates that. Others feeling a special connection bells are:
Christmas Bell              1920           Lower Chichester, PA

Jingle Bell                     1977           New York City, NY

Jolly Jingle Bell            1940           Ratcliff, AR

Silver Bells                    1991            Tempe, AZ

Sylver Bells                   1940           Ephrata, WA

Caroling is a favorite at this time of year, as the two people named Christmas Carol (1912, Southwark, England and 1952, Ventura, CA) would probably agree, as well as Thongchandar Christmas Song (1986, Stanislaus, CA).

 

Eating delicious food is another favorite holiday pastime. Or at least it certainly is in my house. Following are those with perhaps a little too close of a connection to Christmas food:

Russell Christmas Candy 1915        Harrisburg, PA

Candy Cane                   1870           Gallatin, TN

Eggnog Clardy              1880           Fort Davis, TX

Gingerbread Dytman   1748           Westminster, ENG

Cynthia Holiday Fudge 2008          Twentynine Palms, CA

Taffee Hades                 1900           Hudson, NJ   [which must be one hell of a recipe . . . I mean, person]

Christmas C. Hamm    2001           Green Valley, AZ

Spicey Hamm               1945           Alachua, FL

Spicy Mead                  1880           Pottersville, NY

Candy Ann Orange       2001           Bowling Green, KY

Cheeseball Simpson     1990           Centreville, CA [perhaps friends with the Crackers family of Orange, CA, 1940?]

Orange Wassall             1861            Glasgow, Scotland

Godlove Wassle            1880           Bennington, VT

 

And, of course, there’s jolly old St. Nick, and Santa Claus (1930, Marshall, MO) and Chris Kringle       (1880, Jackson, IA) probably find this time of year to be fun but particularly busy. They do, however, have their helpers. There are plenty of people in census returns and directories with the surname of Elf. There are also Blitzen Reindeer (2013, Scottsdale, AZ) and Rudolph Reindeer (2013, Troy, AL). Keeping with that theme is William Christmas Angel (1911,  Great Yarmouth, England).

 

Along the lines of Christmas-themed literature and movies, there are plenty of people named Charles Dickens, but there is also a Bob Cratchit (2001, Newark, NJ). Personally, I feel a little sorry for Ebenezer Scrooge (2013, Carrollton, TN). There are also plenty of men named George Bailey and while there wasn’t a Clarence Odbody, there are several people named Clarence Angel (1940, Heflin, AL: Baton Rouge, LA : and Talihina Township, OK). What would Christmas be without Ralphie Parker (1930, Morristown, TN) and his Red Ryder (1940, Lousiville, KY). All we need now is a Clark W. Griswold – oh wait, Clark W. Griswold (1880, Chicago, IL).

 

Snowflakes and snow angels, jingle bells and Christmas carols, delicious food and fancy-wrapped presents. All the signs of Christmas. All we need are holly, ivy, mistletoe and a Christmas tree. That would be just fine with the following:

Holly A. Berry               2013           Midlothian, TX & Las Vegas, NV

Christmas Holly           1802           England

Christmas  Holly          1993           Springfield, MA

Ivie Holly                      1930           Union, WV

Ivie Holly                      1910           Trinity, TX

Holly Jolly                     1910           Matthews, AR

Mary Mistletoe             1841            St. Nicholas Guildford, England

Lilian Ruth Christmas Tree   1903           Hackington, England)

 

The bottom line is the world needs more Christmas Love (1909,  Brymbo, Wales) and maybe a little Christmas Joy (1860, Vincennes, IN) and even

Wonderful Joy (1995, Essex, NJ) in order to have a Happy Holliday (1891, Heigham, Norfolk, England).

 

Part of that joy comes through doing family history. Sometime during this Christmas season when family is gathered together, talk about your family history.  Share stories and photos and then go to FamilySearch.org and see what information is available about your ancestors.

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Halloween and Fall-Themed Names

Wickedly Wild Fun with Halloween and Thanksgiving Related Names

 

By Craig L. Foster

What a great time of year. It’s autumn and this is the time of year that Autumn Autumn (of Boonesboro, MD, 2013) probably loves the most. Autumn Leaves (Laurel, MD, 2013) probably loves the brilliant colors of the changing leaves. October Brown (Manhattan, NY, 1940) and October Hunter (Centerville, SC, 1880) would no doubt feel right at home. And speaking of moon, Hunter Moon (Newport News, VA, 1920) and E. Full Moon (Tampa, FL, 1910) were perfect for this time of year.

The weather gets cooler and in many parts of the country there is a morning and evening mist and fog. Probably the following people would love that:

Autumn Fogg                                                  2008                Manchester, VT

Morning Fogg                                                 1830                Fairfield, SC

Morning Mist                                                 1850                Anderson, OH

Misty A. Morning                                          1973                Orange, CA

And usually there is even a little bit of autumn snow although Autumn Snow (San Diego, 2013) probably will not be seeing any of the white stuff.

But what’s best known about fall, other than football, which Football Player Lynn of Calgary, Alberta (1957) may or may not have played, are Halloween and Thanksgiving. Halloween Baggs (Jay, IN, 1920) was already for this holiday. Others who would be ready for this fun night are:

Candy Apple                                                   1961                Eldorado Spring, CO

Candy Barr                                                     1870                Kingstree, SC

Candy Jo Corn                                                1961                Ward, TX

Candy E. Treat                                                1993                Scottsdale, AZ

We can’t forget the pumpkins! While a number of people had pumpkin in their names, Pumpkin Hill (of Bell, TX, 1930) and Jolly Pumpkin (Dexter, MI, 2013) are probably extra happy with this holiday. Under the circumstances, Jack O. Lantern (Woodstock, NH, 1990) would be ecstatic.

Halloween is famous for the scarier aspects of the day. While there were ghouls and goblins galore in census returns and other records, Ghoulam Ghoul (Brooklyn, NY, 2008) and Goblin Stryker (Buffalo, NY, 1892) stood out. Other hauntingly fun names were:

Casper Ghost                                                  1991                Medford, MA

Charity Spook                                                 1875                Wisconsin

Boo Story                                                        1940                Madison, KY

Boo White                                                      1940                Bashi, AL

Rounding out this monsterous menagerie of names were Nights Vampire (Reseda, CA,1999), Were Wolf (Hattiesburg, MS, 1971)  and Creepy Moore (Statesville, NC, 1933) who probably hated his name 364 days out of the year but loved it on Halloween.

Who could celebrate Halloween without a coven or two of witches and wizards? Among our magical names were:

Babe Witch                                                     1900                Crenshaw, AL

Lottie Witchcraft                                            1910                Flint, MI

Wendy Witchey                                              1986                Derry, NH

Harry Wizard                                                  1901                Westminster, ENG

Magic Wand                                                   1996                Willow Spring, NC

But what would Halloween be without the witches and wizards of Hogwarts who have and will continue to bewitch generations of children with their adventures. Halloween is time to meet the “real” characters of the Harry Potter series (if Zabasearch is to be believed):

Albus Dumbledore                                         2013                Canfield, OH

Hermione Granger                                          2013                Atlanta, GA

Neville Longbottom                                       2013                Staten Island, NY

Luna Lovegood                                               2013                Katy, TX

Harry Potter                                                    2013                Holts Summit, MO

Severus Snape                                                2013                Port Hueneme, CA

Ginny Weasley                                               2013                Woodside, NY

Ronald Weasley                                             2013                Cerritos, CA

And after Halloween comes November and people getting ready for the various holiday celebrations. The Cranberry Pond (Cropseyville, NY, 1993) is being harvested and preparations are being made for delicious Thanksgiving food like:

Apple Butter                                                   1910                Otter Creek, IN

Orange Cake                                                   1870                Missouri

Pumpkin Pie                                                   2013                Fort Myers, FL

Thanksgiving Turkey                                     1993-96           Racine, WI

Speaking of turkey, there were several other people who seemed to celebrate that noble bird of Pilgrims Pride (Hatboro, PA, 1996-2000) and early American:
Tom Turkey                                                    1920                Franklin, Ohio

Turkey Turkey                                                1900                Kansas

Turkey Turkeyson                                          1880                New Sweden, MN

So this is a wonderful time of year to gather family and friends, enjoy some Trick or Treating and turkey dinners. It’s also a great time to reflect on our heritage, American or not. Remember that doing family history is more of a treat than a trick and is not only worthwhile and rewarding, it can also be very funny when coming upon funny and interesting names. In between watching football games on TV and eating more pumpkin pie, take a little time to search for your own ancestors and find out if they were early Pilgrims or if they came to America just a few years ago. Visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or go online to FamilySearch.org and a host of other websites to find your own ancestors and get to know them.

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Independence Day and Summer Names Are a Blast

Independence Day and Summer Names Are a Blast:

Family History Sources for Funny Names and Much More

 

Craig L. Foster

 

This week Americans will celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July. For many, it is not only a time to have picnics and barbeques and watch parades and fireworks. It is a time to reflect upon the freedoms enjoyed and sacrifices made. It is a time for pride and patriotism. It is also a time to enjoy fun, funny and patriotic names found by scanning census, voting, birth and death records, as well as social media and online directories.

Hazel Independence Day was born 4 July 1889 in New Haven, Connecticut. There was also an Independence Day residing in San Jose, California and a Jeremy Firecracker Faith who was born in Los Angeles on 4 July 1991. Other names celebrating freedom and liberty were:

Liberty Bell                                         1940                Council Bluffs, IA

Yankee Doodle                                   1900                Smith Valley, NV

            There were three Yankee Doodles found residing in the U.S. in 2013.

America Flagg                                     1898                Yakima, WA

America Freeman                                1940                Noblesville, IN

Freedom Freeman                               1930                Whitewright, TX

Freeman Liberty                                  2013                Santa Barbara, CA

America Love                                     1870                Liberty, MO

Love Liberty Miller                             1936                Chattanooga, TN

American Patriot                                 ?                      Westminster, CO

American H. Patriot                            ?                      St. Louis, MO

Uncle Sam                                           1880                Thibodeaux, LA

Star Spangled                                      2013                Chicago, IL

United States                                      1930                Ridgeway, PA

Stars Stripes                                        2013                Las Vegas, NV

 

How many have a George Washington in their family History? Since the American Revolution, George Washington has been a popular name in many American families. To a lesser degree, other presidents and American heroes populate old census and other records. Abraham Lincoln was a particularly popular name. Among names (and some included numerous people with the same name) associated with American Independence were:

Benjamin Franklin                               1940                Roswell, CO

Nathan Hale                                        1940                Denver, CO

Patrick Henry                                      1940                Brevard, NC

Thomas Jefferson                                1940                Philadelphia, PA

Marquis Lafayette                               1940                Glens Falls, NY

Molly Pitcher                                      1940                Carroll, MS

Paul Revere                                         1940                West Bridgewater, MA

Betsy Ross                                          1940                Philadelphia, PA

 

Sadly, Americans paid with blood and human life for their independence. The United States has had to defend their freedom through war. There are names reflecting and honoring this history of sacrifice, as well as the military life (and some names that are just downright nutty):

Cannon Ball                                        1891                Lambeth, London, England

American Cannon                               1900                Weston Sparta, GA

Johnny Firecracker                              2013                Hollywood, FL

Trixie Firecracker                                2013                Wesley Chapel, FL

Margaret D. Fireworks                        1826                Gorbals, Lanark, SCOT

Rifle Ham                                           1900                Cunningham, MO

Bunker Hill                                         1940                Vershire Town, VT

Army Mann                                         1880                Haywood, TN

Musket McGrath                                 1920                Philadelphia, PA

Bunker Hill Moorehill                         1964                Pecos, TX

Battle Ware                                         1880                Livingston, VA

 

Surprisingly, there was a flipside to American Revolution-themed names. Along with the names of American heroes like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, there were also distinctly British-related names:

Lord Cornwallis                                  1880                Wilkinson, MS

Lord Cornwallis                                  1930                Petersburg, VA

King George                                       1940                Bucyrus, KS

Charles Redcoat                                  1870                Hollie, NH

There were even several men named Benedict Arnold like Benedict Arnold of Whittier, California (1940) and Benedict Arnold of Saint Charles, Illinois (1930). It kind of makes a person wonder if any of these Benedict Arnolds or Lord Cornwallises ever met a George Washington or Patrick Henry. Now that would have been fun to watch.

 

Of course there are more than parades and fireworks on Independence Day. Barbeques and picnics are one of the most enjoyable parts of any holiday. Of course, barbeques and picnics are great any of the summer days – or would that be Summer N. Days of Santa Clara, California (1977)? There were a number of people named Summer Day. Lucy Picnic of Lawrence, Massachusetts (1930) or Elizabeth Picnic of Hamtramck, Michigan (1940) would have liked that idea. Barbeque Talley of Milam, Texas (1940) would certainly have been the hit of any barbeque. Following are people named for summer food and fun:
Base Ball                                             2013                Miami, FL; Merrick, NY; New York, NY

Lemon Barr                                         1920                Hamburg, FL

Frank N. Beans                                   1940                Graham, AZ

Mary Root Beers                                 1857                Charlotte, VT

Vera Cheeseburger                              2013                Thomasville, AL

Potato Chip                                         2013                Tucson, AZ and Freeport, IL

Potatoe Chip                                       2013                Anderson, SC  [Dan Quayle wrote the name]

Robert Corn Cobb                              1918                Burke, NC

Peaches Crisp                                      1940                Springfield, IL

Hot Dog                                              2013                Wylie, TX

Arthur Ketchup                                   1940                Pueblo, CO

John Lemonade                                   2013                Las Vegas, NV

Ice Cream Maker                                1911                Los Angeles, CA

Summer Mellon                                   2013                Yuma, AZ

Dill Pickle                                           1940                Leake, MS

Sweet Pickle                                       2013                Lincoln, NE

Apple Pie                                            1870                Memphis, TN

Cherry Pye                                          1935                Ojus, FL

Green Salad                                        1880                Navarro, TX

Ham Sandwich                                   1910                New Orleans, LA

Ice Cream Slater                                 1940                Pine Flat, AL

Lemonade Stand                                 2013                Charlotte, NC and Indianapolis, IN

Peachy Tart                                         1870                Canton, KY

August Watermelon                            1925                Rochester, NY

 

Remember that doing family history is not only worthwhile and rewarding, it can also be very funny when coming upon funny and interesting names. In between watching the parades and picnics, take a little time to search for your own ancestors and find out if they were Revolutionary War patriots or if they came to America just a few years ago. Visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or go online to FamilySearch.org and a host of other websites to find your own ancestors and get to know them.

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Irish Eyes Are Smiling with St. Paddy’s Day Names: Family History Sources for Funny Names and Much More

Irish Eyes Are Smiling with St. Paddy’s Day Names:

Family History Sources for Funny Names and Much More

 

Craig L. Foster

On St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish! Race and ethnicity don’t matter as people wear green, eat and drink green, hum Irish tunes and try their best to look like they’re from River Dance, much to the amusement of other Irish wannabes. It’s okay if they’re really not Irish because the Irish themselves are more than happy to share their heritage on this special day.

But some people are not satisfied to just be Irish – for a day, or every day. Some people were blessed with a name that celebrates their Irish heritage. And then others just have names that celebrate Ireland. By scanning census, voting, birth and death records, social media and online directories, a treasure trove (leprechaun or not) of interesting and funny names celebrating Ireland were found.

Here are some other examples of names found in genealogically helpful records:

Irish Boy                                 1851                Llanwnda, Wales

Irish Child                               1850                Grafton, OH

Ireland Ireland                       2013                Gainesville, FL and another in Toms River, NJ

Love M. Ireland                      2013                Baltimore, MD

Irish Irish                                 1870                Skaneateles, NY

Emerald Isle                            2013                Tucson, AZ; Kissimmee, FL; and Wabash, IN

Irish Love                                1930                Tuckaleechee, TN

Irish pride didn’t stop with just these names. There were those who named their children for famous Irish in history, like Saint Patrick Daugherty who appeared in the 1940 census for Baugo, Indiana. He was not alone. Brian Boru was another early Irish figure of renown and respect and there were a few men with that name:

Brian Boru                              2013                Winchester, VA and Berkeley Springs, WV

There were also Brian Boru Gallagher who resided in New South Wales, Australia in 1958 and Brian Boru Macnamara who was residing in the Bronx, NY in 1930.   Brian Boru was the High King of Ireland around 1011 AD.

Oliver Plunkett Bruce             1949                New South Wales, Australia

Oliver Plunkett was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of  All Ireland. He was also the last victim of the so-called Popish Plot which was concocted to encourage anti-Catholicism. He was tried and executed in 1681 and canonized as a Catholic saint in 1975. While there were several men in Australia named after Oliver Plunkett, there appears to have been none with that name in America.

While early Irish figures received some recognition, it was the Irish rebels that seemed to be more popular. Here are some examples, including the year and place the people were residing, of names honoring the rebels in Irish history:

Hugh O’Neill Bell                   1890                Solana, CA

Hugh O’Neill, the earl of Tyrone, led “Tyrone’s Rebellion” between 1594-1603 against the English in Ireland.

Patrick Pearse Finlayson         1963                Victoria, Australia

There were several men on the Australian electoral rolls with the name of Patrick Pearse, who was a poet, teacher, writer, nationalist and political activist. He was killed in the Easter Rebellion in 1916.

Éamon De Valera Connolly    1943                Queensland, Australia

Once again, several men on the Australian electoral rolls with the name of Éamon De Valera who was a rebel who fought in the War of Independence against Britain and then served as the third President of Ireland, as well as the Taoiseach (prime minister) on a couple of occasions.

These names are interesting, especially for those who love Irish history, but it’s the names celebrating Irish culture, music and food that are really interesting. The names Erin, Sean, Seamus, Shannon and Patrick seem to just ooze Irishness and there are a lot of people with those popular Irish names. In fact, the variations are amazing with Erin Shannon, Sean Seamus, Seamus Sean, Sean Shannon, Seamus Shannon, Patrick Shannon, and Shannon Patrick, for example. But here are a few variations that really standout:

Erin Ireland                             2013                Residing in AL, NC, and other American states

Erin Irish                                 2013                Residing in CA, CT, IA, and MI

Patrick Ireland                       1940                Santa Monica, CA

Paddy Irish                             1815                St. Lucia

Patrick Irish                           1870                Sacramento, CA

Patrick Patrick                         1898                Newark, NJ

Shannon Ireland                      2013                Layton, UT and other American cities

Shannon Irish                          2013                Kings Mountain, NC

River Shannon                         2013                Chicago, IL

Shannon Shannon                   2013                Boulder, CO and other American cities

The Irish word for welcome is fáilte and the parents of two people obviously wanted to express that by naming their children, Fáilte Clifford, 1920 from Springfield, MA and Fáilte Johnson, 1900 from Richland, OH, respectively. Caed mile fáilte means a thousand welcomes and that is a great way to get into the other names with a St. Paddy’s day flair.

St. Patrick’s Day is known for wearing green, partaking of green food and drink and just about everything else green. There are also green names to celebrate the Irish:

Emerald Green                        1978                Kalamazoo, MI

Irish Green                              1940                Chicago, IL

Kelly Green                             1940                Pointe Coupee, LA

Shamrock Green                     2013                Fremont, CA

Dawn Green Ireland               1978                Albany, Auckland, NZ

Green A. Ireland                     1910                Jones Bay, NC

Continuing the green theme, are shamrock-related names:

Shamrock Flower                    1908                Seattle, WA

Shamrock Green                     2013                Fremont, CA

Shamrock Ireland                   1960                Amarillo, TX

Clover Shamrock                    2013                Northridge, CA

Shannon Shamrock, Jr.          1956                Richmond, VA

There are other popular symbols of Ireland such as Irish music and unsurprisingly there are people with names from Irish songs:

Danny Boy                              2013                MN, NY, and OH

Tim Finnigan                           1880                St. Louis, MO, and a number living in 2013

Betty Slievenamon Grant       1963                Cowra, New South Wales, Australia

Molly Malone                          1940                Nashville, TN

There are also a number of women residing presently in the United States with the name of Molly Malone. As to whether or not they sell cockles and mussels, isn’t known.

William Irish Eyes McCabe died in Pleasantville, NJ in 2012 but hopefully, before that, his Irish eyes were smiling.

Irish Rose                                2013                Living in CA, IL, OK, and RI

We won’t even ask if these women are wild or not. Nope, not going there.

In spite of the fact that “banshee” is from Irish mythology as an omen of death and a visitor from the spirit world, and means “woman of the fairy mounds,” some men, like Banshee B. Herman, 1940, Lauderdale, MS and Banshee Dallas Lawler, 1977, Kerr, TX, were given the name. There were, of course, women who also had the name, like Banshee Jo Wassall, 1999, Brevard, FL. Other people with names symbolizing Irish culture are:

Green Beer                              1839                Huntsville, AL

Erin Bragh                               2013                Salt Lake City, UT

We’ve just got to wonder if her full name is Erin go Bragh!

Donnybrook Brooks               1962                Boston, MA

Irish Denease Dance               1954                Pasquotank, NC

Shillelagh Mae Carver           1996                Madison, KY

Shillelagh L. Dubay                2013                Sebring, FL

Colin J. Leprechaun Faggetter 1957               Twickenham, England.

With a name like that, we can’t help but wonder if he ever sought revenge on his parents.

Leprechaun Hobbs                  1995                Dayton, OH

Irish Limberick                        1940                Stafford, VA

She can only blame herself for how close the name comes to Irish Limerick since this was her married name.

Irish B. Linnins                       1910                Coble, NC

Iris Stew                                  1954                Bermondsey, London, England

It was so close to Irish stew it belonged here.

Probably one of the best known symbols of Ireland is the Blarney Stone and while there are several people named Blarney Stone living in California, Illinois, Wisconsin and other states, none of these Blarney Stones have the pizazz of the name, Blarney Killarney Orr who died in Sandy, Blanco, TX in 2011.

Remember that doing family history is not only worthwhile and rewarding, it can also be very funny when coming upon funny and interesting names. In between watching the St. Paddy’s Day Parade and downing another helping of corned beef and cabbage, take a little time to search for your own Irish roots. Visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City or go online to FamilySearch.org and a host of other websites to find your own Paddy O’Reilly. Whether or not he’s actually from Balyjamesduff remains to be seen. Either way, it’s worth doing your family history. In fact, doing family history is like having your own lucky charm. But please don’t bother the people named Lucky Charm who live in Phoenix, AZ or Anaheim, CA or Palo Alto, CA or Honolulu, HI or Florence, SC. They’re going to be busy enough this St. Patrick’s Day.

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Where I have been and some news

I know it has been just about 10 months since I blogged and I really feel bad about it.  However, I just went through a period of feeling pretty depressed about my writing and the whole process and I just took a vacation from everything book and writing related.   It took me a while to get back into the groove and then I forced myself through the editing process, got my book done, and got it off to the editor.

Finally, finally, the end is in sight.  I have set a goal of finishing the second editing process within 2 weeks and then getting it line edited and uploaded by the end of January.

I even have my cover, which is absolutely beautiful!

Saving Loarlis book cover

I’ll be talking more about a firm release date and how you can get a copy of the book within the next couple of weeks.  I just wanted to get back into my blogging by posting something, anything, so I decided a book review would be a great place to start.

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Review for Highland Surrender

Highland Surrender

  • Title:        Highland Surrender
  • Author:    Tracy Brogan
  • Length:     369 pages
  • Price:        3.99 currently for the e-book, 6.99 for the paperback.  You can also borrow this book for free if you have a Prime membership.

General Plot:  This is a good historical novel, set in Scotland during the reign of James I.  I am trusting that her history is correct, although I am not very good at understanding much of Scottish history.  Hey, I have enough of Irish history to worry about.  In this case, James wants to solidify the lowland clan of the Campbells with the highland clan of the Sinclairs, hoping to neutralize the uprising of the highland Scots against him.  For that, and other reasons, he declares that Myles Campbell, heir to the Campbell clan’s Lairdship, and Fiona Sinclair, the oldest sister of the new Laird Sinclair.  To make matters even more complicated, Fiona is  convinced that Cedric Campbell, Myles’ father, murdered her mother many years ago.  The Sinclairs hate the Campbells with an ever-increasing hatred and Fiona tries everything she can to get out of the wedding but is threatened and has to comply. Their wedding night goes okay, but she feels like she is betraying her clan by submitting to him.  He takes her home and “various things happen along the way” including an aborted escape attempt and a fight.  Myles really feels like he could easily love his beautiful wife if she would just calm down and let him.  He feels like her life will be much better than it would have been back home, which it definitely is.  Her family is welcoming, they are very, very rich, and he really does spoil her.  However, her hatred for the Campbells and everything they have taken from her makes it hard for her to relax.  She and Myles go through a very long dry spell sexually speaking because he does not want to force her and much as she comes to admire him, she does not want to surrender. Then a treasonous plot comes to life that threatens the Sinclairs and Myles thinks she might be involved so the tension escalates.

My Review:   Sometimes I feel like reviewing books where they get married very first thing in the book is sort of cheating on my description of “clean.”  Since they are married through the whole thing, technically anything goes as far as sex in the book.  Of course, I always try to focus on the second part of my requirements which means that any sex between a couple has to be tasteful.  Fortunately, this book qualifies on both points, even though because the couple is married “on first sight.”

I liked this book and feel like it was really well-written.   The romance felt real to me and I liked how Myles slowly won her over by being gentle and loving to her, even when she really had a hard time accepting his feelings as real.

Tingle Factor:   This was a very romantic book with a lot of touching and kissing that does not lead to sex, since usually one of them says something that upsets the other one somehow, so it winds up being put off.  Toward the end, Myles is getting desperate but does not want to force her.  She is also feeling desperate but tensions are so high between them that she does not feel like she can “surrender” to him.   Generally, I probably would not recommend this book to a teenager, but for the majority of women out there, the sex would not be offensive or over the top in any way.

 

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Two free kindle downloads

I just wanted to alert you that there are two free downloads available on the kindle today about Ireland.  They look like fun and for the huge cost of nothing, they’re worth getting.  Just so you know, if you don’t own a kindle, you can still download them to your computer or smartphone.   This first one is actually a recipe book about Irish breakfasts, as luck would have it, so if you liked my little post on Friday or want more details, this might be the thing for you.

Here are the links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007IPPEXS/?tag=afbm-20

and

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GUSDGS/?tag=afbm-20

Please make sure that you double-check the price before you click buy because these free books come and go quickly and if you don’t act fast, it might revert back to the actual price.   It will be labeled as the “kindle price.”  Make sure you are not seeing the “Prime” price, which is always free.

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St. Patrick’s Day, Part 5

After giving it some serious thought, I decided to break away from my planned post today and instead do another set of recipes, this time for a “Full Breakfast” or “Full Irish Breakfast” along with suggestions of how to do it wherever you are.  Normally I wouldn’t post this until next week but I thought with that being the day right before the big holiday it wouldn’t give you time to get the stuff together if you wanted to create your own meal.  Instead, next week I’ll talk about the history of St. Patrick, his holiday, and the various traditions that surround it, just in time for you to share with others if you celebrate.

A “full breakfast” is just a term used in the UK that means a hot meal as opposed to just cereal and toast or something like that.  If you go and stay at a B and B, this difference will be clearly enunciated.  They may just serve you a full breakfast on the weekends or maybe full breakfast during the week, with a light breakfast on the weekends, etc.  What food makes up a full breakfast varies depending on where you are, the opinion of the proprietor, and what they are willing to serve you.  So there’s no point arguing or debating with your hostess about what should or shouldn’t be included.  Just eat it and enjoy.

Irish Breakfast with bacon, sausage, puddings, and fried eggs

Typically in Ireland a full breakfast will include:  Bacon, sausage, black pudding, white pudding, eggs, toast, oatmeal, beans, and broiled tomato along with coffee, tea, or cocoa.   If you want to serve your own version, just decide which of those sound the tastiest to you and focus on them rather than trying to include them all and driving yourself crazy.  I will include the descriptions and/or cooking instructions for all of them and let you mix and match to your own preferences.

Bacon and Sausage:  This is self-explanatory.  We buy Irish bacon at the English shop near us, but if that weren’t available, we would just get a nice meaty bacon and call it good. For sausage, you can use breakfast links and cook them up or you could do slices from a larger roll.  As a condiment, they serve something called “brown sauce” which reminds me vaguely of a less spicy A1.  You can probably buy it in a specialty shop or just go without if  you don’t wish to do that.

Puddings:  I know, I know.  Just when you got used to the word Pudding meaning “any dessert” from reading Harry Potter, now you have to realize this is not a dessert, but simply another type of sausage.   White pudding is just pork sausage with a lot of bread crumbs in it (that’s what makes it kind of whitish) and black pudding is made with pigs’ liver, pigs’ blood, lard, etc.  If you are really feeling ambitious enough to make your own sausages (!!!) the recipes are available on line.  These can be purchased pre-made in various ethnic shops as well.

Yes, if you’re keeping track that is now 4 different types of fattening meat.  Unless you have the luxury of completely ignoring your fat and cholesterol intake, you probably don’t want all 4 of them in one meal.

Eggs:  Usually fried sunny-side up, sometimes over-easy.  Rarely scrambled although you can ask for it specially if you are staying at a small place and the hostess is taking individual orders.  Nothing fancy about them, but delicious all the same.

Toast:  I don’t know what the English and Irish do to make their toast so delicious but we always eat a ton of it.  They always just use plain white or a light wheat bread, toast it lightly, and then cut it on the diagonal.  Butter it with Irish butter if you can get it and serve with marmalade.  Now marmalade can be very bitter so if you can’t stand that, use strawberry jam.  You could, if you were really ambitious, use the brown bread recipe I gave long ago for bread with your breakfast, but it is not really for toast, just for eating.  Still good, though.  

Oatmeal:  Irish oatmeal is so good and hearty.  It is not at all like the regular oatmeal we get here.  Instead, they use steel-cut oats and they have to be cooked on the stove for like 30 minutes.  We bought the ones we use actually in Ireland, but I noticed not too long ago in the store that Quaker is now offering steel-cut oats, so you may want to check that out and see if you can get them where you live.  If not, even just regular oatmeal that you have to cook would be closer than instant.  Once they are cooked, they are traditionally served with buttermilk, but I just like brown sugar or honey and then cream.

Beans:  NOT GREEN BEANS.  These are baked beans, but not the sweet kind like we have with a barbecue.  More like pork and beans, white beans in a light tomato sauce.  I think last year we used just plain Bush’s and it worked fine.  

Broiled Tomato:  This is my daughter’s favorite part of the breakfast.  I can take ‘em or leave ‘em, but they’re pretty good I guess.   Just get good-sized tomatoes and cut them in half, then broil them, cut side up, in an oven.  You could choose to spice them up with salt and pepper or maybe even some other spices, but in Ireland they’re rather plain.  Keep an eye on them, though.  You don’t want them to burn, but just get hot.  The skin will crack open and the juice will start to leak out and that’s when you want to take them out and serve them.  If you live somewhere where it is hard to get good tomatoes at this time of year, you could broil some cherry or grape tomatoes, which seem to be more delicious year-round.  Just don’t cut them, but broil them on a cookie sheet until the skin splits.

Beverages:  Obviously tea is more common in Ireland, so if that’s what you want try to find a nice blend from there.  But whatever your own preference is will work fine.

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Review for Master of Paradise

Cover for Master of Paradise by Virginia Henley
  • Title:       Master of Paradise
  • Author:  Virginia Henley
  • Length:  About 300 pages
  • Price:     About 4.99 for the e-book

General Plot:  Nicholas Peacock should inherit a huge estate and a title in England, but when his father died suddenly, his stepmother cheated him out of his money, so with nothing else to do, he comes to America and settles in South Carolina.  He works hard to earn money and buys a plantation which he calls “Paradise,” and which quickly comes to showcase his wealth and taste.  Meanwhile, he has befriended a hooligan child named Amanda who is a constant source of embarrassment to her family with her wild ways.  Nicholas, however, sees a kindred spirit in this wild child and plans to wait until she grows up and then marry her.  The start of the Civil War and the collapse of Amanda’s family plays into his plans by leaving her with nowhere else to go and he agrees to marry the 16 year old beauty in name only.    Now that the only thing stopping him from loving her like he longs to do is the trust of her father, Nick finds it difficult not to initiate her into what promises to be a wonderful physical relationship.  But is Amanda really ready for that?

My Review:  Virginia Henley has been writing romance novels for decades and although I enjoyed this novel as a whole, it definitely follows an older style where the hero is incapable of any wrong, the heroine is unconventional but perfect, and everything is beautiful and perfect.  Nicholas even treats his slaves (which he felt terrible buying but managed to do) with the utmost fairness and respect.  The author spends a great deal of time detailing the growth of Paradise Plantation and how clever Nick is to turn his investment into a stunningly beautiful (and naturally perfect) example of all things antebellum South.

Once the Civil War starts, little time is spent on discussing what happens to the southern families or society as a whole.  It is covered quickly without much new territory being covered or much emotional strain being put on the reader.  I can understand Ms. Henley not wanting to make this romance into a war drama, but it does seem that if you are setting a book in that period, it should at least discuss in a realistic way the sorrows of war.  In any case, the war, and the book, end quickly.    The ending seems very rushed and I do wish Ms. Henley had spent a few more pages giving a good “black moment” and ending allowing us to feel that cathartic joy that we long to feel when lovers long separated are reunited.

The Tingle Factor:  There was some fun chemistry between Nicholas and Amanda as they are married but not sexually involved but the few sex scenes after that changes were quick and not particularly original.    This is not as much of a sexual novel as it is a classic “saga” novel with a bit of sex and romance thrown in.   The language is restrained and it definitely would not be too much description for any but the most delicate reader.

Tingle Scale: 4/10

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St. Patrick’s Day, part 4

It’s recipe Friday again today and for today’s post, I want to share with you the recipes I use for my St. Patrick’s Day meal for my own family, the infamous Corned Beef and cabbage and then Irish Soda Bread.  Now this last year, I had heard that corned beef was not Irish at all and in fact, not eaten by the Irish at all until the emigrants to the United States adopted it from the Jewish community as a cheap replacement for their traditional bacon.

However, when I went hunting on the internet today to get a source for this factoid, it turns out THAT isn’t true either.  According to a food history site, the Irish in County Cork canned corned beef for over 200 years and the Napoleonic army marched on canned Cork corned beef.  But, the fact they canned it apparently doesn’t mean they ate it.  It really isn’t a popular dish there and certainly not a traditional meal for St. Patrick’s Day; instead they typically eat “bacon” and cabbage (remember that means ham and cabbage).  Interestingly enough, even though it falls during Lent, they were able to eat meat on that day, since it is a religious holiday.  That probably made it even more of a marvelous holiday for the Irish through the years.

In any case, it’s definitely an American tradition to eat corned beef for the holiday and I’m going to share recipes for that today.  If you want more traditional, true Irish food, just check some of the other recipes I’ve shared in the past.  I’m going to share the recipes I have used for 25 years and then a couple more modern approaches toward corned beef and cabbage, as well as a white and a wheat soda bread.  We usually also have potatoes and I won’t worry about sharing a recipe for that — you can either bake them, boil them, or mash them depending on your own preference.   I was desperately trying to remember what I usually serve for dessert and couldn’t think of anything.  I think because we usually have this dinner right before or right after the day of our party, we usually just eat leftover dessert or stuff we have made ahead of time.  So you’re on your own for dessert.

Here we go:  Susannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef

  • 3-4 lb corned beef brisket
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp wholepeppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf

Put beef into big pot, cover with cold water.   Bring to a boil.  Add chopped onion, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaf.  Simmer for 3-4 hours.  Remove beef to a baking dish.  Mix together 3 Tbsp mustard, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp ground cloves and pour over beef.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing.   Right before it’s done, boil a quartered head of cabbage and sliced, peeled potatoes in a pot of salted water.

New-Fangled Easy Corned Beef from Paula Deen

  • 4 pieces bacon
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can corned beef

Cook the bacon in a pot until almost crisp, then remove from pot and drain on a paper towel.  Add butter to the pot and mix with the bacon grease.  Toss the cabbage into the pot and stir, coating the cabbage in fat.  Then add 1/3 cup of water and salt and pepper to taste.   Cover pot with lid and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, adding more water if necessary to keep cabbage from burning.   Meanwhile, chop the bacon into pieces.   Remove the lid the pot and scatter chunks of the corned beef and the bacon on top of the cabbage, cover again and cook until the cabbage is almost done, but with still a bit of crunch.

Irish Soda Bread with White Flour

  • 3 c flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 c raisins

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda.  Cut in butter with fork or pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Combine buttermilk and egg, add to flour mixture and stir just until mixed.  Then add raisins.   Dump out of bowl onto a heavily floured board and knead until mixture forms a ball.  Put on a greased baking sheet and form into a 7-inch circle.  With a sharp knife, cut an X in the top of the bread.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes.  Cool, slice, and serve with whipped butter and orange marmalade, if desired.

Irish Soda Bread with Wheat Flour

  • 4-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2-1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly oil a baking sheet.    Stir together the flours, salt, sugar, and baking soda in a bowl.  Then add buttermilk and raisins, stir just until mixed.  Shape the dough into a round and put onto the sheet, then cut the X across the top.  Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.   Cool before slicing.  Serve with butter and  orange marmalade if desired.

All right.  There are a couple of variations on the traditional meal for March 17th.  If neither of these appeal to you, there are plenty of other variations available on the web or in just about any cookbook.  Go ahead and try one this year.  It might just become an annual tradition.

 

 

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