A grandmother’s special treat. Gingersnaps made for weary travelers by a generous pioneer woman. A cake from home that comforted a soldier during World War II.
These are only some of the recipes found in FAMILY RECIPES FROM THE SNAKE RIVER PLAIN, which brings together favored dishes from people who call Idaho home.
There’s even an ode to fry sauce.
What makes this collection so unique is the stories about the recipes. How potato pancakes got people through tough times. Two sisters’ Milk Toast. A grandmother’s special yellow bowl. The Great Zucchini Wars. How onions saved a family in times of hardship.
Heartwarming and entertaining, these family recipes and the stories behind them show what makes the Snake River Plain so special.
The book features the work of 27 regional writers.
On sale now at Amazon.com for $9.99.
My husband is a CPA. Every year, he’s required to take continuing education. CPE as it’s called.
I’m a writer. I have no such requirement on me. Instead, I have an obligation to take continuing education. We writers need WCE (writing continue education).
Why? To get better, to challenge yourself, to make sure you haven’t fell into a chasm of lazy and overconfidence. People who think they know it all just go sideways. Those continually learning have no place to go but up.
One of the best ways to find WCE is by going to a writing conference. I attended one recently and not only got my fill of education, but my batteries charged as well, to use a cliché. If you’ve been writing awhile, you know a lot of this stuff (plotting, structure, character development, etc.) but conferences help you remember why it’s important and to keep doing it if you’ve forgotten.
It also revs you up to hang out with other writers who share your passion. If you can’t afford to go out of town for a conference, there are good online writing education courses that are very reasonable. Check out Writer’s Digest for a start.
Professionals like accountants, attorneys and doctors must take continuing education to keep practicing their profession. Writers who take continuing education need it to keep their edge.
Patricia Santos Marcantonio
Revis Turner, Utah Idaho Kiwanis Governor, donated BILLIE NEVILLE TAKES A LEAP to a book project at the national Kiwanis gathering in Detroit earlier this year.
Revis said the project was to donate 100,000 children’s books to the Detroit area schools and libraries. Each district governor was asked to bring a book that represented their district.
“I thought yours would be very interesting read. We included bookmarks and book labels with the books,” he said.
The young adult book, written by Bonnie Dodge and Patricia Santos Marcantonio, is about a girl who dreams of being a daredevil during the excitement of the Evel Knievel jump over the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls, Idaho. The book also received an Idaho Author Award in 2015.
Photo courtesy of Revis Turner
Recipes passed down through generations. Dishes served at local restaurants or by pioneers.
A new book, FAMILY RECIPES FROM THE SNAKE RIVER PLAIN not only features family recipes, but their stories, which were contributed by 27 regional writers.
The public is invited to a book launch and signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 13 in the First Federal Conference room of the new Twin Falls Visitor’s Center.
The event will include readings, giveaways, and samples of some of the recipes from the book.
Published by River St. Press, the book uniquely brings life to the recipes with the stories behind them. The stories include how pioneer Lucy Stricker made gingersnap cookies and griddle cakes for weary travelers, what a cake from home meant to a soldier during World War II, reflections on a grandmother’s lime green Jell-O dessert, the sweetness of Idaho potato candy, and how onions helped a family survive rough times. There is even an ode to fry sauce.
Based in the Magic Valley, River St. Press publishes regional books including the ghost story anthology “Hauntings from the Snake River Plain,” and the award-winning children’s book, “Billie Neville Takes a Leap.”
The book is available at
River St. Press books are now available at two new locations.
You’ll find a display at the Mountain View Barn event center and coffee shop, 392 E. 300 South, Jerome, Idaho.
The award-winning YA book, BILLIE NEVILLE TAKES A LEAP can also be found at the new and beautiful Buzz Langdon Visitors Center off of the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho.
You can also find River St. Press books at Barnes & Noble in Twin Falls.
FAMILY RECIPES FROM THE SNAKE RIVER PLAIN
A grandmother’s special treat. A pioneer woman’s gingersnaps made for weary travelers. A cake from home comforting a soldier during World War II.
This collection is more than just a cookbook. It shares the stories behind the recipes. A family enduring washday and making soap. The wonder of lime Jell-O. How onions sustained a struggling family in Transylvania. There’s even an ode to fry sauce.
Heartwarming and entertaining, FAMILY RECIPES FROM THE SNAKE RIVER PLAIN shows what makes the Snake River Plain so special.
Watch for more details.
I had lunch with a woman who is also a writer and throughout I was struck by her love of what she was doing. She had no bloodthirsty goal to be on the New York Times Bestseller list or climb the lofty heights of the Amazon ranks. She wasn’t out to make sure that her writing was on all the Nooks and Kindles in the universe.
She just loved what she was doing. She was happy, and her happiness was comforting.
I will admit to you I’ve fallen into that unhappy underworld when I begin to wonder why the heck I’m not selling millions, okay maybe thousands, of books on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble, or why Hollywood hasn’t optioned any of my stories for big screen or little one, for that matter. These are times when my ego takes hold like a rope. But as I’ve grown older I have learned that pinning happiness on those two things alone will lead straight to unhappiness. It’s like high school when you wish the cutest guy would ask you out or that you make the cheerleader squad. When those two things don’t happen, you are in high school hell. Thankfully, high school is over.
And please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not knocking ambition. If your only goal is to sell lots of books, then I wish you all the happiness. Damn, if my books do hit no. 1, I certainly won’t be sad or turn down the royalty checks.
But I’m not going to be holding my breath either.
I’m just going to keep on writing and learning how to become a better writer because that’s why I began all this in the first place. I love to tell stories and create characters. I love to have someone read my writing and feel a bit of the emotions I felt when writing the words. Or have them say, ‘Hey, I know what that’s like.’ I like to make them laugh, cry, feel scared, or rewarded. I like them to think. Mostly, I pursue what Harper Lee wrote in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
That gives me the greatest joy–giving people another point of view through my writing.
I’ve had my share of successes and I am grateful and lucky, but as in life, I have to realize there will always be people with more success and less success. People with more money and less. At times, I still have to work to keep myself out of that hades of unhappy writers, but it is getting easier and isn’t that something to be happy about?
Following is the link to the best list I’ve read about how to be a happy writer by novelist, screenwriter and game designer Chuck Wendig. Enjoy!
Patricia Santos Marcantonio
Feb. 28 is the deadline to submit recipes and their stories to a new anthology by River St. Press.
For fiction, nonfiction, essays and poetry – a story up to 500 words. Recipes are not included in the word count.
You may submit more than one recipe. There is no entry fee. You retain all rights and may republish your story and recipe after the book has been released.
Use standard manuscript format—double-spaced, 12pt serif font Times, Times New Roman, or Courier New with one-inch margins. Poetry may be single-spaced. Please incorporate your submission into the body of an email or attach entry as a PDF file. No other attachments will be opened.
Include your name, address, email address, phone number and word count with your submission.
Submission deadline is February 28, 2015. We plan to release the anthology in the spring of 2015. Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put the words “recipe anthology submission” in the subject line. We will accept email entries only. You can submit your entry here.
If your story is accepted, you will receive one printed copy of the book and special ebook offers for your family and friends.
The historical Idaho State Penitentiary was named one of the Most Haunted Places in the USA on the Places You’ll See site. A story about the penitentiary is featured in River St. Press’ book, HAUNTINGS FROM THE SNAKE RIVER PLAIN. In its second printing, the book will soon be available as an ebook on Amazon.com.
Check it out at