Monday, April 22, 2013

Strawberry cream cheese kolaches

strawberry cream cheese kolaches

Last week I began the writing phase of my book, which means every morning I get up early and begin working. Because I like to write without any distractions, I don’t talk to anyone or go online until I’ve met my daily word count. And every day last week, there was some new terrible news waiting for me when I finally plugged back into the world. What a week it was.

While there was no shortage of people to be praying for, I have to say that my heart was most heavy for the Texas town of West. A fertilizer plant there exploded late Wednesday and the impact was so extreme that it was felt over 50 miles away. Not to mention, when you saw images of the blast, the mushroom cloud reminded you of a war bomb. To date, 14 people have been reported dead with many still missing and injured. What an awful, horrible event.

The town is a few miles from Waco, almost at the halfway point of the route between Dallas and Austin, so people making that journey have long stopped in West to rest, fill up the tank, and grab something to eat. West has a large Czech population and it’s famous for offering Czech sausages and pastries, such as kolaches. And as Texans love their kolaches, it’s for this reason this tiny Texas town has such a large hold on so many Texans’ hearts.

strawberry cream cheese kolaches

If you’re not familiar with a kolache (pronounced koe-lah-chay), it’s a Czech pastry that’s typically filled with fruit, cheese, poppy seeds, sausage, or eggs. If it’s a sweet filling, the roll will be round or square with an indention at the top that’s been stuffed. If it’s made with sausage or something else savory, then the filling is completely encased in the dough and a mystery until you take that first wonderful bite.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring break in Texas

The other night I dreamt that I was in Texas. It was the end of my visit, and I hadn’t seen many wildflowers while I was there, but as we pulled into the Austin airport, suddenly the surrounding fields were blanketed with our beautiful state flower. I gasped and then I cried.

In real life, my recent trip home wasn’t much different. It was cold, rainy and grey most of the time, and the bluebonnets I did see were few and far between. But if you looked, there were still signs that it was springtime in Texas and plenty of reminders that I was indeed back home.

My first order of business was a book signing at the Texas State Capitol, where I looked up and saw this:

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