Caramel Corn and Recipe Cards

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I never in my wild imaginings pictured a day when I’d be telling my readers about my own set of recipe cards, but here I am. Booktrope has designed a lovely set of over 50 cards. They come in 5-card sets, all tied up with a pretty ribbon, and are signed and numbered.

One of the 5-card sets and a gift bag of the Agave Caramel Corn—complete with a hand-lettered, hand-decorated recipe for the same—are free to anyone who buys a copy of Blue Moon Vegetarian and either mails or emails their receipt or emails a photo of him- or herself cooking from the book. That’s pretty amazing, given that full sets of cards go for $30 each, and I have never cooked Agave Caramel Corn for anyone except Phil and me. If you want to really help me spread the word, please feel free to upload a picture of yourself and the book to the social media site of your choice.

All tallied, here’s what I’ll send you:

  1. A PDF that contains cards for every recipe in Blue Moon Vegetarian, separated out for your cooking convenience (pictured above)
  2. A 5-card set of already printed, signed, and numbered recipe cards
  3. A gift bag of Agave Caramel Corn, sent right to your doorstep or wherever you want it delivered (postage costs dictate that I can only send to US and Canada, unfortunately).
  4. A personally designed recipe card (handwritten and hand-decorated!) for Agave Caramel Corn

When I was a young mother, I loved collecting recipes. I had a folder and a binder full, some hand-printed, some clippings. I had begun saving them from newspapers and magazines as a girl, even though I didn’t cook all that much as a teenager. Likely because, well, teenagers have other things to do. I also drilled my Kentucky mountain grandmothers every time I visited them on how they made their biscuits, their peach preserves, their mashed potatoes and gravy.

By the time I was sixteen, I had begun subscribing to Mother Earth News, as well, for not only the whole-foods recipes, but for the tips and articles about self-sufficiency. The daughter of generations of Kentucky mountain people who knew how to do just that, I imagined myself one day returning to my father’s family homestead in south-central Kentucky and restoring it into a working farm, one that made me a living and enough to set aside for future contingencies and to occasionally travel to New York, as accomplished writers had to.

Well, we all know about dreams. Early decisions matter, and I made all the wrong ones if making productive that ancestral acreage was my goal. But that did not change the fact that I spent part of the next twenty years imagining it, reading about how to do everything from butchering animals to making soap, filling notebooks with plans and sketches, growing in small plots my own vegetables, learning to can and dry and freeze enough u-pick produce to sustain a family over a winter, using those butchering skills on the deer, elk, and fowl my then-husband brought to the table.

I gave up my subscription to Mother Earth News about the time I entered grad school and began writing seriously and working as a university writing instructor. I traded it for The New Yorker.

What I did not give up, however, was my passion for organic, whole foods cooking, although I did not expect to discover an instinct for creating with food. Nor did I ever expect the proof of it to be in print:  Blue Moon Vegetarian contains more then fifty recipes I and/or Phil dreamed up ourselves.

One of those recipes is called “Agave Caramel Corn.” It, too, is a nod to my Appalachian ancestors, since growing popcorn was something of which my father’s father was extraordinarily proud. I remember visiting “down on the Creek” with my parents and siblings in the late autumn when of an evening Grandpa Coomer would bring out his dried ears of multi-colored popcorn and shell them into a pan on the old pot-belly stove.

Of course, my recipe is low-glycemic and low-fat. He cooked his corn in lard and doused the popped kernels with melted home-churned butter, a habit I never took up. The fact that Grandpa died of heart disease probably goes without saying.

I remember also store-bought boxes of Cracker Jack he would sometimes have stashed for us and those little toy surprises inside. Of course, I was too young to understand what those Cracker Jacks represented—a trip to the store over many miles by muleback and parting with coins he earned by trading the sweat of his own labor.

Agave Caramel Corn reminds me of all these things. I hope it will remind you of your very own special memories when I send it to you.

For more information on the extras I’d love to send you for purchasing Blue Moon Vegetarian, please email me at


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