What She Wore…Wednesday January 15, 1908

on January 15, 2020


What She Wore underneath it all–courtsey of the Davenport (Iowa) Democrat and Leader–is so luscious that I just have to include the second half of the advertisement!


What She Wore…Wednesday January 15, 1896

on January 15, 2020


You might already know that most of the clothing advertisements in late 19th Century newspapers did not display many illustrations. And so it was in the Wednesday January 15 1896 issue of the Valley Spirit from Chambersburg, PA–the clothing advertisements were text only.

The Battle Ax Plug Tobacco advertisement was another story. It featured a smiling carriage pusher wearing exuberant mutton-sleeves, the fullest-skirt-ever, and a veiled & be-ribboned hat. FASHION!

What She Wore…Wednesday January 8, 1936

on January 8, 2020

From the pages of the Miami (Florida) Daily News

“The restaurant ensemble which caused such a furor when first shown in Paris promises to continue in favor throughout the winter months. Velvet is the favored fabric for these costumes, and while many of them are entirely of that material, in so far as gown and jacket are concerned, some of the smartest have bodices of brocade, lame and other rich fabrics. These are particularly nice for those occasions when the wearer wishes to dine informally and then go on to a more formal function—for, with the removal of the jacket, the dress is then a distinctly evening affair.”

What She Wore…Wednesday January 1, 1913

on January 1, 2020


From the pages of the Oakland (California) Tribune…women are wearing “splendid plain tailored suits” a la Titanic or My Fair Lady. Underneath them they’re wearing silk petticoats.

Men are wearing “suits with two and three button fronts with box, regular and form fitting  backs, with the new shoulders and new lapels”.


Mom Brazil’s Crullers

on December 22, 2019

Makes about 55 Ping Pong ball-sized crullers.


  • 4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs plus 1 extra yoke
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil for the fryer (about 2 quarts)
  • Bowl of cinnamon sugar
  1. In a deep-fryer, heat the oil to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, & salt.
  3. In a smaller bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yoke, & sugar.
  4. Add the vanilla, melted butter, & milk to the egg mixture.
  5. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture to make a dough.
  6. Chill the dough in the frig for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from the frig and use a tablespoon to create a ball of dough.
  8. Add 6-8 balls of dough into the deep-fryer.*
  9. Fry for 3-5 minutes until golden brown, flipping over in the oil half way through.
  10. Remove the crullers from the fryer and place on a paper towel.
  11. After 1 minute resting, roll the crullers in a bowl of cinnamon sugar.
  12. Place sugared crullers on a wire rack to cool.
  13. After they are entirely cool, store in a tin.

*For best results, at step 8., start by adding only one ball of dough to the deep fryer. At 4 minutes, cut into the cruller at 4 minutes. It should be entirely dry at the core. Adjust your fry time accordingly.


Well, this is sobering….

on December 18, 2019

I just got my “Ana’s Year in Books” email from Goodreads and I only read 4,413 pages across 14 books.

14 books over 12 months! What a slouch!

I know I read more than 14 books this year; I just didn’t report them on Goodreads. I like this Goodreads feature–especially since we’re going to be discussing our year-end favorite books later this month on Paper Lantern Writers–but I’m going to have to get better about reporting my reads.

ALSO…it would be great if Goodreads could tell me how many pages I’ve written during 2019. And I’m sure it’s more than 4,413!

What’s cooking for Thanksgiving Dinner in 1889 New Orleans?

on November 28, 2019

Since it’s Thanksgiving week, right now I’m thinking about FOOD—smoked turkey, oyster stuffing, and gravy; sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce; and, one of my very favorites, fluffy ambrosia.

My food thoughts made me wonder what Fanny Newcomb and her friends (and even her enemies, since Fanny is hunting down the Irish Channel Ripper in 1889 New Orleans) ate for Thanksgiving dinner. And then I wondered—since it was President Lincoln who officially proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a National Day of Thanksgiving—did New Orleanians actually celebrate Thanksgiving in the 1880s?

from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, c1888

Oh, yes they did. With morning church services and an evening family feast, New Orleanians joined the rest of the country in giving thanks.

And what a feast! The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book of 1901 provides a complete menu for Thanksgiving Day Dinner (or as the Creoles called it le Jour d’Action de Graces) for New Orleanians. If you look closely (because there are an amazing twenty-one courses), you’ll see that—just like today—turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce were served.

Interested in recreating some of these late 19th century dishes? Check out the online 1922 version of the The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book.

A Thanksglving Menu.

Menu Pour le Jour d’Action de Graces.


Oysters on Half Shell.

Cream of Asparagus Soup.

Spanish Olives. Celery. Mixed Pickles.

Radishes. Salted Almonds.

Baked Red Snapper a la Creole.

Mashed Potatoes.

Lamb Chops au Petit Pois.

Chicken Saute aux Champignons.

Cauliflower, Sauce Blanche.

Pineapple Fritters au Rhum.

Pates de Foies Gras.

Stuffed Tomatoes.

Turkey Stuffed With Chestnuts, Cranberry Sauce.

Endive Salad, French Dressing.

Pababotte a la Creole.

Plum Pudding, Hard or Brandy Sauce.

Pumpkin Pie.

Lemon Sherbet. Assorted Cakes.

Assorted Fruits. Assorted Nuts. Raisins.


Quince Marmalade. Crackers.

Cafe Noir.


Psst! Want a review copy of “Miss Evelyn Nesbit Presents”?

on November 21, 2019

Have you been dying to read–and review–my short story “Miss Evelyn Nesbit Presents”?

Good News! I have a few COMPLIMENTARY REVIEW COPIES of ME TOO SHORT STORIES: AN ANTHOLOGY, which I’ll be glad to snailmail to the first five people who send me a message through my contact form on this website.

You’ll have to be in the Continental US and I’ll have to ship Book Rate, but I can get you a copy of this crime fiction anthology really soon.

No reviews are required; but they are always appreciated!

Contact me by December 15th and you *may* receive a complimentary copy of short stories by Rona Bell, Julia Buckley, Diana Catt, Dayle A. Dermatis, Eve Fisher, Gin Gannon, C.C. Guthrie, Lynn Hesse, V.S. Kemanis, Madeline McEwen (Hi Maddy!),  Julia Pomeroy, Ann Rawson, Carole Sojka, and editor Elizabeth Zelvin.

Fanny Newcomb Book Birthday & KIndle Sale

on November 8, 2019

Yep, “Book Birthdays” are a real thing.

FANNY NEWCOMB & THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER came out on November 1st, 2017 and in Fanny’s honor, my publisher is hosting a $.99 sale on Kindle.


If you haven’t read FANNY NEWCOMB, or if you’ve worn out your Kindle copy already, or if you’d like to send a Kindle copy to a friend (or potential friend) of yours, NOW’S THE TIME!


November newsletter just around the corner…

on October 29, 2019

Despite the sad, sad, look of this 1920’s newsletter writer, my November newsletter has only happy, happy news.

You can sign up for my November newsletter on this very page.