Try a Bite!
Read an excerpt of Christine Bailey’s new release Girl in the Middle. This “morsel” shows main character Skye Walker in the kitchen with her mom shortly after Skye’s sister goes missing. For the Walker women, baking is therapeutic—it’s their way of dealing with life’s vexing situations. Also help yourself to a delish recipe for Poppy Seed Bread—it’s simple to make and great for sharing!
POPPY SEED BREAD
3 cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ cup milk
1 ½ tsp. baking powder 1 ½ cup oil
1 ½ tsp. salt 1 ½ Tbsp. poppy seeds
2 ¼ cups sugar 2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs 2 tsp. butter flavoring
Mix together all ingredients; beat 2 minutes. Bake for 1 hour at 350.
¾ cup sugar ¼ cup orange juice
1 ½ tsp. vanilla ½ tsp. butter flavoring
Mix together and pour over hot bread. Let stand 30 minutes. Remove bread from pan. Yield: 8–12 servings. This recipe makes five small loaves. Wrap each loaf in plastic wrap, add a pretty bow, and PRESTO-five gifts! Poppy seed bread is great with morning coffee or as a snack.
Excerpt from Girl in the Middle:
Sunday made two days since we had last seen my sister. Mom and I spent the morning in the kitchen cooking and baking stuff in silence. She had called Aggie and Jimbo, and they were on their way.
Mom kneaded and molded dough on the countertop, and the whole kitchen quaked from the incessant pounding. Timers buzzed and silverware clinked. Mom flitted from oven to stove to fridge to countertop without saying anything. But then again, neither did I. I didn’t know what to say to her.
After a while, the mixed aromas of spices filled the air. The smells of a spiced roast with sage and rosemary from the crockpot blended with the scent of homemade bread seeping from the oven. A pot of beans bubbled on the stovetop. My stomach grumbled.
“Mom, do you think she’s okay?”
“Of course she is.”
“Do you think that? I mean, really?”
“Check the oven, will you? I don’t want anything to burn.”
Her blank stare unnerved me. I didn’t want to push it, so I changed the subject. We continued to work in the kitchen, making small talk, and finally, after a full morning of non-stop baking and cooking, I told her, “No more. I’m done.”
I took off the brown and orange apron, spattered and soiled with a mixture of ingredients, and kissed her on the cheek. The next thing I knew, I had curled up in my bed and given in to a much-needed nap.
A loud knock on my door stirred me about an hour later. Mom, zipped up in her red winter jacket, said she and Dad were going to the police station.
“Listen for the phone. Call me if you hear from her. Oh, and Aggie and Jimbo left a while ago from the lake, but I’m not sure when they’ll get here. All that food is in the fridge, if you get hungry.”
She kissed me on the head and closed the door on the way out. After a few minutes, the garage door grumbled shut. I listened as the house creaked from the strong winds outside. Other than that, the only sounds came from the occasional passing car and the heat kicking on every so often. The emptiness in the house upset me, especially with Sophie away at a friend’s house.
I needed a distraction, so I watched a few episodes of Lonely Girl on my computer. I got so immersed in the small scandals, I didn’t even hear the car pull up or the garage door open. But the heavy footsteps on the hardwood knocked me back to Grand Rapids from the sweet life in the Hollywood Hills. Everything came rushing back. I ran over to my window to see if my sister had come home. It wasn’t her vehicle I spotted but rather an unfamiliar white sedan in the driveway beside Mom’s car.
Find Christine Bailey
GIRL IN THE MIDDLE coming soon from Vinspire Publishing!