That’s right. Breakfast tacos. Also Huevos Rancheros Especial, enchiladas, Banana Dream Cake, and the Best Danged Buttermilk Pie you’ve ever tasted. Also Chorizo, “THAT” BLT (sort of a BLT on steroids), and the mythical Double Trouble Dog, so dangerous it’s shortened to DTD.
What does this have to do with cookbooks? These are just a few of the recipes in The Mossback Cafe Cookbook, a companion book to my Traces of Treasure novel series.
I first wrote about “The Mossback Cafe” in my novel, The Fever. It’s a small cafe in the crossroads ranching town of Van Horn TX. Van Horn is real. The Mossback is not.
“Mossback” has a lot of meanings, including an old Elk or Moose, or an old “lunker” fish, or an ancient tortoise or turtle. But there’s another “old-west” meaning … an old wild (and wily) Texas longhorn. Hence the longhorn on the cover. In the novel, owner Smidgeon Toll serves up good food with friendly banter. It keeps her place popular with both locals and people passing through. Although it was an invention, I fell in love with the place I created and based most of the sequel, A Curse That Bites Deep, in and around The Mossback. The third book in the series will be based there too.
The cookbook is crafted to read as though owner Smidgeon Toll has put it together as a promotional piece for the cafe, and I’ve added a little more biographical info on her and her family and the restaurant. Her homespun humor is a lot of fun and she gives insight into some of the workings of the cafe with the sections divided into practical restaurant divisions. “Basics” starts off with items such as biscuits and chili and a few other things that are used as components in other recipes. There are popular and unique “On The Side” dishes, recipes for dishes served up as specials are in “Y’all Wanted Something Special?”, a few of the standards are in “Standard Bearers”, a small helping of wonderful desserts are in “Just Desserts”, and it ends up with a couple of recipes for items she calls “Weekenders.” Not to be outdone, be sure to read the afterword … there are a couple of more surprises there.
A lot of the recipes serve double duty (some even more) and she even gives some insight into innovations they use. For instance, she mentions that the sauce for their version of Arroz con Pollo (a Mexican chicken and rice) can, with a few minor alterations, also serve as a base for Chicken Cacciatore.
In short, if The Mossback Cafe actually existed, these are a few of the offerings that might have made it famous. In reality, they are some of my favorite recipes. So, here you go, your Crazy Cookbook Guy created his own cookbook. How about that.
What I was going for was the “look” of a small self-produced cookbook of a type that a small-town cafe might make for themselves in the mid-1980s. I think I hit the nail on the head. Even better: IT’S FREE. Well, it’s a free ebook anyway. It’s also a lot of fun.
The ebook is available in formats compatible with Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad and most other e-readers. There is also a PDF version, in case you just want to browse it at work. I won’t tell.
The link below will take you to Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of ebooks. They have help files if you need a hand, but generally, if you can browse there in your reader you should be able to download the ebook right into your reader or tablet.
In short, epub works with Nook-iBooks-Kobo, and mobi works with Kindle.
For your free download >>> — >> click here
I am hoping this little cookbook will get hungry readers interested in the books that inspired it. So feel free to browse for my books too… they’re on Smashwords as well as on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. No paperback of the cookbook yet, but there are paperbacks of the novel. There are links for everything are on my website, click my name below. Enjoy!
Thomas Fenske, writer and cookbook collector currently lives in central North Carolina.