Feeding Your Readers’ Interests

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By Elizabeth Ludwig

My husband and I recently made a trip to Sugarcreek, Ohio, to visit the setting for my latest series of cozy mysteries from Guideposts. One of things I loved about the experience was sampling the authentic Amish cooking. I even found several Amish cookbooks to add to my treasure trove of books. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever used one of these cookbooks, you know that many of the recipes can be very vague–a “pinch” of this, a “smidge” of that. LOL! Apparently, the authors of these recipes assume you know what temperature to bake a pie or exactly how much of each ingredient to add. I assume it’s because many of these dishes have been passed down for generations, and the cooks in the family know exactly how something should taste.

The problem is, I don’t always know exactly how long a pie should bake, or what the finished product should look like. That’s why I’m so glad I have a loving family to experiment on. They enjoy having new dishes to sample, and as I’ve learned writing this series, so do my readers. You see, every book in the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries includes a recipe–something from the story that can be shared with readers at the end of the book. Surprisingly, this has generated more fan mail than anything else I’ve written! Readers love to tell me when they’ve tried one of the recipes I’ve included. One sweet lady even sent me a picture.

This has proven to be such a fun way to connect with my readers, and my growing collection of Amish cookbooks will ensure that I always have plenty of recipes to draw from, including one from my latest release, A Tempting Taste of Mystery that I’m glad to be able to share with you.

Miracle Crust Buttermilk Pie


• 1 1/2 cups white sugar
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 1/2 cup all-purpose baking mix
• 1/3 cup butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 eggs


Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch pie plate. Beat together white sugar, buttermilk, baking mix, melted butter or margarine, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Pour filling into pie plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

Elizabeth Ludwig is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences where she lectures on crafting effective novel proposals and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Her latest releases include Home Sweet Sugarcreek and A Tempting Taste of Mystery, part of the Sugarcreek Amish Mysteries series from Guideposts. Along with her husband, she makes her home in the great state of Texas. To learn more, visit ElizabethLudwig.com.

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