Winter Blogfest: Melora Johnson

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a bound copy of the recipes I’ve been creating this past year. I’m happy to ship anywhere in the world, it just may take a while to get there.

Cooking for Christmas

delicious eggnog cocktail on round wooden boards near spruce branches and cinnamon sticks on blue textured background

One of the things the main characters, Ally and Matt, seem to enjoy in my paranormal romance Earthbound is cooking together. They make pumpkin pancakes and thick grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I guess it’s no surprise that I love to cook and it makes its way into my writing and into my blog. I’m half Polish and some of my favorite memories from the Christmas season are the amazing foods that come with it. Christmas cookies like pecan Kolaczki and the rich prune Lekvar Cake my aunt taught my mother to make were favorites in our house. Christmas morning always featured the giant nut roll, Buchta and homemade eggnog. It was as important to me as any presents under the tree.

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It’s kind of amazing no one ever seemed to get sick from salmonella even though we were using raw eggs. However, after a bout of salmonella this summer when I made an ice cream recipe that called for raw eggs, I started thinking about how one could pasteurize a homemade eggnog recipe. I realized that the recipes for eggnog and vanilla ice cream were very similar so why not heat it the same way? A new recipe was born. I made it recently for the first time and my daughter tried it. “This is delicious!” she exclaimed, as if she were surprised. I’ll definitely be making it for Christmas morning this year, along with the Buchta.

I share a lot of my recipes on my blog, and I’ll send one lucky person a bound copy of the recipes I’ve been creating this past year. Reading and trying new recipes, it’s the perfect way to spend a long winter.

Ally Reynolds is a raptor veterinarian who has a “spark” for healing with her hands, a gift she’s kept secret. But she’s lonely and longs for someone to share her life with. Ornithologist Matthew Blake suspects Ally’s healing powers could benefit him and thinks they’d make a great team. Matthew has some secrets of his own. Can Ally trust him or is he just using her?

Melora Johnson grew up in a small town in Upstate New York, and still lives in the state with her husband, daughter, a black cat, and quite a few chickens. She writes poetry, horror, science-fiction & fantasy but also dabbles in other genres. She daylights as a librarian because that is where she hears the best stories. Melora also runs a thriving writers group. Of course, into every life a little rain must fall, as well as the occasional tornado, but you’ll find that amply covered in her writing.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter 

Buy the book at Tirgearr Publishing.


  1. What great memories, Melora! Food is such an integral part of how we socialize as families. You have a rich and diverse plethora of recipes to keep your family memories alive, as well as to pass on to your daughter. I’d sing more praises, but you’ve made me hungry for some of my family favorites. I’m off to the kitchen!

  2. I’m so hopeful reading your words.

    Years ago, then from young to older, women here also passed on traditions of holiday foods.

    We came to associate them with family and gatherings at every season but especially at holidays.

    In turn those families grown passed on the experiences – in turn -passing the joys and batons on to others.

    This year, lived in ever increasing isolation, I have taken the baton back.

    One batch of my mom’s penuche fudge has been taste tested and is ready to pack.

    Soon it may be joined by my Aunt Sis’s/Uncle Bob’s chocolate fudge, continuation of ‘mom’s’ prized gifts of chex mix recipe thanks to others/labor of shopping daughter and hopefully shake off the doldrums and getup off the couch and start cooking me.

    Some things like fudge we will enjoy tangibly thanks to process of porch pick ups and no contact drop offs despite or perhaps because of Covid doldrums energy sludge.

    Some things I savor purely thanks to you – memories of the month together with my brother and sister and the brief immersion into the existence of her yearning for her yearly Christmas eggnog.

    This year there is no expectation of being together as my sister yearns and hopefully savors her yearly eggnog – but thanks to you – there is the pondering of starting an eggnog tradition of my own.

    Something’s are passed down by families – others by people and writing that by grace enters into our lives and stays.

    I treasure that you and yours have entered mine.

    Thank you,

  3. I love having been able to try some of the wonderful recipes you create and share. I love the Buchta that you have shared over the years. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season.

  4. tasty recipes

  5. Mariah Lynne says

    Recipes are part of our own personal history. especially at Christmas. I served my mother’s lemon and orange frosted biscotti, my husband’s Aunt’s recipe for Armenian rice pilaf with our turkey as well as his mother’s recipe for sage and herb stuffing. Food and tradition are a huge part of our lives and I have always been happy to pass it forward.

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