Sherri Stewart


Five Things that Will Shock You about the Netherlands

February 2021 Newsletter

It’s Field Trip Time!

Five Things that Will Shock You about the Netherlands
Sherri Stewart

Escape with me from the wintry climes of the US to the Netherlands. We’ll read some historical romances and chew on some warm, comfort food.

1. Did you know that many Amsterdam houses lean forward? There are many theories: For one, the first floors were built to be narrow because people were taxed based on width; therefore, the upper floors may have been built to be larger. Or it could also be because they have shifted a bit since construction many centuries ago. Not to worry. If they’ve stood this long, they’ll last a bit longer.
2. Did you know Dutch people throw their bikes in the canals?
The government has to regularly dredge for discarded bikes to keep the water safe. They do so with a boat-mounted claw.
3. Did you know that the Netherlands has the highest percentage of people who speak English? 90-93% speak English as a second language, so it makes for a great place to visit.
4. Did you know that the Dutch made carrots orange? The transformation was for political reasons. Dutch growers cultivated them as a tribute to William of Orange who led the struggle for Dutch independence.
5. Did you know that Dutch people open their curtains so passersby can see inside their house? It could be because they want to show they have nothing to hide, or it could be to showcase their décor, in the same way that Americans do with their gardens.
A Song for Her Enemies—Release Date March 2!! Pre-order $3.99
After Nazi soldiers close the opera and destroy Tamar Kaplan’s dream of becoming a professional singer, she joins the Dutch Resistance, her fair coloring concealing her Jewish heritage. Tamar partners with Dr. Daniel Feldman, and they risk their lives to help escaping refugees. When they are forced to flee themselves, violinist Neelie Visser takes them into hiding.
Tamar’s love for Daniel flowers in hardship, but she struggles with the paradox that a loving God would allow the atrocities around her. When Tamar resists the advances of a Third Reich officer, he exacts his revenge by betraying the secrets hidden behind the walls of Neelie’s house. From a prison hospital to a Nazi celebration to a concentration camp, will the three of them survive to tell the world the secrets behind barbed wire?  
A Song for Her Enemies is the story of a talented young opera singer and the bittersweet love that grows amid the tyranny and fear of World War II. Set against the backdrop of neighbors willing to risk their lives in the German-occupied, war-torn Netherlands, A Song for Her Enemies is an inspiring and beautiful novel celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the determination of Christians in the face of persecution. It is a novel for everyone seeking to understand the pain of the past and be inspired to embrace hope for the future.

Sauerkraut-Potato Puree with Crispy Bacon
The ultimate comfort food—creamy, sour, and smoky goodness



  • 3.3 lb (1.5 kg) floury potatoes 
  • 3/4 lb (350 g) lean unsmoked cured bacon/zuurkoolspek 
  • 1 3/4 lb (750 g) sauerkraut 
  • 2 cups (475 ml) milk 
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup (40 g) celery leaf (selderieblad, see Tips), to taste 
Steps to Make It
  1. Peel and dice the potatoes and cook in salted water in a large soup pot for 20 minutes, or until tender.
  2. In a skillet or frying pan, fry the bacon until just crispy, and drain on kitchen paper. Add the sauerkraut to the bacon fat in the pan and allow to warm through. Meanwhile, warm the milk in a small saucepan.
  3. Drain, shake and dry the potatoes with kitchen towels before mashing with a potato masher or ricer. Quickly add the warmed milk and butter to the potatoes and season to taste.
  4. Fold the sauerkraut through the mashed potatoes. Crumble the bacon and finely chopped celery leaves over the dish, fold through, and serve piping hot. 
Meet Faye Roberts
Where did your love of writing come from?
Rudyard Kipling wrote that if history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. In my early years, I grew up spending summers with a grandmother who poured her love of history into me through her stories. Later, I was blessed with a high school history teacher who taught using that philosophy. We read The Good Earth by Pearl Buck to get the real history of China, and Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak to explain the Russian Revolution. His class was during the year of 1971 when our own history was being fought by former upperclassmen sent to a place called Vietnam. We were encouraged to debate the pros and cons and form our own opinions. And to remember those who never came back - hard lessons learned.
Tell us about your first book?
My first novel, Fragile Treaties, used the same concept that I learned in school, showing the everyday lives of the Ute people and what led up to the removal from their homeland in southwest Colorado. It was an honor to have the book used by a high school teacher in her Colorado History class. She stated that her students “got it” – the sacrifice, the greed, and the betrayals - woven into a story they actually read.
I’ve read your whole series of the Silver Cross Ranch Legacy. Tell us a bit about them.
Fragile Treaties was the foundation of what would later become a series – The Silver Cross Ranch Legacy. Historical facts are woven into the lives of four generations of ranch women who run the Silver Cross over a period of one hundred years. The series brings to life the moments in history that have formed us both as a people, and as a nation. Now, more than ever, it's imperative not to erase the lessons of history, but to heed the warnings.
Tell us about the setting.
The location of the Silver Cross Ranch series is based on an actual ranch called The Last Dollar Ranch between my hometown of Montrose and the ski resort of Telluride, Colorado. The old buildings on the ranch, from the main house to the barn and outbuildings, were painstakingly taken apart and rebuilt, keeping every aspect of the ranch as authentic as possible. The movie True Grit was filmed there, as well as many other commercials. What I loved about the character Rose Bodeen in the first book of the series, was her tenacious spirit as caretaker of the family ranch. Certainly not perfect, she came to trust and rely on her faith as she worked to bring the ranch into a new era. Being faced with our own challenging times today, Rose is a good reminder to look not to ourselves for answers, but to seek guidance from our Great Creator.

The Legacy of Rose Bodeen on Amazon
Imagine opening a long-forgotten trunk to find diaries written by your foremothers. Four generations of thoughts, heartaches, challenges, and triumphs. What lessons did they write inside the yellowed pages? What lessons could they gift you now?
THE LEGACY OF ROSE BODEEN – Book One of the Silver Cross Ranch Legacy
Rose Bodeen is a hard-living kind of girl who can out-ride any hand on the ranch. After being jilted, she sets out for adventure and finds it with Bill Cody’s Wild West Extravaganza. Yet the land draws her back like warm sun draws flowers from the ground in spring, just as her sweet Mama said it would the day she rode away. With matter-of-fact conviction and bull-headed determination, she strives to survive during the fast-changing times that follow—The Great War, the fight for a women’s right to vote, the Industrial Revolution, the high-kicking Roaring Twenties followed by the Great Depression, and yet another devastating world war. She celebrates thrilling triumphs and endures deep tragedies, along with losses that go hand-in-hand with loving. With hard-won faith, Rose comes to accept what she calls God’s anvil time that hammers and hones her into all she’s meant to be.
Faye Roberts
Visit Faye Roberts on Amazon
Hearty Elk Stew in a Crock Pot
In our country, elk meat is a staple. If you don’t have access to elk, substitute using beef.
4 slices thick cut bacon cut into ½ inch pieces.
3 T. flour
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
3 lbs. elk meat cut into one-inch chunks
1 c. beef broth
1 c. dry red wine (substitute additional beef broth if you would rather use)
2 T.  beef flavored Better Than Bouillon
2 T. tomato paste
1 c. sliced mushrooms
2 carrots cut into one-inch pieces
2 large peeled potatoes cut into one-inch chunks
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 T. Herbs de Provence
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Place the elk meat in a one-gallon plastic bag. Add the flour, salt and pepper and shake until coated.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon pieces to a paper towel, then add the elk meat to the bacon grease in the skillet. Spoon the meat into the Crock Pot when all sides are browned.
De-glaze the skillet by adding the wine, beef broth, bouillon and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and stir, scraping the browned bits on the bottom into the broth. Pour the mixture into the Crock Pot over the elk meat.
Add in the vegetables and herbs and cook until the meat is tender, about 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Add the reserved bacon bits before serving. Serve with hot biscuits or over buttered noodles.
Meet Linda Knowles
Linda was raised in Prichard, Alabama with her three brothers until 1954. Their parents, Gladys and Eddie Summers, built a house on Strange Avenue in Saraland. Linda was in the fifth grade when she entered Satsuma High School. (her stepfather always answered to “Mr. Sealy” even though his name was Summers)
Linda graduated from SHS in 1963 and was a cheerleader from the 7th grade to freshman year at Livingston Teachers College. Linda recalls that she always wanted to be just like Pat Pierce Hicks in school. A great cheerleader!

 In 1964, she married Phillip (Pete) Knowles. They have two children: Kelli Williams and Pete Knowles, II, and three beautiful teenage granddaughters. They all reside in Niceville and Destin, Florida.
How did you start writing?
I began my writing career one night because I was depressed. It was the week of my wonderful husband, Pete Knowles, Sr’s death anniversary.  He had been passed for ten years.  I sat down at my computer and began a short story about a young girl who had a little sister and a mean old stepfather. Before I knew it, I was on a stagecoach headed to heaven knows where and that became the name of a 100,000-word “short story.”
Once I began this story and gave birth to my characters, it was funny, I was never depressed again or lonely. I fell in love with my characters and I could not stop writing about them. I have four other books written about them to prove that statement.
I write every day, have completed my seventh book and am busy writing my eighth. I hope whomever wins a copy of my books will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing them.
Tell us about the setting of your book?
My sister had suggested that I write about my hometown, Satsuma, Alabama. She said, “Don’t call it Satsuma because you might not describe it just right to satisfy everyone that lived back then. Name it Orchard, Alabama,” so I did just that.
As my story began to unfold, it took me away from Orchard up toward Tennessee. 
My main character, Jack Mills, had a career as an attorney in Montgomery, Alabama, to become a trapper in the hills of Gibson, Tennessee. He built a nice cabin and learned from an older man how to trap and care for the hides of the animals. He introduced him to many creek beds and deep valleys in the dark forest where critters were plentiful.
Living about five miles from town, he loved the isolation of the quiet forest where he lived.
I chose this setting because the story unfolded near the quaint cabin where my main character lived. I never know from paragraph to paragraph where my story is going to take me.
A Stranger’s Love
Who am I? Where am I? What’s happened here?” These were questions going through the lovely, red-haired beauty stretched out on the sandy, dirt trail.
With bright sunlight in her eyes, she tried to focus on her surroundings. She had to get up, but everything in sight was fuzzy. She felt her head and discovered a bloody gash on the back of her skull. Crawling to an overturned covered wagon, she managed to stand. On the ground lay two corpses. Who were those people?”
Lightning flashed and loud thunder meant a storm was brewing. “Oh, Lord, please protect me.” She had to find someplace to ride out the bad weather. A trail often led somewhere, so she stumbled along until she came upon an opening in the thick forest. There in front of her, stood a quaint log cabin. Thank you Lord, for leading me to my safe haven.
Smothered Rabbit
Here is a dish that Sally or Faith cut several times in A Stranger’s Love

1 frying rabbit
Salt and pepper
2 large, sliced onions
Water to cover
Heat the grease and dropped the floured rabbit into it and brown on both sides. Drain the exact grease and put back the rabbit into the frying pan. Cover with water. Let meat cook slowly until tender. Place sliced onions, cut-up carrots and potatoes over the meat and cover with heavy lid.  Allow to cook until vegetables are tender.  Serve with corn bread or home-made biscuits. Gravy will be delicious!

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