A Final Adventure in Fictional Kiptohanock from Hometown Reunion

As I imagine Jax and Darcy’s childhood homes in Kiptohanock

The farmhouse—Jax & Brody’s new home

Kiptohanock Square

The fire station

The church

The harbor

The Duer Inn

Coast Guard Courtship

Coast Guard Sweetheart




Falling for the Single Dad







The Deputy’s Perfect Match

Kiptohanock Library

The Bachelor’s Unexpected Family



The Christmas Baby

Christmas in Kiptohanock

The diner

Farewell Lovely Kiptohanock

Wishing you all fair winds and following seas.

For more behind the scene photos about Hometown Reunion, visit Pinterest.

Summer Fun—Freezer Pops

Did your mom make these when you were a child?

I still have the 1960s plastic stick molds that my mother used. I brought freezer pops for my own children for wonderful, lazy summer days at the neighborhood pool.

What was your favorite flavor?


For more behind the scene photos about Hometown Reunion, visit Pinterest.

A Small Town Fourth of July—Inspiration for Hometown Reunion

The freedom we enjoy as Americans is a great blessing. But freedom isn’t free—our freedom cost someone something.

Some of the best Fourths are small town celebrations—my inspiration for the Kiptohanock Fourth of July.

What do you do for the Fourth? What are some of your favorite memories of the Fourth?

Hot dogs, anyone?

Smallest Patriots on Parade

Family Picnics

Fourth of July Concerts (Actual Onanock, VA Fourth)

The William Tell Overture

Music on the Square


A Red, White and Blue Flag-Waving Good Time

The Kiptohanock Gazebo on the Green


The Finale


For more behind the scene photos about Hometown Reunion, visit Pinterest.

Family Secrets—Sshh . . . Don’t Tell Anyone

The Apple Pie and Fool-Proof Crust Recipe

I love October because I get to visit family I see only once or twice a year. In early October, we have a family reunion. In late October, we travel to my aunt’s church homecoming and see cousins and other people that make up a Southerner’s extended family. This includes people to whom we’re not actually related but who were grafted in because somebody married into the family line. And despite not being blood kin, we all grew up together and enjoy getting to see each other. We have a lot of fun and it’s never a dull moment with that crowd.

I know this sounds complicated—but if you’re a Southerner, you get it. And did I mention the food at these gatherings? My children have been known to get weepy at the thought of these upcoming feasts. Barbecue—pork and vinegar-based; cornsticks, Brunswick stew; butter-beans—lima beans for the Northern brethren among us; ham biscuits; coconut cake; pineapple cake, etc . . . I’m going to stop now before I break down, too.

Here’s a sure-fire winner of an autumn recipe—from the family I married into.

Fool-Proof Pie Crust
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups vegetable shortening
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 egg
½ cup water

Mix first 4 ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. In a separate dish, beat the remaining ingredients. Combine the 2 mixtures, stirring until all ingredients are moistened. Shape dough into a ball. Chill at least 15 minutes before rolling into a crust. Dough can be left in the refrigerator up to 3 days or frozen until ready to use. Makes 2 pies—4 top and bottom crusts.

Apple Pie
6-8 apples—I’ve used Rome, Granny Smith and Magnabonum
Juice of half a lemon
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. butter

•Heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel, core and slice apples into ¼” pieces. Place apples (6 cups) into large mixing bowl. Pour lemon juice over apples.
•Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Toss well. Spoon spiced apples into piecrust and dot with butter.
•Roll out top crust. I like to also cut out piecrust dough ornaments to add to top crust. Cut slits in dough to allow the steam to escape. Brush the top with milk for a glaze.
•Place pie in oven. I put the pie in an aluminum-foiled tray to catch drips. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and juices bubble.
•Let the pie cool and slice into wedges. Serve with vanilla ice cream.


Do you have family reunions or church homecomings? What recipes do you look forward to each year? Do you have a family recipe you could share?

The Magic of Summer Fireflies—Inspiration from Hometown Reunion

One of the joys of childhood

Did you ever catch fireflies—or lightning bugs as they’re called in the South—as a child?

Or perhaps on sultry summer nights at twilight, you still chase fireflies with your own children and grandchildren.

For more behind the scene photos about Hometown Reunion, visit Pinterest.

Behind the Scenes Inspiration from Hometown Reunion

One of my favorite Eastern Shore places—the Island Creamery on Chincoteague Island, Virginia—


For more behind the scene photos about Hometown Reunion, visit Pinterest.

Daytime Dreaming in a Treehouse

As a child, I had a favorite dogwood tree that I climbed. I spent many a summer day in its highest branches looking out over my yard to the forest and into the sky dreaming dreams of my future.

This spot high above the rest of the world was my special place well into my teens. I climbed the tree just before I got in the car and drove away to college for the first time.

I climbed the tree one final time—the day before I got married.

Did you have a special childhood spot? A secret place that was all your own?

Here are a few treehouses that inspired Darcy’s treehouse in Hometown Reunion


For more behind the scene photos about Hometown Reunion, visit Pinterest.

Southern Pimento Cheese #Recipe

This is a quick, Southern go-to lunch item. A lot of Southern cooks keep a batch of pimento cheese ready in the refrigerator—just in case somebody drops by around lunchtime.


New York Sharp Cheddar blockpimcheese

4 oz jar of pimento



1. Finely shred half of cheddar block into a large bowl. Do not use pre-shredded cheese which contains too much moisture. I slice the block into sections and use a handheld rotary shredder. I got mine at Target. My aunt is still using the shredder she bought in France sixty years ago.

2. Dump the pimento with juice onto a plate and mash (don’t you love the fancy cooking terms?) the pimentos “to release the flavors.”

3. Combine shredded cheese, pimentos, and mayo (1/3 to 1/2 cup??? experiment till “looks right”)

4. Refrigerate. Spread onto bread for sandwiches (the traditional Southern way) or use crackers.

A flavorful Southwest version might include adding some cayenne and jalapenos.


For more recipes and behind the scene photos of Beneath a Navajo Moon, visit http://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/beneath-a-navajo-moon/.