Rightfully Ours Recipes

Unlike in Stay With Me (Rebecca Rhodes) and Ornamental Graces (Grandma Malone), no character in Rightfully Ours is known for baking. Mrs. Mueller can apparently make a mean casserole and a delicious apple dumpling, but Paul and Rachel are preoccupied by things other than what hits the dinner table – namely each other and the search for buried treasure.

Still, Rachel fills a boring afternoon by making lentil soup and a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Both of these recipes are delicious and simple enough for any teen to make!

I shared my lentil soup recipe at CatholicMom for Meatless Fridays.

The chocolate chip recipe is my go-to cookie recipe, which is easily adapted to make jumbo or bar cookies. The recipe can be found in Betty Crocker’s 40th Anniversary Edition Cookbook. I typically use butter rather than margarine, milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet, and forego the nuts.

Meatless Friday: Lentil Soup

Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 c. margarine or butter, softened

1 egg

2 – 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. coarsely-chopped nuts (optional)

1 pkg. (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix sugars, margarine, and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. (Centers will be soft.) Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Yield: about 6 dozen cookies; 90 calories per cookie.

Rightfully Ours Playlist

While you won’t find the lyrics in the book, real songs were connect to the writing of Rightfully Ours. With this playlist, you can follow along with the songs on Paul’s iPod – the one that belonged to his dad and mysteriously “speaks” to him. Somehow, the right song comes along at the right time. Also included are a couple of songs that Paul and Rachel dance to at Sean and Amanda’s wedding reception. This list follows the same order the songs are encountered in the book. Enjoy!

Rightfully Ours Pinterest Board

What does a Pennsylvania gas drilling site really look like? Do you want to see the ultrasound technology used to authenticate gold? Have you heard the “Song of Farewell?” You can find all that and more on the Pinterest board for Rightfully Ours.

Rightfully Ours Discussion Questions

BookshelfThe questions below are recommended for use in classrooms or other settings, such as book clubs. Have you considered reading Rightfully Ours with your book club?

Click the link below for a .pdf file of ten reflective questions about the book to deepen your discussion or jumpstart your conversation.

Discussion Questions for Rightfully Ours

If you’ve never been part of a book club, here are some tips to get you started: How to Start a Book Club and 10 Tips for Starting Your Own Book Club.

I’d love to visit your classroom or book club, in person if possible, but via Skype if you’re not within driving distance of my Hershey, Pennsylvania home.

Ornamental Graces: Questions for Use by Book Clubs


Have you considered reading Ornamental Graces with your book club? Click the link below for a .pdf file of eleven reflective questions about the book to jumpstart your conversation.

Questions for Use by Book Clubs for Ornamental Graces

If you’ve never been part of a book club, here are some tips to get you started: How to Start a Book Club and 10 Tips for Starting Your Own Book Club.

I’d love to visit your book club, in person if possible, but via Skype if you’re not within driving distance of my Hershey, Pennsylvania home.



Ornamental Graces Recipes

Unlike Rebecca in Stay With Me, none of the characters in Ornamental Graces are avid bakers or cooks. But they do bake and cook, and I couldn’t help collecting some of their recipes.

Emily’s sister-in-law Elizabeth is known to be a good cook. Dan and Emily get better acquainted over some of her lemon meringue pie, which happens to be my favorite kind of pie.

Mile-High Meringue Pie

Emily’s no slouch in the kitchen either. She cobbles together dinner for her and Dan after raiding Robert and Elizabeth’s refrigerator, pantry, and garden. I know people joke about having too many zucchini, but I think I could eat it daily and never grow tired of it.

Balsamic Grilled Zucchini

These pumpkin Snickerdoodles are delicious and perfect for fall weather, though Emily brings them to a summer picnic. These are my oldest daughter’s favorite cookies, and she recently made a batch herself to take to her brother’s boy scout meeting.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

We never get a glimpse of this strawberry pretzel Jell-O salad that Dan’s sister makes the day after Thanksgiving because Dan and Emily are, uh, otherwise occupied when it’s served. I was introduced to this recipe in the early 1980s by my sister-in-law. I love the sweet and salty combination!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Finally, Emily and her family are Polish, so I wanted to incorporate something true to their heritage. I have yet to make these on pierogies, but with these step-by-step instructions, I intend to give it a try.

Polish Pierogies

My mother is German, not Polish, but for decades, she made nut rolls (along with prune-poppyseed rolls) very similar to these every Easter. She’d even ship them from Pennsylvania to Florida to her sister-in-law. As I wrote the brief scene in which the rolls are mentioned, I recalled grinding nuts by hand for my mother when I was a little girl.

Polish Nut Rolls

Ornamental Graces Pinterest Board

Want to see Dan’s three-legged dog, Gomer? How about that creepy Gollum puppet Emily mentions? Would you like to see Willam Adolphe Bouguereau’s L’Innocence? Maybe you’d like to try Emily’s recipe for pumpkin Snickerdoodles. Take a peek at all that and more!

Ornamental Graces Playlist

Unlike Stay With Me and Rightfully Ours, music isn’t a part of the story in Ornamental Graces. No song or music is integral to the plot, but I can’t help write mention of music into books. Some of these tracks you’ll see referenced in the book either by artist name or mention of a lyric. The others (“Dreaming With a Broken Heart,” “Faster,” “Mud,” et al) just fit the scene.

It’s a mixture of pop, rock, and new country until you hit the end and then, well, Christmas hymns. Because that’s where it all ends up. I know as a playlist it shifts the mood, but there you go.