(from author, J L Wilson)

I often attend several conferences a year, both to promote my published books and to learn more about writing, publishing, and promotion.

I'm kicking off my conference 'season' this week with the RT Reader's Conference, held in Pittsburgh this year. I've never been to RT and it promises to be fascinating -- lots of parties, workshops, contests, etc. I'll get a chance to hang out with some real pros and see how they handle this whole publishing thing. Plus I used to live in Pittsburgh, and have already lined up lunches and dinners with friends and family -- a win-win thing, right?

One of the things I've always done when I've traveled is to pack my own food and booze. I like to have a nice relaxing drink at night in my room, along with a bit of 'nosh' -- some crackers or some chips. And I hate to go down to a crowded bar, pay $$$$ for a drink, and have to sit there in my 'conference' clothes, when all I want to do is to be lounging on the bed, sipping my cocktail of choice.

One of the staples of my conference nosh repetoire is Oyster Cracker Nosh. I've been making this since Hidden Valley Ranch came into being. I'll be adding this recipe to my recipe collection at The book in which it's featured, Autographs, Abductions and A-List Authors (releasing in June), takes place at a writing conference, and the heroine and her friends help solve the mystery (while munching on their snacks, of course).

Give it a try -- I think you'll like it!

J L Wilson


1 lb. bag oyster crackers
1 cup oil (canola) 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch mix (dry)Dill weed

Note: if using 12 oz. bag of Oyster crackers, use ¾ cup oil

Mix oyster crackers and oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir well, covering all the crackers and making sure they are evenly coated.

Add the package of Hidden Valley Ranch mix. Stir well. Add dill weed to taste (also other seasonings as you desire: cayenne, or chili powder, or seasoned salt, but go light on the salt because the mix is a bit salty).

Cover and let stand overnight, stirring or shaking the bowl occasionally. Stores well in plastic containers. Lasts forever (at least as long as a writing conference!)


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