Monthly Archives: February 2012

Knit and Eat

Knit One, Kill Two
by Maggie Sefton
c. 2005

 I just finished Knit One, Kill Two, the first in a series of mysteries by Maggie Sefton. Enjoyable, but not the best written story I’ve ever read.  Several typos, but I don’t know if that is due to reading it as an eBook, or if the print copy has the same mistakes.  I felt that Kelly, an accountant who comes to Fort Collins, Colorado when her aunt is murdered became close friends (and took them into her confidence, sharing family secrets) with the knitters in the shop next door to her aunt’s home far too quickly.  And having the secretary put the call on speakerphone so Kelly just happens to overhear a crucial bit of information.  Really?  How likely is that to actually happen?

But overall, the homey setting and the calm of the knitting shop blended into an pleasant read.  If you are a knitter, you will enjoy the setting, all the talk of yarns and the directions for a sleeveless sweater.  I wasn’t expecting it, but there was even a recipe for cinnamon rolls with lemon cream cheese frosting on page 222 that I had to try right away.

I was worried about my old yeast and the fact that my experience with making yeast breads is limited to throwing all the ingredients in a bread maker, but the rolls turned out pretty good.  They weren’t hard to make and the directions were clear.  I got busy and let the first rising go on too long.  I don’t know if that was the reason, but the second rising didn’t seem as strong.  (Experienced bread bakers, do you know?)  My daughter did not like the lemon frosting and wanted to make sure I mentioned it–but she didn’t dislike it enough to stop eating.  I have to say, I agree.  Cream cheese frosting without the lemon would have been better.

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A Good Day for Soup

On cold, wet, dreary days like today when the sky can’t decide whether it’s sending down rain or snow my mind (and my stomach) turns to soup.  It just seems to me to be the perfect meal for this type of weather.  Add some fresh-baked bread and you’ve got a great meal.

Beside the previously mentioned Growing Vegetable Soup, here are some soup stories that I found at my local library:

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper is a story of three friends, Duck, Cat and Squirrel, who live together and each have their own jobs that keep the household running smoothly, till one day Duck decides he wants to stir the soup.  Soft, whimsical illustrations with lots of details.  Ends with a recipe for pumpkin soup.

Delicious! by Helen Cooper is another story about Duck, a picky eater who won’t even try fish soup, mushroom soup, or beet soup when his favorite pumpkin soup is not available.  Fed up, Cat finally  makes soup with squash, tomatoes, carrots and corn that looks like pumpkin soup. This tricks Duck into tasting the soup and discovering that it tastes good.  The jacket flap is supposed to have a recipe for beet soup, but some libraries–including mine–cut it off.

Veggie Soup by Dorothy Donohue has Miss Bun, a rabbit who likes to cook making soup for her friends, but when she decides it needs a little something, she adds all the ingredients that her friends brought her.  This doesn’t help; in fact it makes it worse.  So the group starts over by following Great Nana’s recipe for veggie soup, which is given on the last page.   Love the paper cut illustrations.

Chicken Soup by Heart by Esther Hershenhorn has Rudie Dinkens making chicken soup for his babysitter, Mrs. Gittel, who has come down with the flu.  As he cooks, Rudie thinks about times that he and Mrs. Gittel have spent together.  Both Rudie’s and Mrs. Gittel’s recipes are shared.

Carmine: A Little More Red by Melissa Sweet is a twist on the traditional Little Read Riding Hood tale that has Carmine riding her bike to Granny’s for some alphabet soup, but on the way she stops to paint, which allows the wolf to get to Granny’s house first.  The story formatted like an alphabet book and uses words like dilly-dally, nincompoop and surreal.  Granny’s Alphabet Soup recipe is on the last page.

I’m off to make soup.  Happy reading and happy eating!

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Welcome to my new blog!

Welcome to my brand-new blog, where food and fiction meet.  I hope to share my love of reading and my love of eating by sharing books (mainly fiction) that combine both.

Fiction that contains recipes is a growing category.  A lot of these books are mysteries, like the popular Goldy Bear Mysteries by Diane Mott Davidson and the Hannah Swensen Mysteries by Joanne Fluke, but there are also non-mysteries like Lynn Hinton’s Friendship Cake and Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate.

This category of fiction is not limited to adult titles, either.  There is a HUGE list of children’s fiction that contain recipes, such as Kirby Larson’s Hattie Big Sky (excellent historical fiction) and Sarah Weeks’ new book, Pie (a sweet story).  Some, like the adult books and the middle-grade fiction, contain multiple recipes, but the largest subcategory of fiction with recipes has to be picture books that end with just one recipe, like Lois Ehlert’s Growing Vegetable Soup (vegetable soup, of course) or Pie in the Sky (cherry pie).

With recipe-strewn fiction as my focus, I plan to share some of these books and their recipes, make some of the recipes and let you know how they turn out, and just generally keep you in the loop as far as food and fiction are concerned.

Happy reading and happy eating!

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