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Topic: Food in mysteries

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Subject: Food in mysteries
Date Posted: 7/29/2010 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I will be the first to admit that I tend to crave the foods that are mentioned in the mysteries that I read.  I crave Italian food when I read Commissario Brunetti mysteries.  I was drooling over various kormas, curries and naan when I read the Vish Puri mysteries.  Most British mysteries send me scurrying to my electric kettle to start tea brewing.  It's sad.

I have even been driven to buying certain foods because I first read about them in books.  Branston Pickle is one such item and today, I came across a food item that I NEVER thought I'd find in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.  Today while visiting Nederland, home of the Frozen Dead Guy Festival, we wandered into the small grocery store and I spied....TASTYKAKES!  I tend to be a Drake's cakes gal myself (can't find these in Colorado, either) but there they were. Tastykakes.  Of course, I had to buy some.  Haven't tried them yet, but I will.  Soon. :)

I wish that I could find Cheerwine around here but...I can't. **sigh**

What foods have you gone out of your way to find because you read about it in a book?

Date Posted: 7/29/2010 7:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
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When I was reading the Coffeehouse mysteries, I made a couple of the cookie recipes.  The characters just raved about some of them, but whatever magic they had didn't translate into what came out of my oven. 

Date Posted: 7/29/2010 7:13 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Okay, that has happened to me too, Sharon! LOL!  I made some fruity bar cookie thing from a recipe at the back of a cozy a while back and even as I was putting them together, I knew something was fundamentally wrong with the recipe. I ended up with a pan full of crumbs.  Bleh.

Date Posted: 7/29/2010 8:11 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,885
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I think Joanne Fluke's recipes are the ones I have most tried.  All those lovely cookies, etc.......(heading to the kitchen right now....)

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 7/30/2010 8:30 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,082
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I like some of the recipe's in the Diana Mott Davidson Series. I haven't tried it yet but her book Dark Torte has a awesome looking recipe for a torte in there. Sometimes you can evan smell the food with a good book and recipes.

Alice

Date Posted: 7/30/2010 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/11/2006
Posts: 6,597
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Sometimes, I have a "hankering" to try some Molson Canadian beer--the No. 1 choice of Paradise, Michigan private detective Alex McKnight in the series by Steve Hamilton. That's the only brand McKnight would drink....wonder if it's available way down here in the South....

Date Posted: 7/30/2010 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Fluke's cookies sound good...but the recipes are only mid-sized - I like large, lol! The pancakes in Batter Off Dead sounded great (I thought the book was awful though - copy the recipes at the libary :-) ), I really like the culinary cozies, but somehow rarely get around to actually making the recipes. 

Date Posted: 7/31/2010 12:01 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I made these cupcakes from Joann Fluke's books and not quite good...but the blueberry muffins were out of this world!

oh and Joann Fluke is coming out with a cookbook sometime in the near future.  Her publisher is finally letting her do that (I asked about one years ago and she said they didn't want her to do one...go figure!)



Last Edited on: 7/31/10 12:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Ellie (EllieW) - ,
Date Posted: 7/31/2010 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2007
Posts: 1,479
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I tortured myself by reading a couple of Joanne Fluke's books while I was restricted to a very bland diet awaiting gallbladder surgery. LOL

Date Posted: 7/31/2010 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/30/2006
Posts: 6,885
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I made "Too Easy Hot Dish" from Fluke's latest, "Apple Turnover Murder," and it is so yummy and really easy.  I've given it a permanent spot in my menu planning!  I'm thrilled to here she is going to have a cookbook come out - should be great!  Okay, now I'm hungry.............

Date Posted: 7/31/2010 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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from Joanne Fluke's website:

 

Jo will be writing a cookbook with ALL of Hannah's published recipes, the ones on this list, plus a generous sprinkling of new never-before-published recipes.  Kensington plans to release it in October of 2011, just in time for holiday baking and gift-giving.  Now all Jo has to do is test every one of the recipes all over again -- let's hear a big "Awwwww!  Poor Ruel!" for her chief taste-tester.

Date Posted: 7/31/2010 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,461
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I am a fairly new Elizabeth George fan, and have a small hankering to go to London and see just what some of these concoctions actually are. I know biscuits are cookies, but a digestive biscuit?

Date Posted: 7/31/2010 9:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Now I will buy Fluke's cookbook! Great idea...and you don't have to worry about flattening it, or copying the recipe, etc.

From wikipedia...

A digestive biscuit, sometimes referred to as a sweetmeal biscuit, is a semi-sweet biscuit popular in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth countries, as well as in Ireland and in Greece. The term 'digestive' is derived from the belief that they had antacid properties due to the use of sodium bicarbonate when they were first developed.

They now come in all kinds of flavors...but apparently are substituted here by graham crackers?



Last Edited on: 7/31/10 9:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/1/2010 12:28 AM ET
Member Since: 11/25/2007
Posts: 772
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I have enjoyed reading several of JoAnn Flukes books and the recipes have looked wonderful!

Great sounding casseroles and desserts!  I cant wait until her cookbook comes out! :D

Date Posted: 8/1/2010 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2009
Posts: 8,004
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I just finished Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck... and Oh! Did I ever crave a donut while I was reading it!  :)  Thankfully we were on vacation & I didn't really have time to hit a donut shop :)

Those donut recipes look really good, though, and surprisingly easy... I think I'm going to have to try my hand at making a few of them!  Homemade donuts... Mmmmm!

Date Posted: 8/5/2010 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Talk about a coincidence, look what a friend just sent me today!! A Taste of Murder: Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers

It looks like great fun! A quick glance didn't show any by Fluke, but there's everyone from Robert Parker to Margaret Maron, Tamar Myers and apparently a zillion (well, maybe 150 -200) more!

Date Posted: 8/6/2010 5:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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Okay, this is what I'm talking about.  I just read "A Brush with Death", the second Penny Brannigan mystery by Canadian author Elizabeth J. Duncan.  Being a British, well, Welsh cozy, everyone was sucking down gallons of tea which I can deal with but then, a character shared her Welsh cakes with Penny.

What?   What was that?  Welsh cake you say?  Hmmm....

Of course, I had to google it and now I HAVE  to make some!  They look like a cross between a scone, a crumpet and a pancake.  Once it cools off around here, I'll try a recipe and report back. :)

If any of you have a tried and true recipe for Welsh cakes and are willing to share, I'd love to have it!

Date Posted: 8/6/2010 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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Mmm...sounds yummy!

I read part of my new mystery cookbook last night...Robert Parker said he couldn't donate because a Spencer cookbook was in the works. Guess that never panned out, but a little research has shown several mystery cookbooks - all of which look pretty good.

On the other hand, I'm making a blueberry pie tomorrow...not because it popped up in a book (reading Camille Minichino at present, they go out for pizza a lot!) but because it sounded so good! :-)

Date Posted: 8/8/2010 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 1,673
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I'm with John - I, too, was curious about 'digestive bisquit'.  I am running into a lot of 'bacon butties', what's that?  I'm assuming some type of bacon sandwich, but maybe the bread it different?

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I guess the digestive bisquit really does equate with a graham cracker. In the blueberry pie recipe I used, it mentioned that if you prefered a graham cracker crust that the English would substitute those.

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,599
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A digestive biscuit is just a plain flat wafer sweet-ish cookie thing, yes--similar to a graham cracker, but the texture is subtly differnt. I suppose because of the sodium bicarb in them? I tried them once when we were in England...not very good. (My hubby is from England.)

A bacon butty is basically a bacon sandwich, as is a bacon sarnie. A bacon bap is bacon on a buttered roll. Of course talking about 'bacon' is a different thing in England than here, too. They call our type of bacon "streaky" bacon because of all the fat in it. Theirs is more like a thin slice of ham cured to taste like bacon. Mucho yummo.

With regards to food, being diabetic I never try the baked goods recipes--and actually, food cozies are about the last things I would be reading anyway. I have tried some of the recipes in China Bayles herbal series, and they were pretty good.

What makes me drool are, for example, the descriptions of the cooking with fresh local foods like in the Inspector Montalbano and Commirssario Brunetti series in Italy, or Jason Goodwin's historical series featuring Yashim the Eunuch in Istanbul. Makes me want to hop on a plane and/or into a time travel machine! LOL

Cheryl

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I'm always intrigued by the food descriptions in the Pamplemousse mysteries by Michael Bond, although I'd be full by the 2nd or 3rd course. Meals certainly were to be savored then. I do read a lot of culinary mysteries, and sometimes cookbooks although I don't cook/bake terrifically often. However, I'll admit that just reading them often makes me hungry, just as the scenic ones make me want to travel, i.e. Nevada Barr's national parks.

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/2/2007
Posts: 349
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Cheryl,

I was just about to mention Jason Goodwin's food descriptions.  They sound delish.  Brunetti and Montalbano eat pretty well too.

Susan

Date Posted: 8/9/2010 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2008
Posts: 1,181
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LeeAnne, I grew up in Jersey and now live in the Philly 'burbs, so I grew up on Tastykakes. You will really regret discovering them! smiley Some of them are sooooo good!!

Thanks a lot! Now I'm sitting here hankering for a treat. Oh well, it's a good thing it's 11 p.m.

I find I get intrigued when I read about recipes in the books by Fluke, Davidson, Sammi Carter (Candy shop), and others. But usually I never get around to trying the recipes.

Time to go find a snack!

Date Posted: 8/10/2010 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 483
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Fun topic!  I had to try to make pasties due to Jim Qwilleran's fondness for them in The Cat Who books.  They were actually pretty good.  Reading a Sheriff Dan Rhodes book always make me crave Dr. Pepper and I don't even like it that much!

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