Friday, July 10, 2015

Hot Summer/Cool Drinks



By Miguel Guerra from Caught Read-Handed, the second book in the Read ’Em and Eat cozy mystery series by Terrie Farley Moran

Hola. I am presently the chef at a great little café and bookshop called the Read ’Em and Eat. It is my dream job but it took me a while to get here. I was born just south of Miami in a village called Palmetto Bay. While I was in Culinary School I put a lot of thought into where I wanted to work. Florida offered so many opportunities. If I worked near Miami and I would be close to my boyhood home, my brother, my sister and a half dozen cousins. Or I could go to Orlando. Great tourist town. Lots of restaurants and hotels. Plus my Aunt Caridad and my favorite cousin Rey both live in the area.

By chance a friend asked me to go with him to interview at a resort hotel in Fort Myers Beach, an island community on the west coast of Florida. The first evening we sat on the deck of our bed and breakfast. I took one look at the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico and I knew this was where I wanted to spend my life.

I found a job, then another, got a promotion that enabled me to buy a sweet bungalow right on the edge of Estero Bay. I spent my free time surfing and fishing. Life was good but I dreamed about being in command of my own kitchen. Still I didn’t want to have to deal with the responsibilities of owning a restaurant. I thought of going into a partnership with someone who could manage the restaurant while I ran the kitchen but never found the right person.

One day I heard about two women who moved down from New York and were opening a breakfast/lunch café. And they were looking for a chef. That’s how I met Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, owners of the Read ’Em and Eat Café and Bookstore. They challenged me to invent book-themed food to go with the table tops laminated with pictures of authors and snippets of their work. I came up with food with titles Old Man and the Sea Chowder, Green Eggs and Ham, My Secret Garden Salad, and Swiss Family Robinson Cheeseburgers.

What I love about working here is the flexibility on the menu. I can try anything I think the customers will like. Sassy organizes a lot of book club meeting. I especially like the Pot-luck Book Club. I call them foodies because the books they read are always food related. I like to read the book before they meet and surprise them with a snack that matches. At their latest meeting they read a short but fascinating book called Fictitious Dishes. Filled with photographs and vignettes about the food in dozens of novels, it made even me see relationship between food and story in a whole new light.

I bet you don’t think about food when you remember To Kill a Mockingbird or The Talented Mr. Ripley. But it’s there. Fictitious Dishes confirms it.

When it comes to drinks, the Read ’Em and Eat is a coffee and sweet tea kind of place. Once in a while I like to whip up a batch of batidos, Cuban milkshakes made with fruit or juice and sweetened condensed milk. Made with crushed ice, it is the perfect cooler on a hot south Florida day.

 
 And you? In the heat of summer, on a day like today, what is your favorite cool drink?




Leave a comment and your email addy and you will be entered to win the tee shirt of your choice, Well Read, Then Dead or Caught Read-Handed. Giveaway closes at midnight Tuesday July 14th.
 

31 comments:

  1. I like to drink lemonade (fresh homemade). Thank you for the giveaway.
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Being a good southern girl I love sweet tea and a good glass of old fashioned lemonade. Thank you for the chance to win. poohwine1217@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like sparkling water. I would like to try batidos.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good morning everyone. I am so happy to be visiting Killer Characters, along with my pal Miguel. I'm an iced green tea girl myself but I certainly do enjoy a fresh fruit batido now and again. Especially when the grandkids make them as was the case in the pictures above.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love ice tea or coffee(it depends on the time of day and my mood! LOL) Thank you for the awesome giveaway. my email is: vboudreau57@gmail.com.

    ReplyDelete
  6. On hot day I like to drink a cold glass of lemonade . Love the book cover. Looks like a good cozy mystery.

    xzjh04@ Gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I enjoy Iced Green Tea on a hot day. Refreshing and delightful. Your cozy sounds great. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for this great giveaway. Congratulations on your captivating books. I love sparkling lemon water on a hot day. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just picked up my copy of Caught Read-Handed day before yesterday - going to be my weekend read! Thanks for the giveaway.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enjoy a good Arnold Palmer on a hot day---not too sweet, nice and refreshing.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sweet tea in the shade, but a true southern lady? will add a bit of whiskey to spice up the hot day! kat8762@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I like just plain tap water. Thank you for this opportunity. The book sounds very good!! peggyhyndman(at)att(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  13. sweet tea....drinking a tall glass right now...yum!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Regular iced tea or iced coffee. Once in a while an A&W Root Beef.

    fredyoder@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  15. Water, but I so dislike the summer heat!

    ElaineE246 at msn dot com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gin and tonics are a sign of summer for me.
    jHolden955(at)gmail(dot).com

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am sure this next book in Terrie's series will be as enjoyable as the first. I would love to have a copy to read.
    Thanks for the review. robeader53@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. My favorite regular all day summer drink is iced tea or freshly made lemonade. If I were to have an drink out to dinner or special occasion it would be either white wine or a Mai Tai. I tend to get overheated with any drink with alcohol in it, so tend to not have many of them in the summer. In the mornings if it is hot out, I sometimes have iced coffee instead of hot coffee too. Loved iced coffee when I have any kind of pastry in the summer.
    Thank you for the contest.
    Cynthia
    ceblain(AT)tmlponline(DOT)net

    ReplyDelete
  19. I drink Cokes or Water. I really need the T-shirt that says Caught Read Handed. It is so me. Cannot wait until I can read the book.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love cold water when it's really hot, but occasionally will drink a Code Red, which are yummy!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    irbratb(@)gmail(.)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I drink unsweetened ice tea 24/7 all year, just love it !! I love the title Caught Read Handed, thanks for the chance to win !! kphans08@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love ice cold pineapple juice on a hot day.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Unsweet Tea with Sweet and Low.

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

    ReplyDelete
  24. Iced coffee is my go to summer drink. Thanks for the chance to win!
    angelhwk68@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jacki Robertson
    During hot weather it's ice tea or water for me. Loved the first book and can't wait to start the second. jcr1228@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Ice cold water, raspberry tea or coke to quench my thirst. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Carol Smith
    penelope223(at) yahoo(dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Used to drink sweet tea a lot but now I drink more just ice cold water. Thanks for the chance.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I usually drink lemonade but I recently had hibiscus ice tea and it tasted fabulous. Thanks for the contest. Janet at monstercreed1@yahoo.com.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am so pleased to see so much interest in cool summer drinks and Caught Read-Handed. We have a couple of more days before the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I drink lots of iced tea, preferably iced green tea.

    kaye dot killgore at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  31. Giveaway is closed. Thanks so much for participating. Miguel says "bye". xoxo Terrrie

    ReplyDelete