Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Born to Cook


by Tamara Langston, from GUILTY AS CINNAMON, Book Two in the Spice Shop Mysteries by Leslie Budewitz

All I want is a life I make for myself. Where my talents matter, where my passions take me places I want to go. I’m not willing to be ruled by anyone else.

Does that make me sound selfish, or a witch? It shouldn’t. It’s all any of us want, isn’t it?

Listen, I’ve loved to cook since before I could reach the stove. My mother put a stepstool in the kitchen so I could watch her cook. No Easy-Bake Ovens for me—I could stare for hours in the window of the real thing, watching bread rise, pies turn golden, mushrooms brown and become soft, juicy morsels of taste and perfection. Other kids wouldn’t shut up about learning to ride their bikes. I bragged about learning to braise. No boring summer vacation essays about trips to the pool or the waterslide for me. I went to Kids’ Cooking Camp and learned how to make coq au vin and quiche Lorraine and handmade pasta.

Trips to grandma’s house? I disappeared the moment we got there, to go see Mr. Chan, next door. He served me dumplings and tea, and taught me how to make perfect noodles and preserve fish.

I’m still not sure how I veered off track. But I’ve got a chance now. And when Tamarack opens in a few weeks, you come by and have an appetizer on me. I promise, it will be the best thing you ever ate. Because I was born to cook.

What’s the best thing you ever ate?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. 

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13 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed reading the first two books in this series.

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    1. So glad you enjoyed ASSAULT & PEPPER and GUILTY AS CINNAMON! KILLING THYME will be out Oct 4, and I hope to keep on telling Pepper's story -- your pre-orders will help the publisher decide.

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  2. Leslie is making her way eastward today to attend Malice Domestic in Maryland (as are a number of us here as well!), so please forgive her if she's slow to respond to your comments--but don't let that stop you from leaving a comment. We're keeping an eye on things for her today.

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  3. Mo Rockin' Shrimp. I really need to start this series soon!

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    1. Hi Amy - We're all helping Leslie out while she's traveling. The Spice Shop mysteries are great, I hope you enjoy them soon!

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    2. Now that's an enthusiastic response if I ever heard one! Thanks, Amy!

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    3. Forgot to ask, Amy, how are they made/seasoned/etc? In other words, foodies want details!

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  4. Mo Rockin' Shrimp. I really need to start this series soon!

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  5. The best thing I have ever eaten is my grandfathers fried eggs. They were crispy on the outside with a really runny yoke and covered in pepper. I wish I could make one half as good as he did.

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    1. Dishes seasoned with memory are the very best!

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  6. The best thing I ever ate was Fried Shrimp at Cafe Maspero in New Orleans. I am a shrimp fanatic, and they were amazing. Best ever!

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    1. Ooh, I love shrimp, too. Any idea what the seasonings were? I'm going to NOLA in September ....

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  7. Looking forward to buying and reading your latest book. As to the best thing that I ever ate, that is hard to say. As an appetizer, it was a stuffed portabella mushroom cap at a Providence, RI restaurant. It was stuffed with all kinds of cheeses and spicy meats and was fabulous. As to entrees, I remember a three pound baked stuffed lobster that I didn't mind getting my lobster crackers on. It was stuffed with scallops and shrimp and Dungeness crab and oozing butter. Oh my yes. As to dessert, ONE of my favorites was my Mother's Chocolate Butterfluff Pie which she served frozen like and ice cream pie and it had a huge sweetened whipped cream topping on it. To lose your breath over. And my favorite all around bread item was a Cardamon coffee braid that a little 92 year old woman used to sell near where we lived in the 70's. I used to buy four or so loaves a month. They were loaf size so not big, but they were great for breakfast or to serve for guests and I loved them more than I can even say. My Mom's homemade bread was absolutely perfect and two or more times a week she baked her bread from all of my younger years and all through my college years. After that I don't think she baked as often but by then I was married and don't recall her making much bread then. But for 18 to 20 years we feasted on fresh baked bread and her homemade butter at least twice a week. No one ever questioned why I have been chubby all of my life after they knew about my mother's bread making and fantastic desserts of every kind of pie and cake you can imagine. I was a very lucky child as were my two sisters to grow up helping in a kitchen and knowing how to cook at a very young age, and still loving to cook even over 50 plus years of marriage. And homemade fudge and divinity, that was great in the candy category. :)
    Cynthia B

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