Covid seems like a permanent guest and in these pandemic times, it’s amazing how we all cope. My go-to fix is a good book with authors who know how to tell a tale and practically have you there, along with the hero/heroine and of course, the sleazy, slimeball villain. I enjoy books that grabs you from the first page and never lets go until the case or mystery is solved. And, if a book really has your total attention from beginning to ending, then that is one darn good writer.
My choice of books depends upon my mood and my choices are quite eclectic. I enjoy reading mysteries, thrillers, adventures, romance-mysteries, sci-fi, histories, biographies and even westerns. But they all have to grab me by the eyeballs on the first page and leave me gasping at the end.
Books can also influence what tasty treats go into my oven. The principle character in one light-hearted mystery whipped up dark chocolate brownies whenever her stalker tried to strangle her, shoot her or tried to run her over with his mini-Cooper. By the time I reached the end of Chapter 2, dark chocolate brownies were on my brain. And the only way to exorcise that image is to bake up a pan of my go-to “Dark Chocolate Fudgy Brownies with pieces of 72% dark chocolate Lindt melted on top. Here is the link to my tasty recipe –the Lindt was my idea. https://www.landolakes.com/recipe/18243 /fudgy-dark-chocolate-brownie/
Books and food seem to go hand-in-hand in a number of books I devour—oops, pardon the pun—however, even heroes and villains have to eat! One story was set in the Old West–gunslingers, cattle drives, mountain- men, gamblers, saloons and of course , a few women who knew the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. And believe me, the old West back then, did not have all the herbs, spices or varieties of meats and veggies available to us today. One of these hard-working women managed to cook up a hearty buffalo stew with hot biscuits, while doing her chores of hand-washing tubs of laundry, milking the cow, gathering the eggs and tackling huge piles of mending. I didn’t have buffalo but I did have a nice piece of chuck steak that I cut up, floured, seasoned and started simmering. My beef stew was accompanied by light and tender “Cloud Biscuits.” I can only say that I was extremely relieved that I didn’t have to hack off my stew meat from a skinned and salted buffalo haunch stored in the coldest part of my home! The link to the cloud biscuit recipe I like to use can be found at: https://www.food.com/recipe/company-cloud- biscuits-200086
There is nothing worse than reading about anything with chocolate or baked apples with brown sugar and cinnamon or hot cinnamon rolls AND not having any in the house. Tossing the book aside, it was a debate between a hot apple pie with brown sugar and cinnamon or hot cinnamon rolls. The dark chocolate whatever would be saved for another day. Hubby and I decided on cinnamon rolls which were quick to make and smelled delicious as it was baking. I added chopped pecans and dried cherries to the filling. For my go-to cinnamon rolls, here is the link: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/241917/quick-cinnamon-roll
Moving away from food takes me to my current project—knitting a sleeveless cardigan vest for Hubby without a proper pattern. Using his favourite vest as a template, I devised a knit-as-you-go pattern. I knitted the back and the right front that would have the buttons–straight knitting and decreasing and casting off when it came to armholes and shoulders and neckline. I even figured out a V-shaped front. The part that kept me awake at nights was how to knit buttonholes. All the other sweaters I ever knitted were pullovers or the occasional cardigan that didn’t require buttons or buttonholes. My “eureka” moment came when my brain cells screamed “search online”! Well, of course—anything can be found “out there”. I not only found out how to do it, but also a video that showed how to do it.
Buttonholes can drive a knitter to chocolate and that was when the perfect chocolate recipe was used. After all, if one has to be rewarded for a job well-done and chocolate is the ultimate reward, then this is the one decadently dark chocolate cookie to be savoured and tucked away in your chocolate collection. This treasure can be found at: https://www.wellplated.com/dark-chocolate-cookies
May the Kitchen Goddess bless you with ample supplies of apple pies, chocolate cookies, chocolate fudgy brownies and all the other goodies you are reading about. Stay well, stay safe and be happy. . .