Saturday, 23 October 2010

Weekend Cooking: Food to go with Mystery Books

Weekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish at Beth Fish Reads and it is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

A couple of months ago on what would turn out to be one of the last really warm days of the year (It SNOWED here last Friday and again this Friday) I was laying in the garden reading Gaudy Night when I had this overwhelming craving for scones and tea. It got me thinking of food that goes well with mystery books. For me it is definitely some good freshly baked scones with marmalade and a BIG cup of tea.

Fall 2010 025

My favourite scones recipe is from Choice of Pie which I found out about from Jade at No Longer 25 earlier this year. I like to make mine with a little bit of vanilla extract and raisins. I often eat my scones with orange marmalade but now I’ve got plum and cinnamon marmalade that I made with my abundance of plums this year. Cinnamon to me is a very Autumn spice which makes it perfect for mystery reads

Plum Marmalade with Cinnamon

1 1/2 kg fresh or frozen plums

1/2-2 dl water

1 cinnamon stick

12 dl sugar

2 tsp citric acid


Wash off the plums (defrost frozen ones) and cut them into quarters. Keep the stones and tie them into a piece of gauze or thin cotton.

Use 2dl of water if the plums are barely ripe less if they are more ripe. Cook plums, water, cinnamon and the bag of stones in a lidded pot on a low heat for approximately 30 minutes. Then let the mixture cook at a high heat for about 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from the stove. Remove the bag of stones. Add the sugar slowly while stirring. Put the pot back on the stove and let it start boiling. Allow it to boil without a lid for about 15 minutes. Check if it starts to thicken.

Once it starts to thicken remove from stove and allow it to cool a bit. Remove any foam. Add the citric acid mixed in a table spoon of water.

Pour the marmalade into clean warm jars all the way up to the edge. Put lids on immediately. Store in a cool place.

Now what mysteries do I recommend with these goodies?

Well I’ve already mentioned Gaudy Night which I highly recommend, as well as Strong Poison and Have His Carcase which are the two books before Gaudy Night in the Harriet Vane series. I still have one book left to read in this series as well as all the Sir Peter Wimsey books. I’m looking forward to this!

For me you also can’t go wrong with the In Death series by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts pseudonym). Some people will probably balk at this series as many of the crimes are sex related and often quite gruesome but for me the banter, love and friendships in it more than make up for the blood, gore and general misery.

Finally I want to recommend an author who’s next book I am waiting for with a great deal of impatience truth be told. Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alsytne series completely bowled me over earlier this year I completely devoured it (link goes to my review of the last published book as it has links to my reviews of the previous books). The next book (and I think it might be the last but I could be wrong) is due out in April and I so want to lay my grubby little hands on an ARC of that it is insane!

What are your favourite mysteries?


Copyright ©2010 Zee from Notes from the North. This post was originally posted by Zee from Notes from the North. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.


fiction-books said...

Hi Zee,

A large mug of black coffee and a couple of rounds of toast, would do me very nicely. White bread for the toast, either spread lavishly with butter, Marmite, or Peanut Butter!!
Not to be eaten too often though, all those calories!!!

Beth F said...

OMG, it's getting cool here too (heat is now turned on and the deck furniture put away). Scones and tea and mysteries make the perfect combination and the perfect winter afternoon.

That plum and cinnamon marmalade sounds awesome and I'm so glad you can make with with frozen plums because it's too late for local fresh now.

Love Harriet Vane, love In Death, love the Spencer-Fleming books.

For fun and lightness I like MC Beaton's Hamish Macbeth books.

Fabulous post!

Lynne Perednia said...

Marvelous recipe and food/book combination. Years ago, a Lord Peter Wimsey Cookbook was published (hope I can dig up my copy).

Other crime fiction I enjoy includes Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache novels in Quebec and Ann Cleeves's Shetland Quartet novels set there.

Anonymous said...

Great recipe! I love cinnamon. I missed out totally on the plum season this year, I'm not a great plum eater. Had I seen this recipe, I would definitely have bought some and make this jam. It sounds great.

Not sure where I found frozen plums. I guess I would have had to put them in the freezer myself...

Peaceful Reader said...

The jam sounds marvelous and I love scones and jam! I do think it is interesting how certain books and/or genres make you think more about food. Some books just call out for a good binge of food!

JoAnn said...

Agatha Raisin is more my speed lately, but I've got Strong Poison on my wish list. The scones look yummy, so does the big cup of tea. We had snow here in central NY this week, too - thankfully it didn't stick!

Meg said...

I think a big mug of tea goes well with any and all reading -- especially chai! That's my favorite. And scones are sounding pretty good right about now... I've never tried my hand at making them myself, but I've seen some fabulous recipes floating around for them! Considering we're heavy into fall, I'd try a pumpkin variety. That plum marmalade with cinnamon sounds great!