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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.
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?