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Results 1 - 25 of 51
1. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Diane Dunning, Author of Greta Smart Figures It Out

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20458647-greta-smart-figures-it-out


There’s a whole lot of eating and drinking in my contemporary-romance novel, Greta Smart Figures It Out.

The story opens inside a Manhattan restaurant, where the main character, Greta, finds herself being served this morsel while on a nightmare blind date:

“You’re not beautiful,” he said. “Your profile said ‘beautiful.’ You kind of overreached on that one.” He smirked and sipped his dirty martini.

Most women would lose their appetites at this point, flip the table and stuff the guy into the nearest buffet drawer before storming out. Instead, Greta stays, even after he ditches her. She reclaims her dignity with a glass of wine and a calamari appetizer at a table outside. A pleasant dish has restorative powers.

Throughout the book, food connects Greta to her past and grounds her in the present. It provides the setting for Greta to grow and pivot as she discovers new truths about herself, friends, family and a potential lover. Yet it also works against her, as it does when she meets a former colleague for “bad girls lunch.”

Greta Smart Figures It Out isn’t intentionally a book about food, it just turned out that way. Set during The Great Recession, there are no extravagant multi-course meals with exotic ingredients…just a 27-year-old single career woman hungry to transition her life into more satisfying fare. And, with the help of the right food and drink here and there, she finds the sustenance to do it.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Diane!



You can find Diane here:






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2. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Grier Cooper, Author of WISH

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23353227



Say the words “ballet dancer” and most people think one of two things: either “What do I have to do to look like that?” or “Aren't all ballet dancers anorexic?” The truth is the body is a dancer's most important tool–their livelihood depends on it–so every dancer works to keep that instrument finely-tuned and healthy. When I wrote WISH, I wanted to share the world of ballet and the sort of decisions dancers face, particularly when it comes to taking care of themselves and staying at the top of their game. For instance, my main character, Indigo, has to say no to bagels (even though all of her friends are devouring them in front of her) because she has an audition coming up. While it's true that there is an expectation for dancers to stay thin they have to eat because ballet is physically demanding–so  demanding that headliner Steve McLendon of the Pittsburgh Steelers says, “ballet is harder than anything else I do.”

Since all foods are not created equal, most dancers pay close attention to the types of foods they eat. Good nutrition builds a strong body, and dancers need to get plenty of protein to build and repair muscles. However, dance and a full belly don't go well together, which further complicates things.  Since a dancer's day begins in the morning and often ends late in the evening, they have to eat small amounts on the fly, which means high protein snacks are a dancer's best friend. Favorite choices include: bananas (high potassium), beef jerky, nuts and yogurt. When there is time for a full meal, a salad is often involved, paired with hearty grilled fish, chicken or meat.

But dancers are human, too, and just like the rest of us they enjoy an occasional treat. Indigo savors a couple of warm-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies during a particularly grueling rehearsal. Other treats she samples throughout the book include frozen yogurt with rainbow sprinkles, and let's not forget birthday cake (twice!), because life without birthday cake is dismal indeed.

Feeling inspired? Try starting your day with Indigo's breakfast of champions: 1 slice toasted gluten-free bread, topped with 2 tablespoons almond butter, sliced banana, and a drizzle of honey and toasted coconut. Although her brother, Brad calls it disgusting, it's her favorite alternative to scrambled eggs and her father's burnt toast. Try it for yourself before you form an opinion.

Indigo's advice to you...the one thing Indigo will never have? A double-chocolate-caramel-mocha-frap-with-extra-whip. Or any kind of frap. With 64+ grams of sugar in each one, they're at the top of the list of dancer don'ts.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Grier!


You can find Grier here:





 About the author: Since she was forced into ballet lessons at age five, Grier Cooper has performed on three out of seven continents. Her first crush was in fifth grade but Tchaikovsky was her first real love. She left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet but after living in New York City, San Francisco and Miami she's decided she prefers to live outside of cities. Today she lives in a somewhat secret seaside hamlet with her husband, daughter and Coco Chanel (a black standard poodle). She is a dance activist and recovered sugar addict.

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3. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Amy Grech, Author of Blanket of White

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6803306-blanket-of-white



Food and drink play a pivotal role in several of the 14 dark tales contained within my collection, Blanket of White:

In the title story, husband and wife drink coffee in their kitchen, wrapping their hands around the mugs for comfort, as they discuss their wheelchair-bound daughter Suzy; there are snow angels in her future…

“Raven’s Revenge”: Steaming mugs of hot chocolate warm up Jackie Crawford and her boyfriend, Jeff Dutton, on a bone-chilling winter’s night.

“Perishables”:  After a nuclear attack, Placido Sanchez sits hunkered down in his basement surrounded by empty, dented cans of baked beans. He eats his wife Julia’s remains, flawlessly persevered in a walk-in freezer. His wife's thighs contained the sweetest meat he ever tasted.

The potent rum cocktail Zombie is Jack Masoch’s undoing in “Cold Comfort” after he meets Sadie O'Grady in a seedy New York City bar.

David Sheffield feasts on Chinese food that sustains him and brings him good fortune on “Initiation Day”, when he meets up with Jim Hanson by the train tracks behind their high school to carry out a dangerous dare.

In “Crosshairs”, Billy Hogan’s father swigs single-malt whiskey at the kitchen table as his son drinks root beer while the elder Hogan schools the younger one about the striking seminaries between handling a woman and a gun.

“Apple of My Eye”: Gia orders Chardonnay to dull her senses after going a few rounds with Daddy’s carving knife. A Martini is the drink of choice for a devious Eye Doctor who sets his sights on the wrong girl…



Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Amy!


 
 
 


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4. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Michael Draper, Author of Three Strikes and You're Dead

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22912911-three-strikes-and-you-re-dead



Restaurants and food have an important part in Three Strikes and You're Dead. I believe that a good book should appeal to the various senses – to see, as in well prepared food; to smell, where the aroma of food gets the stomach juiced flowing; and to taste, which is the icing on the food palate.

Early in the story, a trio of friends are meeting at a local coffee shop. Roseanne is the motivator of the group and the force behind them. She feels that her persuasive ability is strongest in a setting outside the four walls of her office. The restaurant has gourmet foods displayed on the counter with various coffee cakes, pastries and toppings for English muffins. There are six choices of coffee from French Vanilla to English Roast on display, enhanced by the aroma of freshly ground coffee.

Roseanne has big news to deliver, so she shares with her brother a light exchange to set the tone: Graham tells Roseanne that she's had so much coffee that her eyes are blinking in Morse code; Roseanne counters, "Your hands are so shaky that when you go to a Mexican restaurant people use your handshake to blend their Margaritas.”

Within this relaxed atmosphere, Roseanne tells the others that she has decided to change careers and become a private investigator. She also wants Graham and Randy to join her in this endeavor because they are a great team; they worked together in the past to solve her husband’s murder. She points out each person’s strongest asset;  where Roseanne has the creativity to pick worthwhile endeavors, Graham possesses the knowledge of investigatory methods from his military experience, and Randy is analytical, reliable, and also able to handle Graham, who has a tendency to fly off the handle.

Yes, Roseanne understands the way to a man's heart is through the stomach, and we see this more than once. After the trio has been working at the agency for a time, Roseanne serves Graham and Randy dinner at her home, starting with a shrimp and scallop casino, followed by veal Marsala with homemade bread from the local Italian bakery, and ending with chocolate mousse.

Once everyone was content and receptive, Roseanne announced that she had applied to the Baseball Commissioner to be part of the investigation group hunting for a murder. The food and wine her brother brought made sure the two men were not upset that she moved without consulting them.

Restaurants also bring a visual element to important scenes. After the three investigators spent time in Florida, they went to a restaurant that their hotel recommended:

At the Blue Door Terrace, their seats overlooked the terrace with its royal palms and fig trees. The white bottom painted on the fig trees added an extra color to the setting, as did the potted trees placed throughout. Randy spotted ficus, mango and hibiscus trees displaying their burgundy red blooms in pictorial fashion. As the group waited for their food, small brown birds fluttered around the tables looking for crumbs.

This is just the point in the story where things are starting to gel; the murderer has left a trail that the investigators can see and they’ve called an FBI friend who he leads them to the climactic confrontation.

So, in Three Strikes and You're Dead,food and drink help relax the characters almost every time they need to make decisions as to what course of action they will take. Works in the story just as well as in real life.
:)
 


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Mike!


You can find Mike here:








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5. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Joshua Done, Author of The Exile Empire

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7236682-the-exile-empire



A few days ago I received a pleasant surprise in the form of a Goodreads message from Shelley. She wanted to know if I would be willing to talk about the food in my story and the significance and story behind it. Immediately I thought of one meal that stands out in The Exile Empire. It took an invasion, thousands of lives, and the formation of an entirely new economy for the new recipe to exist.

One of the primary components in The Exile Empire is obviously the fact that humans have been dispersed from their old area of space. The problem with such diaspora in the vastness of interstellar space filled with hostile enemies is the relative lack of resources, and chief among them food! This had become more than an inconvenience by the time the major events of the story began to unfold and the human exiles were getting quite desperate.

But that was when they found a new system with edible plants and animals a-plenty. There was only one catch. The planet was in a system crawling with hostile enemies that had just conquered the natives on a nearby planet and the humans would have to fight their way to the new food source.

After the initial scouts are attacked the remaining human fleet springs into action, moving to protect both their people and the precious food on the planet below. After the carnage that ensues there is still a major problem in that most of the edibles are either in raw, indigestible form, or spread around the planet in roaming herds that weren’t big enough to feed everyone.

That is when Karen, an economic and business savant from the old civilization, was brought in. Over the course of several chapters she takes the rag-tag remnants of a mixed civilian and military fleet and is able to create a fully functioning economy and foodstuffs supply chain in only a few days. Now, of course such a supply line would be highly limited in what it could produce. The two main foods that resulted from this endeavor are a grain called a sand nut and meat from a creature called an Abe.

The sand nuts had to be refined because in their raw form they contain a powerful laxative (something a few of the initial colonists lacking caution found out in humorous fashion). The Abes were similar to earth cattle and because of this similarity people started calling them Alien Bison when they first encountered them. This lead to the abbreviation ‘A’ ‘B’ which Wen said aloud sounds like “ABE” and after a few rounds of repetition the name stuck. The end result of all these shenanigans was a pita-bread-like wrap around an Abe meat filling.

These resulting Sh’in Wraps (named for the planet) quickly became a staple in the new civilization and they appear in subsequent stories throughout the series. It is amazing how much history and work can go into the simplest of foods, and science fiction, since it involves people and supply chains, should be no exception. I think that the Sh’in Wraps are an excellent example of simple food created by a complex setting.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Joshua!


You can find Joshua here:


 




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6. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Stephen Douglass, Author of Kerri's War

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22842304-kerri-s-war


Many thanks to Shelley Workinger for inviting me to contribute a post in connection with my novel, Kerri’s War, to her wonderful blog: But What are They Eating? I was honored and thrilled that she had given me an opportunity to expose Volume Three of The King Trilogy to readers in a very unique fashion. I accepted the invitation without hesitation.

Even though my post would chronicle an event close to the end of the third volume of an epic trilogy, the invitation still struck me as a fascinating idea. “Everybody eats,” I said to myself. “Surely it must follow that readers would be interested in what the main characters of their chosen novels are eating,” I further concluded that Shelley was way ahead of the curve when she initiated her blog. Clearly, she was thinking outside the box. Her timing was perfect. I had just finished reading an historical fiction novel, set in the sixteenth century, in which the Spanish conquistadors, determined to relieve the Central American natives of their gold, were perpetually preoccupied with finding sufficient food to remain alive. There were no grocery stores or restaurants, conveniences we take for granted today.

The King Trilogy is a thrilling epic, spanning four decades and featuring the trials and tribulations of the King family and their connection to an inconvenient fortune. It is stolen and it is cursed. It ruins the life of everyone who touches it. The Bridge to Caracas, Volume One of The King Trilogy, is the story of how the inconvenient fortune was accumulated. Using the Peace Bridge as a fulcrum, an audacious criminal stole $325,000,000 via the mechanism of gasoline tax evasion. The Tainted Trust, Volume Two of The King Trilogy, is the story of what happened to the stolen fortune and its devastating affect on everyone who knew of its existence.

In Kerri’s War, the subject of this post, and Volume Three of The King Trilogy, Kerri King, a thirty-three year old woman, goes to war against Enerco, a corrupt Houston based conglomerate. At the outset of her conflict, she meets and falls in love with Steve Monteith, a perfect ten in her mind. Unfortunately, he is engaged to marry Christine Stewart, a Toronto socialite. Kerri’s dream is shattered when Steve marries Christine, but it is rekindled when he ends the marriage, in dramatic fashion, at the lavish Naples, Florida wedding reception. Once again Kerri’s dream is shattered when Steve is involved in an horrific automobile accident, resulting in a near life ending coma. The two become inseparable as Kerri nurses Steve back to health. Late in the story, Steve invites Kerri to join him in a wine tour of the Niagara Region. He plans to ask her to marry him.

It is at this point in the novel that I wanted the two lovers to be in a very romantic setting, one befitting a marriage proposal. Having endured so much adversity, the two deserved nothing but the best. I chose Niagara on the Lake, in Ontario, Canada, one of my favorite places on the planet. The happy couple have enjoyed the tour, blissfully unaware that they are being followed by a professional killer, contracted by Enerco to kill Kerri.

Following the tour and prior to dinner, Steve led Kerri to the cosy and beautiful Churchill Lounge at The Prince of Whales Hotel.. It was there that he asked her to marry him.

A stunningly beautiful five star hotel at the corner of King and Queen Streets, The Prince of Whales was one of the finest in the entire Niagara Region. Its rust and white brick exterior walls and cedar shake mansard roof line with dormer windows made it look like it had been transplanted from downtown Paris. Its false porch and pillars were festooned with hanging baskets containing thousands of local flowers of every color of the rainbow. It was a destination for tourists wishing to stay and enjoy the visual and gastronomic delights of the area.

Instead of the intimate privacy Steve had anticipated for his proposal, the two quickly became the focal point for everyone in the Churchill Lounge. The happy couple was besieged by well wishers and curiosity buffs, all anxious to congratulate them and interrogate Kerri. The session continued to grow in intensity until Steve raised his hands and formed a T. “Timeout,” he shouted as loud as he could. “Thank you all for your kindness. I wish we could stay longer, but we have to be at the Shaw Theatre at seven, so we have less than an hour for dinner. We really must leave now.” He reached for Kerri’s hand and led her to Escabèche, the hotel’s famous dining room.

HERE IS WHERE I NEARLY MESSED UP. I won’t bore you with the original manuscript text, but I will admit that it failed to describe what Kerri and Steve ate for dinner. When my wife, one of my strongest critics, read this part of the manuscript, she frowned and said, “How can you have your novel’s principal characters, newly engaged, eating in one of the most famous restaurants in the world, and not tell your readers what they ate? You’d have to assume that many of them would want to know.” She was right. How could I have made that omission? My only excuse is that I eat to live. By contrast, many people live to eat.

Armed with my wife’s rebuke, I climbed into my automobile, drove to The Prince of Whales Hotel, reviewed its amazing menu, made my selection, then re-wrote the dinner scene.

Here it is, as it appears in the novel:

They were warmly greeted at the dining room’s entrance by the maître d’hôtel. “Congratulations, Mister Monteith and Miss King. Dinner is on us. Our sommelier will see to it that you have a bottle of our finest champagne to assist your digestion. Please follow me,” he said, then led them to their table. They were treated to a dinner consisting of roast carrot and leek soup, Escabèche Caesar salad, and Northern Canadian elk, with creamed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and heirloom spinach. Even if there was enough time for desert, (apple trifle with Mascarpone cream, vanilla and orange juice), both would have declined. They were full and had thirty minutes to curtain time at the Shaw Festival Theater, one kilometer from the hotel. It was time to see Pygmalion.



 Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Steve!



You can find Steve here:








Author Bio:
I was born, raised and educated in Canada. I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and royal Dutch Shell. I spent the second half working for one of the smallest oil companies in the world; my own. We have three sons and one daughter, all of whom are grown and “off the payroll”. Now retired, I spend summers with my wife, Ann, and our two cats, Abby and Samantha, at our Canadian home near Niagara Falls. We winter at our Florida home in Port St. Lucie. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, traveling, or playing horrifying golf. I plan to write until the day I die, probably longer.

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7. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Bobbi Carducci, Author of Storee Wryter Gets A Dog

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11398978-storee-wryter-gets-a-dog



When eight year-old Storee Wryter wants to convince her parents that it’s a good idea to adopt a puppy she has her work cut out for her. She already has an opinionated cat named Critique and a full schedule of after schools activities. Will she have time to properly care for a boisterous puppy?

To complicate matters, Storee’s friend and neighbor Kyria who brought the puppy over, not only wants Storee to adopt the puppy, but asks they train her as a therapy dog as well.

 Uh-oh added work and added expense.  The Wryter family needs to know a lot more about what they could be getting into before making a decision.  So, they invite Kyria’s father over for a meeting.

Like many meeting involving family decisions this one take place around the kitchen table.  Understandably, Storee is nervous and her parents are skeptical when Mr. Henry arrives.  He hopes to convince the family that taking on a new pet and one with a job at that, can be done without too much disruption. 

Mrs. Wryter wants her guest to feel welcome without conveying too much weight to the visit. A bowl of chips and some coffee do the trick. It’s the type of finger food one offers a neighbor who happens to drop by.  It’s easy to prepare, easy to eat, and easy to scoop away to signal the end of a visit.

Once the decision is made and Storee begins to train Addie, she uses puppy snacks to show approval when a lesson goes well.  Dogs and people understand that treats are a sign everyone is happy and when Critique watches and begins to follow commands too the pets begin to bond in unexpected ways.

In the end, when Addie is trained and Storee takes her into a school for the first time to work with children having trouble learning to read, Storee and her family celebrate what Addie has learned and how well Storee has met her new responsibilities.  When Kyria drops by she is invited to stay and enjoy a piece of warm apple pie and a merging of family and friends dedicated to helping others.


In this simple story for young readers the food could seem like a very minor element. But, it turns out to be just as important in creating bonds within this family as it does in ours.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Bobbi!



You can find Bobbi here:




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8. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Janice Bashman, Author of Predator

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22891926-predator

When Bree Sunderland went with her scientist father to Ireland, she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly not to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares. Everything changes when Dr. Sunderland discoers that lycanthropy is not a superatural curse but rather a gentic mutation. When they return home, Bree's dad contiues his research, but the military wants to turn that resarch into a bio weapons program and rogues soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines.

It should be a bright spot when Bree's boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States, but there are darker surprises in store for both of them. As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all.

While food doesn't play a huge role in my novel (I try to avoid scenes that involve food unless a key story element is revealed in that scene), there are several scenes in PREDATOR where food sneaks in just to help engage the senses: a smell of something sweetcaramel or maybe vanilla, cinnamon and chocolate ixed with the thick aroma of coffee.

The one truly significiant use of food involves Bree's visit to Liam's house before she flees Ireland with her dad to return home to the safety of the United States. Liam's mom offers Bree cold minerals and crumble (or biscuits, if Bree would prefer). She goes for the crumble, and Liam tells him mom to give Bree blueberry because it is Bree's favorite. This scene provides an opportunity for Bree to truly realize just how much she's lost in life, as well as gain information from Liam and his mom about the Benandati, a race of werewolves who fought against evil. If I tell you any more about the Benandati it will give away too much of the plot, so I have to back off there, sorry!

Perhaps most telling of all is that food only appears early on in the novel. As tension and suspense and action increase, food is the last thing on anyone's mind...


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Janice!



You can find Janice here:






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9. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lynn Cahoon, Author of Return of the Fae

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18063459-return-of-the-fae



In RETURN OF THE FAE, Book 2 of The Council series, Parris and Ty take off on a road trip to Cincinnati, Ohio to the stay at The Riverglen, the only magical specialty hotel in the downtown area.  Even though the hotel is warded against a guest using their magic to keep warring factions from using the facility as a hot zone, the staff members are skilled in the hospitality craft. Including those in charge of preparing the food guests ordered from the room service menu.


Parris brought road food along on the trip, munching on peanuts and Skittles during the drive up from St. Louis, but Ty disappeared before they could order real food. So she went crazy with the appetizers list for lunch and ordered one of each, hoping he arrived before the food either cooled or she ate her way through the trays of yummy-ness. The chicken fingers were to die for, but Parris loved the onion rings, their crispy outside reminding her of food from the best drive-in back home, The Hungry Onion.


Later, the couple ordered dinner and Parris had one of my favorite entrées of all time. Shrimp and grits.


With my recipe, I add crumbled spicy sausage, onions, and a touch of garlic to the mix before adding in a cup or so of whatever wine is open in the fridge. Then I let the shrimp steam on top while the grits are cooking. I just use the recipe on the box to cook my grits, with maybe just a tad more salt. Then as they’re finishing, I add a cup of various types of shredded cheese and a quarter cup of sour cream mixing until smooth.


Line a deep soup bowl with the grit mixture, then ladle the shrimp and sausage mixture into the middle with a lot of the pan drippings.


Heaven.

I’m sure the version the hotel gave Parris was just as yummy. And as fattening. Of course, as a witch in training, the one thing she’s realized is she never-ever has to worry about calories again. Now that’s one magic trick I’d love to learn. 



Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Lynn!




USA Today and New York Times best-selling author Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.



You can find Lynn here:







Return of the Fae – Book 2 of The Council series

A witch in training, a hunter on the prowl, and a world in jeopardy. Learning the rules of being a witch takes years, but Parris McCall needs to master them in only weeks. Ty Wallace is going mad with his desire for Parris, but she’s a distraction in his quest to find Coven X before they take The Council and everyone he knows down. The couple searches for Ty’s missing mentor. Their only clue comes from a banished witch. Upon returning, a new life hangs in the balance.

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10. FOODFIC: Please Welcome J.L. Campbell, Author of Saving Sam


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18682174-saving-sam

Flaming or Fresh – Food to Please Picky Eaters

Part of the charm of reading is being immersed in the culture of another country, and with that in mind, my stories reflect Jamaica in various ways. There is the culture, the landmarks, the people, and of course, the food. Jamaicans tend to use the smallest excuse to have gathering where food is served. The island is filled with inhabitants from all the continents and so our cuisine is rich and varied.

Children are encouraged to eat specific kinds of food to encourage growth and we see this in Saving Sam, especially during the time he’s in a place of safety. Babies, toddlers and pre-teens often come to despise porridge because it is something they are fed from the moment they can have solid food.

Corn meal porridge is a staple that every Jamaican either loves or hates. It is also called ‘pop’ reputedly because corn meal cleanses the digestive system. This porridge is made through boiling corn meal in water for about twenty minutes, adding coconut milk and spices (cinnamon leaves, nutmeg, vanilla) and sweetening with condensed milk. Many Jamaicans also like corn meal pudding, a sweet treat.


Fruits are also not in short supply in Jamaica and the Otaheite or Malay Rose apple is a favourite of many children. Originally from Malaysia, this apple has been introduced throughout the Caribbean. The thin, edible skin varies from a reddish to rich purple colour.  The flesh is soft and juicy, and these apples can also be used to make a refreshing drink or wine. They are a wonderful source of vitamin C and contain antioxidants.
 
Whether it is prepared over a flame or fresh off a tree, there is always something to satisfy the reader’s palate in my Caribbean tales.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, J.L.!



You can find J.L. and her books here:

 
 
 
 

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11. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rob Carter, Author of The Language of Stones

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38079.The_Language_Of_Stones

Food is probably in everyone's top ten list when it comes to good things to think about, especially when you're hungry. So what better way to get further into your favorite novel than to consider what the characters might be eating? Willand, the young hero in my mythic history – The Language of Stones, was a lad from a village background with simple tastes. For him and the other people of the Vale, the staple diet was a late medieval pottage, or thick stew, that followed the seasons. In spring and summer there was the fresh bounty of all that a green and pleasant land could provide.

In the fall, mushrooms, autumn fruits, nuts and berries, would be laid up in storage along with the harvest of new grain. In the dark depths of winter came the celebration of the solstice when cured meats were eaten, along with trout from the stream and coneys from the warrens along with the odd hare or two. Meat was not in great abundance in the Vale, being eaten perhaps only two days in seven, but there was a pleasing variety -- ducks and geese, ham and beef, and of course mutton. Eggs and all sorts of dairy produce were available also. There is a scene in The Giants' Dance (volume two) where Will and Gwydion hide in the cheese store of a great house, though they have more on their minds than food. Drink, too, was nicely various, with each village inn brewing its own beer and ale, each household making its own country wines from whatever fermentable base was available, such as quinces and medlars and the berries collected from elder trees. There were beehives in the gardens of the Vale that gave honey from which mead was made. Occasionally an enterprising peddler would bring in a flask of something more exotic by the way of fire waters from the mountains of the North.

But the Language of Stones universe, being magical, has more than peas and pottage. As with the sumptuary laws, which banned common folk from wearing certain kinds of rich cloth, there were certain foods reserved for the gentry, the aristocracy and those of royal blood. For instance, no commoner could kill a royal swan, on pain of death, and the same applied to game in the royal deer chases. Steaks cut from the haunches of gryphons, fire-drakes and the like were rare delicacies that sometimes appeared at high table on feast days, but special magical butchery was required to preserve the eater from ill. The lore of plants was a complicated business and a wide knowledge of magical herbs was maintained by specialist wizards. Plants, or "worts", were the province of Gort, the "Wortmaster," and if his spells didn't always work properly he could use his stock of dried leaves to add flavor to his dishes.

Apart from the obvious difficulties with locating such animals as gryphons, this seems like an appealing way to eat and I keep thinking I should write a companion cookbook. One day...


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Rob!



You can find Rob and his books here:





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12. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Greg Carrico, Author of Apocalypstick

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13418049-apocalypstick



Thanks for inviting me to guest post at BWATE. Like most of us, this is super-busy time of year for me. I’m launching a new business this month, preparing for next month’s release of the 2nd book in my super-hero/horror series, Sand, and I’m writing an entirely new six-book series with my awesome new writing partner Jennifer L Oliver. But even with all of this AND the holidays, I simply had to do this post. Food Fiction? Two of my favorite things in one place? Brilliant!

If you are reading this and have never read any of my stories, which is a pretty safe assumption, I write dark science fiction and horror. My first title was a book called Apocalypstick, which contains two short stories about men who wreak havoc upon the world because of the unrealistic ways that they view women.

The first story is a post-apocalyptic tale about a man with extraordinary powers who tries to rescue a handful of humans from a monster-infested Manhattan. As you can probably guess, food is sort of a big deal in any post-apocalyptic setting, and that is equally true with this one. I’m going to leave it there for this story, because I wrote a novel based on "Killing Tiffany Hudson", and what the characters eat -or don’t eat- hints at the Big Secret behind the main character and her twin brother.

The second story in Apocalypstick, "Finding Home", is part paranormal horror and part psychological thriller, and food plays an important thematic role. The story is told in first person from the perspective of a very troubled man who wants nothing more than a happy, normal life in a place he can call home. Chaos and bloodshed ensue.

But along the way he eats! Each mention of food in "Finding Home" is symbolic of the character’s progress in his journey. This made sense to me because nothing says Home like food. At first, he is drinking cheap cola from a can and stale ham sandwiches from a cooler in a minivan he stole from his previous “home.” Later, after he identifies his next dream-home, he enjoys slightly better fare in a hotel. A BLT and fries from room service. Feeling optimistic with his goal in sight, he goes to a movie and has popcorn. Things are looking up!

Like many of us, he has little time for breakfast and grabs a couple of baked goodies from the hotel buffet. But the moment in the story when he truly feels like this new home and family are for him is when he observes a woman cooking dinner for herself and her husband.

It is a simple meal. Baked chicken. Some veggies. Rice. The non-descript food takes a back seat to the fact that this couple’s meal represents the kind life that our main character so desperately craves, but knows he will never deserve. He wants the intimacy of sharing a meal cooked for him by someone who loves him. Eating on trays in front of the television; tossing little bits to the cute dog at his feet: these things belong to someone else. These experiences can never be his.

Ever the optimist, he decides that he has to try and make it work. And if a few more people have to die in the process, well, that’s just how life goes. 

If you decide to see for yourself how this story plays out, you can get Apocalypstick for free from Amazon and most distributors, but be warned. "Finding Home" is creepy. It’s not graphic or gratuitous, but it will probably make your skin crawl. "Killing Tiffany Hudson" is more of an adventure story, and I expand the setting and lives of the characters in my novel Children of the Plague. My super-hero horror series, Sand, is set in the same world as a prequel, and so far includes Book 1: Shadow of the World, and Book 2: Phantom Drift, which will be released after Christmas.



Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Greg!




 
You can find Greg and his books here:




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13. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Nick Cato, Author of Don of the Dead

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6625610-don-of-the-dead


SQUIDLICIOUS

Calamari is popular in many Asian and Italian dishes. In Italian/American culture, calamari is considered a rite of passage; when you finally enjoy it, you’re no longer a child, but on your way to having adult tastes. While many people have no problem eating squid when it is cut into rings and deep fried and drowned in marinara or hot sauce, those who are too timid to sample the mini tentacle clusters are missing the true flavor and auraof calamari.

In my debut novel, DON OF THE DEAD (2009 Coscom Entertainment), there are several dinner scenes, which is befitting of a gangster tale. Pasta is served at every meal, and calamari is too, sometimes to an absurd degree. One of the older mobsters is even nick-named Carl “The Calamari.” He eats calamari with every meal. He has been known to toss some rings onto his corn flakes, or stuff some fried tentacles into his roast beef hero. Rumor has it a dish of the prized seafood was placed between Carl and his wife on their wedding night. In the novel, side characters are seen eating calamari, and its presence in the background—I believe—helped to give much of the proceedings a genuine Eye-Talian feel.

As a kid, I was almost afraid to look at someone eating squid. It grossed me out. But when I entered my early teens, my grandfather told me one Sunday afternoon at the dinner table to “knock it off” and try a piece. I’ve been hooked ever since. And so are the characters in DON OF THE DEAD. Calamari is their treat. It’s the little side dish and neighbor to the main meal that keeps them focused, that helps them to feel everything is right with the world.

And in the New York underground, that’s an important state of mind to be in.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Nick!



You can find Nick and his books here:








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14. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lauren Clark, Author of Pie Girls

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22823484-pie-girls


As I was getting close to finishing my novel, Pie Girls, I planned an entire weekend taste-testing the very best recipes to include in my novel.  The Pie Girls storyline centers on Searcy Roberts, a Southern belle who has her life upended when her husband leaves her for another man. She returns home to Fairhope, Ala., where she takes over running the family pie business for her ailing mother.

During my Pie-tastic taste-testing weekend, I prepared 9 pies in three days for my two boys, my friends, and neighbors using my grandmother’s recipes. I selected something simple and sweet, something decadent and chocolate, and something light and tart to round out the selections—chess pie, chocolate pecan pie, and lemon sponge pie. All three recipes are included in the novel, along with my grandmother’s amazing-no fail pie crust recipe.

If you’ve never had chess pie, I highly recommend it. It’s a Southern delicacy that is simple to make, has a hint of caramel, and contains butter, sugar, eggs, cornmeal, and milk. Searcy, my heroine in Pie Girls, makes chess pie, along with many others, and discovers that she has a true talent for baking up desserts that delight. She transforms, eventually, over the course of many mishaps and unexpected challenges, from spoiled shopaholic to savvy business owner.

As anyone who bakes can attest, there is a certain amount of satisfaction that comes from creating a lush, delicious dessert with one’s two hands. Similarly, the act of baking pies is therapeutic for Searcy, a task that helps her overcome her shattered dreams and move on with her life.

My grandmother’s blueberry pie is one recipe that I didn’t include in the book, but is one that I make often, and would like to share with you today. It’s easy, only takes a few ingredients, and is perfect for a weekend gathering or family supper. I hope that you enjoy it! 


Delicious & Easy Blueberry Pie 

1 qt fresh blueberries
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp tapioca
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 (baked) Best Ever pie crust from Pie Girls or one Deep Dish 9” pie shell

Mix half of the blueberries, flour, tapioca, butter, salt, lemon juice, and both sugars in a saucepan. Cook over medium to low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, approximately 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Add remaining half of blueberries. Stir well. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill until set. Top with whipped cream if desired.


 Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Lauren!



 
You can find Lauren here:







And her books here:

Amazon               BN               Kobo               Smashwords               iBooks

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15. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Chantal Boudreau, Author of Magic University

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12634232-magic-university



Flavouring Fantasy
by Chantal Boudreau


                Food isn’t necessarily the first thing that you think of when you think of fantasy... or the second thing... or the third or fourth thing.  In fact, superseded by monsters and magic, warriors and weapons, it may be ignored altogether in the typical fantasy novel. 
 

Understandably, food isn’t likely to play an integral role in the usual fantasy plot, which is why there is little focus placed on what and how things are eaten in many fantasy stories.  But considering world-building is the cornerstone of fantasy fiction, and food is often a factor of ceremony, culture and social interactions, it makes sense that the concept of who tends to eat what and when be addressed as part of the backdrop of the tale.  Fantasy writers often describe religions, political systems, architecture and flora and fauna.  Food is just another way of flavouring the fiction.


This can be an especially useful tool if the fantasy in question is based on existing myths or cultures, as a means of highlighting this connection.  For example, if the fantasy touches on the Middle East, one might expect to see figs, goat cheese and falafel, or if it is a northern tale, the writer might have characters feasting on seal or caribou meat (or the fantasy equivalent.)  In my novel Magic University, which finds its basis in medieval Europe as is common to many fantasy novels, the typical fare is ale, bread, smoked meats and cheese, and fruits or vegetables one could expect to see growing in the average European garden.


Researching this component of a story is not that difficult in today’s day and age.  You can even find books that specifically discuss what might be eaten in a fantasy setting, such as What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank by Krista D. Ball.  There are also cookbooks available that are based on existing fantasy series, such as Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home (Otik’s spicy fried potatoes is a favourite of mine) based on the Dragonlance series or Nanny Ogg’s Cookbookbased on the Discworld series, just to give you a few ideas.


It also makes sense to include examples of food and drink as part of both plot and character development, giving the writer another means to an end.  For example, in the opening scene of Magic University (the first book in my Masters and Renegades fantasy series), there is a small skirmish between Reid Blake’s imp, Stiggle and the dwarven competitor, Shetland, which is instigated by food.  The function of the scene is two-fold.  It creates a tension between Stiggle and Shetland that persists throughout the novel, allowing for later scenes of discord that exist mostly for comic relief.  It also introduces Shetland’s obsession with food and drink, part of his character development which shows itself again several times in the story.


Food can be used to distinguish one setting from another, as well.  A grubby pub for commoners will have very different items on the menu than an upscale tavern intended for higher-class patrons.  Along with a description of decor and existing customers, a description of the food and drink being offered and served can help set the tone of the establishment.  In Magic University, each competition Way Station is being hosted by a different wizard, who provides refreshments that match their personality.  The variety of food and drink found at each Way Station not only tells readers something about the Way Station attendant, but also adds to the particular ambiance of the Way Station.


Along with general plot and character development, food can also provide an opportunity to flush out the more unusual plot elements and distinct characters.  A fantasy novel may contain characters with very particular feeding needs, something that adds to the novelty and fantastical nature of that character.  One of my characters in Magic University, Ebon, is a person who exists trapped between two dimensions due to an accident that occurred when he was apprenticed to a Renegade wizard.  Rather than feeding the way most people do, he draws his sustenance from magical energies, draining power from magical spells or items in the process.  As he puts it: “I still appreciate a good meal, on a purely aesthetical level.  It is just something that is unnecessary.  I draw my energy from other sources.”  I even include one scene where his feeding needs interfere with his goals. 
 
            As you can see, there are many reasons a fantasy writer would want to incorporate food into a story.  If you’ve never really contemplated the role food can and does play in well-written fantasy, you may want to give it a go.  Consider it food for thought.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Chantal!


Chantal Boudreau is an accountant/author/illustrator who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband and two children. A member of the Horror Writers Association, she writes and illustrates horror, dark fantasy and fantasy and has had several of her stories published in a variety of horror anthologies and magazines.  Fervor, her debut dystopian novel, was released in March of 2011 by May December Publications, followed by Elevation, Transcendence, and Providence.  Magic University, the first in her fantasy series, Masters & Renegades, made its appearance in September 2011 followed by  Casualties of War and Prisoners of Fate.


You can find Chantal and her books here:

Word Blurb Blog                  Scribd

Twitter @chantellyb13           Amazon

   Facebook Fan Page           Goodreads



 

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16. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Rasha Selim, Author of Stolen Gifts

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21559814-stolen-gifts


Food.  Such a small word, but holds a lot of meaning.  When I wrote Stolen Gifts, I didn’t start off with food in mind.  It is a paranormal mystery and romance after all.  However, as I plotted, food started to play a role in some scenes giving me a path for character development.

Food played a role in building the characters in the novel.  Writing in a first person POV presents several challenges for an author.  Readers are only in touch with the lead characters thoughts and actions.  They see other characters through the leads eyes, leaving a lot to interpretation.  The trick for the writer is to convey the true characteristics of secondaries through their actions.

Vanessa is the main character, but what novel is complete without a lead male?  In this case it’s Caine.  Since Stolen Gifts is in Van’s POV, I had to find ways to show readers Caine’s personality.  Van’s insecurities show through in how she views Caine, therefore distorting him somewhat.

I used food and touch to let Caine shine through.  For example:

  I must have made a sound as Caine turned around.  “Do you need any help?” I asked looking away quickly. 
“Nah, I got it under control, and it isn’t much anyway.  Have a seat and make up your tea.  The half and half and sugar are over there,” he said as he pointed to the counter.  Now I knew he remembered, I drink my tea with half and half, not milk.  It was a habit I picked up when I was eleven, visiting the UK with my family. 
“It smells good. You made bacon, my favorite.” 
                 He piled on three pancakes and several slices of bacon on a warmed plate from the oven and placed it in front of me.  He then moved the syrup and butter closer to me, then returned to the stove and made a plate for Garrett and placed it in the oven.

Van doesn’t see Caine for what he’s doing.  Even after an eight-year separation, he still remembered her preferences.  I wanted to show Caine’s provider nature.  I also wanted to show his attentiveness to her.  Van doesn’t see any of his actions as true to whom he is, but determines his actions as that of a caring brother.

Food can also play a sensual role in scenes.  Who hasn’t used food to win someone’s affections in some way?  The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, is a commonly-said phrase.  But what if the reverse was also true?  What if a man used it to gain…for lack of better word…entry?

Van misses Caine’s small hints, even though he is continuously dropping them.  In this scene things heat up between the two of them:

  The boy’s dinners were aroma infused and looked so good that I couldn’t resist taking some bites from Garrett’s Basil Chicken stir-fry.  Enjoying a stolen bite I closed my eyes and was lost in flavor.  I detected a new scent and opened my eyes to see a fork filled with Lime Green Chicken Curry. 
  Caine held up the fork.  “Do you want to try some of mine?”
               “Sure.” I wrapped my mouth around the offered bite, while he watched me, his eyes never leaving mine.
                 “Is it not too hot for you, Van?” Garrett asked.
              The moment was broken.  I looked to Garrett and mouthed a silent thank you. Caine was intoxicating, and if he continued this way I doubted I could restrain myself.  All I wanted to do at that moment was jump across the table into his lap and kiss him.  Garrett’s presence would not have been a deterrent.  But we have work to do and Caine was not interested.  

It’s too bad she didn’t see it for what it was.  Caine definitely communicates his desires and demonstrates his personality through these small moments. 
 
Food is part of our everyday lives, but with a twist is also part of relationships.  Dinner with a man or woman can be the lead to a great or horrible relationship.  We spend time talking over our plates, getting to know each other.  Lunch with the girls can be a soul building experience.  And food shared on one fork can be an invitation for so much more.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Rasha!


You can find her at:







Blog Tour for STOLEN GIFTS by Rasha Selim
May 26th – 30th, 2014
Sponsored by Gliterary Girl Book Tours
 
  








Back cover blurb:  

Whoever said you can’t go home again was right. My name is Van, and my life isn't exactly going the way I'd expected. I moved far from home, away from everyone I know and love to avoid having to reveal my Gift...a Gift so strong it scares me. A Gift so strong I know people would try to use me for their own gain, regardless of how much it may hurt me. A dear friend from my youth is getting married back home, and while I'm thrilled for her, I know what waits for me there--disappointment from my parents, and concern from my brother and friend. But worst of all, I have to face Caine, a man I have loved for as long as I can remember, who just doesn’t feel the same way about me. Somehow, Caine and I find ourselves in the middle of investigating the mysterious disappearances of other Gifted people. When the two of us are abducted, I have to decide if I am willing to use my Gift to save us, even though doing so will reveal my abilities to Caine. Little did I know that using my Gift is exactly what the villain is waiting for…putting both our lives are in jeopardy. 


Synopsis: 

Having a Gift is hard. Keeping the ability to read and manipulate minds a secret from family and friends is torture.

Vanessa (Van) Lyons is terrified of her very powerful Gift of Mind, and has been hiding it from her family since she was a child. Her Gift troubled her so much that she moved away from everything and everyone she knew to avoid the possibility of the truth being discovered. She's stayed away for a long time, making excuses for staying put in her charming little cottage in a small town far enough away to be a comfortable buffer. But an invitation to the wedding of her childhood best friend Kelley brings her back home...and forces her to confront all of her fears and emotions. It also forces her to be face-to-face with the man she has loved since they were young.

Caine Moore is a handsome journalist with a playboy reputation. Seen frequently about town or in the tabloid pages with a different beautiful woman on his arm, he has become a completely different man from the boy Van grew up with. Tension builds between them as he sends Van mixed messages throughout the pre-wedding festivities, confusing her and making her yearn for things she's spent a long time convincing herself she could never have.

Caine has been working on a story, and has seen things he shouldn't see. In his desire to protect Van, he inadvertently pulls her into an intriguing but deadly case that puts her right into the killer's path...   

Excerpt for Paranormal Fans

My Gift is a part of me. It lays dormant, wanting to be used and I have deprived myself for so many years. On the rare occasions when my control slips, and I use it, I feel whole. Denying it for so long was splitting my soul into two. I realized that I would have to learn a new kind of control. Instead of complete dismissal, I would have to use it on occasion to keep my mind and soul intact.

As the guard approached the door of our prison, I placed a Suggestion in his mind that he would believe what I told him. I wasn’t changing the way he behaved, just what he was going to perceive at that moment. He opened the door and stood in the archway.


Buy Links for STOLEN GIFTS 


Bio for Rasha Selim

Author Rasha Selim was born in Cairo, Egypt and was raised in both Cairo and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She moved to the U.S. to attend college and pursue a career as a Forensic Psychologist. She left criminology behind to become the mother of three wonderfully active boys. Rasha has spent her life engaged with books and as stories of her own began to develop she knew that she had to get them down in print. She is extremely excited to be sharing her stories with the world. Rasha lives in upstate New York where she is blessed to be surrounded by her loving and supportive husband, children, great friends and incredible books.

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17. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lorraine Beaumont, Author of The Briarcliff Series

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15989458-gargoyle

What do my characters eat?


That is a good question. Well they certainly all have an appetite but food is not what they are really after.

They have a deeper hunger, one that drives them to do the unthinkable, the impossible… what they must to survive.


This kind of hunger gnaws at your belly, a constant reminder of something you crave that is just out of reach.

Yes within each of us, there is hunger, but is this hunger ever satiated with mere food?


That is the case with the Gargoyles in my book…they hunger as well but it is a different kind of hunger, one that fuels a need for vengeance, spurred by a centuries old betrayal. The hunger they hold inside torments them, shapes them into the creatures that they have become, and inevitably drives them to do the unimaginable to satisfy that very hunger.


If I were a Gargoyle, what would I eat? Interestingly enough I am sure that very same question has been asked for centuries. Unfortunately, it would seem there is still no accurate answer. But if I were a Gargoyle, awakened for a short amount of time, I guess I would eat whatever I could get my hands on. And in my Gargoyles' cases, since they are residing/awakening in New England they would probably enjoy the local fare, such as lobster rolls, clam chowder, or maybe even a Fluffernutters sandwich before they turned back to stone.

That’s what I would be doing. ;)



Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Lorraine!



You can find Lorraine and ALL of her books here:




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18. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Neil McGarry, Author of The Duchess of the Shallows

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13516027-the-duchess-of-the-shallows

Food, like water, is life, but how many eat simply to stay alive? Food does more for us than simply sustain life, and in fantasy fiction it can do the same.

When my coauthor and I set out to write The Duchess of the Shallows, we knew instantly that Duchess' past life as a baker was important. She is a baker by trade, because bread is food that is enjoyed by both commoners and high born, even if the food itself isn't any different. The "presence" of that food gave Duchess an air of being in two worlds at once, which factored heavily into the outcome of both that novel and the series in general. As bread is a food eaten throughout the real world we know, so it is eaten throughout the fantasy, fog-bound city of Rodaas. The selling of that bread took Duchess all along its winding streets and alleys, setting up a potential network of allies and contacts she would need to help her with the heist she planned. Finally, but how better to help readers connect with the hero than to have her triumph by the small knowledge of flour and yeast?

An unwritten rule of fantasy is that the details of the world-building must be "realistic", which among other things means that the food the characters eat must be something you'd expect to find in medieval Europe. I have never quite understood why it's "realistic" for a medieval-style world to contain dragons but not, say, coffee. Yes, yes, I know that particular beverage didn't make its way to Europe until the 16th century at the earliest, but dragons never got there at all and no one complains about that. So I ignore that rule because why not.

In my second novel, The Fall of Ventaris, two characters who are anything but wealthy buy and share an orange. Although one could argue that such a fruit was an unaffordable treat in their world, I liked the idea of two people walking through a crowded marketplace, tearing wedges from an orange they passed back and forth. There was a certain camaradarie inherent in that image, one that trumped any sense of "realism."

Food is an experience we all share, and there is something comforting about both the way food is prepared and the way it is served. Duchess uses bread-making to calm her nerves and clear her mind before braving the dangers of the estate of Baron Eusbius. Later in the series, a feast is a welcome interlude before the climactic events in the imperial palace, events Duchess herself has secretly engineered. Some of the food she eats there – ripe pears and spicy sausage – is familiar, and the some – like the exotic bataya – is beyond her experience, but all of it helps ground her before the dangers to come. She eats this meal with persons of power, and yet the ritual of eating together makes her feel a part of a group that, under normal circumstances, would not deign to be in the same room with something they think so ignobly born.

Fiction, to me, is as necessary to life as food, and food is as much of an adventure as fiction. The two together – well, for me they make something truly fantastic.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Neil!



You can find Neil and his books here:




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19. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Heather Grace Stewart, Author of Strangely, Incredibly Good

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22375683-strangely-incredibly-good


Strangely, Incredibly Good…Food!

Can your relationship with others affect your relationship with food?

Absolutely. For better, and for worse.

In my novel, Strangely Incredibly Good, the main character Katherine “Cat” Glamour is an emotional eater. Now, don’t assume that the book is all about women dealing with weight issues - no way. It’s one of the subjects the book covers, but it’s by no means its only theme.

By the time you’ve hit 40, I believe you’ve read & seen enough messages about how to eat and exercise right to last you three lifetimes. Enough, already! This book is meant as a fun escape for men and women of all ages. Okay. Glad we cleared that up.

At the beginning of the novel, Cat is unhappy with her life, and her weight, and the two - pardon the pun - feed off eachother. Cheesies and chocolate milk are her favorite snack.

Why did I choose those? They are my nine-year-old daughter’s favorite snack, besides candy. When I’m writing, I write what I know, and then make it about ten times larger than life.

So, Cat has been up snacking the night before, and when she decides to try to pull herself and her life together and start exercising on a Wii, it’s only natural a genie would appear from out of the Wii, right? Told you I like to make my stories larger than life.

Once Cat and Genie become acquainted (I’m not sharing that part, you’ll have to read the book!) the Genie, Eugene, criticizes her food choices:


“These are awful for you, you know.” He holds up a cheesie, carefully inspecting it. “I can’t believe you eat this crap. I lived on a farm when I was a boy, and one of my chores was making cheese. This is not even remotely close to how that tasted. This is so full of artificial, I think it could fly to Mars, visit the surface on one of those fancy rovers, return to Earth, and still look and taste the same as it did the year before.”


Eugene, as you’ll discover, is sweet, charming and funny. He’s no jerk. In that scene, however, I wanted to underscore how even nice people who “mean well” can make people who are struggling to lose weight feel small. Cat had just begun an exercise routine. She’d begun. That’s what matters, and yet, she was still met with criticism. When all that criticism builds up, it can immobilize and damage a person like clogged arteries.

Thankfully, Eugene soon realizes how he can help Cat, and becomes one of her greatest allies in her journey of self-discovery. Too bad he didn’t show up before her series of very bad dates, and very bad shakes. Cat is set up by her sister, Cici, on one of those dates, but the date is a total bust. I’ll let Cat explain the rest:



I didn’t think dating could go downhill after that. How much more hill was left bottom at that point, right? Wrong. Later that night, Cici apologized profusely by text.

<So sorry. Jeezus. Didn’t know he was such a jerk? Forgive me? xo>

<Know you meant well. Pls dnt bring anyone else 2our Cosmo dates. Want to drink in misery of being old and fat with sister.>

<Hey, I’m not fat! Or old! Bitch.>

I laughed out loud. I could handle talking about my weight with her, and it was never a competition. Though she was at a healthy weight, she’d been supportive, a participant, in fact, of all my attempts to lose weight, including the week I asked her to follow the latest craze and drink Spinach and Chick Pea Shakes with me for two whole weeks. She was such a sport, even buying the groceries for our little adventure, because I couldn’t afford everything. Such a sport, until 3 p.m. on Day Three, when I received this text from her:

<In crucial business meeting. Boss making presentation. Am filling up room with atrocious fart smell. Do I stay or do I leave?>

< Be heroic. Tell them to get out while they’re still breathing!>

I put my phone down on the kitchen table, threw my head back, and had the biggest belly laugh I’d had in ages. Tears were streaming down my face. Then Gram came in.

“What’s the joke?” she stood at the counter, making tea.

“Oh God, Cici and I have the farts. It appears these shakes make us fart.”

“I coulda told you that. Shit Shakes. That’s how they taste, and that’s what they make you do.”

“You think we’re actually going to lose weight on these?” I push my half-empty green shake glass away, feeling a little nauseous.

“I think you’re gonna poop a lot, get sick of the Shit Shakes, and fill up on all your favourite foods next week. That’s what I think.”

I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.

“Yea. I hate to say it but you’re probably …Ewww.” I’d let another big one out. They just kept coming and coming. I’d lost all control!

“I’m outta here, Fartsy. You’d better get a handle on that before you bed another man,” she raised her tea mug and nodded, as if to wish me luck.



This scene is one of my favorites from the book, and was inspired by some of the crazy diets I’ve tried with my sister. No, I’ve never had a Spinach and Chick Pea shake, and I never will. “Diet” is a four letter word for me now. I try to limit sugar and desserts instead of dieting. You’ll probably notice, though, that my characters have a love for milkshakes, and ice cream with sprinkles. Now you know my dessert weaknesses. Add some hot fudge, and I’m yours! 




Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Heather!


Heather Grace Stewart is best known for her poetry, which includes: Three Spaces, Carry on Dancing, Leap, and Where the Butterflies Go.

In 2012, she published the screenplay, The Friends I’ve Never Met, which has been well received on both Kindle and Kobo.

Her two non-fiction books for youth are part of the Warts & All educational series on Canada’s Prime Ministers.

She has written for a wide range of magazines, including Reader’s Digest and Canadian Wildlife magazine. Her regular column in the Queen’s Alumni Review magazine, Grace’s Grads, was created in September 2005.

Heather’s poems have been published in Canadian literary journals, newspapers, and magazines, Canadian, British and South African school textbooks, audio CD's, online journals, international print anthologies,
and in the British small presses.



You can visit Heather here:






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20. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lori Otto, Author of Lost & Found

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20888295-the-complete-emi-lost-found-series?from_search=true

So, today on But What Are They Eating? we are going to change things up a bit:
But What Aren’t They Eating?
In my Emi Lost & Found series, there is one thing that the heroine Emi absolutely will not eat: chocolate.
You’re probably thinking, “Is she really a woman?  Is she even human?” The answer is yes to both questions.
In the three main novels, it’s mentioned on a few occasions that she doesn’t like or want chocolate.  It’s offered a couple times, but the reader never really knows the reason behind her distaste.
On a side note, here’s a little tidbit about my series.  The three novels that make up the bulk of this contemporary (yet atypical) romance series – Lost and Found, Time Stands Still, and Never Look Back – were released in the spring of 2011.  After readers finished them, one of the most common questions I got from people was about the chocolate.
A little over a year later, I got this crazy idea to write a prequel and release it in chapters on my website.  In Not Today, But Someday, everyone finally discovered Emi’s reason for avoiding the delectable treat.
First of all, it’s not an allergy.  When Emi was younger, on what she thought was her first date, she indulged in Raisinettes after the boy who took her to the movies dropped her off at the theater with his step-sister and continued on–by himself–to an arcade.
Later in the book, sixteen-year-old Emi has run away from her mother’s apartment, and has begged her new friend, Nate, to let her stay at his house for the night.  Confronted by his mom, Emi opens up about her own:
“She’s leaving my dad,” Emi says.  “I honestly don’t know how to deal with this.”  She takes a bite of the apple and chews it slowly, tracing the marble pattern of the countertop.
“I’m sure it’s not easy, Emily.”  Mom leans on her elbows on the island, attentive to Emi.  “Sometimes it helps to talk about it.”
I don’t want to make her uncomfortable.  “Mom–”
“He cheated on her.  I caught him,” Emi continues.  I look at her, biting my lip, allowing her to speak.  “He took his mistress to this restaurant.  I was there with some friends, and this woman’s laughter rose above the noise of the entire place,” she says evenly.  I can tell that emotions lie just beneath the surface, but I admire her strength as she continues.  “I watched her for a few minutes, thinking it was sweet how her date was feeding her fruit dipped in chocolate.  They had a fondue pot between them.  He held a cherry up by its stem, covered with chocolate, and fed it to her.  The chocolate dripped down her chin, and he stopped her from wiping it off with her napkin.  I was entranced.  It seemed so intimate.  I was imagining that being me someday.  I even nudged my friends and got their attention, showing them what I was watching.  And then her date leaned in and licked the chocolate from her face, eventually meeting her lips with his.  He kissed her for a long time, and one of my friends said, ‘That looks like your dad.’”
Mom has a distinct frown on her face, and she puts her hand on Emi’s arm.  Chocolate.
It’s all in her head, essentially.  No amount of craving for something she once liked will make her set aside the association of chocolate with her father’s infidelity.
Well, there are two cravings in my series that do, but… well, you should read the books to find out what they are!  
The prequel, Not Today, But Someday, is no longer on my website, but it is offered for free for your Kindle, Nook or iPad.  It is also part of the four-book Complete Emi Lost & Found series!  And if you read these and like them, there is a spin-off series available, as well.

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Lori!

You can contact Lori here:


And find her books here:
Amazon.com                                         iTunes                                         Barnes & Noble


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21. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Back Lorne Oliver, Author of The Cistern

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21642318-the-cistern



I asked the wonderful Shelley if I could do this write up and she graciously said yes.  Ten minutes later I wondered, Dude, what are they eating?  In The Cistern the main characters own and work at a restaurant, so it should be pretty simple.



I have worked in the restaurant industry for nearly 10 years and have always been amazed at the variety of the characters you find working there, as well as the crazy things that can go on, so I of course wanted to write something that took place mostly in and around a restaurant.  I had started a few ideas, mostly dealing with life and love, but none of it was really working.  I put the idea in a back file in my brain and went on.



A couple of years ago my wife got a part-time gig cleaning dealing with foreclosed houses.  The job was supposed to be simple:  take pictures of the building, inspect it, take note of any damage, clean it out and collect the cash.  House #1 had been abandoned for a year.  Going inside we were amazed at how much stuff was left behind.  Shoes, kitchen toys, a dining room set, kids skateboard, family photos, little kids drawings, one kids report card, candles…it was as if the family had to get out of Dodge in a hurry.  Right away the story ideas started churning.  What happened to the family?  Where did they go?  As we searched the main floor the ideas were bubbling and preparing to erupt.  Then we went into the basement.



If you read chapter #4 in The Cistern, Chrys and Spencer go to what they refer to as “The Creepy House” and pretty much do the same walk-through that my wife and I did.  And in the basement they find the same peculiar thing we did.


 
          “Ah, Chrys.”
     The hairs on her arms felt electrified at just the way her brother said her name.  He was already moving forward.

     Spencer felt drawn to walk around these inside walls.  There had to be a door or something.  There had to be a reason for them to be there.  He said, “This is a concrete room.  The walls don’t go up.”

     “What?”

     “They don’t go all the way to the ceiling.”

     “What?  Why?”




Here in Saskatchewan there are many old houses with cisterns in them.  They are basically reservoirs for collecting rain water that can be used for many household things that don’t need filtration and all that.  The tank at the back of your toilet is a cistern.  This one happened to be about 10’ on each side and 6’ high with a trap door on top.  The ideas burst through the damn.



I decided to put some old character ideas I had (it was actually a couple originally) but make them a brother and sister.  I brought back the restaurant idea and The Alcrest Mysteries were born.



Food is an important part to developing the characters.  Yes, I’m counting The Alcrest Gastropub as a character as well as the main ones Spencer (chef and owner) and Chrys (server and constant eater). It starts from Chrys adding hot chocolate powder to her coffee to what Spencer puts on the menu.  There are even a couple of bonus recipes in the paperback.  What they personally eat has not been completely delved into yet.  Restaurant workers are notorious for eating crap.  Spencer’s favorite late night snack, for instance, is Chocolate Frosted Pop tarts (toasted) and a bowl of chocolate ice cream.  Chrys, on the other hand, is also a dance instructor and jammer for a local roller derby team, so she tends to try and eat healthy.  Not to mention she rarely pays for her own food, so eating in their restaurant or others is a constant treat.



Chrys and Spencer are just regular people living regular lives amongst outrageous circumstances.  And, if you ask Spencer, amazing food courtesy of The Alcrest Gastropub.


Thanks for returning to share more food for thought, Lorne!


You can find Lorne here:







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22. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Stephanie Siciarz, Author of Away with the Fishes

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22402696-away-with-the-fishes



Kingfish in coconut cream, pigeon in pineapple, stewed plums. The delicacies that populate the picnics and pantries of Oh are as sweet and spicy as the island itself. Just ask Trevor Rouge, proprietor of Trevor’s Bakery, whose cold drinks and warm buns loosen the locals’ lips; or Captain Dagmore Bowles, who plies his one true love with cool cabbage salad to win her heart. Talk to the anonymous man (if you can find him) who placed an ad in the island paper for a girl with cooking skills worthy of marriage. All of them will tell you that guava tarts and macaroni pie wield the same kind of magic as Oh’s gossipy winds and fool-making moon.

In Away with the Fishes, the second— but standalone —installment in my Island of Oh series, it’s precisely the preoccupation with fish and fowl that drive the drama. Rena Baker, known for the culinary attentions that she lavishes on Madison Fuller, her boyfriend, goes missing. All the signs (when bent and twisted) seem to suggest that Madison has done her in. How else to explain the classified ad for a bride who can bake? Surely Madison seeks Rena’s replacement, and the Island Police are swift to deliver him his just desserts.

Then again, mightn’t Madison be telling the truth when he says he knows nothing of Rena’s whereabouts or of the ad? Mightn’t the ad, instead, be designed to ensnare Madison’s own sister, May Fuller, whose fish chowder and Christmas cakes are reputed island-wide?

Questions like these are just the sort of salt and pepper that add flavor to the workaday world of Customs & Excise Officer Raoul Orlean, who has yet to find an island riddle he can resist unraveling (though resolving them is sometimes a different matter). Raoul has no need for bakers’ buns or classified ads; his wife Ms. Lila’s fare is fine indeed. But mysteries, he cannot stomach. Lucky for him, thismystery doesn’t want for clues, and the clues want Raoul to investigate one cook to find another: old Mrs. Jaymes, cook and housekeeper to the long-dead Dagmore Bowles, might just hold the key to the Rena riddle. Now normally Raoul wouldn’t battle wits with a ghost, which is what old Captain Dagmore must by now be, but in the interest of island justice—and his own plain-as-noses-on-faces philosophical school—Raoul eats up the Captain’s tale. Exactly what answers lie therein, Raoul will have to sniff out.  And with a pinch of island luck, he might just do so before poor Madison’s goose is cooked. 


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Stephanie!



You can find Stephanie here:




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23. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Matthew Harrill, Author of Hellbounce

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22393422-hellbounce


My protagonist, Dr Eva Ross has had a scare; her husband has finally revealed himself to be a man of highly questionable moral judgement.

Checking in at a hotel, she gets directed to Moynagh’s, a bar on Exchange Street in Worcester, Massachusetts.


The barman indicated several taps. “Ales, from the motherland. Guinness, if that’s your thing. Several Irish whiskies. Most of this lot only drink Jameson’s. Not a lot of calls for anything else in this place. The only new drink we have introduced in the last ten years is the ‘Passion Plunge’”.

Eva could not help the grin that spread across her face at hearing the name. “Sounds perfect. What’s in it?”

“Sour mix, orange juice, ice, dash of soda and of course a double shot of Irish whiskey. I made it in honour of the charity event we always send a team to.”



Several elements here are important to me. First off, I love real places, and Moynagh’s is such. Second, I love a good cocktail, and so I had fun creating this. Third, Eva has just experienced emotions that are going to severely deplete any chance of passion, and is laughing at the irony. Lastly, I love to learn things. Did you know ‘whisky’ is from Scotland and ‘whiskey’ is from Ireland?

Food (or drink) for thought…


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Matt!



Matthew W. Harrill lives in the idyllic South-West of England, nestled snugly
in a village in the foothills of the Cotswolds. Born in 1976, he attended school in Bristol
and received a degree in Geology from Southampton University. By day he plies
his trade implementing shareplans for Xerox. By night he spends his time with his wife
and four children.



You can find Matt here:

MatthewHarrill.com                    Twitter @Matt_Harrill

Facebook Page                   Goodreads                    Amazon





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24. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Andi O'Connor, Author of Redemption

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20898192-redemption



When I agreed to write a post for But What Are They EatingI must admit I was a tad overwhelmed. I am working on three different series simultaneously, and all three could easily have a post. So, how did I make my final decision? Well, there wasn’t any deep, thought-provoking way I went about it. To be honest, I did eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

*hangs my head in shame*

I suppose I really shouldn’t. I mean, we all have those moments, right ...... right?

Regardless of how I made my decision, I chose my short story Redemption from the series The Legacy of Ilvania. Because it’s a short story, I didn’t delve into what the main character Jae is eating. Nevertheless, what he eats, more specifically what he doesn’t eat, plays a crucial role in his life and greatly influenced what he is today.

At the age of sixteen, Jae’s parents sold him to the Mé’Draak.

A fighting force able to wield powerful magic, the Mé’Draak are Ilvania’s most revered defenders. Having a son chosen to join their forces is considered a high honor. But in the College where the recruits are trained, it quickly becomes apparent that the Mé’Draak are nothing to be commended. For the young boys aren’t students. They’re slaves.

Put in tiny, cramped cells and given thin rags to wear, they spend their days huddled against the damp stone walls, dreading the moment a key turns in the lock and they are taken to their session. Unlike a normal school, the boys don’t learn to call upon their magic through instruction. They learn through pain.

Twice daily, each student is taken to their session. Their trainer attacks them with lightning, the most common spell of the Mé’Draak. The boys quickly learn to raise their magical shields in defense, or they die. For those who survive the first onslaught, the attacks increase in strength until the pupil falls unconscious from the strain or they are driven to the point where anger and resentment take control. Defending is no longer an option. They turn their energy around and attack. They’re broken. They’re a Mé’Draak.

So far, I haven’t talked at all about food, but you can probably imagine what I’m about to say isn’t going to be pleasant. As I mentioned earlier, the food given to the boys at the College plays an integral role in their Breaking. In order for the method of training to work, they need to be completely demoralized. They aren’t given any kindness or compassion. They aren’t given time to socialize. But above all, they aren’t given food.

Jae grew up on a farm. He was used to hearty, simple cooking. But he was also one of eleven children and a poor family. Meals need to consist of a few cheap ingredients and feed a lot of mouths. Soups and stews were what his mother cooked most often. Potatoes, squash, and root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips transformed into hearty stews that somehow always managed to taste different. Sliced cabbage, potatoes, and carrots made a light soup which was one of Jae’s favorites. Squash pies were his favorite food in the fall, and for the hotter summer months, he enjoyed lightly fried squash and zucchini tossed with rice. Once a month, Jae’s father would trade some vegetables grown on the farm for meat from the local butcher. Jae looked forward to that time of the month with baited breath.

Jae was never hungry, but he also never truly knew what it was like to be full. Nevertheless, when he arrived at the College, he quickly learned what it was like to starve.

The Master doesn’t want the boys to be healthy. He doesn’t want them to be strong. The quicker they become weak, both mentally and physically, the quicker they will be Broken. He wants them to have no willpower left to resist.

Part of how that’s achieved is by feeing the boys next to nothing. Jae thought he was hallucinating when he was served his first meal—if you could call it that. A tiny wooden tray smaller than an average plate was plopped in front of him. On it was a half a slide of bread and a small cup of light yellow broth. No vegetables. No rice. No meat. Broth.

Jae devoured the food in seconds and spend the rest of the day reassuring himself the next meals of the day would be more substantial. To his dismay, he received only one more meal that day. And it was exactly the same.

Still, the Master realized there needed to be some concession on his part, otherwise the boys would die of starvation before he’d even have a chance to break them. Once a week, he let the boys receive three meals. The first two were the same as every other day; bread and broth. The third consisted of a slice of roasted meat, boiled potatoes, and a roll.

When Jae arrived at the College, he was fit and muscular. Five months after eating the Master’s prescribed diet, he was emaciated beyond recognition. If not for that one special meal a week, he would have forgotten the taste of food.

Food is an essential part of our lives. Many of us take it for granted and fail to recognize how much we depend on it mentally and physically. Redemption reminds us how easily that can change. How easily something affects us when it’s wrenched away. Does Jae learn how to survive the torture of the Mé’Draak? Can he continue to hold on to who he is before it’s too late?


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Andi!



You can find Andi here:





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25. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lorraine Carey, Author of The Last Vestal Virgin


When you are raised in an America Italian Family home life is full of traditions. Two of the most traditions are family gatherings and food. Trust me, I was raised in one. Seems life was centered around food and family. And maybe more food. Christina Ciccone, the main character grew up on her mama’s spaghetti and meatballs. She loved Sunday dinners which consisted of spaghetti, hot garlic bread and salad.And of course there was always Neapolitan Ice Cream for dessert.


I mention Pizzelle cookies in the story. These fancy waffle cookies were served up for Christina’s elegant high school graduation party. Her mother and her Aunt Linda made them in the waffle iron the morning of the party. These are her favorite cookie.



Helen Ciccone, Christina’s mother learned the craft of making great spaghetti sauce from her mother. It was a recipe in the family for generations. The secret was to put pork into the sauce for great flavor and add a little bit of sugar to sweeten the sauce and take out some of the sour taste from the tomatoes.



Now, Darien Russo, the young man obsessed with Christina is hooked on fast food. When you are a paramedic and on the run all the time it’s just about the only option. His favorite fast food is a footlong Subway turkey sandwich and chips. He once ate four bags of chips while sitting outside of Christina’s house hoping he’d see her.



Jade, Christina’s BFF loves to come over at night and hang out with Christina in her room searching for paranormal topics on the internet. She loves to munch on  Caramel Corn while chatting.



Mysterious Mrs Silva, retired school teacher and chaperone on the trip to  Rome with Christina’s history club is a very refined lady. She loves her  Chardonnay with a fresh Caesar salad. She’s been known to throw a hissy fit it lettuce is wilted.



Mr Frescelli, Christina’s history teacher and bachelor is not much of a cook.  His evening meal consists mainly of a frozen dinner and a beer. One of his favorites is the Hungry Man Meatloaf Platter. He watches the History Channel while trying to grade papers.


For the Vestal Virgins, their specialty is making the famous ‘mola salsa’ cakes. These were a special wafer like cakes made of pelt flour,water and salt, then burnt in the turibulum which was a type of incense burner. The cakes were brought to special events and crumbled up and sprinkled over areas as offerings for the gods.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Lorraine.

You can find Lorraine here:

LorraineCarey.com          Twitter @LosingGround1          Facebook          Goodreads

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