Today we welcome Beth Groundwater to the Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen! Beth writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series (A Real Basket Case, nominated for the 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award, and To Hell in a Handbasket, May, 2009) and the Rocky Mountain Adventure mystery series (the first of which, Deadly Currents, will be released in March, 2011). Her science fiction novella, The Epsilon Eridani Alternative, was published in December, 2009.
When Riley Adams invited me to be a guest blogger on Mystery Lovers Kitchen, I decided that I’d provide a very different kind of recipe, one for a gift basket, since I write the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series. Some important things to keep in mind while designing a gift basket are to stimulate all the senses (taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight), to pick one main color and two complementary accent colors and use them throughout, and to tailor the contents to the recipient’s interests. Here I assume that you’re making a gift basket for a friend who loves mysteries.
Recipe for a Mystery Lover's Gift Basket
Color scheme: black, red, and white/gray
Container: black-painted basket, bucket or box, with a lid or handle sticking up, from which you hang some spider webbing
Stuffing: dried Spanish moss or red-dyed tissue paper, paper shreds, or wood shavings
Mystery book(s). In keeping with the gift basket theme, I recommend my Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery books, A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket.
CD of eerie music such as Mystery Movie Scores or Mystery Sound Effects
Pocket-sized mystery party game or travel Clue game
Movie DVD: Clue, Mousetrap, Alfred Hitchcock or Sherlock Holmes movie, or movie collection (Mystery Classics: 50 Movie Pack)
Chocolate/bubble gum coins or other mystery-related chocolate shapes such as blood drops, knives, or guns (see http://www.chocolatepen.com for a sample vendor)
If your recipient is a tea drinker, include an antique tea cup and saucer, a selection of teas, and a tea cozy, in keeping with a cozy mystery genre theme.
And an assortment from:
Bookmarks from mystery authors
Pair of play handcuffs and/or sheriff's badge
Rubber knife or plastic pistol
Glasses, nose, mustache disguise
Spy Gear toys from http://www.wildplanet.com
Skull-shaped/logo item: tealight candle holder, squeeze ball, notepad, etc. (see http://www.orientaltrading.com/)
Bottle of stage blood from Halloween/theatre costume/makeup supply store or make your own (see http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/fakeblood.htm)
Now, once you finish putting that basket together, you’re going to need a drink. ;-) Here’s a suggestion:
Whirling Fruit Basket Shooter
1 oz. Rum
1/4 oz. Blackberry Brandy
1/4 oz. Midori
1/4 oz. Peach Schnapps
1/4 oz. Sour Apple Schnapps
Layer in a shot glass. Pick up the shot glass and spin the liquid. Shoot it, slam it.
Beth lives in Colorado and enjoys its many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting. Please visit her website at http://bethgroundwater.com/
Thanks so much, Beth. What a perfect suggestion for ending a session of basket building! :) Thanks for visiting with us today.