Welcome our guest, Lorna Barrett!
Lorna is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Booktown Mystery series. Chapter and Hearse, the 4th book, is now available. Lorna also writes under the names Lorraine Bartlett and L.L. Bartlett. Visit her website at: www.LornaBarrett.com and her blog www.LornaBarrett.blogspot.com
Take it away, Lorna!
The Chemistry Of Cooking
By Lorna Barrett
I never did well in high school science class. Heck, who cared about that kind of stuff when there were books to be read? Fun books like “House of Many Shadows” and “Witch” by Barbara Michaels. Or the four biographies of Edgar Allen Poe that my school library owned. And in my junior and senior years, I read entire volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Science? Who cared when you could read about fascinating places, and pick up little known facts, or read about the excitement of Elias Howe inventing the sewing machine!
That said, I loved to bake. And until recently, I was a stickler for following directions to the letter. (Since I’ve been writing the Booktown Mysteries, and have needed to give my character Angelica interesting things to cook and bake, I’ve gotten a little bolder.)
There’s a reason combinations of ingredients work to make cakes and breads rise. It’s chemistry, pure and simple. Or, maybe it’s just magic. (I think I prefer the latter explanation.) You might want to substitute spices and flavorings, but messing with a recipe’s core ingredients (the ratio of flour to baking powder, for example), is just asking for trouble.
Then there are the clueless. In my latest Booktown Mystery, my heroine, Tricia Miles, is asked to bring some kind of breakfast food to a gathering of friends. Not having much experience in the kitchen, she pulls a book of her shelf and finds a recipe for blueberry muffins. How hard could blueberry muffins be to make?
Well … it turns out they can be quite difficult – especially if you don’t know what you’re doing and you don’t have the proper ingredients. Tricia substitutes with wild abandon and the results . . . well, let’s just say my readers find them amusing.
Here’s the recipe Tricia used as a guide. Maybe you’d like to try making them. But don’t mess with too many of the ingredients – if you want something edible, that is.
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries or well-drained frozen blueberries (thawed)
Heat oven to 400º Grease the bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups or line with paper baking cups. Beat egg; stir in milk and melted butter. Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is dampened. Batter should be lumpy.
Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Immediately remove from pan.
Makes 12 muffins
Find out more about Lorna at her websbite, LORNA BARRETT and don't miss any books in the series! You can read excerpts of her books by clicking this LINK.