Sunday, October 10, 2010

Welcome Kathy Borich!

A while back, when I was looking into the food connection with mysteries, I stumbled across a charming book, which led me to the equally charming author of said book. Without further ado, please welcome our guest Kathy Borich!

Kathy is the author of Appetite for Murder: A Mystery Lover’s Cookbook, a tantalizing slant on cooking and crime, where readers relive their favorite classic detective fiction and then whip up the food that (solved the crime or) caught the culprit.

With her book you are off to England for a supper with Sherlock Holmes, morning tea with Miss Marple, or a pub crawl with Chief Inspector Morse.

And who hasn’t secretly longed to heed the summons and go with Holmes into Victorian London’s foggy night air, vanishing into a waiting carriage, the snap of the whip and echoing hoof beats piercing the darkness?

Kathy spent twenty-two years luring reluctant readers to the joys of literature by spicing up the dry pages with authentic cuisine in her English classroom. She is a past president of Heart of Texas Sisters in Crime, and has given many Mystery Cooking Classes featuring the recipes found in her book. Currently Kathy has taken that interest to new area, the ultimate cinema cuisine connection, with her website,
which features movie reviews for film-loving foodies. Her reviews of current, classic, and crime films feature a signature recipe for each movie.

Kathy credits her love of cooking to her Italian/French grandmother, “who raised me among the powdered lace of drying pasta and the warm earth of a backyard tomato garden.”

Appetite for Murder: A Mystery Lover’s Cookbook is also available through There is a link at her Different Drummer film review website where you can also download a sample.,

Today’s recipe:

What a pleasure to be a guest on your scrumptious blog. Thank you for inviting me.

Since it was really Agatha Christie who inspired me to write this book – I always felt a sudden urge to brew up a good pot of tea after reading about Miss Marple – I toyed with some of her favorites, -- Seed cake, Treacle Tart, and that inevitable English dessert, Trifle, jazzed up with fresh raspberries and sherry drizzle. But you’ll have to get my book to see those, since…

I am opting for a more contemporary author, Martha Grimes, who some people think is better than all three grand dames of British mystery, Christie, Allingham, and Sayers. And she is a Yankee to boot!

Martha Grimes takes us on a literary pub-crawl with her books titled after pubs with irresistible names like the Dirty Duck, the Old Contemptibles, and the Horse You Came in On. This recipe is from The Lamorna Wink, a twisted tale about a vanishing lady on the Cornwall Coast. But it is the meringues made by the missing aunt that hold the clue.

Plus, our recipe for the Sabayon Custard has the same Italian/French roots as my grandmother.

Here is the lead in and the recipe:

Martha Grimes
Meringue Mysteries
A pub crawl with Melrose Plant

A sheet of meringues, lightweight and sweet, sits in the oven, but Aunt Chris is nowhere to be found. Her nephew Johnny enlists Melrose Plant to help him find this vanishing lady. Their search takes them to forlorn rocky outcroppings, a past tainted by pornography, snuff films, and innocent children drowning in the cold sea.

Let’s whip up some delightful Meringues with Strawberries and Sabayon Custard, just like Aunt Chris used to make. But don’t taste them before you whet your appetite with Roquefort-Baked Avocados, and dine on Cod “that might have leapt from the water into the pan” Smothered in Cucumber Sauce.

Meringues with Strawberries and Sabayon Custard


6 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Dash salt
1 cup sugar

Have egg whites at room temperature. Add vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat till frothy. Gradually add sugar, a small amount at a time, beating till very stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved.

Cover cookie sheet with plain parchment paper. Drop shapely dollops of meringue onto the prepared baking sheet with a soup spoon. Bake in very slow oven (275 degrees) for 1 hour. Turn off heat and let dry in oven with the door closed about 1 hour.

Sabayon Custard

Aunt Chris's recipe for this light and delectable custard has its roots not in France, as one might suspect from its name, but in Renaissance Italy. In 1533 Catherine de' Medici became the bride of Henry II of France and brought as part of her dowry a team of exquisite Florentine cooks. Zabaglione, a hot, foamy custard, was steeped in the sweet, fortified Marsala wine of Sicily. Sabayon is the French translation of this delicious dowry. We will follow Aunt Chris's variation and use Madeira wine, but not quite "so much, you could get drunk off it," as Johnny remembers.

6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons Madeira
(You can substitute Marsala or sweet sherry, if you like)

Place egg yolks in the top of a double boiler and beat with a rotary or electric beater. Gradually add the sugar and beat until foamy. Place over 1 inch of simmering water. Add wine (traditionally, half an eggshellful of wine per yolk). Beat until mixture triples and is very thick and hot.

To serve cold, pour hot custard into a bowl. Set in a larger bowl of ice and beat vigorously until cold and thick. Chill until ready to serve.


1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled.
(If they are especially large, you may want to halve or quarter them)

Now just follow Johnny's instructions. Pile strawberries on a meringue and pour the hot or spoon the chilled custard over them.

For more about Kathy's book,
you can visit her website:

To win an autographed copy of
Kathy's book, leave a comment and
a lucky winner will be chosen
at random!

Good luck!!!

Thanks so much for joining
us today, Kathy! This was
delightful and inspiring!


  1. What a fun book! Can't wait to check out those recipes.

    And I love Martha Grimes! Especially Melrose Plant and his nutty aunt. Thanks for the meringues recipe!

  2. The meringues recipe looks delicious and easy to prepare. I always enjoy finding 'new to me' authors here with wonderful new books to read. Best of luck.

    Thoughts in Progress

  3. What a brilliant idea for a book -- and a web site (different drummer). A short time ago, I tracked down the old, out of print Nero Wolfe cookbook, put together by Viking editors to celebrate the sumptuous meals mentioned in Rex Stout's long-running mystery series (set in NYC), and I love, love, love it.

    I just ordered your book this AM, and I know I'll enjoy it just as much. :) Thank you, Kathy, for joining us today in our *virtual* kitchen. I hope you'll come back to cook (and dish) with us again and again.

    Read with joy!
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. What a great idea for a book! Can't wait to check it out.

  5. Oooh! What a luscious sounding book. I'm going to have to check out both of your websites, Kathy. Thanks for taking time to guest blog with these wonderful authors!

  6. What a brilliant idea for a book! I have often found my stomach growling while reading a mystery and it is disappointing when recipes aren't included. :) I love the history of this recipe. Thanks for sharing it, Kathy!

  7. Wow! That book looks awesome. My library patrons would love it! I can't wait to show my daughter the differentdrummer website--that's right up her alley! :)

  8. Awesome concept for a cookbook!!

  9. Oh boy!
    This sounds wonderful. Would love to have this book.
    Have a great day everybody!
    Peace and blessings, and cooking mysteries!

  10. What a great idea. This book seems like the best of 2 worlds.

    I will have to check out your web sites.

  11. What a delight!!!!!

    This sounds wonderful and I'm off to visit Kathy's website.

    Thanks, guys - another fun post!

  12. Okay, this is one book I HAVE TO HAVE!!! The meringues look fabulous although I wish I could make the zabayone custard without the Madeira or sherry (I went to a wine tasting once and the guide went on and on about the wonderful caramel and baked apple undertones that made me very excited about tasting it. One sip and all I could think was that it tasted quite like iodine smells! I don't think I want that in my dessert!). I'll have to think on it. I love icewine, I wonder if I could use that...hmmm.
    Nurse JudyMac

  13. This book looks SO good! What a fun idea.

  14. The book looks great! I enjoy a book that has a good mystery and look at great recipes also, I appreciate you sharing this with us Kathy and would like to tell my Booktalk friends about it!

    Pam Tucker~

  15. These are recipes like I've never seen before, let alone tasted. By the way, today is my birthday, what voluptuous decadent morsel could you throw together for me today? I'd love to own this cookbook. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win it. I hope I do!

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  16. What a fun book, Kathy! Such a great idea. Thanks for joining us today!

    ~ Krista

  17. nothing nicer than a spot of a good Madeira on a chilly to have a recipe that uses it....WOW!!!
    Thanks so much for visiting and sharing two lovely sounding treats...I have always wondered about the spelling of "sabayon"!!
    Your book looks wonderful, as well.

  18. I love Martha Grimes! She is one of the few authors I have on the keeper shelves. It's a toss up who I have the bigger crush on, Melrose or Richard.

  19. What a terrific post. I'm sorry to chime in so late, but thank you for sharing on MLK and can't wait to get your book. What fun!


  20. THIS looks like a "Must-Read!!" Great idea, Kathy! Whooo Hoooo!!!!

  21. Welcome, Kathy!! Recipes from "cozies" are always the BEST. Thanks for putting them in one book for us in such an interesting format! I, for one, cannot wait to try them!! ( Jamie

  22. There's a Mystery Lover's Cookbook? Kathy, what a brilliant idea. I'm going to order a copy as soon as I finish this comment. Thanks for giving us such a delicious visit today - I can't wait to make these meringues (which are my husband's favorite anyway)!

    And Martha Grimes is one of my favorite authors. I've read every one of her books twice. Vickie, I'm with you - I'm a bit in love with both Melrose and Richard! I loved The Lamorna wink. I really related to Aunt Chris' love of baking, and wasn't Johnny a charmer?

  23. I have not had the pleasure of reading this book, or any others along the line of this genre; but after reading your teaser, I am anxious to do so. The recipes look delightful. Plus, we have a mutual friend in Austin.