With 11 days remaining until Thanksgiving, you may be a little stressed. The family’s coming! You have to clean the house. Buy all the food. Cook all the food! (Or maybe you’re going to a certain relative’s home where you fear you’ll have to eat all the food.) It’s enough to make you crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head, and wait for December.
But since that’s not a viable option (it’s not, right?), I have an alternate solution: Read some funny mystery stories involving Thanksgiving foods. There’s nothing like a good laugh to help you relax and cope, especially when the laughs come from stories about fictional characters suffering through far worse Thanksgivings than you ever have (I hope).
What book is it that will dispel the gloom and doom? It’s The Killer Wore Cranberry, an e-book that has nine funny crime stories, including my story “Biscuits, Carats, and Gravy.”
This anthology can be downloaded onto any e-reader, as well as as a PDF onto any computer. You also can buy any of the stories individually if you don’t want to buy the whole book. You should be able to find it at all the online bookstores, as well as from the publisher, http://www.untreedreads.com, through its online store. In just a few minutes, you can be reading and laughing and forgetting all about the fact that your family is coming! In eleven days! Ahhhh!
Do you have any Thanksgiving horror stories you’d care to share? Please do. Remember, we’re all in this together!
As I prepared to write this post, I reached out to friends, asking for a gravy recipe. My story focuses on awful gravy, so I felt it important to provide a recipe for fabulous gravy. Most of my friends said that there is no recipe for gravy; you just make it from the turkey juices. Not very helpful. Thankfully my friend Elizabeth Amore-Yingling came through. She has her own gravy recipe, and we’re both happy to share it with you. Happy Thanksgiving!
Marvelous Mushroom Gravy
4 TBSP unsalted butter (½ stick)
2 shallots, finely minced
1 pound Cremini or mini Portobello mushrooms (cleaned and finely chopped)
¼ c flour
3 cups turkey or chicken stock
Kosher or sea salt to taste
¼ tsp dried thyme leaves
Finely ground white pepper
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, about one minute (do not brown). Add mushrooms and sauté (stir frequently) until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour with ½ c chicken or turkey stock until the flour is dissolved (this helps prevent lumps!)
Add the remaining 2-½ cups of stock to the mushrooms in the pan and bring it to a simmer. Wisk in the flour/stock mixture and simmer until the gravy thickens (about 3-5 minutes). Add salt (approximately ¼ tsp.), dried thyme leaves and a pinch of white pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Barb Goffman is a two-time Agatha Award nominee for “The Worst Noel” from The Gift of Murder and “Murder at Sleuthfest” from Chesapeake Crimes II. Barb’s stories also have appeared in The Killer Wore Cranberry, Murder to Mil-Spec, the Deadly Ink 2010 Short Story Collection, Chesapeake Crimes: They Had It Comin’, and Chesapeake Crimes 3. A slightly altered version of her story “Volunteer of the Year” will be re-printed this winter in Magnolia Blossoms and Afternoon Tales. Barb is program chair of the Malice Domestic mystery convention, serves on the national board of Sisters in Crime, is a past president of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and is a coordinating editor of Chesapeake Crimes: This Job is Murder, due out in 2012. Learn more at .