I love a book loaded with food descriptions, don’t you? I guess it’s because food makes a fictional world feel more realistic. The sight, taste, and smell of food define my daily existence, so why shouldn’t my characters enjoy the same experience?
In Buried in A Book, the first in my cozy mystery series featuring literary agent Lila Wilkins, I get to write about food quite often. This is because I deliberately placed the literary agency (A Novel Idea) above a coffee shop, down the street from a bakery, and a stone’s throw from both a café and a locally owned organic grocery store. It’s nearly impossible to go anywhere in the quaint, artsy town of Inspiration Valley, North Carolina, without encountering a tempting treat.
One such locale is the home of Lila’s mother, the town psychic. Amazing Althea has been reading palms and tarot cards since Lila was young, but Lila is unconvinced that her mother is the real deal. What she does believe is that Amazing Althea’s banana bread is so good that her clients keep coming back for a slice along with a cup of Althea’s super strong coffee.
So if you love small-town settings, books, food, art, quirky characters, and a mystery involving aspiring authors, then check out Buried in A Book, which is due out in February. For more info, check out www.lucyarlington.com and to see the book trailer, click here.
Amazing Althea’s Dark Chocolate Banana Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 ½ ounces butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon), soft enough for mixing
1 cup superfine sugar
4 ripe bananas, good and smashed (Althea likes to use her fists!)
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Sift flour and baking powder into large bowl. Mix butter, sugar, bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Add chocolate chips. Add to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Do not over mix. Althea likes to fold the dough carefully until just mixed. This makes the bread light and airy. Pour batter into a lightly greased and floured 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan before turning out onto a wire rack.
What about the book you're reading now? Does it talk about food?