|Lucy with Molly Weston|
LUCY BURDETTE: I went on a mini-book tour around Raleigh, NC, with Hallie Ephron and Jennifer McMahon this spring. We were guided by Raven-winner Molly Weston, AKA Ms. Mystery.
Not only does Molly know her way around a library, she has a nose for amazing southern food. I have never eaten so well or talked quite so much about food. So I knew we needed to have her visit Mystery Lovers Kitchen. Welcome Molly!
MOLLY WESTON: I used to joke that my mother had only two buttons on her stove—off and high. A first-grade teacher, Mother frequently made week day meals that could be completed quickly. When she fried chicken, she started the process with the well-used high button. Once all the pieces were beautifully browned with crunchy goodness, she dragged the pan off the eye rather than reducing the heat.
One of Daddy's favorite dishes—corn pudding—took longer to cook, but less time to prepare. I never thought about making it until my family was invited to a relative's home for a gathering. One of the highlights of the meal was a huge, beautifully browned, creamy corn pudding. As soon as I got home, I dug out Mother's recipe box and pulled her recipe.
Over the last year or so I've modified and refined Mothers corn pudding to reflect today's palates and waistlines—less sugar and more corn. I hope you'll enjoy it.
Mother's Corn Pudding—Transformed
1 16 oz. can creamed corn
1 16 oz. corn, drained (a smaller can is fine)
2 tbsp. flour (I use Wondra)
1/2 stick butter
1/3 cup sugar
10 oz. undiluted evaporated milk (I use nonfat)
Melt butter in 1-1/2-quart baking dish (I tilt the dish after melting butter to grease bottom and sides of dish). Beat together eggs, flour, sugar, and milk (I use my hand blender). Add milk mixture and both cans of corn to buttered baking dish; stir well.
Bake in water bath at 350 degrees one hour or until a dinner knife stuck near center comes out clean.
While I don't even consider frying chicken, I often barbecue it. My husband never met a chicken he didn't like, so I use a variety of recipes (usually depending on which ingredients I have on hand). I found another jewel in Mother's recipe box—and I had everything I needed!
Lazy BBQ Chicken Sauce
6-1/2 oz. cola (not diet)
1 cup ketchup
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (I use 4)
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 chicken, cut into pieces
Lay chicken in 13" x 9" baking dish. Cover with sauce. Bake at 350 degrees or one hour.
I used my multi-functional cooker for this. I just browned the chicken on both sides (covered), poured the sauce evenly over all the pieces, then switched to slow cook for 3 hours on high.
Molly Weston lives, reads, and, occasionally, cooks in Apex, NC. She blogs about mysteries at mysteryheel.blogspot.com. Molly also gives frequent talks about her favorite genre in libraries and other venues. She is the editor of inSinC, the Sisters in Crime quarterly.