I recall listening to an editor speak at a conference more than a decade ago, well before I was published, and her saying, "Don't forget that your characters need to eat." Then, when I took a class with Elizabeth George a few years later, one of our exercises was to describe what was in the refrigerator of the character we were writing about. Yes, food is important in our books.In my first series, the Yellow Rose Mysteries, the heroine's sister is a health food devotee. And she's always trying to foist her preferences on Abby Rose. Abby prefers frozen pizza. But when I was invited to a book club meeting where the members were discussing the first Yellow Rose book, Pick Your Poison, I was confronted with just how important food was—even if it remains part of the setting. See, the book club members decided to make all the food that I'd mentioned in the book for our meeting.
I was stunned, first of all, by the amount of food. And also that I didn't remember writing about most of it. But those book lovers did. In that particular mystery, there is a funeral, and I'd forgotten how important funeral food is. Even though Abby Rose is on hiatus and I am currently writing the Cats in Trouble Series—where Jillian Hart drinks lots of sweet tea and coffee—I thought I'd share the recipe for the potato salad that appears in my first book. The book club ladies couldn't find a recipe for Dill and Sour Cream Potato Salad. One woman made one up and it wasn't half bad. But she should have called me. I know the real ingredients since I've been making this for years out of necessity. I'm allergic to eggs and there's no mayo in this one!
1 c. sliced celery
3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 T. vinegar
3 T. Canola oil
¼ tsp. seasoned salt
¼ tsp. seasoned pepper
2 sprigs fresh dill, chopped, or ½ tsp dried dillweed
¾ c. sour cream—light is fine, not sure about fat-free
½ c. chopped green and red peppers
Additional sprigs of dill and tomato wedges for garnish
Combine potato, celery and green onion. Mix next 5 ingredients, pour over potatoes and toss very gently. Refrigerate several hours. Mix in sour cream and bell peppers. Garnish if desired.
This is a great summer recipe, one that can be made ahead of time and is super easy!
Have you entered the June contest at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen?
Avery Aames is celebrating the upcoming release of The Long Quiche Goodbye.
Avery's "You Be The Sleuth" Contest!
Avery’s first book in A Cheese Shop Mystery series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuts July 6. To celebrate its release, Avery is running a contest from June 9 to July 6! You be the sleuth! Track down the recipe on Avery's website that includes eggs, Edam, and white pepper. Enter your answer by clicking on this link: CONTEST ENTRY FORM.
One of you will win a $25 gift certificate at your favorite bookstore. Two of you will win signed copies of The Long Quiche Goodbye. Three of you will win a Long Quiche Goodbye magnet. You can ask friends for help. Spread the word and share the fun. And while you're there, consider pre-ordering a book on Avery's booksellers page.