Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcome Agatha Nominee Barbara Ross with a guest post

To learn more about
Barbara Ross and her
click here.

Please welcome our guest to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, the talented Barbara Ross.

The first book in Barbara's series, Clammed Up, has been nominated for the 2014 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, and she's here today to tell us about her new entry, Boiled Over, coming out this May. 
Take it away, Barbara! 

~ Cleo

I’m happily looking forward to May 6 and the release of Boiled Over, the second book in my Maine Clambake Mystery series. 

The book takes place at the height of the summer season, when running the Snowden Family Clambake leaves little time for solving mysteries. But when a charred foot tumbles out of the clambake fire and one of Julia Snwoden’s employees is accused, she has to join the chase for the real killer.

That chase leads Julia to a camp where Mi’kmaq tribe members from Canada stay when they come to Maine to harvest the wild blueberry crop. She stays for dinner and eats these delicious camp-style beans.

“They taste something like New England baked beans,” Julia said.

“And who do you think invented those?” Her host smiled at her. “All the tribes in Maine, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick cooked beans mixed with maple syrup and bear fat in clay pots buried with hot coals.”

“The beans in this are bigger than I’m used to.”

“Soldier beans. Now grown all over, but native to this region.”

* * * * 

Baked Camp Beans

This recipe is adapted to be made at home (as opposed to at camp).


1 pound soldier beans
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3 thick slices slab bacon, chopped
3 thick slices salt pork, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large celery stalk, diced, leaves chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup molasses
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 quarts water
salt and pepper to taste


Soak beans for one hour. Heat oil in large saucepan. Render bacon and salt pork in oil for about three minutes. Add onion, celery, and carrot and sauté for another three-four minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for one hour. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Put beans in a bean pot or covered casserole and cook in the oven for four hours. 
(Slow Cooker Alternative: after simmering, place in a slow cooker on high for four hours.) Check occasionally. Adjust seasonings. If you think it’s necessary, remove cover for last hour of cooking to thicken.

Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of Clammed Up, which was nominated for a 2014 Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel as well as the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth. The second book in the series, Boiled Over, will be released in May 2014. Barbara’s short story, "Bread Baby" in Best New England Crime Stories 2014: Stone Cold was also nominated for an Agatha Award. She writes at her home overlooking the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. You can visit Barbara’s website at

Thank you for joining us today
in the Kitchen, Barbara!

Book Giveaway

The first book in Barbara's
Clambake Mystery Series, the 2014
Agatha Nominated CLAMMED UP.

This giveaway is now closed.
The winner has been announced.
To see the announcement,

 click here.

Thank you all for your
wonderful comments!


  1. We make beans like this, have for ages...only we use maple syrup instead of molasses, and we have never tried the celery and carrots..use my NE bean pot, and my NE recipe!!! These take on a nice color.

  2. Looks like a fantastic book; a must-read for me. Thank you for the chance to win it, I hope I get to read it :)

  3. And here I was looking for a recipe for Charred Foot (do you have to marinate it first?).

    Kidding aside, I loved the first book, can't wait to see the next one.

  4. I thought we'd get the charred foot too Sheila, but I suppose since we all write cozies...

    Love baked beans, love the clambake mysteries--can't wait for the next one Barb!

  5. I have never heard of this series. Looks really good!

  6. She is a new author to me. Book sounds good and cozy! Please enter me to win!

  7. Welcome to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, Barb! I'm notoriously bad at cooking baked beans. I look forward to trying these.


  8. They sound delicious!! Welcome, and thank you for the giveaway!

  9. Thanks for the welcome everyone!

    Charred Foot. I wish I had thought of that--especially if my slot had been just two days away on April Fool's Day!

  10. Congratulations on your nominations! This sounds like a fun series. =o)

  11. I would love to win this book haven't read this series but would love too I love the food mysteries

  12. kim j
    this looks like a wonderful new series! congratulations!

  13. I am uber excited to begin this series, I love the New England area and can't wait to try the baked beans recipe. I am always looking for a good one!

  14. Can't wait to read BOILED OVER. And despite the grey, cold, New England day, I am heading out to buy these ingredients, and making some baked beans. Yet again, Mystery Lovers Kitchen feeds two parts of my life--foodieism and cozy loving.

  15. I always love a good cozy mystery. I will put this series on my Amazon wishlist.

  16. Love Maine and would love to read the books!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  17. Thanks for the chance to win!! The book looks delicious...and I guess the beans do too!!!

  18. This recipe for beans reminds me of my grandmother's beans--I'll have to try it and see if they taste as good as I remember hers did. I love cozies and would like to be entered in your drawing.

  19. Oh, this series sounds like so much fun! I'm looking forward to reading it.

  20. Congrats, Barbara, on your nomination. Love the cover of Boiled Over. Your artist really captured the flavor. LOL

    Daryl / Avery

  21. I remember going to clam bakes when I visited my cousins inMaine. Such fun and yummy too. I also remember that the school children got two weeks off every year to help harvest the potatoes there. Long time ago. Definitely a book I want to read!! Ronnalord (at) msn ( dot) com

  22. This looks like a great new series--can't wait to read it!

  23. Always love a chance to read a new author! Love the location!!

  24. Soldier beans? I'll have to look for them. And the book, too, of course!

  25. Welcome, Barbara. Thanks for sharing this terrific recipe and good luck with that Agatha! See you on the big night.


    MJ/Victoria Abbott

  26. Love reading books set in MA and ME. Looking forward to starting this series.
    dotkel50 (at) comcast (dot) net

  27. Excited to read this new series. Definitely going on my TBR list!

    1. bubs(dot)girl(at)yahoo(dot)com Oops! Forgot to add this :)

  28. I loved the first book and trying to be patient for this one also. I live in Maine and love this new series

  29. Never been to a clam bake, love Elvis' movie Clam Bake! ;)
    Thanks for sharing with us!
    RW620 (at) aol (dot) com

  30. I thoroughly enjoyed the time that I spent in Maine (and all of the lobster that I ate!), so am very anxious for this book to come out. I love the cover (and yes, I am shallow enough to buy, or not buy, a book on the cover alone) of this one and the previous. I hope you have great luck with it.

  31. Will look for this book.

  32. Can't wait for the second book, loved the first one
    rjprazak(6) (at) gmail (dot)com

  33. This book sounds great, would love to read it

  34. Sounds like a winner. I'll be looking for it, for sure.

  35. This is a new series to me looking forward to reading them, the baked beans recipes sounds great, may have to give it a try!

  36. Love reading mysteries and am looking forward to reading this series.

  37. I have never heard of soldier beans, but I'm sure I can find some (or a reasonable replacement). That recipe sounds sooo good. I went to Maine once-- back in 1975. I loved it. I didn't go to a clam bake, but I think it sounds like fun. I would love to win and read your book!

  38. No clams for me but the beans sound yummy. And the book sounds terrific. I'd love to read it. What are soldier beans? I don't know them but I'm from the west coast.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  39. I am curious as to how you pronounce Mi’kmaq. Mickmack?

  40. I can't wait to read this book. And this bean recipe sounds so good...never thought of adding carrots to beans like this.

  41. Hi all. Thanks for the lovely comments.

    I understand Mi'kmaq is usually pronounced Migmaw.

    The carrot and celery give the beans a nice crunch.

    So glad you like the cover, Darryl! I like it, too.

  42. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I've never made my beans with celery or carrot before - I'll have to give it a try. I'll have to give your series a try, too - I do love a good mystery! bunkielisa (at) gmail dot com

  43. Congratulations on your nomination!! Love Maine!

  44. Love it!! And clambakes!!!����

  45. Sounds like a winner....both the book and the recipe! Thanks for the giveaway!