Sunday, February 24, 2019

Emily Brightwell and Mrs. Jeffries Visit the Kitchen


LESLIE: One of the unexpected pleasures of going to fan conventions -- Malice Domestic, Left Coast Crime, and Bouchercon are the main "cons" in mystery world -- is signing books alongside other authors, including some we would not meet but for the alphabet. A while back, I signed next to the delightful Emily Brightwell, who didn't even blink when readers and collectors brought her stacks of books to sign. They genuinely loved her characters and were clearly delighted to meet her -- as was I, and as I hope you will be, too!

Emily is celebrating the launch on March 12 of MRS. JEFFRIES DELIVERS THE GOODS, the 37th -- gasp! -- book in her Mrs. Jeffries service! Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy!

Mrs. Goodge Bakes American
by Emily Brightwell


Hello everyone, Amanda Goodge here, I’m the cook for Inspector Gerald Witherspoon and along with Mrs. Jeffries, the housekeeper, Wiggins, the footman, Phyllis, the maid and several of our friends, we help our dear Inspector with all of his murder cases. Naturally, we’re very discreet and he has no idea he’s getting any assistance whatsoever.
 
But enough about our exploits, today I’d like to tell you about a lovely bread recipe my friend Luty Belle Crookshank shared with me. Mind you, I’ve had to adapt it a bit to bring it up to my standards, but that wasn’t difficult. Truth be told, Luty, though one of the most delightful people in the world, isn’t a very good cook. As a matter of fact, she once confided to me that the reason her late husband wanted to become rich was so they could hire a cook! But rest assured, this recipe is excellent.  

Luty Belle’s Colorado Mountain Bread

 2 ¼ teaspoons of instant yeast 

1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of salt
2 cups lukewarm water (not over 110 degrees)
4 1/8 cups all purpose flour
2 1//8 cups wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon of canola oil (to grease your bread bowl)
a generous handful of cornmeal

Mix all the ingredients together (in the order above) and blend them thoroughly. Once mixed, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for at least five minutes. Let the dough rest while you scrap out your bread bowl and after scraping, oil the bowl with canola oil.

Knead the rested dough for another 3 ½ minutes. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it over once so the top is thoroughly oiled. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and put dough somewhere warmish and draft free to rise. Let the dough double in bulk. (This should take anywhere from 1 1/2  to 2 ¼ hours.)

Gently deflate the dough and turn out onto an oiled surface – cut the dough in half and shape into two oval loaves. Sprinkle a half size sheet pan with cornmeal and put the loaves on top of the cornmeal for a second rise – this one is 45 to 50 minutes.  Cover the loaves with greased plastic wrap. When the loaves are noticeably fluffing up, heat your oven to 425 degrees.

Lightly slash the top of the loaves with two to four slanted lines and brush with lukewarm water.
Place sheet pan in oven until loaves are a lovely golden brown - that should take about 25 to 33 minutes. 

The bread is done when it reaches 190 degrees with a digital thermometer …or when you flick the crust with your finger and if it sounds hollow, that means it is baked.

Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with butter and your favorite homemade jam!









Nothing better than fresh bread, right? Do you bake your own? Manage to drop in on a talented baker friend at just the right time? Or just have a favorite memory of slathering butter and jam on a hot slice? 

Leave a comment below, with your email address. for a chance to win a copy of MRS. JEFFRIES DELIVERS THE GOODS. (US addresses only; winner will be chosen Tues, Feb. 26.)


Emily Brightwell was born in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. Her family moved to Southern California in 1959 and she grew up in Pasadena. After graduating from California State University, she decided to work her way around the world and took off for England. She didn’t get much further because she met the man who became her husband, got married, and had two children. While working in international shipping, she decided to pursue her dream and become a writer – which, of course, is the best job ever. 

Emily lives in Carson City, Nevada and to date, has written fifty novels. She is the author of the popular “Mrs. Jeffries” mysteries, and is currently working on the 38th book in the series. 

Find out more, along with a list of the "Mrs. Jeffries" books in order. on her website, and join her on Facebook. 

62 comments:

  1. I love homemade bread and the Mrs. Jeffries books.
    Bleakney750@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen,
      Thank you for the kind words and I'm so glad you're enjoying the series.
      Best,
      Emily Brightwell

      Delete
  2. I'm a bread mama & I have read a couple of Mrs Jeffries books b4 & adored them
    Clemmie.Jackson@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Judy,
      Thanks so much - I'm so glad you're enjoying the series.

      Delete
  3. Really miss homemade bread. Used to make two loaves a week when the kids were young, and at home. But, as a senior I rarely eat bread so don't bother. One of the things I enjoyed when making bread, besides the wonderful smell and eating it slathered with butter fresh out of the oven. Was the rhythm of kneading. It was relaxing, and I did some of my best thinking then. deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

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  4. I have not read any of the Mrs. Jeffries books, but they sound wonderful as does your recipe for Colorado Bread. Thanks for sharing with Mystery Lovers' Kitchen! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

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    Replies
    1. Hi Celia,
      I hope you'll try the bread and if you try one of the books, I hope you enjoy it.
      Best,
      Emily

      Delete
  5. I've read most of your Mrs. Jeffries books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I love the way the staff secretly does most of the sleuthing so their lovely inspector thinks he's solved the mysteries himself. The bread sounds delicious. I baked a loaf of bread yesterday - something I haven't done in a while. It was so good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't they clever? And yay for you and the homemade bread!

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    2. Hi Tricia,
      Thank you - I'm happy you're enjoying the series and I hope you'll try the bread recipe.

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  6. I love your books. Janngrogan@yahoo.com thanks for he chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Judy,
      I am delighted you like the books - music to an authors ears!

      Delete
  7. It’s been several years since I’ve made homemade bread. May be time to give it another go. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of your books yet, so I appreciate the opportunity to win one. Michelle_english_major(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  8. I do not often make bread but when I do, I remember exactly how wonderful it is to have a warm slice of it slathered with butter.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

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  9. I have never made bread but homemade bread is delectable and so enticing. I go to a wonderful bakery here in town and buy my favorite breads. Thanks for your recipe and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. My Dad was a prodigious bread maker, and he was very good at it. I miss him, and his bread. pjcoldren[at]tm[dot]net Thank you for the chance to win.

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  11. Your bread making skills are great. I enjoy freshly baked bread with butter and a friend has this ability. She is renowned for her variety of tasty breads. Your books are unique. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  12. I have only read one of these and it was wonderful.The book was recommended by a Friend who is addicted to this series. As far as homemade bread goes I buy it from the Farmers Market. There is a Lady who homemakes it and it is yummy...there is also jam...
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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  13. We haven't made bread, other than cornbread or biscuits, for quite a while.
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot) com

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  14. The Inspector is very fortunate to have the staff help him. They are essential to his success.
    I love to bake bread. The double kneading here is intriguing.

    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  15. Home made bread yummy thanks for the chance to win this book sounds great

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  16. Thank you for the chance to win this book! I make bread with my 5 year old twin granddaughters and am always looking for recipes. This sounds like a book series I need to start reading!!

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  17. Thank you for the chance to win this book! I make bread with my 5 year old twin granddaughters and am always looking for recipes. This sounds like a book series I need to start reading!!
    Anutdawn@yahoo.com

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Hi Dawn,
      Breadmaking with the grandchildren sounds delightful. I hope you like the recipe and if you try the series, fingers crossed you'll like it.

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  18. I love fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven, homemade bread. I hadn’t made bread in a few months and a couple of weeks ago I decided I was going to make a couple of loaves. My yeast was out of date by a couple of months but I attempted it anyhow...huge failure...heavy bread. I bought fresh yeast after that and had decided yesterday that since today is a free day for me that I was going to make bread again...hopefully this time everything goes well, because my taste buds are ready!!!
    Renee
    Mickeymania1@aol.com

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  19. I can swear I smell that bread! Mom always made bread to use in my Dad’s lunches.

    Reply