I am delighted to have Connie Archer with us today. Connie is the author of A Soup Lovers Mystery book series.
The Gud Huswive’s Kitchin
I’m always dreaming up new recipes for the Soup Lover’s Mystery series and I love to surf the web for ideas. Recently I really hit the jackpot! I discovered a website devoted to 16th century English cooking, the recipes pieced together from fragments of a 1597 cookbook. These are heavy on mutton and in case you’re not familiar with mutton (I wasn’t), it is sheep’s meat that is older than two or three years, very heavy on fat and definitely an acquired taste. Other recipes give instructions on cooking a deer, a mallard, a crane and even a buzzard! Frankly, I know my stomach couldn’t possibly handle all that strange meat and did I hear my cholesterol climb??? But I thought it might be fun to translate one of them and try it out. Here goes . . .
How to make Farts of Portingale.
Take a peece of a leg of Mutton, mince it smal and season it with cloues, Mace pepper and salt, and Dates minced with currans: then roll it into round rolles, and so into little balles, and so boyle them in a little beefe broth and so serue them foorth.
Don’t laugh -- I have no idea what Farts of Portingale are but we can always invent a different name. Let’s skip the mutton, okay? How about a pound of ground beef or even lamb? Season generously with salt and pepper, add a little ground cloves and mace. Then chop about a cup of dates, mix with a cup of raisins and add that to the seasoned meat. Roll into 1” balls, seal them quickly by frying them in a spritz of oil, then move them to a pot of simmering beef or (better) vegetable broth and cook for about 15 minutes. Who knows? Farts of Portingale may actually taste pretty good. And so serve them forth . . .
What should we call them? Fruit balls? Any ideas? Don’t be shy. Any name’s better than Farts of Portingale.
Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime: A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal, A Roux of Revenge and Ladle to the Grave are set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont. The fifth book in the series, A Clue in the Stew (April 2016) is available for pre-order now. You can visit Connie at her website and blog: conniearchermysteries.com, Facebook.com/ConnieArcherMysteries and Twitter @SnowflakeVT.
Ladle to the Grave
When a local woman is poisoned at a pagan ritual in the woods, Lucky Jamieson’s grandfather, Jack, who provided the herbs for the gathering, is suspected of making a terrible mistake. The following day, a dead man is found floating in a creek just outside of town, his face unrecognizable. Is he a stranger or Lucky’s best friend’s estranged brother? Lucky is certain both deaths are murder. Can she find the connection and clear her grandfather’s name before more victims fall prey to a killer?
A Spoonful of Murder
A Broth of Betrayal
A Roux of Revenge
Ladle to the Grave
A Clue in the Stew (March 2016)