Will Write For Food

There are literally hundreds of delightful novels which center around food, some are mysteries, some are romance and some just good contemporary reads, too numerous to even begin to list. Several have been made into popular movies, others include actual recipes, but all reflect the writer’s passion for food, which will entertain and delight the reader. Each novel has unique aspects, rich characters, lots of food intertwined throughout the contents and totally different themes.

Here are some top rate writers and books, some of which have ongoing characters, most of which are just one time marvels (and we hunger for more):

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout, which chronicles the fascinating and delightful detective character Nero Wolfe, highly fastidious, neurotic and demanding, and a total foodie by anyone’s standards; Wolfe lives in a NY brownstone and enjoys home cooked meals by his personal gourmet chef, while solving murders from his armchair (also an A&E TV series); considered by many as one of the best detective series of the twentieth century;

Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris, and her more notable novel Chocolat, a classic which was also made into a wonderful movie;

Fried Green Tomatoesby Fannie Flagg (also a delightful movie, it will make you want to ferret out some green tomatoes at a farmers market and prepare them at home, following Ms. Flagg’s simple recipe);

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquive, a bestseller made into a popular movie;

Diane Mott Davidson – an author in a class by herself, 17 entertaining books sequentially written (so start at the beginning), which feature the same likeable character, Goldie Schultz, who owns a catering business and is an amateur sleuth on the side, with all the dishes she whips up for her catering clients listed in the back, most of which are relatively simple and fabulous; (This author’s note: my absolute favorite foodie novelist, hands down, I’ve read them all.)

And more wonderfully fun books:

The Epicure’s Lament by Kate Christensen.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Bread Alone by Judi Hendricks

Delicious! by Ruth Reich

Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray

and for you wine fans: A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover’s Dream, by Ferenc Maté. set in Italy where two New Yorkers try to create fine wine starting from scratch;

And there you have just a starting point. So many books, so little time.

 

How to Make Alfredo Sauce From Scratch

There’s a story behind creamy Alfredo sauce. Like so many other Italian sauces, this one originates in the States. They say that a man named Alfredo di Lelio created the sauce to tempt his pregnant wife to eat something different. In 1914, he cooked fettuccine and made a sauce with butter and Parmesan cheese to pour over it. She must have loved it as when Alfredo opened his own restaurant in Rome, one of the dishes he served was his fettuccine Alfredo. Now it is served in many Italian restaurants around the world.

There are several methods of making Alfredo sauce, and of course, you can serve it with any kind of pasta that you have. It doesn’t have to be fettuccine.

You will need a heavy-bottomed saucepan to make the sauce Alfredo and, of course, a wooden spoon for stirring it.

Alfredo Sauce recipe

half a cup of butter

1 pint of thick cream

4 ozs of cream cheese

1 or 2 cloves of garlic finely minced (more if you love garlic)

1 handful of basil leaves, finely shredded

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salt and freshly grated pepper to taste

Method

Melt the butter and stir in the cream with the cream cheese. Cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time to prevent the sauce burning or sticking. When the cream cheese has melted, add all the other ingredients, except the Parmesan cheese.

When the sauce is smooth and simmering, add the Parmesan cheese. Stir for around 3 minutes until the Parmesan has melted.

Serve hot with the pasta of your choice.

Alfredo sauce is very versatile, so you an experiment with it. Pour it over lightly boiled broccoli as an alternative to cheese sauce. Add cooked strips of chicken or bacon to the sauce, or add both. If you like flat-leaved parsley, add some to taste.

You can use different cheeses, try a mixture of parmesan, and two of your favourites. Blue cheese can be used in this sauce to great effect.

If you are on a diet, you can use milk instead of cream, just make a white sauce and add cheese(s). If you don’t have Parmesan, don’t worry! You can use shredded Mozarella and grated Gruyere or a strong cheddar if you prefer.

It’s best not to use pre-packed grated Parmesan cheese, it spoils the flavour of the sauce.

When you have made this sauce successfully, you’ll never want to buy nother kind. Your home-cooking is best with no additives or preservatives.