Posted by Lorraine (L.L.) Bartlett
The subject of food seems to come up here a LOT here on Writers Plot. Astounding as it may be, I am not the world's best cook. I make edible food, but fancy stuff just isn't in my epicurean repertoire. That's why it's such a surprise that my upcoming Booktown books contain so many recipes. Okay, the publisher LOVES recipes. They put a big red (or gold, depending on which cover they actually use) accent on the cover of Murder Is Binding saying INCLUDES RECIPES!
I've had a lot of fun adding food to the books. In some cases, lovely food I can't even eat (like shrimp scampi--I'm shrimp intolerant). One of my characters likes to think of herself as chef material, so she's forever stirring something scrumptious on top of the stove.
I've always liked to think I'm a pretty good baker. So far few have complained. Cookies and cakes are pretty easy, even from scratch.
To include recipes in a published book, you have to change them so that you make them your own. I loved the idea of Sausage Cheese Muffins. Using a basic muffin recipe, I decided to play mad scientist and devise my own, and I had a lot of fun consulting a number of recipes and tweaking them until I had something I thought was unique. Then again, I tweaked it so much I feared the recipe wouldn't work. So I tested it.
Uh, leavening agent?
I consulted the recipe. Oops! It seems I forgot to type in a key ingredient: baking powder. Yes, leaving it out made a big difference to the final product. Instead of light, fluffy muffins, I got chewy (and not in a good way) lumps of flour, sausage, and cheese. While they don't taste horrible, they do go down a bit heavy. (As in a boulder--not a mere rock--resting in your stomach.)
Looks like I'll just have to test that recipe again. And then there's that peanut butter Blondies recipe I concocted. I'm almost afraid to make that one, since it makes a LOT more than a mere dozen. (Depending on how you cut them, it's more like 24-30 Blondies.)
My husband isn't really into "sweet" things, so who do you think is going to have to eat them? Then again, if they're edible, I could foist them off on friends, right? I mean...what else are friends for? Let's share the fat, I always say.
(Or at least I'm about to make that my new motto.)