Food has a way of bringing people together. We celebrate birthdays and weddings with cake, prestigious awards ceremonies are often catered, and many business deals are negotiated over lunch.
A few years ago, my entire family cornered by grandmother to solve the mystery of her delicious chicken and dressing. There’s a reason it’s called a comfort food! This lengthy explanation was secretly recorded by my husband, and I still laugh when I watch it.
Her secrets? Use a Springer Mountain Farms chicken, pull all the strings out of the celery stalks, and use just the right amount of sage. (Note: “Just the right amount” is an ambiguous measurement, so good luck.)
Cooking is an art. I can appreciate that more than most because I can butcher the simplest recipes. I did not inherit the cooking gene from my mother and grandmother.
However, I enjoy eating food. My husband and I often bond over our adventurous tastes. I’ll try most anything once, but he always seeks out the most obscure dish on the menu.
So when we traveled to Scotland a few years ago, we found dozens of new foods we enjoyed. One that really stuck with me was cullen skink, a white fish and potato soup that is more like a chowder. Surprisingly, it didn’t have a fishy taste, and we both loved it.
Fast forward a year, and I traveled back to Scotland with my friends and had the chance to try it again. Yep, it was still delicious.
In my most recent book, Keeping the Cowboy, Jade’s father is from Scotland, and she likes cullen skink! Levi, the five-year-old boy she’s homeschooling, thinks it sounds gross. I’ll admit, I would have said the same before I gave it a try.
While writing the book, I began craving that creamy soup. Of all things, why can’t I forget about that soup? I contacted my author friend, Margaret Amatt, who lives in Scotland, and she was sweet enough to provide me with her mother’s recipe. It came from an old fundraiser cookbook. I also found this recipe on The Spruce Eats website that sounds delicious.
In another one of my books, The Billionaire’s Destined Bride, the main character, Cole, loves divinity. My editor and quite a few readers hadn’t heard of it, so I shared a recipe in my newsletter a while back for the sweet treat. Here it is if you’re interested in this sugary dessert. I’ve heard you need to watch the humidity while making this one.
In Mistaking the Cowboy, the main character, Haley, learns to make white chicken chili from the matriarch of the Harding family. It was a sweet coincidence when my sister made the same dish for the first time only a few weeks after I’d written about it. I’d never tried it before she made it, but here’s the recipe she used. I highly recommend it.
In Teresa Tysinger’s upcoming book, Gwen and the Three Dates, included in the Once Upon a Summer collection, Gwen’s usual order at a certain restaurant in town is a fried green tomato sandwich. I’m not sure if it’s a strictly Southern food or not, but we have a lot of fried green tomatoes around here in Alabama. We like to fry everything, so you might also come across fried Oreos or fried sushi rolls. Yum!
Jan Thompson’s book, His Morning Kiss, features a shrimp stir-fry with vegetables over jasmine rice. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Janine Roche takes her characters on a culinary adventure in Wildflower Road. Her poor characters are subjected to all kinds of Montana trout recipes like juiced trout! Say it with me: Eww.
In A Place to Find Love, Merrillee Whren introduces us to chess pies. I’ve never seen chess pies before, but my sister makes a delicious chess cake! Here is the recipe similar to Merrillee Whren’s chess pies.
Toni Shiloh’s Maple Run series features The Maple Pit where maple syrup plays a key part in their dishes, including fried chicken! I’d definitely try it.
Cajun foods abound in Janet Ferguson’s Magnolia Storms book. Think gumbo and a shrimp boil. My grandmother makes shrimp etouffee for Christmas dinner every year. I have her hand-written recipe, but I’m afraid to turn my favorite holiday dish into a disaster.
In Elizabeth Maddrey’s A Splash of Substance, you’ll find a restaurant that focuses on sustainable eating. Paige utilizes kitchen scraps, so think beef tongue and zucchini pickles!
Valerie Comer’s book, Dandelions for Dinner, includes dandelion pesto! I’ve never heard of it before, but now I’m wondering how it would taste.
What are some other contemporary Christian romances you’ve read that include dishes that piqued your interest? I’d love it if you would share them with us in the comments. I’ll choose a winner from the comments to receive an ebook copy of my latest book, Keeping the Cowboy, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday, May 14th.