First of all, heartfelt thanks for warm welcome! I enjoyed reading comments to my first post tremendously, and I’m grateful to every one of you.
I love to eat and I love reading about food. I grew up with the tradition of family dinners and everything being made from scratch. No pancake or cake mixes and no take-outs. Restaurant visits were once in two years. Or three, or four. I learned to cook my first pie when I was little and loved baking it, improvising each time by adding berries, or raisins, or different jams, or yogurt between the pie’s parts. And how I loved the sweet, gooey taste of the chocolate dough! On Sunday mornings, home was filled with the delicious scent of a freshly baked pie.
Every lunch of my childhood included soup besides other dishes, be it borscht (beet soup), shchi (cabbage soup), pea soup, bean soup, pasta, or many others, with my favorite being the mushroom soup. Salads from fresh vegetables were abundant. But my favorite salad remains Herring Under a Fur Coat, which contains layers of diced pickled herring, diced onions and shredded boiled potatoes, beets, and eggs, with mayonnaise between each layer. Years ago, I even wrote a poem titled Herring Under a Fur Coat when I was homesick and longed for something familiar.
Frankly, I have pictures of my dad’s paintings from his recent exhibition in the featured photo not just because they contain food but also because I admire his talent.
I often include descriptions of food in my books. I figure people have to eat, the main characters included. In my new release, Season of Joy, the heroine is a travel journalist who loves cooking, so she makes Russian, Latino, and German food for the hero and his sons, seven-year-old Junior and sixteen-year-old Travis. Here’s an excerpt.
Keeping a close eye on the pan, she cut potatoes and added them to the mix. The scent of sautéed beef made her mouth water.
Joy felt so comfortable with this family and in this kitchen that a sense of belonging entered her heart.
She placed dirty utensils in the sink as Dylan did the same, and her hands brushed against his by accident. A wave of awareness ran through her. His fingers lingered on hers, and her pulse accelerated.
Travis chuckled softly, and she moved away. Heat crept up her neck. Must be from the stove. Right…
She had to find a distraction, and fast. “I need another bowl.”
Junior handed one to her, and she divided the batter into two parts. She added cocoa into one. She needed flour for the other one, but apparently it had been placed back in the pantry.
“Where do you keep the flour?” she asked.
“I’ll get it.” Junior opened the pantry and grabbed a pack from the shelf.
“Maybe I should help you. It’s too—” She watched helplessly as the flour ended up on the floor, the bag getting torn sometime in flight, and a white cloud rose. “Heavy.”
“Oh, no!” The boy’s eyes widened. “I’m sorry!”
“No biggie. I’ll take care of it.” She stepped toward him, but her foot slipped, and she ended up on the floor, sitting in the middle of the cloud. “Eventually.”
Do you like for romance books to include episodes with food? What was your favorite dish while growing up? Do you have a tradition or a favorite memory connected with food?
I’m offering a giveaway to one randomly chosen commenter to this post: 1 Kindle copy of my book Season of Joy. The giveaway is limited to commenters with an amazon.com account and will end at 12:00 am EST on April 7th, 2017.
I look forward to hearing from you!