Monday, October 27, 2008

New Contest: Recipes!

This week, we welcome back one of our favorite Pixels, Virginia Smith, as we celebrate the release of her latest book. I'll give you my review and then I'll let her tell you all about the contest and the book.

Tracy's review of A Taste of Murder - it's one of my favorites of Ginny's mysteries. She gives us real characters we care about, plenty of suspense with lots of twists and turns, and the setting - well, let's just say that I keep LOOKING for festivals like this to attend, and I've decided I'm going to have to make it to Kentucky for the one she mentions below! But I do give one small piece of advice if you decide to attend one yourself - RUN if you're asked to judge a beauty pageant! You'll have to read Ginny's book to find out WHY!

Now, here's Ginny:

I love food. If you’ve read any of my books, I’m sure you know that. In fact, the theme of my first mystery was based on one of my favorite food items – Murder by Mushroom. And my latest mystery/suspense novel, A Taste of Murder, was also inspired by food.

Every year, Owensboro, Kentucky, hosts the International Bar-B-Q Festival, and they’re home to some of the most awesome barbeque in the world. I’m not kidding. But the festival also features another major attraction, one that you might not have heard of: burgoo.

For the uninitiated, burgoo is a sort of stew made with various kinds of meat. The origins of burgoo are undocumented, but most people acknowledge its roots from way back in the days of the early American settlers, who tossed various kinds of game into a pot and called it dinner. It has changed over the years, but burgoo still contains an assortment of meats. That’s where burgoo got its reputation of “road kill stew.” Here’s a quote from A Taste of Murder:

Liz wrinkled her nose as she, too, pushed into the room. “What is burgoo?”

Jazzy grinned at her. “Your Oregon roots are showing. Every good Kentuckian knows what burgoo is.”

“It’s sort of a stew,” Caitlin explained.

“It’s made with several different kinds of meat and vegetables and spices. People in Kentucky, especially in mountains and small towns like Waynesboro, are as proud of their secret burgoo recipes as Texans are of their chili recipes.”

“I like chili.” Liz tossed her suitcase on a bed. “What kind of meat’s in it?”

Jazzy followed them inside past the closed bathroom door.

“Well, here’s what an old guy from eastern Kentucky told me when I asked that question.” She affected a hillbilly drawl. “Hit’s got whatever road kill we pick up ‘at day. Coon. Squirrel. Possum burgoo makes good eatin’, long as it ain’t bin layin’ there more’n a day or two.”

Liz’s mouth twisted. “That is disgusting.”

(from A Taste of Murder)

The first time I heard of burgoo, that’s exactly how it was described to me. I knew that had to come into a book sometime, so I wove it into A Taste of Murder.

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear about the unique dishes around your home town. To enter this week’s contest, submit a description of a local dish along with the recipe. I’ll select a winner at random from among the entries, and when I announce the winner, I’ll also give you a recipe for authentic Kentucky Burgoo!

Submit your entries to Tracy by e-mail, and she'll post them here at Pix-N-Pens as they come in. Deadline is this Friday, midnight.

I’m looking forward to all those recipes!

TRACY here: I'm looking forward to them, too, so let's get busy! I may even make some of them myself, and post some photos. Too bad we don't have "Smell" button on our computers.

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Kris said...

OH Gross. I've never heard of Burgoo before, but eww!

The book sounds good though.

And I love finding new recipes

Jingle said...

I love culinary mysteries and I have never heard of these! I SO can't wait to check them out! Thanks!

Carol said...

I don't eat meat so I wouldn't want any burgoo! lol I would love to read this book. It sounds good!
Carol M
mittens0831 AT

malleycc said...

I love books that relate to food. I just read one that had about 10 recipes in it along with the story. Cool nitch!

You can write about cuban food from here in Miami. Arroz con Pollo is my favorite. Unfortunetly I don' know how to make it my MIL does though.

PisecoMom said...

This book sounds great! I love mysteries and I like the foodie twist. Thanks for all the reviews and for your bloggy giveaway contest, too!

chappyandalexa [at] earthlink [dot] net

kc said...

I've lived in Kentucky, but never heard of Burgoo. Now, Derby Pie is to die for. Mmmm.

Ginny said...

My name isn't Virgina, but I go by Ginny as well :) This book looks really good, I love mysteries like this. Now is this book the first in the series? I like to read from the beginning even if it isn't necessary.

Virginia Smith said...

Thanks for all the comments, folks. I'm glad my book appeals to your tastes. (Pun intended!)

Someone asked if A TASTE OF MURDER is part of a series. Actually, yes, it is the first of 3 books about a classical music trio who travels the country playing at weddings. Wherever they go, they get embroiled in a local murder. The second book, MURDER AT EAGLE SUMMIT, takes place at a ski resort in Park City, Utah, and will be out in April 2009. Then the series finishes up in June 2009 in Little Nashville, Indiana, with SCENT OF MURDER -- that one takes place in a scented candle factory.

I love Derby Pie! I have a great recipe, and my husband requests it every year at Thanksgiving. (Gosh, I'd better dig out that recipe soon, huh?) And Arroz con Pollo is yummy, though I don't know how to make it either.

I want to see some recipes here. If you don't have a local one, then what about your favorite?

noreen said...

burgoo is something I have never heard before. I don't know of any local foods. two things made not to far from where I grew up is garlic ice cream (Gilroy, CA) and pickled asparagus (stockton) I have no idea how to make either.

CanCan said...

I have never heard of that either. But I have eaten deep fried crickets several times while in South East Asia!

onlycancan at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

The recipe sounds interesting; although being a native of Ohio, am a bit skeptical. Your book sounds much more tantilizing..


Betty C said...

I love culinary mysteries because not only do I get to read an interesting story but I usually find a recipe or two that I want to try. Now I have to go find a copy of the book to read.

Nicole said...

I love the idea of combining food with fiction-two great things in one!

Jacqueline in Atlanta said...

Sounds like a great book. I love mysteries. When my kids get out of the house, I plan to write some.

We lived in NC for two years and some of them talked just like the hillbilly in the passage you quoted. I can just hear him!

Sounds like a good read. Thanks for sharing it.