May I Take Your Order, Please?

I’m not a big fan of blog posts that are nothing but links, but a few people have requested this of me, and I dare not disappoint my loyal followers.  What they wanted to know was which recipes I featured from my novel, The Secrets of Dr. John Welles, went together to create the meals.  I didn’t write the posts in order, and since my novel has yet to be published, I thought I’d do them this favor.

From Chapter One, I featured fried eggs and potatoes, ham and redeye gravy, buttermilk biscuits with butter and jelly, creamed peas, fried apples, and canned peaches for the breakfast celebrating my protagonist’s birth.

In Chapter Six, the first time Johnny Welles meets his Aunt Prudence, I had his stepmother, Collie, serve fried chicken, black eyed peas, fried okra, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

The menu for the meal I created for Chapter Seven, when Johnny leaves the farm with his Aunt Prudence, includes cold fried chicken (See recipe above), fresh peaches, apple pie, and lemonade.

The pork chops I served in Chapter Nine went with the buttermilk biscuits, fried eggs, and fried apples from Chapter One.  If the food item appeared twice in my novel, I only featured the recipe once.

The brisket from Chapter Twelve, when John and Claude celebrated Hanukkah with their friend, Sam Feldman, was enjoyed with latkes.

John and his girlfriend, Garland, were served roast chicken, buttermilk biscuits (See recipe above), and peach pie by Garland’s father, Hugh Griffin, in Chapter Fifteen.  Those buttermilk biscuits were obviously a favorite of mine!

But then I must have liked the latkes, too, because they reappeared in Chapter Twenty Eight when John dined with the Hannah and Reuben Wise and I featured salmon patties topped with carrot slices and horseradish, latkes (See recipe above) with applesauce and sour cream, and homemade grape juice.

The last little meal I have to mention is the brown beans and cornbread served in Chapter Twenty Nine.  I assumed most people would figure out they go together, but they’re just too delicious not to mention.

I hope this satisfies the request to group my recipes as they were featured in my novel.  I still laugh to myself when I think how I feed my characters as if entertaining good friends.  It’s probably because I grew up with parents who can cook and enjoy doing so, and a grandmother whose simple food prepared with love forms some of my best memories.

There are only a handful of chapters that do not include a single mention of food.  As for the ones that do, and aren’t included here, I hope you’ll enjoy a trip through the Edible Fiction portion of my blog discovering the recipes.

Peas, Glorious Peas!

My Great Aunt Edie, a classy lady who never ceases to amaze me, once told me a story about a trip she and my Great Uncle Bud took to Maryland to attend the Butler Family Reunion. The most interesting part of the story included her description of the breakfast menu.

1422562899611One morning, Aunt Edie, Uncle Bud, and the relatives with whom they were staying ate breakfast with close family friends. Their hosts served the usual breakfast fare, but my aunt was surprised to see pork chops, creamed peas, and bowls of other vegetables on the table. She mentioned this to my uncle.

He explained that the men had been up early and already completed a full day of work before she and my uncle woke up. After breakfast, the men would return to work, break for lunch, return to work again, and finally eat dinner well after dark when all the barn chores had been completed.

I recalled this story as I wrote the scene in which the family of John Welles celebrated his arrival with a huge breakfast. Although the birth of a new baby was exciting, it didn’t take precedence over the work that had to be done. Those not involved with bringing young John Welles into the world still had chores to complete.

Once my novel has been published, I’ll be interested to see if anyone comments on creamed peas for breakfast. Will readers find it odd or familiar? The following recipe is the one I had in mind as I wrote the celebration scene in my novel, The Secrets of Dr. John Welles.


Creamed Peas

2 cups of frozen peas

1 T butter

1 T flour

½ cup of whole milk

black pepper, I use a mixture of black, white, green, and pink peppercorns

sea salt

1 t sugar, I use raw sugar

2 green onions (white and green portion), diced

Bring water to a boil in a three quart saucepan. Add the peas, reduce heat, and stir. Cook/defrost the peas for three to five minutes, until they begin to float. Drain the peas.

Melt the butter in the hot pan. Whisk in the flour until smooth, be sure to not burn the mixture. Add several grinds of cracked black pepper, salt to taste, and the sugar. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk over medium heat until thickened. Stir in the cooked, drained peas. Toss lightly and stir in the onions.

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