Last month, on my birthday, one of my technicians gifted me with a couple of "cozy mysteries". Not one to mince words, she informed me that I think too much and my brain needed a break. Now, cozy mysteries were new to me. But they're sort of the literary equivalent of caramel corn - light, sweet, and addictive. I started trolling the aisles at Barnes and Noble for other "cozies". There are cozies that deal with needlework, knitting, fashion, dogs, cats, cooking, baking... and then I spotted this:
Ummm..... Yeah. Take a moment and peak into my kitchen:
I'm not even going to show you my collection of vintage sewing stuff. Let's just say that it includes Francesca, the Damascus treadle sewing machine. And I lust after an Atlas pink sewing machine, too.
Did I mention "A Deadly Grind" is set in Michigan? In a small town on the St. Clair River, with an island that lies in the center.
Yeah.... I live in Michigan. On the other side of the state, admittedly. In a harbor town. With an island in the middle of the river.
Oh, and some of the action centers around a historical event where the locals host a Victorian Tea.
Whilst, this weekend, Grand Haven celebrated the Feast of the Strawberry Moon - an event that celebrates the area's fur trading origins with re-enactors. We went. There were Native American encampments....
Anyway, I devoured the book in something less than 24 hours. And then found Ms. Hamilton's website. First, I discovered that the next book in the series is slated for release in February of 2013. (Arrrrggghhhhhh!!!!!!) Second, I sent a brief e-mail in praise of the book - and giggling about the reflection of my own life in it - to the author. Gracious lady that she is, she's going to give one lucky reader a signed copy of her book. :-) We'll get to how to enter at the end of the post.
First, in honor of both the book, and June, I give you a shortcake recipe from one of my vintage books.
I used the recipe for Shortcake Biscuits, and added a bit of white cornmeal for texture.
1-1/2 qts. strawberries
1/2 c. white cornmeal
1-3/4 c. Fancy Flour Blend, other GF AP flour, OR
1/4 c. millet flour
1/4 c. sweet rice flour
3/4 c. white rice flour
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
2 Tbsp potato starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar
1/3 c. shortening
3/4 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
whipped cream or ice cream, if desired
Slice the strawberries and stir together with sugar to taste, a bit of lemon juice, and some sliced mint leaves, if desired. Allow to macerate in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine dry ingredients and toss with a fork.
So, go make yourself some shortcake, then sit down with a spoon and enter the giveaway.
Up for grabs is one copy of Victoria Hamilton's A Deadly Grind.
(Small caveat - I'm going to limit this to readers in North America. Posting something outside the continent these days just gets SO cost-prohibitive. Sorry!)
Comment here and tell me what vintage recipes are favorites at your house - 1 entry
Come over and follow Gluten Free Goes Vintage on Facebook, then leave me a comment here to tell me that you did so (or that you already follow) - 1 entry
Go to Victoria Hamilton's blog, and leave her a nice comment - then leave a comment here to tell me that you did so - 1 entry
Follow me on Twitter @PrincesPolkadot, and leave a comment here telling me that you've done so - 1 entry.
The giveaway will close on Monday, June 18, at 12 AM EST. I'll choose a winner on Tuesday, June 19th!
Even if you don't win, if you like well-plotted books with excellent character development, seasoned with a smattering of vintage baking - go get yourself a copy, anyway!
(I'm going to go keep a closer eye on the cats. And speculate on what other bits of my collection might end up in the next book.... ;-)