Food=love in my books.
As you know, I’ve invited some of my writer pals to share a recipe that has a connection to one of their books. Today’s delicious recipe and excerpt comes from award-winning author Lily Bishop.
Lily sets many of the scenes in her book around food, and one of the secondary character is a world-famous television chef. Her name is Bonnie, and she’s famous for her southern cuisine at her restaurant in Atlanta. Bonnie is fictitious, of course, but some of the foods described are from Lily. Here’s how we find it in the book:
Bonnie took charge, directing Fox and Lee to set up the food and hand out plates. She handed Laura the first plate, covered in a substantial helping of pulled pork. “Now you’ll have to tell me what you think of this barbecue. I used cinnamon in the dry rub this time.”
The four of them shared barbecue, a sweet and spicy slaw, and potato salad. Laura savored each bite.
“This is so good—did you use cumin, too?”
“Good call! Yes, cumin and cinnamon with a pinch of chili powder and garlic for good measure. It’s so nice to talk to a fellow cook! All the boys care about is that it’s hot and on the table.”
“Works for me,” Lee said with a grin.
Here’s Lily’s favorite homemade barbecue recipe.
Barbecue Boston Butt in the Crockpot
Recipe Type: main dish
Here’s Lily’s favorite homemade barbecue recipe.
- Find a large sweet onion, like a Vidalia or one from Texas, or South America, and cut it in bit thick rings, the thicker the better. You’re going to sit your pork on top of the rings in your crockpot.
- ¼ c. packed brown sugar
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced dried onion
- 1 tsp black pepper, roughly ground
- Mix together and rub over the top of the pork.
- 3 to 5 pound boneless pork butt, cut in half. If it has a bone, may next a little extra cooking time.
- ¾ c. apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp of honey
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- Splash of red pepper flakes
- Set the pork on top of the onion rings.
- Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the pork.
- Cook on low for 8 or 9 hours. Pork is safe to eat when the internal temperature is 145 (medium) or 160 (my preference).
- Let cool and shred with a fork and serve over buns. Top with slaw if you like. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce. (You can make extra of the sauce you poured on the pork if you like a vinegar-based sauce)
Yummm….Now that the heavy lifting is done ;-), you can sit back and read Lily’s delightful romance, NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
Fox Thornton stared at the cards nestled against the green felt. Focus, man, focus. Something had to change. A fun hand of blackjack had turned into a bloodbath. After being in meetings all day, he had planned a quick hand of blackjack, but two hours later, he had lost more than he intended. He blamed his losses on the gorgeous blonde at the end of the table and her sexy silver dress. How could he leave with her if she made no effort to leave?
Her hair reminded him of wheat in summer and it curled around her shoulders with a devil-may-care attitude. Her eyes shone like dark amber whiskey and glowed with an inner fire when she smiled—which was often—and frequently in his direction. She leaned forward and he caught a glimpse of a little dark hollow between her breasts. He stifled a groan.
He shifted position to relieve the pressure caused by a wave of desire. How long had it been since he’d been this hard for a stranger? Not since college ten years ago. As she considered the cards, her tongue peeked between rosy lips. What a turn-on.
Fox looked for any of the managers he knew from the remodel, and saw James, a pit boss who had joined him for drinks one night. He sent him a text and then moved over to the vacant seat beside her.
“The luck’s better over here,” he said with a smile, but then he cut his eyes away, not wanting to appear too eager. She spared him a quick glance before turning back to her cards.
Sitting beside her made things worse. He smelled roses every time she moved, and now he had a full view of her long, tanned legs. One of her legs bounced up and down, betraying her nervousness. He blocked out the image of those legs wrapped around his waist or he would never be able to stand. As soon as James closed the table, he would ask her to dinner.
Her bizarre play was screwing up the natural order of the cards. She laughed when the cards fell her way, and when they didn’t, she seemed stunned, as if she should be able to predict the card order.
If anyone else had been playing that inconsistently, he would have switched tables and cut his losses. Now he was so intrigued he couldn’t walk away without a phone number.
The girl’s strapless dress fit against her like a second skin, and he couldn’t look away. While they waited for the next round of cards, she fidgeted with a silver-threaded scarf. He could imagine that scarf in his hands as he pulled her to him … He had to get control of himself.
When the waitress brought drinks, he took care of the tip, and his blonde beauty flashed him a smile. When she won for the third time in as many hands, he saluted her with a flourish. She repaid him by blowing him a kiss. Now he had her attention.
Laura pretended to study her cards, but instead she peeked through her lashes at the gorgeous man beside her. With everyone else at the table in T-shirts and jeans, he stood out in a well-cut charcoal suit as if he had just come from a board meeting. He shrugged out of his jacket and hung it on the back of his stool, then rolled up his sleeves.
He was Man-of-the-Month material. In fact, she could picture him as Mr. July with his tie loosened and shirt unbuttoned to reveal sculpted abs …
Distracted, she hit when she should have stood and busted at twenty-two.
“You jinxed me!” she accused him with a laugh.
He turned that thousand-watt smile on her when he busted after one hit as well. “No, you took my card. See, if I had that one, I would have had twenty-one.”
“Oh, blame me.” She stacked and re-stacked her chips, then adjusted her scarf. “Any minute you’ll say I’m too distracting.”
He turned and his eyes followed the scarf back to her neck, and down to her waist. As his gaze moved up again, it felt like a caress. She looked up and lost herself in bright blue eyes that reminded her of the ocean in South Beach.
“You don’t know the half of it,” he said in a low tone meant only for her. Amusement lurked just beneath his words.
The old Laura would beat a hasty retreat, but tonight she would follow her instincts and see where they took her. After wasting years on a dead-end relationship, she had vowed to stop drifting through life and to start living. She felt like a femme fatale in her new dress, ready for anything when the silk had slid down her bare skin.
At the moment, however, she was ready for dinner. When her stomach rumbled, Mr. July turned with a grin.
“Hungry?” he asked.
She blushed. “A little. I got here today from Miami and the time difference makes me want to eat everything in sight.”
She had blackjack on the next hand. Had his arm edged closer into her space? While collecting her chips, she leaned into him and spotted a little nick on his chin that she wanted to kiss and make better. Come on, Laura, get it together.
She tapped the table for another card when she shouldn’t have, but won the hand anyway. Before she could bet again, the pit boss closed the table. Everyone grumbled, but Laura didn’t care. She needed to quit anyway.
Laura tipped the dealer and cashed out, but as she stood, the skirt of her dress ripped. She could feel her skirt dangling and sat down quickly, desperate to hide her lacy black thong. She hadn’t even brought her purse, only her phone and room key in a wristlet.
“Are you okay?” she heard Mr. July ask.
“Wardrobe malfunction. I have to go.” She gathered the fabric in her fist, planning to back out of the casino.
“Let me help.” In a flash, he stood up and draped his jacket over her shoulders. It went all the way down to her hips and covered the ripped section. “Better?”
His scent surrounded her. Laura looked up and saw nothing but his blue eyes.
“Thank you. I guess I need to go upstairs.”
“I’ll come with you.” At her blank look, he gestured to the fine Italian suit coat.
“To collect the jacket.”
“Of course,” she said, wishing she hadn’t made such a fool of herself. They started walking together toward the bank of elevators outside the casino. His arm around her shoulders felt like the most natural thing in the world.
“Well, this is awkward,” she said, when they were alone in the elevator.
“Nothing like ripping your dress at the blackjack table to get someone’s attention.” The ripped dress had stolen her confidence, and where she had been an outgoing flirt earlier, she felt herself slipping back into her natural shyness.
“You didn’t have to.”
The elevator stopped on her floor, and Laura led the way to her room. “Didn’t have to what?”
“Rip your dress. You had my attention already.”
Isn’t that fun? If you can’t wait to read more about Lily and Fox, here are the purchase links. Enjoy!
And because it’s the last Tuesday of the month, I’m happy to share that our Wine, Women and Words Book Club held it’s monthly feast…I mean discussion this past Sunday. Our February read was The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. (Thank you, Carol Hart, for suggesting it–I loved really enjoyed it!)
The general consensus was positive. Personally, I loved learning about the Quakers, quilting and the connection The Underground Railroad has to the college town of Oberlin, Ohio. And we had the added joy of sharing quilts or quilted loveliness that some members brought along. Are you a quilter? This is a must-read book.
If you like historical fiction, please give it a try and let me know what you think. I’ll share your thoughts with the Book Club next month.
Happy Reading, my friends!