Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Mystery of Fried Okra with guest Melissa Bourbon

I am all about food.  Seriously.  I wanted to be a chef when I was in high school.  I was determined!  The Culinary Institute in Napa was on my radar.  But my dad said, “Why don’t you go to college for two years and then you can transfer?” 

Sneaky dad.  It was a question, sure, but it was really non-negotiable.  Two years later, I  said, “Two years are up, Napa here I come!”

To which he replied, “But you’re halfway there, why don’t you just finish?”

And so I did.  I met my husband, discovered a passion for teaching, and gave up my dream of being a chef.  Quite a few years, and five kids later, I discovered a new dream: writing.  But food is never far from what I write.

In the Lola Cruz mystery series (Bare-Naked Lola comes out in April), the Cruz family owns a Mexican restaurant.  And in my Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, Southern comfort abounds...quite often in the form of fried fare.

Fried Chicken

Fried Okra

Tex-Mex, which means ReFried Beans and Fried Tortillas

Peach Cobbler (okay, it’s not fried, but it might as well be!)

I could go on and on, but you get the gist.  While there aren’t many strictly foodie scenes, food plays a bit part in an awful lot of my books. 

From A Fitting End:

     In a daze, I wandered to the kitchen.  Cornbread.  I needed    some cornbread.  And fried okra.

From Deadly Patterns (coming October 2012):

     “Hmmm?”  Her attention never wavered from the kitchen where I could see the mess of okra I’d bought at the market spilled over the counter and Josie pouring half a box of cornmeal into a gallon-sized baggie.  I didn’t have fried okra, so she was going to make some.

     Made sense.


In case you’ve never tried fried okra, here’s how it’s done:

Wash a mess of okra and cut into bite size pieces.

Toss okra bits with mix of egg and tiny bit of water.

Now toss in a baggie filled with cornmeal.

Fried in frying pan, taking care to let okra brown on one side before turning...or... spray with olive oil cooking mist and bake at about 390 degrees, turning, until browned.

Eat this instead of popcorn!  Really.  It’s pretty tasty.

And there you have it.  My obsession with food.  I wasn’t even going to write about okra or give a recipe, but I couldn’t help myself.  I’m a foodie at heart!

 ~ Melissa Bourbon

Blurb:  A Fitting End

Former Manhattan fashion designer Harlow Jane Cassidy has a gift for creating beautiful dresses.  But when Harlow becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation, she’ll more than her sewing skills to unravel the mystery…

Business is booming at Harlow’s custom dressmaking boutique, Buttons & Bows, even with the presence of her great-grandmother’s ghost hanging around the shop.  But thanks to the fast approaching Margaret Moffette Lea Pageant and Ball, Harlow has her work cut out for her when Mrs. Zinnia James hires her to make her granddaughter’s pageant gown.

With the debutant ball getting the whole town of Bliss, Texas into a tizzy, Harlow knows her dress has to be perfect.  But when a local golf pro is found stabbed to death with dressmaking shears, the new deputy thinks Harlow and Mrs. James conspired to commit the crime.  Now Harlow has to finish the dress on time and clear her name before the next outfit she designs is a prison jumpsuit…

Read an excerpt


Amazon Print

Barnes & Noble

Praise for A Fitting End

“The second Dressmaker’s paranormal Mystery is a fun family affair… Fans will enjoy Harlow Jane’s amateur sleuthing with advice from her late great-grandma and the Texas posse while also seeking two degrees of Robert Redford.” ~ The Mystery Gazette


Kristi said...

I just finished A Fitting End three days ago. I really loved it. It's a great new series.

Gemma Halliday said...

Okay, now I really want to try fried okra! I wonder if I can get okra in Cali...

Misa said...

Thank you, Kristi! So glad you loved it :)

Misa said...

Gemma, I'm from Northern Cali, and you can definitely get it there. We used to grow it, in fact!