Sunday, July 24, 2022

BOTW: mystery and history with recipes

 BOTW = Books of the Week. It's the new name for my weekly reading roundup.  

Mia Manansala's debut is a fast-paced cozy mystery featuring a Filipina-American protagonist and her extended family. When Lila's ex-boyfriend drops dead during lunch at her grandmother's restaurant Lila is considered a prime suspect. She enlists her friends to help her find the real culprit. Assumptions are made mistakenly, conclusions are leaped to, and there is a lot of food (Filipino and otherwise).

One of my favorite genres, narrative nonfiction, combines with one of my favorite subjects, American regional foodways, in a well-researched but never dull account of ground corn, better known as grits. Author Erin Byers Murray posits that a big reason that many people say they hate grits is that all they've known are gummy, pasty, mass-produced instant variety that cook up fast but are processed to the point of tastelessness. Murray travels throughout the south to meet people who are growing heritage corn and those who are milling it to make the most of the flavor. She writes about the inventors of milling equipment and the people who are keeping century-old machines going. She talks to chefs who develop new recipes and who tweak classics like shrimp and grits. Recipes are included. I intend to check out the specialty mills she mentions and place an order.      

1 comment:

  1. I just finished reading Arsenic and Adobo, too. We are on the same lists. But haven't seen the book on grits. I'll look for it.


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