Recipes for Love and Murder by Sally Andrew

Tannie Maria is a warm-hearted cook who lives in a rural area of South Africa. She writes a food-based agony column for the local newspaper. One of her readers asks:

I am wondering what really matters? Really. Family? Duty? God? Friends? Food? Love?

Tannie Marie replies with great warmth and wisdom:

In the end what matters most is love and food. Without them you go hungry. And you need them to enjoy all of the other things you write about.

And Tannie Maria loves to cook and to share food. Soon she becomes involved in a murder investigation because of a letter she received from a lady looking for help with an abusive husband. Good food helps her unearth vital clues.

The book gives a very warm feeling for the area, its landscape, weather, and wildlife. Characters use many Afrikaans words. The meaning can generally be inferred from the context but a glossary is also provided. Recipes for the meals and cakes mentioned are also provided.

If you like Alexander McCall Smith’s mysteries set in Botswana, this book is for you.

Warning: Do not read this book when you are hungry or if you have no food in the house.

King Soloman’s Table by Joan Nathan

This is a glorious cookbook. Joan Nathan clearly relishes the preparation of good food. But what adds depth to this cookbook is the history behind the recipes and the author’s contagious appreciation for the history, culture, and faith that influenced the evolution of the recipes. A simple Moroccan Beet and Orange Salad recipe leads off with a discussion of the role of beets in the Iraqi diet – they were considered to be an antidote to leprosy and skin diseases.

The recipes offer surprising combinations that reflect the many countries that the Jewish people have lived– Winter Squash Soup with Coconut Milk and Hot Pepper, for example.

If you are looking for a simple recipe for a transcendent taste experience: try the Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe

Thanksgiving Dinner

Having family over for Thanksgiving this year? Not sure what to make? We have the perfect thing to help you out! We have hundreds of cookbooks to help you find the perfect recipe for your holiday table. You can find recipes for Creamy Mashed Potatoes from the Pioneer Woman or Southern Corn Bread Dressing from Paula Deen. Or maybe you want something with a bit of flair, you can borrow one of Julia Child’s cookbooks and make a Rum-Cake Caramel Custard Flambee.

Need inspiration for your tablescape? We can help with that too. Learn how to create an edible centerpiece with Edible Party Bouquets. Not sure where the two prong fork goes in a table setting? Check out one of our etiquette books to find out where it should go and what it’s supposed to be used for.

You’ve made the food and set the table the only thing left is what to drink. We have several books to help you pair your meal with the perfect wine, beer, coffee, or tea. For example a Cabernet Sauvignon will go perfect with Thanksgiving dinner but you might switch to a Pinot Noir for cold turkey leftovers the next day.

No matter what your holiday plans are, we can help you make it a success!

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