Comfort food and holidays typically give us a nostalgic or sentimental feeling.
In SILENCE OF THE JAMS,
Amy Flowers wants her Down South Café to offer the residents of Winter Garden,
Virginia, comfort, hospitality, and a sense of home, especially during the
upcoming Independence Day Festival. She’s baking extra cakes and pies, and she’s
also keeping the refrigerated display case stocked with family-size containers
of sides for her customers to take home and enjoy during their picnics and reunions.
Like Amy, I grew up in a small town like Winter Garden. Our big deal of the
summer was when the carnival came to town. My cousins, brother, and I would plan
for it as soon as we saw the first flyer announcing when the carnival would
arrive. We started deciding what we wanted to ride, wondering who else among our
friends might be going, and talking about what we wanted to eat. The food was
part of the celebration. I looked forward to the caramel apples. Others had
their appetites whetted by cotton candy or funnel cake. I liked to get the apple
just before I left so I could enjoy it on the way home while clutching some
pitiful little stuffed toy I’d won—in reality, paid far too much for—playing
some game. The apple was another way to prolong the evening, and the toy would
remain a reminder throughout the coming year.
In SILENCE OF THE JAMS I
wanted to embody some of that excitement in Winter Garden’s Independence Day
Celebration. The town is small, so they don’t have the budget to do a lot
throughout the year. They have large celebrations for the Fourth of July and for
Christmas, so the townspeople really get involved and enjoy themselves on those
two occasions. Naturally, food and tradition play a large role in contributing
to the “warm fuzzies” for the townspeople. In addition to Amy’s cakes, pies,
baked beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and macaroni salad prepared for Down South
Café patrons, the barn dance features a buffet with pork ribs, fried chicken,
hamburgers, hot dogs, a variety of salads—Cobb, pasta, fruit—and every kind of
dessert imaginable. Who wouldn’t want to take part in Winter Garden’s
Independence Day Celebration?
So, tell us, what foods and the traditions they bring to mind are your
favorites? Please share a memory with us!
Down South Cafe
In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café,
small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served
up as a murder suspect...
It's Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are
gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and
flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The
only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is
trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.
When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it's
a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to
Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.
delicious Southern recipes!
Mystery Cozy [Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: April 4, 2017, Mass Market
Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781101990803 / eISBN: 9781101990810]
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