F02 – Could Worst Cooks in America be in My Future?
Sometimes, I think I should try out to be on Worst Cooks in America. I’m a natural – cooking from scratch petrifies me and almost everything I make in the kitchen frightens everyone else.
Let’s put it this way, if I offer to cook more than two nights in a row, my husband insists we go out for dinner. He’s anything but subtle.
From an early age, my children demonstrated the same reaction to my cooking. One evening, when my son was three or four, I announced it was dinner time. Distracted for a moment, I turned back to where he’d been standing and realized not only was he gone, but the door to the garage was open. Heart pounding, I raced into the garage and found him standing next to the car waiting to be put into his car seat.
A few years later, I received a call from school that the same child had flunked a story boarding test. He got the first three pictures right: the family sits down for dinner, the family eats dinner, and the family finishes dinner. The final picture got him. Apparently, the answer should have been the family clears the table, but my son answered, “They pay the check.”
For the past month, neither my family nor I have worried about me cooking. Somehow, while pushing buttons to clean my oven, I did something wrong. The oven emitted a burst of heat and the time on the clock disappeared. It was replaced by the message: “F 02.” I didn’t know what “F 02” meant, but it didn’t give me a warm and cozy feeling. A week later, when the repairman finally came, he took one look and said: “You fried the mother board. I’ll order a new one and be back to install it when it comes in.” That was three weeks ago. My family is praying the part is on backorder until next year.
At least there is one advantage to my kitchen phobia – I understand exactly how my protagonist, Sarah Blair, feels whenever she is threatened with having to make anything from scratch. In One Taste Too Many, when Sarah’s twin, Emily, a gourmet chef, is accused of murdering Sarah’s ex-husband with a taste of her award-winning rhubarb crisp, Sarah searches for the true killer lest she be forced to take Emily’s place at a Food Expo. Suffice to say, her efforts to avoid the kitchen in the newly released Two Bites Too Many probably won’t work out the way she hopes, either.
At least, in both One Taste Too Many and Two Bites Too Many, Sarah discovers some simple recipes that rely on pre-made ingredients. These include Jell-O in a Can.
Readers, how do you feel about the kitchen? Any easy recipes to share?
ABOUT THE BOOK: Things are finally looking up for Sarah Blair following her unsavory divorce. Settled into a cozy carriage house with her Siamese cat, RahRah, she has somehow managed to hang on to her law firm receptionist job and – if befriending flea-bitten strays at the local animal shelter counts – lead a thriving social life. For once, Sarah almost has it together more than her enterprising twin, Emily, a professional chef whose efforts to open a gourmet restaurant have hit a real dead end…
When the president of the town bank is murdered after icing Emily’s business plans, all eyes are on the one person who left the scene with blood on her hands – the twins’ sharp-tongued mother, Maybelle. Determined to get her mom off the hook ASAP, Sarah must collect the ingredients of a deadly crime to bring the true culprit to justice. But as neighbors turn against her family, can she pare down the suspects before another victim lands on the chopping block.
ABOUT DEBRA: Judge Debra H. Goldstein writes Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series (One Taste Too Many, Two Bites Too Many). She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra serves on the national boards of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and is president of the Southeast Chapter of MWA and past president of SinC’s Guppy Chapter. Find out more about Debra at www.DebraHGoldstein.com.