Food often plays a part in cozy mysteries. In the case of Sugar & Spice mysteries it’s truly part of the fabric of the story. Sugar & Dixie are co-owners of a community cookbook publishing company and so food is their business. But food also plays a role in other parts of the story, partly because we often share important things over meals.
Here’s an example: (from Quiche of Death)
“I know you don’t have a lot of time, so I have lunch ready for us.” She opened the door and waved me in.
I followed her into the kitchen. “You didn’t need to go to all this trouble.”
“I didn’t know you were getting a dog,” she commented as she got the chicken salad out of the refrigerator and placed it on the counter.
Croissants had already been cut and placed on a plate and in a matter of minutes she had them filled and ready.
“Frenchie belonged to…” I took a deep breath. “The girl that was killed at Arbor House.”
“Oh, my word.” Greer stopped in her preparations. “Couldn’t her family take the poor thing?”
“That’s just it.” I took a sip of the iced tea Greer handed me. “They can’t find her family.”
And here’s the recipe:
Greer Gooder’s Chicken Salad
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked, chilled for a bit, and diced.
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups halved seedless red grapes
2–3 green onions, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1. Place the diced chicken, celery, green onions and grapes in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients (except for the almonds) until well mixed. Pour the mixture over the chicken salad and stir, making sure the chicken is thoroughly coated.
3. Cover and chill for at least two hours.
4. Sprinkle a few almonds on the chicken salad just before serving.
Greer serves her chicken salad on croissants, but you can use sandwich bread or wraps just as easily. I like mine on a warm pita. Or if you’ve watching your carbs (as I probably should be), it’s also good on a bed of butter lettuce.