A Girl's Gotta Eat...Lobster Patties
One of the fun things about having a new release is celebrating with my “release buddies”–author friends who also have a new book out. It’s even more fun if both the books are holiday stories! Today in celebration of the release of Plaid Tidings, I’m hosting Theresa Romain, whose terrific Season for Scandal is also on the bookstore shelves right now.
You’ve heard of Wife Swap. We’re doing a Blog Swap! While she’s visiting here, I’m taking over her blog with a fun recipe and 3 chances to win my Christmas novella My Lady Below Stairs over at her cyber-house.
Take it away, Theresa. My blog is now yours.
Even fictional characters need to eat. After all, mealtimes in historical romances aren’t just for filling the stomachs of our heroes and heroines. Meals in fiction are a chance to build relationships or destroy them, to demonstrate manners (or lack thereof) and social class (or lack thereof).
In SEASON FOR SCANDAL, my newest holiday historical romance, the heroine is a newlywed who doesn’t really know how to act in society. Jane is deeply in love with Edmund, but theirs is a marriage of convenience. And neither of them understands what the other person needs or wants in their relationship…at first. (You guys know they’ll figure it out before the HEA, right?)
At their first society ball as a married couple, Jane makes several social blunders. She’s determined to learn from her mistakes—and soon, food becomes involved.
She would observe and learn. A likely-looking subject meandered by: a laughing noblewoman in ivory silk and lace in conversation with a knot of friends. As Jane watched, she adjusted the angle of her head; the beau monde had beautiful posture, their chins always high. And the smiles—they hardly showed any teeth, did they? Smiles were mysterious; laughter was subdued.
And the curtsy; she realized now, there were infinite degrees of obeisance. She must bend her knees more—like so.
“Lady Kirkpatrick, you honor me.”
Jane continued her observations for two full seconds before she recalled that she was Lady Kirkpatrick. And that she had just unintentionally greeted someone.
She turned and saw that man from India—Mr. Bellamy—who had been at her wedding. He had been speaking with one of Lord and Lady Alleyneham’s daughters, and they were both standing near the refreshment table.
Jane’s stomach gave a curious growl, and she realized she was as eager for lobster patties as she was for a test of her newly observed behaviors.
After a bit of polite conversation, Jane gets her hands on some much-wanted food. This is social food, dainty and lovely and not meant to be filling.
Bellamy returned just then with a plate of tiny, fussy foods. “Now, Lady Kirkpatrick, it will be supper before long. If you can manage not to commit murder for the next half-hour, I think you’ll make it through the evening right enough.”
Jane accepted the plate and began to eat. The offerings were the most delicious dainties she’d ever tasted, the lobster patties buttery and pleasantly rich. “Thank you,” she managed to say when the food had all but vanished. “For the plate. Thank you.”
“Very welcome, my lady. It’s the least a gentleman can do.”
Except for the lobster patties, nothing in this exchange is quite as it ought to be. Jane shouldn’t gobble down food in a ballroom. And Bellamy? He’s hardly a gentleman, as the story soon proves. *halts typing fingers before they can reveal spoilers*
So let’s talk some more about lobster patties—because they’re a staple of historical romance ballrooms, and because Jane couldn’t stop eating them. During the Regency, lobster wasn’t as fancy a food as we think of it today. But seafood made great patties, which could easily be served as ballroom refreshments.
Here’s a recipe for lobster patties from a 1808 cookbook, ART OF COOKERY by “A Lady.” First we’re going to need to make our dough:
Then the recipe gets more complicated. We are next to press this pastry dough into “small patty-pans” (think of a muffin tin) and somehow put a top crust on, baking a hollow pastry shell which we’ll fill later. The author recommends we “put a bit of crust into all patties, to keep them hollow while baking.”
The recipe for the lobster filling is based upon the one for oysters. We’ll mix the meat
Now, how to get our savory filling into those pastry shells? I have no idea. The cookbook’s author simply says “fill the shells.” Assuming you’re dexterous enough to do this without breaking the pastry, you should wind up something more like a little pie or quiche than a modern crab cake.
Have you ever read in a novel about a food that you’d like to try? Let us know! One random commenter will win a copy of my 2012 Christmas romance, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, winner’s choice of print or digital. This giveaway will close on 10-10-13. Open Internationally!
Bio: Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she is working on her next book.
SEASON FOR SCANDAL back cover blurb:
Jane Tindall has never had money of her own or exceptional beauty. Her gifts are more subtle: a mind like an abacus, a talent for play-acting—and a daring taste for gambling. But all the daring in the world can’t help with the cards fixed against her. And when Edmund Ware, Baron Kirkpatrick, unwittingly spoils her chance to win a fortune, her reputation is ruined too. Or so she thinks, until he suggests a surprising mode of escape: a hasty marriage. To him. On the surface, their wedding would seem to satisfy all the demands of proper society, but as the Yuletide approaches, secrets and scandals turn this proper marriage into a very improper affair.
Book order links:
Doesn’t that sound wonderful? I’m talking about a Season for Scandal, of course, though I’d give the lobster patties a try too! So here’s what you need to do. Leave a comment here for a chance to win Theresa’s backlist title, Season for Surrender, pop over to her blog for 3 chances to win My Lady Below Stairs from me, and then run out and buy Theresa’s wonderful new Season for Scandal.
You will thank me later.