Critical praise for Christy!

For "Murder Hooks a Mermaid:"
"Author Christy Fifield creates the kind of characters that stay with you for a long time. Fifield’s new Haunted Souvenir Shop mystery, Murder Hooks a Mermaid has it all: a sunny, relaxed setting, captivating locals, delicious food, and—of course—murder! Delightful amateur sleuth Glory Martine is back with her wisecracking parrot and charming group of friends in this thoroughly entertaining adventure. Don’t miss it."—Julie Hyzy, National Bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mystery series
"A whodunit with a dose of the supernatural, "Murder Hooks a Mermaid" is a worthy successor to the series opener and showcases Fifield's talents for plotting, characterization and humor." - Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Quirky and unique, a heroine for whom you can't help but root. The story sucks you in." - The Maine Suspect
"With a lovable cast of characters, good conversations and a great setting, this well-written book is a terrific read." -- Dru's Book Musings

For "Murder Buys a T-Shirt:"
A refreshing new sleuth! - Lynne Maxwell, Mystery Scene Magazine
"A fun book that will make the dreariest of days a little brighter! Socrates' great Book Alert" - Socrates' Cozy Cafe
"An entertaining and clever Florida whodunit" - Harriet Klausner
"Hilarious! A great murder mystery with well-written characters" - Paranormal & Romantic Suspense Reviews
For the Georgiana Neverall Series:
"Christy Evans will find legions of fans with this new series" - Sheldon McArthur, Lincoln City News Guard
"Funny and entertaining -- a solid mystery filled with likable characters." - RT Book Reviews"
Cute cozy mystery debute -- wry humor -- adorable dogs" -Publisher's Weekly
"Will have you giggling out loud! Four Stars." - Kathy Fisher, The Romance Readers Connection"The Book is good! Keep them coming, Ms. Evans!" - Mystery Scene
"Evans delivers a fast-paced mystery with admirable finesse!" - Sharon Galligar Chance,
"Christy Evans has a hit on her hands" - Harriet Klausner,
"Christy Evans is aces. I'll be very suprised if Sink Trap isn't an instant hit with cozy readers!" -

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cooking Up A New Series - Part Two - Hush Puppies

Actually cooking some of the recipes for MURDER IN A SHOT GLASS was one way of making sure I understood the action in the cooking scenes.  Once I was set up with the proper ingredients - or reasonable substitutes - I was ready to start cooking.

The banana pudding was already made and we'd actually had some last night.  It's even better the second day, when the vanilla wafers have softened and the flavors have blended from sitting in the refrigerator overnight.

I prepped the catfish, salted it, and set it to soak in a buttermilk bath while I worked on the hush puppies.

First I needed self-rising cornmeal, one of the ingredients I didn't actually find in my shopping expedition.  Self-rising simply means the cornmeal already contains a leavening agent, in this case salt and baking powder.  According to the information I found online, all I had to do for each cup of cornmeal was replace 1 tablespoon of cornmeal with a tablespoon of baking powder and add a half-teaspoon of salt.  (Thank you,!)

I mixed the cornmeal and self-rising flour, sugar and garlic powder and added the onion.  My husband was leery of too much onion, and I dialed back the amount the recipe called for.  Then I added eggs and buttermilk, and I had hush puppy batter.  It looked thin, and I had my doubts, but I dropped a spoonful in the hot oil.

Now THAT looks right!
I was right, it was way too thin.  I had little crumbles of cornmeal batter, not a beautiful hush puppy.  At that point I double-checked the recipe, verified I had used the proper amount of each ingredient, and decided I needed to fix the mixture.  I added some more cornmeal and baking powder, until I got a batter that had the consistency I expected, and tried again.

This time things went much better.  The dough formed little balls in the hot oil instead of falling apart like cardboard in a heavy rain.  The fryer would only hold 4 or 5 at a time, but I waited patiently as each batch made its way from gooey dough balls to golden brown globes of corn-y goodness.

My husband taste-tested one of the first ones and pronounced it edible, much to my relief.  In fact, after a couple tastes, he said it could stand a little more onion.  Since I like onions I quickly added a couple heaping spoonfuls of minced onion and stirred it into the remaining dough.

Patience is not one of my strong points, but these were well worth the wait.  As you can see, they tumbled out of the fry basket onto the paper-towel-lined plate all golden brown and crunchy.

It took quite a while to cook up all the dough I'd made, but in the end I was rewarded with a baking pan full of lovely hush puppies.

Since I had a problem with the consistency of the original recipe I am not going to post it here - at least not until I have a version that works properly.  But in the meantime, here's a link to a recipe for hush puppies, similar to what I made.  There's also a link to a Paul Prudhomme recipe that I want to try.

In the meantime, here's a photo of the final result.  I think they came out looking good, and they tasted great in spite of the experimental nature of the recipe.

But that catfish was still soaking in buttermilk, and my work was far from over...

(To be continued...)


  1. I was never a fan of hush puppies but yours sure look good. I'm waiting for the catfish which I'm a fan of.

  2. Thanks, Dru! Have the new post coming, complete with pictures, thanks to my husband who documented the whole process :-)