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, April 12, 2011

Cooking Up a New Series - Part Six - Fried Cornbread

After my first Southern meal of catfish and hush puppies (detailed in parts OneTwo, and Three), my next experiment was black-eyed peas with ham shanks (detailed in part Five) and fried cornbread.

This time I didn't need to use the deep fryer, just a frying pan and a much smaller amount of oil.  Since I had carefully strained and stored the shortening from the catfish and hush puppies I was able to re-use some of that shortening to fry the cornbread.

Using that oil also allowed me to test my theory about using oil that had been used for fish. It did, indeed, impart some great flavor.

Making fried cornbread, I discovered, is really a simple process.

First you assemble the dry ingredients, then add boiling water, stir, shape and fry.  It really is that easy!

While the process in quite simple, it also takes some patience, a word that keeps coming up again and again as I go through these recipes.  Giving the dry ingredients a few minutes to absorb the boiling water and to cool seems to develop a more easily-handled dough.

As the dough became pliable and cooled, I took a ball about the size of a golf ball, shaped it with my hands, and flattened it with my fingertips.  The result was a bunch of patties about the size of the palm of my hand, and a half-inch thick.  In order to avoid letting the oil sit on the heat, I shaped all the cornbread first - before I started frying.

I heated the oil in the pan, letting it come up to temperature before I started cooking.  I put a few pieces at a time into the oil.  As they turned golden on the bottom and started to brown around the edges, I flipped them to fry the other side.

In a couple minutes they were cooked through and a beautiful golden brown.

And here's the finished plate of fried cornbread, ready to sop up the juices off the black-eyed peas!

Fried Cornbread

1 1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water

Mix cornmeal and salt in a large bowl.  Stir well and pour boiling water over dry ingredients.  Stir to mix well. Dough will be slightly runny, but will thicken as it cools.  When dough is cool enough to handle, shape into balls about the size of a golf ball.  Wetting your hands will help to prevent sticking as you shape.  Flatten the balls with your fingers to about 1/2 inch.

Place the shaped pieces on plastic wrap or waxed paper until all pieces are shaped.

Heat about a half-inch of oil or shortening in a large frying pan.  When the oil is hot, place a few pieces of cornbread in the hot oil.  Cook until the bottom is golden and the edges begin to brown.  Turn and continue frying until the second side is also golden.

Drain on paper towels, and serve with your favorite Southern main dish!

Up next - Part Seven - Tasty Sweet Potato Failure

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