Looking for a good read that will keep you in stitches and provide you with a bunch of delicious recipes at the end too? Read "Mud Season" by Ellen Stimson.
Get ready to guffaw as you read about one family's misadventures in its move from St. Louis to Vermont, where they bumbled their way through buying and later selling a country store (oh, with lots of hapless adventures in between), while raising chickens, rescuing baby lambs, fighting off skunks and a few bats too. The mac n'cheese dish, above, loaded with Vermont cheddar, gruyere and bacon too, is one of the recipes in the book.
Looking for a way to interact with people who love to read and also love food? Start a book group for foodies, like the newly formed one I was asked to join. We've been in existence only four months, and we meet monthly for dinner to discuss books and to eat. (Well, sometimes the eating part takes the bulk of the evening.) We all bring food inspired by the book, or actually mentioned in the book we just read.
For our most recent book -- "Mud Season", we brought little else other than bread, wine and flowers. The only people who actually cooked were the hostess and ….. the author.
Yes, Ellen Stimson, the engaging and down-to-earth woman who wrote this delightful read, attended our luncheon/book discussion group, giving us plenty of "behind the scenes" insider information and an afternoon of laughter. Most book groups don't have the added plus of having an author in attendance, but it helps if a member of your book group is also the book's agent, as ours is - Rosalie Siegel. Maybe she twisted Ellen's arm just a little. If so, you'd never know it since they willingly took on the cooking for the day.
Actually, I think Rosalie's husband Evan may have made the mac n' cheese. We were all grateful, in either case. And then to add the sweet finale - Ellen presented platters of her Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. The recipe is among those in the book, and at the bottom of this post.
I don't recommend these if you've got a weakness for chocolate -- or peanut butter. They'll disappear quicker than you can say "chunky monkey." And don't say I didn't warn you if your jeans start to feel a little tight.
From Ellen Stimson's "Mud Season"
Vermont Mac 'n Cheese