Mystery at the Farmer’s Market

by on August 4th, 2015
Mystery at the Farmer’s Market Cover Image

I have been enjoying a new cookbook from the Library’s collection, and when I finally settled on a recipe to try, a trip to the Iowa City Farmer’s Market was in order.

The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook features recipes contributed by more than one hundred mystery authors.  Some of my favorites are included–Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, and Louise Penny–and you will recognize so many others:  Lee Child, Sara Paretsky, Max Allan Collins and Barbara Collins, Sue Grafton, Scott Turow, and James Patterson to name a few.  In addition to the authors’ introductions to their recipes, the editor has added several other short essays, one of which answers the question “What exactly is a red herring?”

Many of the recipes are for foods served in the mysteries.  I chose Louise Penny’s “Madame Benoit’s Tourtiere,” a dish mentioned inLois Pavelka photo A Fatal Grace.  Penny’s mysteries are set in Quebec, and tourtiere is a regional dish from that province.  It is essentially a meat pie, with onion and garlic, and it provided me with a chance to visit with Lois Pavelka of Pavelka’s Point Meats to get some ground pork and beef.  Lois and her husband raise livestock on their farm north of Solon, and she is a regular at the Market with all kinds of delicious choices for pork, beef and lamb.  Their picnic bacon is especially good!

Grinnell farmer photogreen beansNext, I went to Grinnell Heritage Farm’s table to get some fresh garlic, and decided that potatoes and green beans would be good side dishes to the meat pie.

The resulting savory pie was a tasty example of comfort food, and would be a good dish to bring to a potluck or family gathering.  In her introduction to the recipe, Penny says that tourtiere can be eaten all year long, but is particularly associated with Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve celebrations.Pie photo

 

 

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