Welcome Author Louisa Edwards and Tell Her Your Best Food Memory!
When I got engaged, my mother’s friends threw me a bridal shower back home in Virginia. My fiancé and I had been living in Manhattan since college, and while the food in the city is undeniably wonderful, there’s a big part of my heart (and stomach!) that belongs to the food I grew up with: the big, bold, comforting, warm flavors of the South. NYC has almost every kind of food you can think of—but true Southern cooking is thin on the ground. After five years in the big city, I missed my comfort food!
So I made a special request of my mother and her friends: instead of silver candlesticks and monogrammed towels, I asked that each of them gift me with a favorite family recipe.
Being Southern, the ladies gave me candlesticks and linens anyway, but the bridal shower gift I’ll always treasure is the big, blue three-ring binder holding those precious, handwritten recipe cards. That binder, along with my dogs and my laptop, is one of the things I’d grab if the house were on fire!
Those recipes hold the accumulated kitchen wisdom of several generations of women, all of whom lived and cooked in Virginia, where the bounty and rhythm of the seasons inevitably infused their kitchens. I have everything in that binder, from the lightest, fluffiest white angel biscuits (perfect for sopping up red-eye gravy) to the only lemon meringue pie I’ve ever eaten that’s actually tart enough to pucker my mouth.
When I sat down to write On the Steamy Side, my second Recipe for Love novel, I knew the heroine was from the South. From the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, in fact! (What a coincidence, right?) And I knew that cooking was in her blood, in her heart, and in every one of her important childhood memories, just the way it is in mine.
Not all of my heroines are so lucky; for instance, Dr. Rosemary Wilkins, in my newest book, Just One Taste, is more interested in the science behind a finished dish than she is in the food itself. But one thing my characters have in common is that they all eventually learn what I believe to be true: that food has the power to evoke strong emotions and to connect us with other people in ways both intimate and eternal. Food is love.
Tell me your best food memory! How does it make you feel to cook or eat that dish now, years later? We have a signature Recipe for Love prize set, including a copy of my new book, for the best comment . . .