16 January 2015

Friday's Literary Feast


Quotes from The Virago Book of Food:  The Joy of Eating

CAROLYN KEENE
20th century

Under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene, Mildred  Wirt Benson wrote twenty-three of the first twenty-five books in this ever popular girl-detective series devised by Edward Stratemeyer, but the fact was kept from public knowledge for over fifty years, coming to light only when Benson testified in a 1980s' court case.  The Nancy Drew Cookbook postulates Benson's influence, but reflects the style of the books she wrote.

Late one afternoon Nancy was hurriedly called to the home of Mrs. Russo, a neighbor, to help her find a valuable heirloom ring.  The piece was strangely missing just before she was to give it to her niece at a birthday dinner party.  No one else had been in the house all day.  Mrs. Russo, who had selected the ring from her jewel box that morning, was positive she had not worn it in the kitchen while preparing dinner.
  Nancy, however, refused to overlook a single possibility.  After Mrs. Russo had gone upstairs to dress, Nancy began a search.  She figured that if the woman had unknowingly dropped the ring into some food she was preparing, it would have sunk to the bottom.  First Nancy examined the aspic salad, then the cream of mushroom soup.  No ring!  Next she looked at the blueberry muffins. Still in their twelve-cup pan.
  'If the ring's in a muffin.' she thought, 'it would have been spooned up last, so the jewelry would be in one of the end cups.'
  Nancy began to break open the muffins.  No luck on one, two, three.  Then she halved the fourth.
  The next moment she cried out, and raced up the stairs. 'Mrs. Russo, the ring was in a muffin!  Your gift is safe!'  As the woman thanked Nancy profusely, the girl added with a smile, 'How about my whipping up another batch of muffins for your party?/

The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking

7 comments:

  1. Oh, wonderful - I must get myself a copy.

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    1. It was the mention of aspic salad, wasn't it.

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  2. Well, I dunno. She could have weighed all the muffins to find out which was the heaviest, or probed them with toothpicks. Then she could have told Mrs. R. to make sure her niece was served the bejewelled muffin. :^)

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    1. Excellent sleuthing, Susan, but hopefully Mrs. R wouldn't end up plus a ring but minus a tooth!

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  3. Oh, Nancy, "I'll just zip over to the store in my little red convertible first, though, because we need more blueberries."

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    1. Let me guess - you've read a few of Nancy's capers in your youth, Audrey. I have fond memories of finding a couple of them in my grandmother's glassed-case during a holiday when I was not more than seven or eight. Memories....

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  4. in the original novels Nancy drove a 'sporty little roadster' ... a pity they have 'updated' them ...

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