Thursday, January 2, 2014

FOODFIC: Please Welcome Jesse Kimmel-Freeman, Author of the Bella Vampires Series

Hey everyone! Food is such an essential thing when writing. I mean our characters have to live off of something, right? There are certain things in each of my stories that if you know me, then you know why they’re there- like Barqs Root Beer and Galaxy milk chocolate bars!

But one of those things that’s really important to me is finding a way to connect my characters to each other. In the scene below, Emma and Dominic (two of the main characters from the Bella Vampires Series) are finally connecting to each other. This meal that Dominic makes for Emma is so vital because there was such a HUGE disconnect between the characters in the beginning- he was a total jerk!

“So, what are we making?” I asked as I looked over the ingredients- artichokes, eggs, a lemon, some parsley, olive oil, dry white wine, and salt and pepper.

“We are not cooking. I am cooking for you. I am going to make you artichoke frittata. It is delicious. It is like an omelette but different. You will enjoy it.” He sounded absolutely sure of himself.

I sat and watched as he prepared the artichokes and placed them aside in water and lemon juice. Then as he beat the eggs and shook random amounts of salt and pepper into them. He sautéed the artichokes in the oil and wine. Then he threw in some more spices and then the eggs. It took only a few minutes but it was amazing to watch. I had never had someone close to me cook. Watching him cook was fun and exciting.

He cut it in half when he was sure it was done and had cooled then he served it to me. It looked a little on the scary side but I wouldn't let that stop me. I took a fork full and chewed. It tasted great. It was thicker than a regular omelette, but it seemed that this feature helped the flavor of the artichokes come through. We ate in silence. I helped to clean up afterwards through his insistent complaints.

“You cooked, I'll clean,” was all I said.

We said good night and I went to bed. I thought to look for another email from Mike but I didn't want anything to ruin the peaceful atmosphere that still clung to me from the kitchen.
I enjoy being around him sometimes. He brings a peace to me. I closed my eyes.”

The recipe itself wasn’t what was so important (although it’s quite tasty), but the connection that is finally beginning between these two! Emma was getting to see a completely different side than what she had experienced back in her hometown. This is the true beginning of them.

The recipe is actually written into the story- in theory someone could just follow how Dom does it and it should turn out a delicious meal. But that’s just the theory, I’ve never followed what I ended up writing into the story directly! ;) So it would be taking a risk. LOL. Below you’ll find one of the many artichoke frittata recipes out there.

Artichoke Frittata (one of the MANY versions out there!)

● 4 artichokes

● 1/2 lemons

● 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

● 2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)

● 150 ml dry white wine

● 1 bunch flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)

● 6 eggs

● 3 tbsps milk

● 2 tbsps butter (for greasing)

● black pepper

1. To prepare the artichokes, remove the tough inedible outer leaves, and cut off the tough tips of the remaining outer leaves. Slice about 2cm from the top of the cone, and cut off the stalk where it joins the base of the leaves. Rub the cut surfaces with the lemon to prevent blackening. Quarter each artichoke lengthways and cut away the prickly central 'choke'. Cut the quarters lengthways into thin wedges. Squeeze lemon juice over them.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

3. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the artichoke wedges and gently fry over low heat until brown on both sides.

4. Add the garlic, white wine and half the parsley. Cover and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes until the artichokes are very tender and the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste.

5. Thoroughly whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add the milk and whisk again.

6. Add the cooked artichokes to the eggs. Season to taste and mix again.

7. Pour the mixture into a thoroughly buttered baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until the eggs are set.

8. Serve warm or cold but not hot.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out what the characters from the Bella Vampires Series are eating and why it matters! :)

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Jesse!

Jesse Kimmel-Freeman was born and raised in the sun-kissed world of Southern California. Jesse has written six novels, four short stories, four illustrated children's books, been part of several anthologies and is actively working on the next pieces to her series. When she isn't hard at work writing, she enjoys spending time with her wonderful children, loving husband, and furry family. They have many adventures and several misadventures, but it all makes for a good story in the end.

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  1. I enjoyed your excerpt from the novel. That's a great way to connect characters. I've never done this with my own people, although my protagonist often prepares or serves food. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I'd never use artichokes because they take such a lot of preparation. ;-)

    1. You can actually buy canned artichokes if you don't want to deal with all the prep! I'm a huge artichoke fan. :) They're yummy. When I wrote out the scene, I combed the net for a tasty dish that just clicked with me as something that would bring the 2 characters together. This was it. :) Thanks for commenting!!