Her Sister's Shadow as part of a book tour. A few years later, I reviewed her novel Little Island, again as a part of a book tour. I really enjoyed the honest, down-and-dirty quality of her stories and characters, but then she did it—snuck up and became one of my favorites.
I read her latest book, Vanishing Time, on the plane to New York and back last week. And darnit all if I didn't have to hold in the tears a couple of times. I kind of thought that would happen after reading the description, though. It's a story about Cama Truesdale and her pursuit to find her son, who she believes deep-down is still alive even after her ex-husband was found dead, seemingly from a boat fire that happened on a "boys only" fishing trip the two were taking.
Her return to the South Carolina Low Country, to which she has painful ties, not only brings back painful memories, but also unlocks hidden ones. This thriller is entwined with Gullah culture, which fascinated me and left me wanting to know more about these people from the coast and islands of South Carolina.
Some of the foods mentioned in the book (both Southern and not) were peanut butter and orange marmalade, endive filled with goat cheese, shrimp satay, bread and butter, popcorn, iced chai tea, coffee, milk, bananas, eggs, cheese, cereal, lemonade, crab cakes, french fries, hamburgers, milk, Tang, grilled meat and fried seafood, shrimp and grits, sweet tea, eggs and grits, homemade hot sauce, ribs, boston butt, okra gumbo, tomato pie, bread pudding, red rice, Frogmore stew, fish and seafood, chocolate chip cookies, bourbon, crackers, blueberry corn muffins.
To go along with the vibe of the book, I really wanted to make a traditional Low Country dish, and since one of the things that intrigued me about the story was the culture, I decided to focus on the bit of history that dealt with the rice plantations that used to be a big part of the area. Although simply called "red rice" by the people who come from the area, you'll find it called Gullah red rice, Charleston red rice, and even Savannah red rice if you search the internet.
Today you'll find all sorts of variations on the rice, from no-frills red rice without any add-ins to rice filled with everything from fish to sausage to shrimp to pork. I chose to use shrimp since it also made an appearance in this story. Enjoying a bowl of a classic Gullah dish felt like the perfect connection to the soul of Vanishing Time.
*source: Carolina Gold Plantation
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
bacon, Book Review, book tour, books, Food Inspired by Books, Gullah, Katharine Britton, red rice, rice, seafood, shrimp, Southern, Southern food, Vanishing Time
Gullah Red Rice w/ Shrimp, Bacon & Fennel | Vanishing TimeThursday, August 11, 2016
Michiana-based food writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, dark beer, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.