The Sugar Queen ***.* by Sarah Addison Allen
I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, where in her words, pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.
and Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. . . the perfect little food corner in blogland.
Living in her mother’s shadow, Josey Cirrini, finds solace in her secret stash of sugary sweets and stockpile of romance novels~
“But food was a comfort. It filled the hollow spaces. And it felt good to hide it, because then she could enjoy it alone without worrying about what others thought, or about letting her mother down.”
Winter is her favorite time of year in the mountains of North Carolina, where she can bundle up, camouflaged in scarves and layered clothing.
“She stuck her head out and took a deep breath. If she could eat the cold air, she would. She thought cold snaps were like cookies, like gingersnaps. In her mind they were made with white chocolate chunks and had a cool, brittle vanilla frosting. They melted like snow in her mouth, turning creamy and warm.”
“It was embarrassing enough being such a sorry excuse for a Southern belle. Her weight, her unfortunate hair, her secret dreams of leaving her mother who needed her, of leaving and never looking back. Respectable daughters took care of their mothers. Respectable daughters did not hide enormous amounts of candy in their closets.”
Josey finds Della Lee, a local waitress in town, hiding in her closet amongst her candy stash. Della Lee takes up residence, hiding out in Josey’s closet, promising to keep her candy stash a secret in exchange for a few favors.
“Josey shook her head, thinking, if Della Lee were a candy, she would be a SweeTart. Not the hard kind that broke your teeth, the chewy kind, the kind you had to work on and mull over, your eyes watering and your lips turning up into a smile you didn’t want to give.”
Della Lee sends Josey out for grilled cheese & tomato sandwich. . .
Josey meets Chloe, sandwich maker extraordinaire…
One of Chloe’s secrets is that since she was little, whether she liked it or not, books appeared when she needed them. (I should be so lucky~although, I have to admit this has happened on occasion~)
Through Della Lee’ s influence, Josey begins to slowly come out of shell and realize there is a world waiting for her outside of her closet and her mother’s shadow.
One of Josey’s many errands for her mother involves her taking her to tea with a friend where they have cucumber sandwiches and raspberry jam puffs~
If I made these sandwiches again, I would use half the amount of onion the recipe calls for~also, the cucumber and onion need to be drained well before mixing with cream cheese.
Chocolate Raspberry Triangle Puffs
Chocolate Raspberry Triangle Puffs Recipe
Nutella (a hazelnut chocolate spread)
1 Egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water for egg wash
Powdered Sugar (optional)
Let Puff Pastry reach room Temp. per directions on box
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cut Puff Pastry into thirds both ways creating squares
Add Nutella diagonally to each square
Add Raspberry Jam
Fold Puff Pastry diagonally, forming a triangle
Brush with egg wash and bake on parchment lined baking sheet
Bake until lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes
Sprinkle powder sugar on top, and let cool.
These were so easy and good~ but then it’s hard to go wrong with raspberry and chocolate!
This book was a quick, *sweet* read, blending food with a dash of magic, toss in a few secrets and surprises along the way~ which is Sarah Addison Allen’s trademark. While I liked it, I didn’t love it. I did love the candy chapters :-) and this quote:
“Books can be possessive, can’t they? You’re walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what’s inside will change your life, but sometimes, you don’t even have to read it. Sometimes it’s a comfort just to have a book around.”