A splash of milk swirled in Tremaine’s coffee. The dairy billowed, folded in on itself, and bled across the steaming surface. It was like the unpredictable dreams that plundered his sleep. Dozing off while reading, books had haunted him last night. Leathery tomes had leapt off a high shelf, pages fluttering open like gannet wings, carrying away words as he snatched at them, desperate to capture their knowledge. Tremaine rubbed his groggy eyes. Slurped coffee. His granny had loved the drivel of dreams; a Scotswoman who believed in second sight. Portents, she’d eerily claim, spouting dire warnings. She’d tried to fill his head with her fey rubbish. It had frightened him as a lad. Guzzling caffeine, he read Carlisle’s nightly crime report: thirteen drunk and disorderlies, five assaults, three criminal damages, two burglaries. The Inspector set aside the sheet, drained his mug. His spooky gran was wrong. There were no predictions or prophesies to be found in sleep. It was just nonsense cluttering his brain, leaving him exhausted. He hated ambiguous dreams. Life was cut-and-dried, made brittle by people’s foolish acts.
-- Excerpt from The Stars Prevail
I fell in love with both banoffee pie and sticky toffee pudding when driving across the Highlands of Scotland. Well, the banoffee was devoured near the Anglo-Scottish border, but good desserts have no boundaries. Indeed, check out “Tartan Tastes in Texas” to see just how universally loved these desserts have become.
Since I’ve returned stateside, my erstwhile travel partner/back-road navigator has joined me in the kitchen with Bundt pan in hand to whip up that divine sticky toffee pudding. We’ve bumped into a slight problem ending up with either too much drizzle and not enough date-infused cake or visa versa. As a result, we continuously whip up another batch of either the topping or base depending on what is in shortest supply. Round and round we go, engorging ourselves along the way. Three weeks later, my husband suggested that we simply toss out the leftovers and call it a day.
That’s when I realized I just might have to file for a divorce.
At times, the best part of travel is returning to your B&B, exhausted from exploring ruins, thrilled with the day’s unexpected discoveries, wearing squishy socks from waterside treks, and needing a sweet something to carry you off to dreamland. I heartily recommend banoffee pie (which has both bananas and toffee) or some other distinctly British pudding. After all, anything that involves toffee has got to be good for the soul.
This blog is where I post my inspirations for each book in the Barrington Bay series as well as behind-the-scenes tips, pics, and other tidbits. Feel free to click 'Read More' for in-depth posts.