Last month I joined in the Read, Cook, Eat Challenge hosted by the lovely Galina at Chez Maximka and Chris at Cooking Around the World. While last month I decided to cook Chelsea buns, perfect food from the Secret Garden, the book was one I had not read for a long time. This month I decided to choose a recipe from the novel I was reading at the moment.
In my spare time I have been reading Sycamore Row by John Grisham, a gripping legal thriller set in Mississippi. Seth Hubbard, an elderly man in the final stages of lung cancer commits suicide by hanging himself. The day before he has written a new will, in which he leaves most of his considerable wealth to his black house keeper, cutting out his children and grandchildren. He mails this will to Jake Brigance, a lawyer and charges him to uphold this will at all costs. As you can imagine this is highly controversial and it makes for an edge of the seat legal drama. While there are lots of courtroom scenes and discussions during the trail, unfortunately there is not much food. Not even a pizza made an appearance during the long hours preparing for the trial.
I did find food in two places, after the funeral people bring cakes to the house. Unfortunately there is no description of the type of cake, apart from one the house keeper brings home which is covered in store bought icing and toasted pineapple. This did not sound very exciting. Luckily later in the book the daughter of the black housekeeper visited the lawyers house for dinner. Jake’s wife was making spicy sausage in pasta sauce for the meal. This was my food inspiration and I decided I would make a Southern Style Jambalaya. While not quite spicy sausage in pasta sauce, it does have spicy sausage and rice in it.
Jambalaya is a rice, meat and vegetable dish that comes from the Southern states of America. This is the sort of meal I can imagine them enjoying in Mississippi and sitting down to eat whilst swapping legal chatter. It is simple to cook and filling with a warm spicy flavour, that is perfect for a hot steamy summer night.
You can imagine this being eaten with red wine while the strategy for the case was discussed long into the night. I can see it in a big steaming bowl on the table with people helping themselves to the portion they wanted, with plenty for seconds and thirds.