Do you prefer sweet or savoury foods (ie cheese or chocolate)?
Mostly savoury. Unless it’s chocolate. Dark chocolate. Then stay out of my way.
2. Red wine or white?
Yes, thanks. (LOL.)
3. Do you have a favourite food memory?
When I was a kid, my mother used to do a lot of entertaining for my father’s colleagues at a prestigious Ivy League University. She made elaborate desserts she’d never serve to the family.
So I’d hang around hoping somebody wouldn’t take a dessert and I’d help clear the table and scarf the leftovers as soon as I got to the kitchen. My favorite was the chocolate angel pie I’ve got the recipe for here.
4. Does food feature in your novel(s)?
Very much. Especially in Food of Love. It’s all about dieting and how women are united by the pressure to diminish ourselves by starvation. (Which creates cravings many researchers believe are one of the major causes of obesity.)
I have a scene where Princess Regina, a former supermodel married to the ruler of a small European principality, has
been running from an unknown assassin and is now lying wounded on the edge of a cliff in California. She comes to the realization that the killer may have been hired by her husband.
There was no getting around it now. She was married to a monster.
The horror of it, and the enormity of the lie she’d been living all these years fell upon Regina like a weight, pressing her deeper into the cold earth. All that irrational hate. Why did Max hate her? Because she was a woman? Because she had
desired him? Because she was fat?
That was it.
Of course. She was fat. Everyone hated a fat woman. All that uncontrolled female flesh, hanging out for all to see. Fat was the worst shame of all. It proclaimed its own guilt, its own wicked self-pleasuring.
To be fat was the ultimate sin of the flesh in the contemporary world, worse than drug addiction, illicit sex, thievery, or the occasional hacking to death of an ex-wife and her lover. One had only to glance at the tabloids. Any retired actress or model could be pilloried mercilessly for the sin of fat. It was the irredeemable scandal, the most humiliating possible disgrace. Better to be dead.
To be dead. She rolled over on her side and looked out at the ocean, listening to it roar. A few more rolls, and she’d be over the side. Part of that ocean. One with the universe. Gone. No longer a hungry, lustful, useless fat woman.
Why not? The funeral was already planned. The Vice President of the United States would be there.
And as she stared down over the cliff, and the roar of the sea grew louder, she felt strangely light and free. She made one more roll toward the edge and looked down at the dark water and frothy waves. Like chocolate and whipped cream. Like Leona’s Chocolate Angel Pie.
It had been so long since Regina had let herself eat real chocolate, and she’d left the clinic before getting Nigel’s Cadbury bar. How long before that had she been surviving on boring, fat-free food, carefully prepared by the well-meaning Titiana? Months? Years? But even with the hunger, the boredom, and the weary hours spent in the exercise room, she kept getting fatter, her glacial metabolism programmed to survive on nothing from the years of anorexia. What did she have to look forward to if she lived, but more suffering, more fat, and more of the endless humiliation in the
She wasn’t sure she believed in heaven, but if there was one, she knew they would have chocolate there.
5. What recipe are you sharing with us and why?
Regina has a recurring fantasy about the Chocolate Angel Pie made in a bakery in Boston by her friend’s mom, Leona. This is the recipe, with a little Amaretto added. (Because Regina tends to drink it by the tumblerful.)
Amaretto Chocolate Angel Pie
2 egg whites (I use the EggBeaters kind in the little carton. Never been good at separating
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp Amaretto
2 Tbsp strong dark-roast coffee (or 4 if you want to skip the Amaretto.)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Place egg whites in a small bowl and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add cream of tartar and beat on
medium speed until you get soft peaks. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until soft glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread evenly into a well-greased 9-in. pie pan. Bake at 275° for 50 minutes. Cool on
a wire rack.
For filling, melt chocolate in microwave; sir until smooth. Stir in Amaretto, coffee and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
In a chilled small bowl, beat cream into soft peaks. Fold (a little over) half into chocolate mixture. Pour into the
meringue shell. Refrigerate, for several hours before serving. Top with reserved whipped cream. Yield: 6-8
Anne R. Allen is a former actress and stage director who lives on the Central Coast of California. She’s the author of six romantic-comedy mysteries, including FOOD OF LOVE. Her newest is NO PLACE LIKE HOME.
Until the end of February 2013, her mystery, SHERWOOD, LTD is FREE on KOBOand Smashwords. It is also available in paperback from Amazon.
It's inspired by Anne's own misadventures with her first publishers, an outlaw band of Englishmen following their own self-styled Robin Hood.
She has written a guidebook for authors with Catherine Ryan Hyde (author of the iconic novel Pay it Forward.) HOW
TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE…AND KEEP YOUR E-SANITY!
She shares an award-winning blog with NYT bestselling author Ruth Harris at Anne R. Allen’s Blog…with Ruth Harris
Anne’s Author page at Amazon.com