Hi, all! Thanks to everyone at The Novel Approach for having me today. 🙂 I’m here to talk about my new release, Hook, Line, & Sinker. First, a little bit about the book. It’s a spin-off for one of the secondary characters from Wood, Screws, & Nails, which came out earlier this year, but if the older/younger man premise of WS&N wasn’t your thing, this Hook, Line, & Sinker can also stand alone without any confusion.
This is the story of Blake Kowalski and his love interest, Castor McCormick. Blake comes from a Polish background and his mother very strongly believes that Polish cuisine is the best cuisine. I mentioned several different dishes in the book, and since Poppy Dennison and I recently started a monthly spot here at The Novel Approach featuring recipes inspired by various books, I thought it would be cool to focus this post on the food in Hook, Line, & Sinker as well.
One of the first things Cas and Blake eat together is Karina’s (Blake’s mother) kielbasa and cabbage—and you know I had to throw in some sausage innuendos in the book, because, honestly, how I could I resist?
If you search for popular Polish foods, kielbasa and cabbage will always be on the list. It’s a classic, and it’s damn tasty. If you’re a sausage fan and you haven’t tried it, check out the recipe I just linked. And for dessert, the boys have kolaczki, which I’m sure most of you have heard of. It’s not entirely certain who invited these cookies, but they’re very popular in Polish households around the holidays. The dough is flaky and made with cream cheese, and the fillings can vary, but in the story, Karina makes them using apricot and raspberry preserves. They are extremely easy to make, so if you’re looking for a cookie to add your repertoire, I highly recommend them! My family is Puerto Rican, but my mom makes them every year.
Another classic in Polish cuisine is pierogi. Karina is shown making them in one scene. Mmm, pierogi. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re dumplings traditionally stuffed with potato, sauerkraut, and some kind of meat or cheese, but of course they can be filled with just about anything, and they can be both savory and sweet. Oftentimes, they’re served with sour cream on the side.
Did you know, whenpierogi were first created they were thought of as food for peasants? That didn’t last too long, because even the upper classes realized how delicious these things are. Little, fluffy pillows of yummy goodness.Nowadays, they’re popular in numerous European countries as well as anywhere in the States with a high concentration of Polish people. Chicago, where this story is set in part, has a huge Polish community.
And last but not least, we have gołąbki, which is one of Blake’s favorite dishes. These are cabbage rolls typically stuffed with minced pork or beef, onions, and rice and served in a creamy tomato sauce and sometimes paired with mashed potatoes. Often, they’re served on festive occasions, and there’s actually a myth in Polish culture that says the King of Poland, Casimir IV Jagiello, fed his army gołąbki before an important battle against the Teutonic Order during the Thirteen Year’s War. Supposedly, their victory stemmed from the strength they received from this hearty meal. Is it true? Who knows? But if you ever plan to take part in a crucial battle, I’d say it couldn’t hurt. 😉
Have you tried any of these? Do you have any favorite Polish recipes? It was hard to limit myself to what foods to mention when there are so many delicious dishes out there, but for Blake and his family, food has always played an important role, so I wanted to make sure I paid tribute to that.
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BLURB: When they were teens, Castor McCormick was the bane of Blake Kowalski’s existence. Their mutual animosity led to summers filled with rivalry. Now, nearly two decades later, Cas is moving back into the neighborhood to live in his grandmother’s old house. Blake tells himself he isn’t interested in seeing how snarky little Cas grew up, but when his mother dupes him into visiting his former nemesis, he finds out “pretty” can evolve into “sexy as hell” on the right man.
Cas didn’t think he wanted to see Blake again. No one has ever pushed his buttons like the arrogant boy he remembers from their youth. Turns out, the adult version of Blake still gets him hot under the collar—and everywhere else. With Blake on leave from work to nurse an injured leg and Cas taking time to move and unpack, they form a tentative friendship that turns into a sexual affair neither man can deny. But when Cas’s job sends him out of state to deal with a difficult client, their new relationship will be tested, and if they fail, Blake’s broken leg might not be the only thing to end up scarred.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 19, 2014
Piper Vaughn Bio: Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.