Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Janie Franz and The Bowdancer Series on Recipe Tuesday
Janie Franz is with me today for Recipe Tuesday with a simple, but delicious-sounding recipe, and the story of how she used it in her fantasy series.
The Bowdancer series appears in two trilogies so far. The Bowdancer Sage (The Bowdancer, The Wayfarer’s Road, and Warrior Women) and The Lost Song Trilogy (Verse, Refrain, and Coda). When these books were completed and I started marketing them more as a series instead of individual books, reviewers began to comment on specific elements throughout the series. One was the strong spiritual element; another was the musicial component (songs, chants, and dance sequences). But one reader commented on the food. You wouldn’t think that food would be so prominent in a fantasy series but I have to admit there is a lot of it.
Someone once told me that he enjoyed reading Lord of the Rings because of all of the food mentioned. And, frankly, hobbits do eat a lot and often. So, I shouldn’t be so surprised that readers noticed food as part of this series.
In the Bowdancer Saga, mostly you see mentions of finding wild greens and herbs, how to herb goat stew or enhance rabbit, or using berries to enhance skewered fish over a campfire. And there is the frequent mention of all manner of herbal teas made from found plants.
In The Lost Song Trilogy, however, Jan-nell (the Bowdancer) encounters people of other races who also have special ways with new spices and new foods. Today, I’d like to share a recipe from a food mentioned in Refrain (book two of this trilogy). In the story, one sword dancer (who is also a wonderful cook) pulls out what he calls desert truffles from his pack and proceeds to prepare them to the delight of Jan-nell and her companions. Those desert truffles are actually sweet potatoes. It was an antiquated name I found for them. Here I share a recipe for them fried.
Fried Desert Truffles (Sweet Potatoes)
1-2 Sweet potatoes (depending on how big they are)
Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into ¼-1/2 inch rounds. The size of the slice depends on whether you want a thinner or thicker endproduct. Thinner can be crisper. Thicker have more “meat” to them.
Cover an iron skillet with a thin layer of oil. When it’s hot, carefully add sweet potatoes in a single layer, trying not to crowd them too much. Sprinkle with a little sugar (white or brown).
Cook for about a minute or so. Turn with a spatula or fork. They should look brown on the bottom. If they burn a little, it’s OK. Sprinkle again with a little sugar. Fry for a minute or so.
Put on a plate covered with a paper towel.
Fry the rest of the sweet potatoes the same way.
Serve hot, sprinkled with a little salt. These have a more complex flavor than restaurant sweet potato fries because they have more surface area. Also, the sugar carmalizes for additional flavor.
My mother used to fry them this way when I was a child.
Refrain (The Lost Song Trilogy, Book 2, and Book 5 in the Bowdancer series)
As Jan-nell, her son Bearin, the sensuous hunter Bekar, and trackfinder Chandro continue their quest for the lost song, they make alliances with the virile dark-skinned sword dancers, who serve as bodyguards to a king, and the exotic, handsome beast trainers of the desert. Jan-nell is beset with jealousies, new sexual stirrings, deepening spiritual practices, and a growing bond with one of her companions.
About Janie Franz:
Currently, she is writing her twelfth novel and a self-help book, Standing Strong: Becoming a Woman of Power.