By Melony Carey
Food by the Book
Dr. Temperance Brennan, aka Bones, is the main character in the New York Times bestselling detective series by forensic anthropologist, Kathy Reichs.
Many will be familiar with her fictional persona on the hit tv show “Bones” produced for Fox by Reichs. Fans of the show will be delighted to know that Reichs has penned 19 Temperance Brennan novels and 4 teen novels featuring Brennan’s niece as the lead character.
But aside from the heroines both being forensic scientists and authors, there are few similarities between the tv show and the novels. Whereas the tv heroine works for the fictional Jeffersonian in Washington, D.C., the literary Tempe Brennan works for the Laboratoire Medicine de Legale in Quebec, a job she fell into in the first novel, “Deja Dead” published in 1997.
While vacationing in Quebec after the breakup of her marriage, Brennan helps the Canadian police solve the murder of a teenage girl, forming a partnership that sends her back and forth between Quebec and her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
A recent favorite is “Flash and Bones” (2011) set in Charlotte just as 200,000 fans are pouring into town for Race Week.
When a body is found in a barrel of asphalt near the Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR crew member Wayne Gamble comes to Brennan’s office with the story of his sister’s disappearance 12 years earlier. The plot thickens as the FBI and Center for Disease Control are called in and Race Week festivities are jeopardized.
Reichs is another example of the adage “write what you know.” She is on hiatus as professor of forensic anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. She also consults for the medical examiner’s office in Mecklenberg County, for the State of North Carolina and for Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale in Québec. Her career credentials include helping to identify remains found at Ground Zero after 911, testifying at the UN Tribunal in Rwanda, and identifying war dead from WW II, Korea and southeast Asia.
When in Charlotte try out Queen City BBQ on 6th street. The St. Louis style ribs and pulled pork are delicious and Chef Dan Gibson’s secret family recipes for green bean casserole and macaroni and cheese are fabulous. Enjoy some North Carolina flavors right from your own kitchen that will tickle your bones.
Oven Baked St. Louis Style Ribs with Western N.C. Sauce
3-4 pounds St. Louis style ribs
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Texas Pete Hot Sauce (or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
Combine all ingredients, except ribs, in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer uncovered, allowing to reduce to desired thickness. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When sauce has reached desired thickness, off heat. Cut ribs into serving sizes. Place in greased roasting pan or casserole dish. Sprinkle with garlic salt to taste. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes bone side up. Drain the grease off the ribs. Pour sauce over ribs. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes, basting the ribs 2-3 times during final stage.
Southern Style Green Bean
2 (14.5-ounce) cans cut green beans
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2 slices bacon
1/4 teaspoon granulated brown sugar
1/4 cup minced yellow onion
1/2 cup milk
1 regular can French's French Fried Onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sauté onion with garlic and bacon. Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces.
Empty green beans into 11x7” casserole dish. Combine 2 cans condensed Cream of Mushroom soup with milk, salt, pepper, brown sugar, onion, bacon and half the can of fried onions. Pour soup mixture over Green Beans and mix well. Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through. Stir and top with remaining fried onions.
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
2 ounces Monterrey Jack, shredded
In a large pot of boiling, salted water add a dab of oil then cook the pasta to al dente and drain, about 9 minutes. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat. Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy. Watch the eggs so they don’t scramble in the mix.