Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Carolina Wine Country Cooking

One of the most thrilling aspects to Book ‘Em is when a writer reports they met a publisher at the event and as a result their book is now in print. That’s precisely what happened at the Inaugural Book ‘Em North Carolina event this past February when writer, wine connoisseur and chef Ginger King literally ran into Mike Simpson, Publisher at Second Wind Publishing. By the time they parted, both knew it had been more than a chance encounter—Ginger’s book was exactly what Mike had been searching for.

Carolina Wine Country Cooking by Ginger King  was released this month. She will be signing copies of her book at the next Book 'Em North Carolina event on February 23, 2013.


(1) How did you get started writing and how long have you been writing?
In high school, I found joy in most of my writing assignments but was told by an English teacher that I admired very much, "It will never happen."  Over that summer I progressed in a job I held and followed some advice I received from my boss.  He saw good business sense in me I suppose.  That was when my focus shifted into finance and business management.  During college, I was told by a professor that they thought I would make a good investigative journalist.  However at the time my professional business career had already begun, and I was working part time in my field, so I stayed the course in my studies of business.  Over the years I continued to write for myself, poetry, music, short stories.
(2) What do you do when you're not writing?
I have held a few jobs in management accounting and finance positions in local businesses as well as working in large corporate settings for and with world wide fortune 500 companies.  This past fall I transitioned into a new finance roll in higher education where I look forward to learning even more while enjoying life in the shade of gorgeous Carolina pines, cooking with Carolina wines.
(3) How did you select the genre you've written in?
It happened that I didn't set out to only be a food writer.  However it combines two things I am passionate about.  Creating great food for my family and writing.  My opportunity to get published came during the 2012 Book Em' NC event where I met the publisher of my current book.  So here we go.  I can't wait to see what happens next.  It has been so exciting.  When I have time, or when I get a sprite of inspiration, I write fiction too.  I stop and do this even if inspiration comes when I don't have time, making enough notes to get me started when I get time.
(4) Do you have plans for future books? Can you give us a peak into those?
A peak into my coming projects would include additional volumes of Carolina Wine Country Cooking, some with themes and a cast of characters other than the food!  I also have a fiction   series in the works that may be set in familiar territory, woven in the Carolina Vines.
With autumn upon us, it's a great time to try this heart-warming Sweet Potato Soup:
2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
4 ripe plum or vine tomatoes seeded and diced
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 - 15 oz. can beef broth
2 cups white wine (Thistle Meadow Green Apple Riesling)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp salt plus 1 tsp
Pepper and dried basil to garnish top of soup when serving
Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Boil over medium heat in wine/stock mixture. Meanwhile, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. Then add tomatoes, ketchup and one tsp salt. Cook until tomatoes have melted and caramelized with the onions. Add the vinegar and stir. Reserve.

Check the sweet potatoes; insert a fork and if the potatoes are done, they will slide off the fork easily. Drain potatoes, reserving the liquid.

Combine drained sweet potatoes and onions/tomato mixture into blender (or use an immersion blender); add 1 Tbsp salt, 1 cup of cooking liquid and blend. Add more cooking liquid or wine until it reaches desired consistency.

Serving suggestion: serve with parmesan crisps or bacon crumbled on top.


9/29 NC Muscadine Harvest Festival Kenansville NC http://www.muscadineharvestfestival.com/
9/30 Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair Lumberton NC [at the Village Station booth]  http://www.robesoncountyfair.com/
Ginger will be there all day Sunday 9/30 and in the evenings on Monday and Tuesday from 5:30 pm to closing.
10/13 NC Grape Festival Lu Mil Vineyard Dublin NC. http://www.lumilvineyard.com/
The first 100 people to like Ginger's facebook page Gingerwrotewhat will be entered into a drawing to win a set of two rustic wine tumblers. Handcrafted of recycled glass with thick walls and pleasing rounded rim, each tapered glass is hand-etched with stylized grapevines.