Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spenser for Hire - As a Cook?

Does anyone remember "Spenser for Hire"?

It was a T.V. show in the 1980s, starring Robert Urich as Spenser and Avery Brooks as Hawk. Spenser was a private investigator in Boston and Hawk was a tough-guy enforcer who worked with Spenser. It was filmed on location in Boston. I liked the show. The characters were interesting, and Robert Urich was awfully cute.

"Spenser for Hire" was based on a series of "Spenser" books by Robert B. Parker. I was reminded of the series in 2002 when I heard that Robert Urich had died. I decided to read the Spenser books and read them in consecutive order because the characters evolve. I have them numbered, from one through twenty-three. I think there are a few more recent books that I haven't read yet.

Robert B. Parker - he also wrote the "Jesse Stone" series, upon which the T.V. series starring Tom Selleck is based.

Spenser was an interesting private eye; he quoted poetry and he liked to cook. In every book he cooks, and the dishes are described as he cooks them. They all sounded really good to me, and I remember thinking that one day I would go through the books and write down what he cooks. That's what I am doing now.

Here is the first "Spenser" book:

In this book, Spenser makes Scallops Jacques. He takes a pound of fresh scallops out of the fridge, then cooks them with cream, wine, lemon juice and shallots. He accompanies that meal with homemade biscuits and a bottle of Pouilly Fuisse. Doesn't that sound good?

Later in the book he puts on a pot of rice to cook, then takes four boneless chicken breasts and cooks them with wine, butter, cream and mushrooms. Sounds like my kind of cooking! But he isn't finished yet. He goes on to toss a salad with a dressing made with mint, lime juice, olive oil, honey, and wine vinegar. He serves it all with Rhine wine.

Toward the end of the book he makes breakfast. After starting the coffee, he puts "six homemade German sausages" in a cold pan, starting them on low. Then he slices a "big green apple", dips the slices in flour and fries them in the sausage fat. He drains everything on a paper towel, then eats it with "two big slices of rye bread and wild strawberry jam" and coffee with heavy cream and two sugars. The man knows how to eat!


Gardn Of Weedn said...

Judy, do you get totally involved when you read about people cooking? I can almost smell it in the room where I'm reading. I don't get this response when I read a cookbook, only if the character is doing it.Good writing or mental defect? Dee

judy in ky said...

It might be a little of both, Dee. Yes, I get hungry when I read about the character cooking, if it's something I like. Maybe with cookbooks we are more involved with the technical aspects.