Today I have the wonderful and very talented Gwendolyn Kiste on Delicious Horror to talk about a Shirley Jackson favorite! Enjoy the post, and make sure to check out the preorders for Gwendolyn’s forthcoming novel, Boneset & Feathers, one of my most anticipated 2020 reads!
From Gwendolyn: My second novel, Boneset & Feathers, is due out on November 3rd! It’s all about witches, ghost birds, and bones that won’t stay buried. It’s a little bit fairy tale, a little bit folk horror, and a whole lot of bewitching magic! You can pre-order it now from Broken Eye Books.
Gwendolyn Kiste is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens, from Trepidatio Publishing; And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, from JournalStone; the dark fantasy novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, from Broken Eye Books; and the occult horror novelette, The Invention of Ghosts, from Nightscape Press. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Nightmare Magazine, Vastarien, Tor’s Nightfire, Black Static, Daily Science Fiction, Unnerving, Interzone, and LampLight, among others. Originally from Ohio, she now resides on an abandoned horse farm outside of Pittsburgh with her husband, two cats, and not nearly enough ghosts. Find her online at gwendolynkiste.com
Tell us what horror book you chose to highlight and why it’s a favorite of yours:
GK: I had to go with We Have Always Lived in the Castle. It’s been my very favorite book for years now, and Halloween in particular is a wonderful time to revisit it.
There are so many reasons I love this book so much. The prose is achingly beautiful, the characters are richly drawn, the setting is so relatable yet so gothic too. But probably more than anything else, We Have Always Lived in the Castle makes me feel less alone in the world, and I can’t imagine a higher compliment for a work of literature than that.
What did you decide to make to pair with the book, and what from the book inspired your delicious treat?
GK: Food is such an integral part of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, to the point that The Toast did a great article a few years back that listed all the food featured in the book.
That being said, when I think of the novel, what immediately comes to mind are the poisoned sugar bowl and the blackberries that the Blackwood family has for dessert—their last dessert.
So I made what I’m calling Merricat’s Sugar Bowl Surprise: giant sugar cookies paired with berry ice cream.
Ideally, this would have been blackberry ice cream, but since my husband and I are still sheltering at home (and will be for the foreseeable future), I decided to just go with the berries we had on hand, which were blueberries. I figured that as introverts themselves, Merricat and Constance would understand the desire to stay locked up safely at home.
Can you share the recipe or a link to the recipe?
GK: I made some small adjustments to both, but overall, I was inspired by these two recipes:
Blueberry Ice Cream by Taste of Home
Giant Sugar Cookies by Martha Stewart
After all, at Halloween, you can never go wrong with Martha Stewart!