Karen’s Killer Fixin’s
with DANIELLE R. GRAHAM!
Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, DANIELLE R. GRAHAM, and her favorite recipe for SLOW COOKER COCONUT QUINOA CURRY!
For fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz
‘Heart-wrenching. Emotional. A powerful story of wartime love and devotion’ Glynis Peters, author of The Secret Orphan
A powerful and incredibly moving historical novel inspired by an untold story of the Second World War.
As the war rages around the world, Hitler’s fury is yet to be felt on the peaceful shores of Mayne Island. Sweethearts Hayden and Chidori are in love.
But everything changes after Pearl Harbor.
Now seen as the enemy, Chidori and her family are forced into an internment camp. Powerless to help them, Hayden joins the air force to bring about an end to this devastating war – the thought of Chidori is all that keeps him alive.
Can they both survive long enough to be reunited? Or will the war separate their love?
The Italian Campaign, World War II, April 1944
‘Hayden. Wait up.’ Gordie jogged to catch up to me as I made my way from the intelligence tent to the flight strip. Our orders were to escort the bomber squadron to target a train transporting enemy supplies through Italy. ‘Maybe you shouldn’t fly today, pal.’ Gordie matched my stride and thudded his palm against my shoulder.
I couldn’t afford to miss a flight. We were only seventeen more missions from being reassigned and I was determined to do whatever it took to go home. ‘I’m fine,’ I mumbled, then wove against the flow of the night airmen who were headed to the mess tent for a cup of weak coffee and a breakfast of dry egg and toast.
‘Are you sure?’ Gordie asked. ‘You weren’t even paying attention back there. I don’t want to get killed because your head is somewhere else.’
My jaw tightened at the reminder of the curt letter from my father folded in the lining of my breast pocket. The truth was I hadn’t slept or eaten since I received the post. And Gordie was right. I hadn’t listened to anything our commanding officer had said during the briefing, other than noting where the die bomb line was to protect the Allied troops on the ground. I didn’t need to pay attention. I knew the orders by heart. We’d done the same routine hundreds of times in the months we’d been stationed close to the Gustav Line – fly the sortie, avoid flak, and return with everyone in the squadron. ‘I’m fine to fly.’
The tread of my boot gripped the metal of the wing as I climbed up onto my airplane to double-check the airscrew pitch. Gordie hung out next to the rudder and squinted through the glare of the Mediterranean sun to shoot me an uneasy glance. ‘Nobody’s going to question if you sit this one out. It would be safer for all of us if you take some time to grieve, maybe talk to the chaplain.’
‘Time off won’t help. Sitting around here without a distraction would be worse.’ I checked the oxygen and pressure for the gun system, then hopped back down to the tarmac to wait for the siren. ‘And talking about it doesn’t change what happened. The only thing that would have made a difference is if I had been there. And I wasn’t.’
As the ground crew armed his Spitfire, Gordie performed a set of jumping jacks to get the blood flowing. Between breaths and bounces he said, ‘It might have ended in the same result even if you had been there. There’s no way of knowing.’
Annoyed that he was probably right, I forced the buckle on my flotation vest too abruptly and it broke off in my hand. ‘Hey!’ I hollered over to a gangly crewman speeding by on a bicycle. ‘Grab me another Mae West, would you? This one failed.’ The kid thrust his thumb in the air and pedalled harder to fetch a new vest from the supply tent. Gordie transitioned his calisthenics into side bends and hamstring stretches and waited patiently to finish the conversation. A conversation I wanted nothing to do with.
‘You can’t blame yourself, Hayden. There isn’t anything you could have done.’
That was the whole point. It was infuriating that I was powerless to change the outcome from overseas. ‘If I’d had a chance to talk to her—’
Gordie shook his head to disagree and loosened his necktie an extra finger-width. ‘It doesn’t work that way.’
‘No? How does it work then?’
He shrugged and arched to look at the sky to stretch his lower back. ‘All I know is there are certain things nobody can do anything about, and this is one of them.’
More and more it felt like fighting a war was one of those futile things too. What if all my efforts were pointless? And all for nothing? I stretched my leather helmet and goggles over my ears and swallowed back the helplessness of being unable to fix anything. ‘What if everything back home changes so much while we’re here that we don’t recognize it when we get back?’
Gordie thought about it seriously as he forced his beefy hands into his leather gloves. ‘I’m more worried they’ll all be the same and expect me to be the same. The war has changed me. I can’t go back to my old life the way it was.’
‘Yeah, well.’ I exhaled as much useless tension as I could, but an entire war’s worth of fury had taken up a hefty residence inside my chest. ‘I enjoyed my old life. I want it back.’
Gordie cuffed the back of my head in an unsuccessful attempt to bolster my morale. ‘Let’s just worry about getting home alive first. We can decide what we want to do with that life later.’
I nodded in reluctant agreement. The Royal Air Force petrol refuellers linked the hose to my tank and the vapours mixed with the fumes of the freshly painted yellow, blue, white and red rings of the side roundel of the seven-crew Lancaster heavy night bomber next to us. Gordie headed over to inspect his machine as the crewman on the bike returned with my new flotation device. I squeezed my head through, rearranged the parachute seat pack straps and climbed back up onto the wing of my Spitfire, attempting to push away all thoughts from my mind, except the mission.
High cloud, pleasant spring temperatures – a perfect day to fly.
As I waited for the signal to fire up, I slid out the photo that I kept hidden in the lining of my breast pocket. Some days it felt as if Chidori was glancing back at me with encouragement or adoration, but not this time. Her eyes pleaded with me, trying to tell me something. Unfortunately I didn’t know what, and the frustration forced tears to well up and blur my vision, so I tucked the photo away next to my father’s letter. I would have given anything to forget the anguishing news from home and focus instead on better thoughts, but it felt as if all the pleasant memories of Mayne Island before the war – Chidori, my family, my Border collie, Patch, and even pleasures as simple as the sticky buns at the fall fair – were eroding, fading farther and farther into the past with every year I was gone. I feared it wouldn’t be long before all of the good memories were lost forever, replaced one by one with increasingly painful memories.
Holding position on the airstrip when the anticipation of a mission was already hammering through my system had always been aggravating. The delays were even more torturous in the irritable state I was in. The mercury rose under the cockpit shield as I was forced to wait. Every single thing that could possibly go wrong on a flight over enemy-occupied territory inched into my awareness and collided with all the other turmoil that was already holding court in my thoughts. The wool collar of my uniform scratched almost unbearably at my neck.
When the green lantern finally flashed, my engine choked, like a kid trying a cigarette for the first time. The tower signalled for the spare Spitfire but after a stutter, my machine roared to life. I should have taken the falter as an omen. Instead, I waved off the spare and taxied out onto the flare path for takeoff.
Danielle R. Graham is a multi-published cross-genre author with HarperCollins. From romantic and sweet to edgy and historical, D.R. Graham’s novels blend genres and break boundaries.
Danielle is also an art and play therapist in private practice. Her romance, suspense, and psychological thrillers deal with issues relevant to teens and new adults in love, transition, or crisis.
She splits time between Vancouver and Mayne Island, British Columbia with her husband.
Links to Danielle‘s Website, blog, books, etc.
I hope you enjoy the recipe Danielle is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 456 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
SLOW COOKER COCONUT QUINOA CURRY
This healthy coconut quinoa curry is one of the easiest meals you’ll ever make. Just toss all the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook!
Course Main Course
Keyword coconut, curry, slow cooker
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 289 kcal
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled + chopped (about 3 cups)
- 1 large broccoli crown cut into florets (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 white onion diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 15 oz can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 14.5 oz cans coconut milk (either full fat or lite)
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 2 garlic cloves minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric or 1 teaspoon ground
- 2 teaspoon wheat free tamari sauce
- 1 teaspoon miso or additional tamari
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili flakes
Add all ingredients to a slow cooker, starting with 1 cup of water. Stir until everything is fully incorporated.
- Turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 3-4 hours until sweet potato cooks through and the curry has thickened.
Thanks, Danielle, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!