Are there frustrating days in your life when the only thing that brings relief is a generous helping of your favorite comfort food? Days that you would give up winning the lottery for a helping of your mother’s mac and cheese or Aunt Eunice’s mashed potatoes?

Nell Endicott feels this urge in Murder Wears Mittens when the seaside knitters are faced with a grisly death—a crime that pulls a young mother of two into its suffocating web.  To bring calm and focus while they ponder the perplexing murder of Dolores Cardozo, she arrives at Thursday night knitting with Izzy, Cass, and Birdie carrying her favorite comfort food.

 Q: Is Nell’s comfort food the same as yours? Can you identify it from this sprinkling of details?

  • A splash of red wine. . .
  • Sweet, caramelized onions. . .
  • Bacon and savory tomato sauce?

 It proves to be the perfect choice one Thursday in autumn in Murder Wears Mittens.

A: Nell’s wine, bacon, and caramelized onion meatloaf (Serves 6 to 8)

Ingredients
3 cups sliced yellow onions
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 T fresh flat leafed parsley finely chopped
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 t Dijon mustard
2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs (Nell likes to use Panko crumbs)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
½ cup milk
1 ¼ red wine (Nell always uses wine she likes to drink, not cooking wine)
6 ounces thin sliced bacon
Good quality olive oil

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut onions in half, then slice.

Coat the bottom of the pan with 1T olive oil, or a mixture of olive oil and butter. Heat pan on medium high heat. Add garlic until fragrant, then add onion slices and stir to coat the onions with the oil. Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring only occasionally, enough so they don’t burn. Add wine to pan and cook five more minutes

Add the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chicken stock, and tomato paste to onions and cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion/wine mixture, breadcrumbs, herbs, S&P, and eggs. Mix lightly with a fork. Add milk. If mixture sticks to bowl, add a little more milk.

Put a sheet of parchment paper on a baking pan. Wet hands and shape into a rectangular loaf. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Arrange bacon slices across loaf, overlapping the slices slightly and tucking them under to avoid curling.

Bake until bacon is crisp (about 1 to 1 1/4 hours) and the meat loaf is cooked through (160 degrees).

A pan of hot water beneath the loaf may keep the top from cracking. Allow to sit for 15 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

 

As autumn washes over coastal Sea Harbor, Massachusetts, the Seaside Knitters anticipate a relaxing off-season. But when murder shatters the peace, the craftiest bunch in town must unravel a killer’s deadly scheme . . .

After retrieving fresh lobster nets from a local Laundromat, Cass Halloran rushes to attend a last-minute gathering with her knitting circle. But Cass can’t stop worrying about the lonely boy seen hanging around the dryers, and the school uniform he left behind in a hurry. When the ladies return the lost clothing the next day, they find the child and his younger sister alone, seemingly abandoned by their mother . . .

The knitters intend to facilitate a family reunion, not investigate a crime. But the death of Dolores Cardozo, a recluse from the edge of town, throws the group for a loop. Especially when the missing mother and one of their own become tied to the victim’s hidden fortune—and her murder . . .

Before scandalous secrets break bonds and rumors tear Sea Harbor apart, the Seaside Knitters need to string together the truth about Dolores—while preventing a greedy murderer from making another move!

Includes a knitting pattern

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