In A Catered New Year’s Eve by Isis Crawford, sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons are reunited with a distant relative who wants them to cater a New Year’s Eve event—and help find a guilty party when a guest drops dead.
It’s been years since Bernie and Libby’s parents became estranged from Ada Sinclair’s side of the family—though the reasons for the rift are lost to history. The sisters, however, are intrigued when Ada makes contact. She tells them about the long-ago deaths of her father and his business partner, which happened within hours of each other—and were both ruled accidental.
Ada thinks otherwise—and has a plan. On New Year’s Eve, she’ll gather a group of guests and read from a diary she’s found in her mother’s attic that she thinks will expose the culprit. The Simmons sisters agree to provide refreshments for the bash, and when the night arrives, Ada’s ready to count down to a confession. But as midnight approaches, a guest drops dead. It looks like the menu tonight includes champagne and cyanide . . .
In the tumult, the diary disappears. When Ada is arrested for murder, she’ll have to hope that Bernie and Libby can provide a resolution before the clock runs out.
Grab a comfortable seat to enjoy A Catered New Year’s Eve with a teacup of your favorite tea and a slice of Steamed Honey Cake! Get the sumptuous recipe below!
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons cardamom
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Optional: ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Generously grease a 2-quart steaming mold.
- Beat together eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. In another separate bowl combine oil, honey, coffee, and vanilla. Add wet and dry ingredients to egg mixture alternately, mixing well after each addition. Stir in walnuts if using.
- Spoon batter into steaming mold. Place a canning ring or canning jar ring in base of a large pot. Put mold on ring. Fill pot with water up to half the height of mold. Place a lid on large pot. Bring water to a simmer and simmer for 2 ½ hours. Remove from water. Place mold on cooling rack and remove top. Unmold once cool.
Note: At the conclusion of the Jewish High Holy Days, which mark the beginning of the Jewish New Year, it’s traditional to serve apples and honey or honey cake at the celebratory meal to make sure that the new year is sweet. This recipe for a steamed honey cake is from Isis Crawford’s friend Sarah Saulson, who is an excellent cook and baker. She has adapted it from Gil Marks’s “Lekach” from his The World of Jewish Cooking.
About The Author
Isis Crawford was born in Egypt to parents who were in the diplomatic corps. When she was five, her family returned to the States, where her mother opened a restaurant in Upper Westchester County and her father became a university professor. Since then Isis has combined her parents’ love of food and travel by running a catering service as well as penning numerous travel-related articles about places ranging from Omsk to Paraguay. Married, with twin boys, she presently resides in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, where she is working on the next Bernie and Libby culinary mystery. Readers can visit her website at IsisCrawford.com.