By Kate Carlisle, author of BURIED IN BOOKS
Since I was a little girl, I’ve loved books. I don’t mean just reading; I mean that I have loved books as objets d’art. When other kids were going to summer camp, I was taking bookbinding classes at the library.
So when I set out to write a traditional mystery series, it made perfect sense for me to tap into my passion for books. San Francisco Bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright solves murders that are linked to a rare book in her care, and each modern-day mystery echoes the themes of that rare book. It’s a puzzle within a mystery, as readers look for those echoed themes.
It makes plotting the Bibliophile Mysteries so much fun!
In Buried in Books, my latest Bibliophile Mystery, a library convention has come to town the week before Brooklyn’s wedding. (Inspired by the enthusiastic fangirl librarians at the American Library Association annual conference, which I attended a few years ago. Book nerds—my people!) I put those together—wedding, library convention—and decided to come up with some recipes for book-shaped appetizers. You’ll find printable versions of these recipes in the Secret Room at KateCarlisle.com. (Plus main dish and drink recipes in Buried in Books itself.) These would be the perfect appetizers to serve at book club!
This recipe takes some advance planning because it will take a while for the phyllo dough (aka fillo dough) to thaw.
Dice the mushroom finely and sauté in butter. Mushrooms get quite watery as they cook. You need to keep cooking them over medium-low heat until most of this moisture evaporates, about 15 minutes. Then add the garlic for about a minute, then add the wine and thyme. (At my house, it’s always wine time! Snork!!!) You’ll continue cooking until the mixture is dry, about 10 minutes longer.
Phyllo dough is fragile. As you work with each sheet, cover the rest of the roll with plastic wrap and a slightly damp paper towel. On a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, place a single sheet of phyllo dough. Brush delicately with olive oil. (I used garlic-flavored olive oil.) Add another sheet on top, trying to line up the edges as best you can. Repeat until you have a stack of 5 sheets, each brushed with olive oil.
About an inch from each edge, carefully spoon a row of mushrooms down the length of the phyllo. You’re going to fold the edges toward the center to make two sets of books.
Cut the rows apart with kitchen shears, then cut each row into five books. This will give you 10 mini mushroom books from each stack of 5 sheets of phyllo dough. Bake at 350 until golden brown and crispy, 10-12 minutes. Makes 40.