One of the more popular tropes in a romance novel is the inclusion of at least one hearty, detailed meal set out for the characters. This is, in part, to show they need to eat in order to continue swashing and buckling, and in part to show we authors have done our due diligence as to what people ate in that particular time period. I am no less guilty of having my characters dine on such exotics as stuffed swans, syllabubs, wild boar in mustard sauce. I have written novels set in Medieval England where tomatoes were considered poisonous and turnips were king. I've also researched foodstuffs eaten in 18th century Scotland, in the Spanish Main of the 17th century, as well as in the Old West. Being the curious sort, I wondered what the characters in my books would make of today's cuisine. I suspect some might balk at spaghetti, since it is made with tomato sauce. Others would not know what to make of potato salad or mac and cheese, or for that matter, pasta itself.
So I sat down and tried to think of what I would serve my handsome, lusty heroes if they came to dinner. I've included a brief excerpt from each book that serves to describe my featured guests and tried to match them up to some of my favorite recipes. As for the recipes themselves, they are ones I make quite frequently for family or friends. Some have even been closely guarded secrets that have not been shared despite all manner of begging and bribes.