Monday, January 15, 2018

Dine at Julianna Deering's "Death at Thorburn Hall"

Have you ever read a book and thought, "Gasp! This book is about ME!!!"

Image result for death at thorburn hallNot literally, but something in it hits you between the eyes with its familiarity? This happened to me a few times reading Inkwell's own Julianna Deering's Death At Thorburn Hall (excellent mystery--grab it if you haven't already!).

For one thing, there's a female ginger cat in the story, which is somewhat uncommon as most gingers are male, which the characters discuss  But I have a sweet little ginger girl, too, in real life. For another, the book is set in Scotland, just like my current release A Mother For His Family, and coincidentally, certain characters do something illegal that's almost identical. I'll say no more there, except to note that DeAnna (Julianna herself) and I have chatted many times during the writing of our most recent releases, but never about our stories.

But the thing that made me very excited was the inclusion of one of my favorite comfort foods, Rumbledethumps (or as I know them, Rumpledethumps). Drew and company ate this dish in the story, and I'm pleased to inform you they enjoyed it. Of course they did. If I am sad, cold, sick, or it's St. Patrick's Day, this is what I yearn for.

Rumbledethumps is a Scottish dish comprised of potato, cabbage and onion. The Irish have something similar in colcannon, and English have bubble and squeak. Or, if we're branching out a bit, the Germans have sauerkrautauflauf. Rumbledethumps can be a main dish, side dish, or served with sausage or another meat.
CC by-SA 3.0 here Glane23
I'll share my recipe. Unlike "real" rumbledethumps, it includes broccoli, which turns the dish green and makes it the perfect food for St. Patrick's Day. It's also an excellent way to sneak veggies into your kids, or your friends' kids. One little person I know calls this "Miss Susie's green mashed potatoes."

So dive right in, make up a dish, and dine like Drew and Madeleine on holiday at The Open in Scotland.

Susie's Rumpledethumps:

2 lbs. potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks, and boiled until tender
2-3 c. chopped green cabbage
2 leeks, washed and chopped (white part only)
2 c. chopped broccoli
2 T. butter
3/4 c. milk, adding more if necessary
1 t. salt
a few dashes nutmeg
2 c. grated cheddar cheese

While potatoes are cooking, preheat your broiler. Combine vegetables and a half cup of water in a large skillet. Cover and cook around ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

When potatoes are tender, drain the water and mash them with the butter, milk, salt and nutmeg. Combine potatoes and green vegetables. Spread the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is hot.

Enjoy, and pretend you're in Britain!


Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of over a dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her on her website,


  1. Wow, this is great! I have 2 go-to recipes for cabbage and this one looks like it might be another one, along the lines of Lazy Man's Cabbage Rolls, but without the tomato sauce. Will have to try this the next time I have a cabbage. Thanks, Susie.

    1. I love cabbage: fried on the stove, in cole slaw, in vegetable soup, whatever. I hope you enjoy this when you make it!

  2. I think we should just have a food in fiction post every month! I love it. My current Heroine has just had Colcannon!

    1. Ooh I have not had Colcannon, but I really should. It uses kale, as I recall, which is such a trendy food now, LOL. Frankly, anything in mashed potatoes is good. It just is. So how did Heather like it?

  3. I'd have to go with tatties and neeps. I actually have rutabagas in my kitchen waiting for me to get on the ball and make it. But I wasn't eating butter for awhile, and butter makes this (And everything) better!

    1. Rutabagas are something I have no experience with. You will have to post a tatties and neeps recipe! And yes, butter makes everything. I don't think I could be vegan because of butter alone.

  4. Aww, thank you, Susie, for featuring Drew's latest. I didn't really think about it when I was writing, but this actually sounds delicious! And yes to the addition of broccoli. Brilliant! :D

    1. You're most welcome! I felt so kindred to Drew when he was eating it! LOL. And guess what I'm having with dinner tonight... my family isn't shocked, either.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This is also making me think of a dish called Dutch lettuce which is a mashed potato dish too. Rutabagas are hard. They work or turnips (neeps) but both are used. My mother used to make Cockaleekie soup so I was glad to have some in Scotland!


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