Morton’s Meals

On the publication of Summer Days at the Beach, Author Morton S Gray shares her lockdown recipes and tells us why food features in her novels.

For the last nine months, we have been a household of five after some complications with a house move, which I won’t go into here! Most of the meal preparation has fallen to me and I have found this a little stressful, especially during lockdown when five of us were homeworking and eating three meals a day too. How to keep meals fresh and interesting when the last thing you want to do is to cook again?

Inevitably, some of my staple meals find their way into my books. My husband’s favourite food is beans on cheese on toast, so I can rest assures that if all else fails that meal will be well received by him. (This meal featured in my novel The Truth Lies Buried).

I am always very conscious of the addition of food and drink in my novels. In my latest book, Sunny Days at the Beach, my heroine takes in an abandoned teenager and finds herself making not only packed lunches, but having to think more about meals than when she was a singleton.

Mandy, the heroine, prepares another of my staple meals – bacon, cheese and vegetables with pasta, affectionately known in this house as clean out the fridge pasta! Nick, the teenager  in the book is obsessed by pizza and tries to order it at any restaurant they visit. Nick gets tuna and mayo sandwiches for his school packed lunch and discovers a liking for berry smoothies from the beach-side café.

Sunny Days at the Beach has a gin distiller as a hero. My unsuspecting husband was ‘treated’ to a visit to a gin distillery for his birthday, thinly disguised as my research trip! At the distillery, we learned all about the botanicals, or flavourings, added to the gin to give it a unique taste. I will admit to being fascinated by the possibilities for flavouring  gin  and some of this filters through into the book.

Gin Botanicals

I’m always alarmed by how much tea and coffee my characters drink in a book, but then I drink a fair few cups a day myself!

Clean out the fridge pasta recipe

Ingredients

  • Meat – you can use cooked bacon, ham, cooked chicken or even mushrooms.
  • Vegetables – whatever you have to hand – I usually steam a combination of peas, sweetcorn and edme beans.
  • Cooked pasta.
  • Grated cheese.
  • Mayonnaise (mixed with mustard if you like it).
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

When your ingredients are cooked combine them all in a large saucepan with the cheese, salt and pepper and a generous helping of mayonnaise. Mix and serve. It really is that simple. Enjoy!

About the Author – Morton S Gray

Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won the Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Starcompetition in 2016. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon.

Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried is another romantic suspense novel, The story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is Morton’s first Christmas novella. It is set in her fictional seaside town of Borteen and follows the story of Pippa Freeman, who runs the Rose Court Guest House with her mother, and local policeman Ethan Gibson, as they unravel a family secret as Christmas approaches.

Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

You can catch up with Morton with the following links:-

Website and blog at www.mortonsgray.com

Twitter @MortonSGray

Facebook page – Morton S. Gray Author – https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/morton_s_gray/

About the Book – Sunny Days at the Beach

From party nights at the pub to sunny days at the beach …

Craft shop owner Mandy Vanes has always enjoyed a commitment-free singleton lifestyle — in fact, she’s well-known for her wild ways in her small seaside town on the coast.

But when local teenager, Nick Crossten, turns to her for help, Mandy has the opportunity to prove she can be a responsible adult. Although things get tricky when gin distillery owner Graham Frankley comes to town with some unexpected news.

Could this mean that Mandy the party girl is finally ready to grow up?

Buying Link for Sunny Days at the Beach – https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/sunny-days-at-the-beach/

Meet the Author – Morton S Gray

I’m thrilled to have Morton S Gray on my blog today. Morton’s latest book, The Truth Lies Buried, is now available in paperback and audible as well as all ebook platforms. Morton, like me, loves beautiful Cumbria…

Thank you for inviting me over to your blog, Caroline. When you asked me to Meet the Author, I tried to think of a linking factor between us to spark the blog post and came up with The Lake District! Why? Because your super novel The Best Boomerville Hotel is set there and I have enjoyed many holidays in the area over the years. So, I thought I’d talk about a few snapshots from those visits.

Author Morton Gray

A favourite teenage holiday photograph sees me on the ferry across Lake Windermere. I had just become conscious of what I wore and can still remember the feel of the turquoise flared trousers and green floaty tunic top. I felt amazing.

Fast forward to when my eldest son was small – I used to take him to the Lakes at least once a year. After driving up the motorway, I very often couldn’t face the car for a few days, so we used to explore by bus or ferry and had lots of fun. One year, son insisted on wearing his pirate bandana and carrying his plastic sword all of the time – surprisingly we made lots of friends that year.

Fast forward again and I had my first holiday with my now husband in Bassenthwaite. Hubbie severely overestimated both my level of fitness and the length of walk across the fells I could cope with. I had never climbed that far up a hill in my life and had never seen Windermere laid before me like a map as we were so high up. I think it was when I was exhausted and finding it difficult to put one foot in front of the other on the scree slope on the way down that I began to seriously question whether our relationship had a future! (P.S. we’ve been married sixteen years!)

We’ve had several holidays with youngest son in the Lakes (who if we were celebrities should by rights be called Bassenthwaite, but he gets embarrassed when I say that!), but these days it’s usually hubbie and I on our Lakes holidays whilst youngest son is on some school camp or other.

Our favourite place to stay is Grasmere, as you can walk off in all directions without having to travel in the car. Last year, we stayed at the lovely Daffodil Hotel on the banks of Grasmere Lake. And, no trip to the Lakes is complete without a visit to the wonderful restaurant, The Jumble Room.

Thank you, Caroline, I’ve enjoyed reminiscing about Lakeland holidays, but what I really wanted to tell your readers and that feels almost cheeky now, was about the paperback and audiobook release of my second novel for Choc Lit, The Truth Lies Buried on 12 March 2019. You’ll find details below.

“A brilliant read and I would highly recommend anyone to read either of Morton’s books.”
Amazon Reviewer