Eating Authors: E. G. Bateman

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Elaine Bateman

I see it every year in social media, and it fills me with delight every time. It’s a simple image of two chocolate bunnies. One has a bite out of its tail and the other has had its ears eaten. The first bunny says, “my butt hurts” and the other replies “what? I can’t hear you.”

Such simple pleasures take on more meaning of late, when people are under so much stress and yet still celebrating and observing major holidays. I hope you’ve managed to find such joy as is available. It’s there if you look. And I say this as someone who has been medically sequestered since early February (longer if you count the 15 days in hospital that preceded it), and even amidst all the cancer complications I still consider myself blessed.

And sometimes too, there is joy in doing the things you always do, which for me includes this blog. The list of Hugo finalists has come out and I’ve reached out to this year’s Astounding Award nominees (well, not, as it happens, the two who have already appeared here). I hope they’ll respond soon. But that’s somewhere in the future. Here and now, let me introduce you to this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, E. G. Bateman.

I first came to know Elaine from her presence on the LMBPN Slack channel, where she’s witty and wry and irreverent. Which is to say, she’s a hoot and a half. She’s also the author of the Faders trilogy. And she has a new book coming out on Wednesday, Legacy of the Shadow’s Blood, the first book of a new series co-authored with Michael Anderle.

Elaine lives in England and makes no apologies with regard to her fondness for chocolate. I wonder if she acquired any chocolate bunnies this past weekend and, if so, which part she bit into first.

LMS: Welcome, Elaine. What stands out as your most memorable meal?

EGB: Five years ago, my mum retired at 75 and planned a holiday she’d always wanted to take: A tour of Los Angeles, the Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas. Her health wasn’t great so she asked me to join her on the adventure. The tour included a sunset horse-ride, followed by dinner at the ranch.

We were collected from Caesar’s Palace and driven out to the ranch. They somehow got my arthritic, 75-year-old mother and her short-fat daughter onto horses, and we rode out for 90 minutes through the beautiful Red Rock Canyon.

Title

Mum’s horse might have had a urinary tract infection because it peed fairly consistently throughout the ride. I’m not a horsey person but my horse and I came to an agreement whereby it would allow me to remain seated if I didn’t impose my Western imperialistic ways upon it, and just let it go wherever it wanted to. 90 minutes later, we were back at the ranch in one piece.

Mother and I supported each other and shared hip-related horror stories from the stable to the outdoor eating area. We filled our plates and staggered to a table. We enjoyed buttered corn-on-the-cob, giant baked potatoes and Jurassic-sized steaks. We chatted to our friends from the tour group, surrounded by walls peppered with tiny lights.

We moved from the chairs, out to a fire pit under the stars. We roasted marshmallows, made s’mores, and listened while two old cowboys played the guitar and sang country songs. One of them looked like John Wayne!

My mum’s no longer with us, but that meal, the horse ride and singing along under the stars in the Nevada desert, remain my fondest memory of her.

Thanks, Elaine. Now, thanks to you, I think I have a rule for a spelling confusion that has always plagued me: desert/desserts. The answer is clearly, the s’mores, the merrier!

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

NB: links to authors and books here are included as part of an Amazon Affiliate account. If you follow any of them and ultimately make a purchase Amazon rewards me with a few pennies of every dollar.

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