Rhonda Gilliland and her husband are wonderful couple. I read somewhere that some people are born into wonderful families, others have to find or create them. Being a member of a family is a priceless membership that we pay nothing for but love. And these words ringed in my head during our conversation. It was fun to speak to them. I had a lot of positive emotion while I worked on that interview. Rhonda is incredible cooker. Also she is editor and one of the author an anthologies Cooked to Death: Tales of Crime and Cookery and Cooked to Death: More Tales of Crime and Cookery, Volume II: Lying on a Plate. Are you ready for some tasty crimes? JBN: First of all, I love the names of your books. How you came with names like that? Rhonda Gilliland: Well, the name came from when I first edited, it was a co-edit with another author to do the first book, the first Cook to Death and we were having trouble coming up with the name. So, let me just got off the topic and I said, I originally wanted to do this topic on TV, like with the Food network and have something like people acting out the short stories and then may be showing them cooking the recipes and I said, this cooking show is to death and he is like, have a cook to death and I’m like well, that’s a great title. So that’s how the title came about. Just from a short conversation about an idea for TV that we ended up doing in a book. JBN: Wow! It’s a great story. Who teach you coking? How your story started? Rhonda Gilliland: I am kind of self-taught. My mother was a cook and she worked. She was one of the few mothers back in the 70’s who worked full time. So, I cooked the family meals. They were very basic but then I expanded more with when I met my friend’s mothers who were homemakers and cooked so when I just, I am a foodie. I am a gourmet cook. Also, I always took cooking classes in private classes. So, I just love to cook. Now I finally at the kitchen I want to deal with it. JBN: Wonderful, can you remember your greatest one dish which you prepare and may be something that is like, “oh my god, it’s just with me, I couldn’t prepare it.” Rhonda Gilliland: Well, I’m half Irish and half Italian, so I tend to lean towards even I was raised on the Irish side, I tend to lean towards Italian cooking because I’m from upstate New York, Albany New York which is the capital. So, they always have great Italian restaurants. Lot of my family friends, mothers were Italian, so I just loved Italian food and I do have a great Lasagna that I do that, seems to be better than anything else. I can’t even order in a restaurant because I’m always disappointed. So, I just make it at home, people are just wowed by. JBN: It’s great. Oh, they are lucky! Rhonda Gilliland: My husband is Russian Orthodox, we are both converts. Rhonda Gilliland: Just discovering the Russian cooking was a whole new world for me too. I love Borscht but everybody makes it different of course but I love it a lot. I am one of the few people who actually make the cold Borscht, which is you have to get used to eating something pink. I just love it. I think my absolute favorite is Beet salad which is just Beet vinegared. Nowhere else just Beets and peas, wonderful. J BN: Is it was difficult to learn how to make Paska yourself? Rhonda Gilliland: Well, I made sure that somebody taught me so I could see the process, ‘cause it’s a process and now I can do it in my sleep. You really have to, there’s certain recipes you have to see it to do it. That's how it happened and now it’s just—It seems complicated it’s just time needed. You just got to take your time to do it. I like mine, mine’s one of the best. I just love—it’s just like as you can probably tell from the conversation that I am not in one bag I love all nationalities and just want to learn from each one. I have two sons. They are older now but when they were growing up, I said listen, how much you marry a Russian or Asian it’s not going to be a guarantee that they’ll know who to cook, so I taught them everything and they— JBN: So it sounds like is they also a great cook? Rhonda Gilliland: Yeah, they are. JBN: What another cuisine you can prepare? Irish, Italian, Russian and.. Rhonda Gilliland: Well, I had a quite got down to the Greek yet. There are some Asian, during the nativity and great Lent we’ll do the feat of Fast. It’s easy to do a walk to use the walking. But I do that less now that the kids are gone. I just don’t like big meals anymore, just for the holidays, for the holidays I do. JBN: how came idea to do an anthology? Rhonda Gilliland: I’m from the twin cities we live in Saint Fall. I was introduced to the sisters in crime and I was president of the local chair for 3 years. I just met all these amazing authors. I was reading just a reader at the time. Then I came up with the idea to do an anthology and it was an open submission with the book. We were trying to get, we invited a lot of the famous authors from Minnesota, mostly the twin cities. All the three in each book are Minnesota office. A letter from our famous office but others are, it’s the first time writing short stories and also I discovered that lot of the authors of Minnesota love to cook and love to show off their cooking. So they just love this concept. The food, the food angle that gets everybody. JBN: How long it takes to put together all the materials and publish the book? Rhonda Gilliland: Well, it’s like within a year. Gathering the stories, editing them and then putting together, getting the endorsements. We got endorsements from William Ken Kruger, Lloyd Childs and couple of local restaurant owners. Also in this one, yes it is this one, we have Erin Campbell who is with Nadia Case and she won a couple of food network. She was on the food network shows with Holiday baking. So she gave what we call Blurb or an endorsements this year. It was also reviewed by- - this one is reviewed by the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune and Lavender magazine. So I use some of those endorsements for this one too. JBN: On what you work now? Rhonda Gilliland: I found out that I love doing this summer care. I am going to do this as series. So I have just put together volume 3 which is health through the holidays. It is a December holiday story. All the stories are full Christmas and different holidays for that. I am gathering authors for volume 4, Cold Cut Files. I love coming up with names. JBN: Oh it’s great. It’s just love the way you pick up the names! And how look like your usual work routine? Rhonda Gilliland: Well, it’s just putting together the story. It’s one good thing about the short stories is that they don’t come all over once, so you have some time to go through them and so I also have an editor who-- I mean put this together as an editor but then I have an editor to go through the stories and make sure they are the ones who whip up story, know what should be in there and what shouldn’t be in there. I am also very big Yelp.
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Rhonda Gilliland: “I love coming up with names”
Interview
Rhonda Gilliland and her husband are wonderful couple. I read somewhere that some people are born into wonderful families, others have to find or create them. Being a member of a family is a priceless membership that we pay nothing for but love. And these words ringed in my head during our conversation. It was fun to speak to them. I had a lot of positive emotion while I worked on that interview. Rhonda is incredible cooker. Also she is editor and one of the author an anthologies Cooked to Death: Tales of Crime and Cookery and Cooked to Death: More Tales of Crime and Cookery, Volume II: Lying on a Plate. Are you ready for some tasty crimes? JBN: First of all, I love the names of your books. How you came with names like that? Rhonda Gilliland: Well, the name came from when I first edited, it was a co- edit with another author to do the first book, the first Cook to Death and we were having trouble coming up with the name. So, let me just got off the topic and I said, I originally wanted to do this topic on TV, like with the Food network and have something like people acting out the short stories and then may be showing them cooking the recipes and I said, this cooking show is to death and he is like, have a cook to death and I’m like well, that’s a great title. So that’s how the title came about. Just from a short conversation about an idea for TV that we ended up doing in a book. JBN: Wow! It’s a great story. Who teach you coking? How your story started? Rhonda Gilliland: I am kind of self-taught. My mother was a cook and she worked. She was one of the few mothers back in the 70’s who worked full time. So, I cooked the family meals. They were very basic but then I expanded more with when I met my friend’s mothers who were homemakers and cooked so when I just, I am a foodie. I am a gourmet cook. Also, I always took cooking classes in private classes. So, I just love to cook. Now I finally at the kitchen I want to deal with it. JBN: Wonderful, can you remember your greatest one dish which you prepare and may be something that is like, “oh my god, it’s just with me, I couldn’t prepare it.” Rhonda Gilliland: Well, I’m half Irish and half Italian, so I tend to lean towards even I was raised on the Irish side, I tend to lean towards Italian cooking because I’m from upstate New York, Albany New York which is the capital. So, they always have great Italian restaurants. Lot of my family friends, mothers were Italian, so I just loved Italian food and I do have a great Lasagna that I do that, seems to be better than anything else. I can’t even order in a restaurant because I’m always disappointed. So, I just make it at home, people are just wowed by. JBN: It’s great. Oh, they are lucky! Rhonda Gilliland: My husband is Russian Orthodox, we are both converts. Rhonda Gilliland: Just discovering the Russian cooking was a whole new world for me too. I love Borscht but everybody makes it different of course but I love it a lot. I am one of the few people who actually make the cold Borscht, which is you have to get used to eating something pink. I just love it. I think my absolute favorite is Beet salad which is just Beet vinegared. Nowhere else just Beets and peas, wonderful. J BN: Is it was difficult to learn how to make Paska yourself? Rhonda Gilliland: Well, I made sure that somebody taught me so I could see the process, ‘cause it’s a process and now I can do it in my sleep. You really have to, there’s certain recipes you have to see it to do it. That's how it happened and now it’s just—It seems complicated it’s just time needed. You just got to take your time to do it. I like mine, mine’s one of the best. I just love—it’s just like as you can probably tell from the c o n v e r s a t i o n that I am not in one bag I love all n a t i o n a l i t i e s and just want to learn from each one. I have two sons. They are older now but when they were growing up, I said listen, how much you marry a Russian or Asian it’s not going to be a guarantee that they’ll know who to cook, so I taught them everything and they— JBN: So it sounds like is they also a great cook? Rhonda Gilliland: Yeah, they are. JBN: What another cuisine you can prepare? Irish, Italian, Russian and.. Rhonda Gilliland: Well, I had a quite got down to the Greek yet. There are some Asian, during the nativity and great Lent we’ll do the feat of Fast. It’s easy to do a walk to use the walking. But I do that less now that the kids are gone. I just don’t like big meals anymore, just for the holidays, for the holidays I do. JBN: how came idea to do an anthology? Rhonda Gilliland: I’m from the twin cities we live in Saint Fall. I was introduced to the sisters in crime and I was president of the local chair for 3 years. I just met all these amazing authors. I was reading just a reader at the time. Then I came up with the idea to do an anthology and it was an open submission with the book. We were trying to get, we invited a lot of the famous authors from Minnesota, mostly the twin cities. All the three in each book are Minnesota office. A letter from our famous office but others are, it’s the first time writing short stories and also I discovered that lot of the authors of Minnesota love to cook and love to show off their cooking. So they just love this concept. The food, the food angle that gets everybody. JBN: How long it takes to put together all the materials and publish the book? Rhonda Gilliland: Well, it’s like within a year. Gathering the stories, editing them and then putting together, getting the endorsements. We got endorsements from William Ken Kruger, Lloyd Childs and couple of local restaurant owners. Also in this one, yes it is this one, we have Erin Campbell who is with Nadia Case and she won a couple of food network. She was on the food network shows with Holiday baking. So she gave what we call Blurb or an endorsements this year. It was also reviewed by- - this one is reviewed by the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune and Lavender magazine. So I use some of those endorsements for this one too. JBN: On what you work now? Rhonda Gilliland: I found out that I love doing this summer care. I am going to do this as series. So I have just put together volume 3 which is health through the holidays. It is a December holiday story. All the stories are full Christmas and different holidays for that. I am gathering authors for volume 4, Cold Cut Files. I love coming up with names. JBN: Oh it’s great. It’s just love the way you pick up the names! And how look like your usual work routine? Rhonda Gilliland: Well, it’s just putting together the story. It’s one good thing about the short stories is that they don’t come all
Johnson’s Billings News
Interview
Hosted by Johnson Computing
They are read.  We are Quoted!!!
Rhonda Gilliland: “I love coming up with names”