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.
Johnson’s Billings News
Hosted by Johnson Computing
They are read.  We are Quoted!!!
  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   that    I    am    not in    one    bag    I love               all   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.
Johnson’s Billings News
Interview
Hosted by Johnson Computing
They are read.  We are Quoted!!!
  Rhonda Gilliland: “I love coming up with names”