This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Oh, if ever a book was a perfect match for me it's There's More to Life Than Cupcakes by Poppy Dolan. I loved this book. Adored it. I know it's a Novelicious Book, the first to be published, and yes, maybe I should be a bit more British and reserved and not shout how great it is, being a writer on the Novelicious website and all. But she mentions apple cake and banana bread, lamb curry that has been marinating for 24 hours, rhubarb crumble, Nigella's chocolate & peanut butter cookies, apple chutney, double chocolate cookies, lemon drizzle, cod fillets with chorizo, scones, Victoria sponge, red velvet cake, chocolate mousse cake with a fine hazelnut base, meringues, lemon and poppy seed loaf, beer bread, crepes, Bakewell tart, grilled feta over a juicy slice of lamb in a nice crisp pitta, rustic pizza with cherry tomatoes and anchovies, flapjack… how the list goes, mouthwateringly, on. I mean, how could I NOT adore this book? My mouth salivates throughout. It's a match in foodie heaven.
The difficult bit was choosing which one of the fabulous dishes Poppy enhances her novel with to write about in this column. But I decided it had to be something chocolately. After all, Ellie's new friend Hannah declares, "If a pudding doesn't have chocolate as the number one ingredient, I don't think it's even worth switching the oven on for." I'm with you there, love.
Ellie is a total and utter Food Geek. She adores food, lives for food. Gets a real kick out of receiving a Magimix for Christmas. She bakes and cooks at the end of the working day to wind down and thinks nothing of preparing a beef wellington for her husband after a hard day in the office. Where, incidentally, she has been thinking of food (and ad sales) all day. She goes on a trip to the London Eye and takes some mince pies in a cake tin with her. She helps her friend on her market stall and thoughtfully takes flapjacks and scones to complement their morning coffee.
I want to live in Ellie's world. Baking, thinking about food, working for a foodie magazine, planning food and yes, complaining of the stress of creating major meals but secretly enjoying it. (But hang on, that almost is my life. Was this book based on me?)
All this cooking and baking, however, distracts Ellie from the real question that has been buzzing around her head. Is she, or is she not, ready to be a mother? And the answer to that won't be found in the bottom of the magimix, however much she looks. I've looked for answers to various problems in my KitchenAid and they aren't there. But it does provide a welcome distraction.
As Ellie prayed to "the idol of St Mary of the Berries" that it's only fitting that a Mary Berry roulade recipe is recommended. I've made a lot of roulades in my time, and this one I feel, is the best.