One of the only good things about my long tube commute is the chance i have to read books – on the odd occasion I actually manage to get a seat on the tube, I like to switch on my kindle and escape into another world for 30 minutes, until I realise I am just about to miss my stop and rush off the train like a lunatic. I can easily get through an average sized novel in a week, so I am always on the look out for new books to read.
So when I was asked to review a book because of this blog, I was very happy to agree. Not only did I get a free copy of the book (I do love a freebie), but I immediately started imagining the prospect of what else I might be asked to review in future … more books, chocolate, lovely cakes, cookery equipment etc … I had brief daydreams of arriving home from work and having to force the front door open because of the pile of foodie freebies piling up with the post.
Then I started worrying what to do if the book was rubbish. The author seemed like a lovely person – I’d feel mean about trashing her novel … would I have to pretend I hadn’t had time to read it and ignore her emails? Fortunately Cooking up a Storm by Sue Welfare was a great little read and I am happy and relieved to report back that it’s worth downloading a copy from Amazon.
Cooking up a Storm is a romantic comedy novel which introduces us to Sarah – a mum of two who’s life is about to change completely when her marriage breaks down. What makes Cooking up a Storm different to any other chick-lit book I have read is that the story revolves heavily around food, and includes recipes for each of the dishes in the book. So when you are reading about the delicious cheese on toast Sarah makes, and think “mmmm, I could just do with a slice of that right now”, the recipe (should you need it) is at the end of the chapter.
And whilst some of the recipes might be a tad basic for some foodies, the overall storyline of the book will appeal to anyone who enjoys eating, cooking, or dreaming about all the lovely appliances that you would love to fill your dream kitchen with. I drifted off into my own daydreams a couple of times, imagining how wonderful it would be if some of those things happened to me as well (not the bits, needless to say, which included Sarah’s hideously awful ex-husband!).
In fact, a couple of the recipes did make my mouth water to such an extent that I had to make them for dinner last week, and I was really impressed with the results. I cooked sea bass (fillets, because like Kit I am also squeamish about gutting and boning whole fish) with garlic and herbs, and served them with chorizo, spinach and tomato gnocchi, which is one of the nicest things I have eaten. Photos are at the bottom of this post.
I went on to Amazon after finishing Cooking up a Storm and saw that Sue has written several others – I’ll definitely buy more of her novels as even if they don’t have a cookery theme I am sure I’ll enjoy her witty style, believable characters and amusing stories.
You can buy Cooking up a Storm by Sue Welfare on Amazon.