They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so is it any wonder that when we write about love we often write about food as well? At its most elemental, the provision of food demonstrates that we can nurture and sustain, qualities we also look for in a partner.
But it goes beyond that. Survival is one thing but cooking – applying heat and natural salts and acids to raw ingredients and combining them to create a meal – is about love and friendship, sharing and creativity.
I’m going to be dedicating Wednesdays on my blog to Cooking The Books. I want to explore the books I love and the food in them.
But like a big, old-fashioned progressive dinner, I don’t want to do it alone.
I’d love you to contribute by talking about the food in your latest book. Is it an Arabian desert repast served by men in funny trousers or a Regency banquet served by, well, men in funny trousers?
The books don’t need to be traditional romances. Who could forget the stunning meal in Isak Dinesen’s Babette’s Feast and the electrifying effect it had on isolated people starved of love and good food?
Off the top of my head, I’m thinking classic Nora Roberts. In Born In Ice, Brianna cooked up a storm in her Irish b&b and captured the heart of writer Grayson. In Dance On Air, Nell’s muffins and cinnamon rolls had Sheriff Zachary Todd on her doorstep every day. And who can forget the gorgeous Cameron Quinn falling for fiery Anna and her Italian red sauce in the Chesapeake Bay series?
And another of my favourites, Shirley Jump’s The Bachelor Preferred Pastry even provides cheekily named recipes as chapter headings.
So what about you? I’m going to kick it off on Tuesday 16th January by talking about a dish featured in Her Italian Aristocrat. But I’d love you to apron up, grab a whisk (or pen) and tell me about the food in your latest book or in a book you love. If you want to supply a recipe, so much the better.
Please contact me to book a spot on Cooking The Books.
Bon appétit and happy reading!