This week’s guest is debut author, Alissa Callen, who shares a heartwarming story about using food in a very unusual and creative way. Her recipes took me straight back to childhood and the simple pleasure to be had from cramming one’s mouth full of things almost totally comprised of sugar and butter.
Not only is Alissa a talented writer with – wait for it – two releases out simultaneously (see the bottom of the post), but she’s an especially nice person. Welcome, Alissa!
Thanks so much Louise for having me on your scrumptious blog. What Love Sounds Like is a story filled with self-discovery, romance and sugar-loaded foods starting with the sound ‘c’. Mia Windsor, an outback speech pathologist, uses food as a fun way for orphaned four-year-old Tilly to practice her clear ‘c’ talking. Whether it be eating pop corn to discover where the back of the throat ‘c’ sound comes from or using fruit loops to make the sound correctly, food is a vital ingredient of Tilly’s speech therapy. But in What Love Sounds Like food also serves a symbolic purpose.
Corporate-cynic, Kade Reid adheres to a single edict, money is as important as breathing. To a man denied a childhood, who had share portfolios instead of toys, food is purely for sustenance and not to be savoured. When he enters the drawing room of historic Berrilea and sees his ward, Tilly, dressed in a mini chef’s hat and apron ready for her first speech therapy lesson he is far from happy. But slowly he is drawn into Mia and Tilly’s world of popcorn, ice-cream and chocolate chip cookies. When he brings home gelato from a Sydney business trip and initiates a picnic by the river, the tubs of gelato symbolize that he is embracing his feelings as well as his taste-buds.
Food is also symbolic for Mia Windsor. It is through food that she communicates the emotions that she refuses to acknowledge. To protect against abandonment she shrink-wraps herself in professionalism and stifles all yearnings for love or a family. But through cooking with Tilly and making Kade the birthday cake he’d never had, Mia reveals she is far from detached.
So, food, on all levels, is an integral component of What Love Sounds Like. Food helps Tilly master the ‘c’ sound. Food links Kade to the childhood he’d never had. And for Mia, food proves that beneath her crisp professionalism she’s as sweet as the caramel popcorn an unimpressed Kade must try.
Now for the yummy part … recipes of the sugary delights that appear in What Love Sounds Like.
Popped corn (in machine, microwave or saucepan)
½ cup caster sugar
1 ½ cup golden syrup
2 tsp hundreds and thousands sprinkles (optional)
Grease a cooking tray and spread out cooked popcorn.
On stove heat butter, sugar and golden syrup until smooth, then boil for 5 mins without stirring.
Pour over popcorn and carefully turn popcorn to coat evenly. Sprinkle with sprinkles and allow to cool. Break into chunks.
200 ml condensed milk
500 ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla
Treats – sprinkles, lollies, crushed up chocolate biscuits etc or pieces of fruit.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric beater until thick and stiff. Stir through any treats or fruit. Put into container, cover with cling firm and freeze until solid.
4 cups self raising flour
300 ml cream
1 can (375ml) lemonade
Gently mix all ingredients until just combined. Can roll out on floured board and cut out or just spoon onto greased cooking tray in clumps.
Cook in 225 degrees C oven (205 for fan-forced) until pale golden. Enjoy.
Thank you, Alissa. Mia sounds just gorgeous and I can’t wait to read What Love Sounds Like.
What Love Sounds Like is available from Escape Publishing
Beneath Outback Skies is available from Random House as a launch title from their Random Romance list.
And Alissa Callen can be contacted via her website www.alissacallen.com or face book . (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Alissa-Callen-Author/355366704552838