Cooking The Books – Juliet Madison

Chef with cookbookToday we welcome author, Juliet Madison whose debut release has an intriguing premise. What happens when you wake up to find you’ve missed the last 25 years? I love books that play with time and when it’s done with humour it’s right up my alley. Juliet is offering commenters an opportunity to win a $50 Amazon voucher (details below). But first, let’s have some fun!

Thanks Louise for having me on your blog today to talk about the food in my debut novel, FAST FORWARD, a romantic comedy about a model who wakes on her twenty-fifth birthday to find she’s now a fifty-year-old housewife married to the nerd she used to tease in high school.Juliet_Madison300dpi

Fast Forward is mostly set twenty five years into the future, so when I was writing it I had to think realistically about what food might be available. It’s not too far from now, so it’s likely that most things would be the same, but I made sure to add a few interesting twists in the food department!

When my character, Kelli Crawford (Kelli McSnelly in the future, thanks to an unfortunate surname by marriage), wakes up in the future, she gets treated to a birthday breakfast of smoked salmon, eggs, grilled tomato, and warm buttery toast. Big deal, you might think, but… there is something different about the eggs in the future. They are yolkless. Yep, those delicious orangey-coloured centres that make the eggs delicious are gone. Not from all eggs, just some, so that those ultra health-conscious types can get their protein without all the extra fat and cholesterol. Not only that, but they can be cooked in an instant thanks to the Kitchen Assistant machine which is a staple household appliance in the future. Simply pop the egg in a chute, and voila – out pops a boiled egg a moment later. No mess, no fuss. Kelli’s son complains about this ancient machine though, he thinks they should upgrade to the new version which also peels the egg shell for you.

Here’s a snippet of the ‘yolkless egg scene’…

FASTFORWARD-JulietMadison I dug the spoon in a second time and then paused, my eyebrows drawing together.

“There’s no yolk in my egg,” I remarked.


“So? Eggs have yolks. Why doesn’t this one?”

“You always prefer to have the yolkless eggs, Mum,” Ryan said.

Yolkless eggs? If I wasn’t so confused and distraught at my predicament I’d jump for joy at the brilliance of it. “Oh, um, of course. I just thought with it being my birthday and all … ”

“Oh, you wanted a treat. I should have thought, sorry,” Ryan said.

There’s nothing fancy about coffee in the future, but due to an increased prevalence of addiction among people, it is now easier than ever to get a fix. Most car models come complete with an inbuilt coffee machine. This delivers the warm liquid to your taste buds through a straw that protrudes from the dashboard, perfect for keeping the driver awake on those long trips.

 My eyes darted all around the car. Holographic GPS map just under the windscreen, a small steering wheel that resembled an Xbox controller and a—what was that? I tugged on what looked like a straw and a smaller straw shot through the middle.

“Oh yeah, good idea. I’d love some coffee,” Ryan said, sipping on the straw on the driver’s side. “Not that I need any more stimulation, but who cares!”

 After a hearty breakfast and an endless supply of coffee, Kelli is still hungry. She can’t believe how she went from being a twenty-five-year-old model who only needed to graze throughout the day, to a middle-aged mother with indigestion and an appetite to rival a teenage boy. Her daughter has the same problem, but she has an excuse – she’s ‘eating for two’, here’s a snippet from their morning tea together…

 “What would you like?” I asked.

“Hot chocolate and a slice of chocolate mud cake. With chocolate ice cream on the side. And chocolate sprinkles.”

Okay, the resemblance ends there. No way would I eat that amount of chocolate in one month let alone one day. Although at the mention of the word chocolate, my stomach grumbled and my previously dry mouth salivated. Chocolate cake would be nice, just this once. It was my birthday and this technically wasn’t my real body. Besides, it’s beyond help anyway, might as well indulge.

And what birthday wouldn’t be complete without a Birthday Lunch? Kelli is treated to a meal at fancy cafe (and her stomach’s still grumbling!)…

 I assessed the menu options and resisted the urge to express shock at the prices. Not to mention some of the strange food combinations. By the looks of it, genetic modification really did take off, despite all the protests. Turken, cranberry and camembert melt on broccolato rosti. What the heck was that? Turken … aha! Turkey Chicken. Broccolato …  ah, so someone had found a way to genetically combine a potato with broccoli, huh? Ingenious for all the vegetable haters/potato lovers out there.

“What will it be, madam?” the waiter asked me as he approached.

Madam, or in other words … old woman. I was used to being called Miss and Love and Sweetie.

“I’ll have the turken, thanks.” I swallowed a giggle.

With all the genetic modification going on these days, it makes you wonder if some day there will be much left in its natural state. It’s kind of freaky thinking of two different foods becoming one, but it’s fun to consider it when you’re writing about the future 🙂

At Kelli’s fiftieth party, there’s not a lot mentioned in the food department, mostly because Kelli is too busy dealing with a potentially life-threatening underwear issue, strangers wishing her happy birthday, and downing as much alcohol as she can get her hands on. Champagne is still popular, but served in what look like test tubes, and green-tinged lime mineral water seems to be the non-alcoholic beverage of choice. Chocolate also makes an appearance (naturally). Guests are treated to chocolate truffles with irresistible names:  Chocolate Dream, Chocolate Passion, Chocolate Scandal, Chocolate Secret, and Chocolate Love.

Okay, now my stomach is grumbling. 😉

Which of the above chocolate truffles would you like to eat if you had the choice? Or which two foods would you would like to see combined in the future? Leave a comment for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or a $25 Amazon gift card. Comment on other blogs during Juliet’s February blog tour for more entries into the draw! Winners drawn 1st March.

You can also win a bonus $25 gift card by purchasing Fast Forward and emailing your receipt to fastforwardbook (at) gmail (dot) com – replace (at) with @ and (dot) with .


Aspiring supermodel, Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her twenty-fifth birthday she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now middle-aged high school nerd.

Trapped in the opposite life of the one she wanted, Kelli is forced to re-evaluate her life and discover what is really important to her. Will she overcome the hilarious and heartbreaking challenges presented to her and get back to the body of her younger self? Or will she be stuck in the nightmare of hot flushes, demanding children, raunchy advances from her husband and hideous support underwear forever?


Escape Publishing, Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes/iBookstore, Kobo.

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