I’m sure plenty of you have read a book where, when you finished it, you felt a hole in your chest where the characters had once laid; where their emotions had once danced; where their stories had once stretched. I’m sure that at the end of that book, you may have even felt that a chunk of your life was now missing.
This feeling has just come upon me for the first time in, like, ever.
I’m serious. The last time I felt this way was when I was in the fifth grade and had just finished reading Twilight. But instead of believing that I can fill the void of this more recent book by imagining there are real life vampires and that there is some mysterious boy watching over me from the trees, I’m going to fill this void by doing something a little different…
… I’m going to do a cook-through.
I’m sure a large sum of you have seen Julie & Julia, yes? The movie about Julie Powell who challenges herself to complete Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in an determined amount of time? Well… I’m doing something similar. I’m going to cook through the seven simple recipes from Little Beach Street Bakery, a novel by Jenny Colgan.
I’m going to be honest with you. I never would have picked up this book if it was not for my boss, Amy Freidenrich. She gave me the book on a whim, saying one of her friends had given it to her to read after Amy purchased a bakery. I was skeptical: The book was nothing like what I normally read. Over my college career, I always leaned towards reading darker works: Animal Farm (George Orwell), Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), Eating Animals (Jonathan Safran Foer), and anything by Edgar Allen Poe, to name a few. Why would I bother to pick up something that seemed so lighthearted? Something so out of the ordinary for myself?
That’s exactly why! I wanted something different. I wanted something lighter. I wanted an easy read… something I could read while juggling my full time college career and 26 hours of part time work every week. This was the book for me.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about the book because I want you to give it a read, but picture this: restoration drama meets romance meets finding yourself… I keep calling it a mixture of two of my top 5: Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes) and Chocolat (Joanne Harris).
I decided to do a cook-through for multiple reasons:
Reason number 1- I’ve always wanted to learn to bake bread, and this book gives me the opportunity to do just that! It’s also like a two-in one! A great story as the main course with some simple, mouthwatering recipes for dessert.
Reason number 2- I have a lot of cook books. I’ve dreamed of cooking through a full book numerous times in my life, and this book has given me the motivation to do just that. It’s a great place for me to start my goal towards cooking through all my cookbooks. I don’t believe I will get too overwhelmed with just seven recipes. Some of my books I dream of cooking through have hundreds!
Reason number 3- This is the most important reason I’m doing this cook-through, so take note. This book has given me an incredible surge of motivation that I have lost throughout the past year. I’ve grown tired. I’ve gained weight. I’ve grown bored of what I do. This book reminded me that I am in control of my life, and that sometimes a little risk can really pay off. This book has motivated me to follow my goals of doing a cook-through, all the while motivating me to make some large changes in my personal life as well.
And because of that, Jenny Colgan, I thank you. You’ve reminded me that nothing is set in stone, and to not be scared when faced with uncertainty.
The Challenge: Cook through the seven recipes given at the end of Little Beach Street Bakery.
The Contender: Anna Tritchonis. Full time student. Master Barista. Foodie.
Challenge Duration: From today, May 17th, 2017 until the first day of summer, June 21st, 2017.
Jenny Colgan, my fellow readers… I hope I make you proud! Let the challenge begin!
So, everyone, be prepared for seven lovely posts that describe my journey through completing these recipes. Jenny Colgan, my fellow readers… I hope I make you proud! Let the challenge begin!
“Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read” – Cassandra Clare