Escaping from corporate city life into the heart of the Berkshire countryside, Ella Maloney hopes to find rural tranquillity and a chance to sort out the problems in her long-term relationship. However, on arriving, she realises tranquillity is in short supply, but welcomes the distraction her chaotic new life offers – until she meets devastatingly gorgeous, but equally attached, chef Ash Lawrence, and realises that he’s maybe one distraction too many.
And when Ella’s favourite top-rated TV cookery programme – Dewberry’s Dinners – comes looking for a venue to film their latest show, she pulls out all the culinary stops in an attempt to keep her mind on the task in hand (and not on the sexy Ash), but it’s hard to keep your head when all around you people are losing theirs . . .
Spring time sweet pea salad
2 handfuls of freshly podded peas
2 handfuls of pea shoots
1 chicory, finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Chop the chicory, then tumble into a salad bowl with pea shoots and podded peas.
Squeeze over the lemon juice and a good drizzle of olive oil.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Crumble over the pecorino and serve with warm crusty bread.
450 g strawberries
100 g fine caster sugar
15 ml gelatine
60 ml strawberry liqueur
150 ml heavy double cream
3 egg whites
Fresh whipped cream, chopped nuts and chocolate flakes to serve
Cook the fruit gently with the sugar until pulpy. Sieve to remove the pips.
Dissolve the gelatine in 45 ml water, in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Stir into the fruit puree and add the strawberry liqueur. Cool slightly.
Whip the fresh cream until softly stiff. Fold into the half-set mixture.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cooled fruit mixture
Spoon into individual glasses and chill.
Decorate before serving.
To find out more about Christina Jones and her novels, visit her blog by clicking here