My work chum Julie Gambling will probably be the first to admit that she doesn’t cook much. She offered to try Farley Grainger’s Baked Potatoes With Chives and cooked these for her folks on a visit to Norfolk. She says, “After my parents got over the shock of me cooking something they did enjoy, we all agreed that it could do with something to be added (I thought salmon, Dad thought cheddar).”

The bit of Julie’s feedback I liked best was the fact that she bought the potatoes and sour cream in ROYS OF WROXHAM. This is probably only humorous to those of us who have lived, or do live, in East Anglia (there is one near my folks’ place in Suffolk too).

The World’s Largest Village Store!

Another Julie, that’s Julie Winfield, who is also a work chum is a bit of a kitchen whizz. CAKES are her speciality and my goodness she is good. For the Cookalong she chose Madlyn Rhue’s Mousse Au Chocolat.


One of the questions on my recipe testing feedback form is, “Did you share the dish with anyone?” and Julie admitted, “I ate it all by myself, in private, with the blinds down.” Haha, I would do exactly the same!

I am such a nosey parker and one of the things I love about getting recipe feedback is peeking into other peoples’ kitchens. So when I recieved this photo of Cindy Schell’s version of Dean Jones’ Mother’s Best Corn Bread I was immediately drawn to the salt and pepper shakers!

SPAM!! Love them! Cindy tells me she bought these at the SPAM Museum near to her in Minnesota. ANOTHER place I have to visit! Cindy made her own self-rising cornmeal for this recipe and I loved her comment that,  “The cornbread really rose high.” Cindy’s tip for getting lovely high rising cornbread will be going into the Murder, She Cooked book for sure.  

My lovely friend in dough Liz Wilson aka ace bread teacher and baker Ma Baker fancied having a go at David Soul’s China’s Snowballs. For info, David’s daughter is called China so these are something he liked to make with her when she was a youngster. Here she is, all grown up.

There was much discussion between myself and Liz about Starsky and Hutch and which one each of us fancied back in the day (Liz had a crush on David Soul, whereas I was definitely a Starsky woman).

Liz cracked me up with this comment “I even had the cardigan …being so short it did make me look like a toffee apple.” Hahahah! 

Liz’s verdict on what she has renamed “Soulful Snowballs”? “Well David Soul has gone up even further in my estimation. His little snowballs are a big hit. Simple delicious decadent mouthfuls. Not too sweet, and delicious as an after dinner treat with coffee or a sticky sweet wine.”

Don’t they look sweet?!

Beth Schaaf lives parttime in one of my favourite places in the whole world Austin, Texas. She made Lee Merriweather’s Peanut Butter Cookies for her parents and her aunt and uncle. Saying, “they all thought they were great, even my aunt, who can be a tough critic when it comes to baked goods. Everyone agreed they had good peanut butter flavor. The cookies also kept well for several days.” Beth made these twice with different kinds of peanut butter. What a trooper! But alas, there are no photos. I take that as my cue to make some of these myself as I am a peanut butter superfan that’s fine!

More recipe feedback coming in the next few days. All of these recipes will be going in the book, but if you can’t wait that long and want to cook up one of these dishes for yourself, just email me via the Contact page and I’ll send it on over to you.

There are still recipes available to test cook. At the end of the Cookalong I’ll be writing a post about those that remain untested. It might be too late to join in the Cookalong but I could still use feedback for the book!

Everyone who test-cooks will be getting a special “thank-you” card in the post. It’s under construction right now, but here is a sneaky peek at the wonderful recipe illustration Miriam Figueras is working on…

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