Even though I’m a dedicated bookworm, I do occasionally abandon my books for other things. Like food. (Very important.) And even babysitting. Sitting on babies and baking combine admirably, though things end up very sticky but HEY: it’s part of living.
Since I’ve discussed at length the goopy calamities that is baking with my niece and nephew, I thought, “WELL, THEN, CAIT. JUST REVIEW THE PROCESS LIKE A BOOK.” And how can I ignore my own genius suggestions?
I went into this
recipe book with high expectations. SO MUCH HYPE. And I won’t lie: the hype gets me 99% of the time. And who hears the phrase “Chocolate Chip Biscuit” without gobs and gobs of expectations??
list of ingredients cover was quite minimalistic which is such a relief. I hate being whacked in the face with, like, 99 characters and a million pages. GIVE ME SIMPLICITY OR GIVE ME DEATH. (I’m totally sure that’s the saying, right?) It’s also a unique recipe because it’s dairy/grains/sugar free. Most of the ingredients are air and hope.
I also decided to buddy
bake read with my niece and nephew, who are, respectively, two and four years old. Although their birthdays ARE NEARLY HERE as I get told 87 times a day when I’m around them. (Birthdays are terribly exciting, okay?!? Niece is having 3 cakes [one for each year of her life, and I think that’s wise] in the shapes of an owls and snowman and a house. I got told this for the #980429 time today.)
baking book started off quite slowly. Is it too early to judge and say I expected more? I mean, I could see where it was going, plot-wise, but I don’t know about that introduction. I’m not hooked by ground almonds. WHERE IS MY HOOKY FIRST SENTENCE?
And the writing was irritating and jerky. AGH. NOT OKAY. Get the eggs. Beat them. Set aside. I mean, would it kill you to add in some description so I could see the world-building??
It also gives George RR Martin a run for his money with killing characters. The almonds are beaten to death and then the eggs viciously smashed and GAWSH, THAT’S A BIT GORY, DON’T YOU THINK???!
Definitely high in violence. Sheesh.
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE CHARACTERS:
- Almond meal: It’s introduced and then totally discarded, like hello?! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? We get a small army of them and then they’ve got no future use until the end of the
- Butter and Not-Sugar-But-Kinda-Like-Sugar: The diversity of the Not-Sugar-But-Kinda-Like-It was very impressive. TOP MARKS FOR MINORITIES! WOOT! Although the way Butter and Kinda-Sugar got together in their little smushy romance was maybe a bit rushed? It’s barely chapter two, peoples. Chill.
- Honey: STICKY. That’s all I can say. VERY STICKY. And everywhere. Like what was Honey’s motive? It just seemed all over the place and I’m preeeetty sure it’s building up for a love-triangle between Honey, Butter and Not-Sugar.
- Egg: I can only feel sorry for them. BRUTALLY MURDERED AS SOON AS INTRODUCED.
- Baking powder: It played such a tiny part but uber important.
- Coconut flour: To be honest? I skim read. Totally didn’t realise it was supposed to be there until it came in the end and I was like “wut”. #mybad
- Chocolate chips: To be honest, this is the ONLY character I actually care about. If you’re going to put the character’s name in the book title, then you know they’ve GOT to be epic. NO disappointments, absolutely none. FIVE STARS FOR THIS ONE RIGHT HERE.
I also highly approved of the diversity of the
Thermomix genre. You don’t see genres like this everyday!
The pacing was fast…but I liked that! No lingering around
beating eggs for a million years with useless plot devices and it’s definitely character driven. But is it just me, or is the baking powder TOTALLY thrown in at the end??! Slack character development there.
And when the chocolate chips fiiiiinally arrived — OH IT WAS EVERYTHING I COULD EVER WANT AND MORE.
Although someone who will not be named (but is under 4 feet tall) DROPPED THE BOX AND THERE WERE CHOCOLATE CHIPS EVERYWHERE. And they responded with “Cait, clean that up.” To which Cait had to do so, rapidly, before the resident puppy joined in. But sheesh. Slave labour much?! I want my rights.
Although as a buddy-reading
baking group, we did all agree the violence was pretty intense. The niece needed help cracking her egg getting through the egg murder bit and the nephew had to go wash his hands of the cruelty. He even took a small break and went and did something quiet and uplifting to cleanse himself of the horror.
But once we finally hit the climax? IT WAS ALL EXCITEMENT AND DANGEROUS SQUID SQUEAKS FROM THEN ON. Although the nephew DNF’d it (did not finish) and left for good. I think it was the eggs that ruined it for him?? The niece is NOT easily put off and she loved the finale. Especially how all the characters came together so strongly?! BRILLIANT. She ate it right up. (No really. She did.)
AND THERE TOTALLY IS A LOVE TRIANGLE. Definite chemistry between Butter and Honey and Not-Sugar, and…wait…is it a square? I swear the baking powder was flirting. Not happy, Jan. I don’t like triangles or squares or hexagons.
But just before the grand and epic finale… it all sort of fell apart. There was this weird scene where NOTHING HAPPENED. Nada. No wonder my nephew DNF’d. We all ended up taking a
baking reading-break and playing chess.
Because that’s how I babysit, you better believe it. Chess and chocolate.
Final verdict? MIXED FEELINGS. The build up was slow but the finale was worth it. Although sticky. And a lot of the
biscuits rose to gargantuan sizes in the oven characters developed more than I thought they would.
I’ve tasted read better though. WHAT?! I’m not cynical, I just have very refined and decided taste. Definite MUST
TASTE READ for anyone who likes obscure food books, Just don’t SKIM READ THE COCONUT FLOUR, GOSH DARNIT. Or you get gloop. But tasty gloop.
THANK YOU TO MYSELF FOR COOKING AND ALSO TO THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS FOR EXISTING. Chocolate Chip Biscuits by Some Paleo Cook Somewhere is available for purchase wherever almonds and perseverance are sold.
Almonds span decades. Baking can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Oven has begun.
As Warden of the north, Lord Eggard counts it a curse when King Honey bestows on him the office of the uniting the realms of almonds. Caught in webs of lies and deceit and baking powder, Eggard must decide where his loyalties lie. Should he tell Honey that Queen Not-Sugar has a secret thing going on with Butter? Is the realm of Almonds really safe? Is there evil rising with the baking powder?! And is coconut, in exile for so long, making a comeback with an army of dragons sculpted from chocolate?!? Eggard can trust no one as he fights for justice — or he will crack.
For Fans of The Dessert Games and A Game of Cookies.