I love food, I love cooking. I love sharing the experience with my daughters. We cook together, we bake together, and we eat together. Every day we sit down for at least one meal, it’s a chance to catch up, and importantly, to reconnect.
In my books whenever there is food there is always family. In the Viking’s Apprentice series when people eat it is a time for connection and for storytelling. Often the food is forgotten as the story becomes the centre of attraction, however it’s the food that brought them together.
My daughters and I like to make homemade pizza. We use puff pastry and roll it out, leave about 1cm border around the edge and then prick the pastry with a fork 100 of times. Ever since she was 6 Ellie has insisted on making her own, doing everything herself. She is 12 now. Rachael is 15 and likes to get involved.
Ellie will make a three-cheese pizza with a tomato base. She doesn’t spare the cheese and piles it on that pastry base after squeezing the tomato puree on there. Rachael likes to be a bit more adventurous. You will still find the 3 cheeses, however there will be tuna or chicken entwined in there somewhere, oh and a barbeque sauce instead of a tomato.
I like to make a chicken and ham pizza. We put them in the oven and watch the pastry border rise then the smell of that cheese and pastry cooking hits you. It’s hard to wait the 15 minutes as those smells drive you wild.
When it’s time we carve up our own pizzas add them to a big dish in the centre of the table and we sit and eat and chat. It’s perfect family time. Family is important to me, and I hope that comes across in The Viking’s Apprentice. Mealtimes should always be family times.