The Cook's Toolkit

The Cook's Toolkit
The Cook's Toolkit by Clever Pumpkin.


Four women are about to start a mob war - and nails WILL be broken.


The romance is over: Edward & Bella twenty years on. My short story Daylight is now available as a free download.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Chocolate Coconut Pudding

Simple though it is, this chocolate coconut self-saucing pudding is my favourite dessert on the face of this earth, probably because it comes from that most prolific of chefs: Mum.  Though these days, it seems I'm expected to make it for myself – I'm not quite sure why, maybe it's because I turned 46 on my last birthday, but that's no excuse for a mother to slack off…

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trial of the Romance Novelist: Part Five

Innocence Be Buggered

God, I was still so innocent.  It makes me so sad to think back on that time now, when adversity still seemed an adventure, when every slight made me rise above it, when I could still think of post office employees as characters, when the licking of a large postage stamp could be considered some quasi little erotic act.  I would soon be disabused of my innocence.
The life cycle of the emerging writer may be characterised thus:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sultana Lamb Curry

This is the best damned curry I've ever made – even if I do say so myself, which I do, because when you can cook as well as this, you can swagger all you like.  Please do not be tempted to change the recipe without first trying it; everything has its purpose.  The whole peeled tomatoes are much juicier than diced; the sweet, treacly sultanas balance the tangy tomatoes; the whole spices freshly ground really do another dimension.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Trial of the Romance Novelist: Part Four

Tips & Techniques for Writers: A Sample Query Letter

                                                                                                New South Wales.
May 10th, 2009.

Harper Collins Publishing Australia,
25 Ryde Road,
PYMBLE,    New South Wales,    2073.

Dear Sir,

If you allow the inert mass of congealed incompetency that is your submissions department to dally any longer, then I shall surely rot awaiting your response. 

I write again with regard to my manuscript, forwarded for your consideration some twelve months past.  Perhaps you have misplaced it?  I shall do you the service of refreshing your memory.   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Genital Insecurity: Hidden Victims of the Global Financial Crisis

**Warning: this post contains links to images that are unsuitable for… well, God knows they're unsuitable for anyone, but particularly for children under 18.  Just so there's no surprises, the links are to images of sex toys, and in one memorable case, a shark attack victim that later became a sex toy**

Recently I encountered an artificial vagina for the first time (I had no idea that such a thing existed.)  While it's well known that men feel threatened by vibrators (and who can blame them – vibrators are such a fetching shade of pink, after all), it's very difficult to imagine that any woman could possibly feel threatened by something that looks like this.  Am I alone in wanting to pop a little hat, eyes and nose on it?  Am I the only one here thinking about Mr. Potato Head?  And what's with the look of slack-mouthed surprise?  Did Mr. Potato Head wake up one day in the witness protection program and wonder why his mouth was full?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Trial of the Romance Novelist: Part Three

Conflict (Internal and External)

The question: if a tree falls on a literary agent and a writer smiles, does that mean the literary agent deserved to be flattened?  I am nothing if not philosophical.

   A dark and stormy night.  Finally, after all I had to do that day before I could have me some me time, I am at my desk, having me some me wine, trawling submission guidelines.    (The myth of the miserable dissolute writer is just that – we're delighted to be dissolute.)
Bed.  Teeth pulled in purgatory without the benefit of anaesthetic.  Either would be preferable to this deep sea exploration of the literary agent bowel from the date end up.  Never will you encounter a mob so inclined to bitch, bleat and bemoan the privilege of earning their living off your back.  So many were so appallingly brutish, boorish, demanding of homage or just plain repellent that I –  blissfully ignorant, little knowing that I would have little choice, crossed the most transparently awful off my list, thusly noting: Not in this lifetime, over my dead decomposing fucking body – and kept going,  flipping the bird (virtual) and margarita (actual) at the most conceited and trivial, secure in the belief that if only I kept wading through the mire, I'd find a polite and welcoming pony.  Not in this paddock.  Uh uh.