The Cooking Club Detectives - Ewa Jozefkowicz
'A beautifully observed story about the power of food and the importance of community.'
Ewa Jozefkowicz's 'The Key To Finding Jack' was one of my first ever blog/reviews when I started whatiread.co.uk last year, so I am thrilled to be able to revisit her writing on the blogtour for this, her latest book, 'The Cooking Club Detectives' and see that simlar threads of family, friendship and values are the themes again in another exciting adventure.
The story follows Erin, her puppy Savage, and their friends Sam, Tanya and Frixos as they try to save the much-loved Skipton Community Centre, and the Cooking Club they attend in it, from being closed and lost. The gang of kids get together to form the 'Cooking Club Detectives' to try to solve the mystery of who the culprit is, and try to stop it closing and save it for the benefit of the community.
In the main a mystery/adventure story, the underlying themes of food poverty, unemployment and other social issues are sensitively addressed as the story develops in and around the centre, and there are further messages around online behaviour to be gleaned from the trolling that Erin's mum, Lara, has to deal with as she blogs online about cooking.
I loved the clever inclusion of recipes throughout the book, and am thrilled that Ewa has shared one of them with us here at whatiread.
See below for her recipe for Erin's delicious Banana Bread, as made in the book!
Erin’s Banana Bread Bonanza
• 2 very ripe bananas
• 150g butter
• 150g caster sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 150g self-raising flour
• 50g icing sugar
• 1 small tub of vanilla ice cream
1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Grease a loaf tin (around 25 x 15 cm) with butter.
2. Mash bananas with a fork in a bowl.
3. Get a medium-sized bowl and add the butter and caster sugar. Mix together by hand using a spoon, or with an electric hand mixer if you have one.
4. Then crack two eggs into a separate bowl and whisk. Add the whisked eggs to the butter and sugar and stir. Then fold in the mashed bananas and flour.
5. When soft and creamy, add the mixture to the tin and put in the oven for 30 minutes. Check whether the loaf is cooked through by piercing the centre with a skewer.
6. When the loaf is cool, dust with icing sugar and serve with generous dollops of vanilla ice cream.
This is a brilliant banquet of a book - food, fun and adventure all packaged up in a really engaging and delightful feast (sorry!) - all the ingredients (sorry!) necessary for a great story - and made even more enjoyable through the fact that the author and publisher have paired up with UK Charity Magic Breakfast who work in schools to combat hunger as a barrier to learning. It was their work that inspired the book, as Ewa saw the benefits of it when she was a governor at a London primary school.
Thank you to Ewa, Zephyr and Fritha for having me on the blogtour for this book, and for the review copy.
See Ewa reading from her previous book: 'The Key To Finding Jack' here:
Find out more at the following websites/links:
Head of Zeus/Zephyr - headofzeus.com/books/9781789543599
Ewa Jozefkowicz - ewajozefkowicz.com Twitter: @EwaJozefkowicz
Magic Breakfast: magicbreakfast.com Twitter: @magic_breakfast
Please consider donating to Magic Breakfast here:
Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) June 2021