For Delia it was guavas. For Mr Skillet it would be the walnut woman

Share
Related Topics
Today we attempt to conclude our new romantic cookery thriller, `Delia's Just Desserts'. The story so far is that Toby Skillet has volunteered to rescue the ailing rum butter industry by going to Delia Smith and imploring her to turn rum butter into a fashionable ingredient. He sets off on a mission made all the harder by the fact that he does not know her address. Now read on!

We will pass over the two long years in which Toby Skillet sought Delia Smith's private address and finally bought it from an embittered ex-research assistant on the Delia Smith programme. Suffice it to say that after many days' hard travelling from the Lake District, home of the mighty rum butter empire, Toby Skillet arrived in East Anglia with Delia Smith's address still scribbled on his shirt cuff.

He stayed overnight in Stowmarket, sleeping in the precious shirt for fear of losing the priceless address and the next day he set out on the last stage. After several hours of getting lost in the countryside (he was used to the Lake District, where roads are strictly rationed out in a meagre way instead of being lavished on a countryside which didn't seem to need all those little lanes) he finally came to the right village and was directed to the right house by a friendly villager. He turned a corner and ...

Good Heavens Above! What was this? A line of people stretched back from Delia Smith's front door, right through the garden and into the road. There must have been fifty of these people. They were stationary, motionless, unmoving. Yes, and immobile, too. Toby Skillet went and stood behind the last one and said in his ear: "What is this queue for? What are they all waiting for?"

"We have all come to see Delia Smith," said the man mournfully.

"What for?" said Toby Skillet, jovially. "Crave entrance to her kitchen? Get her autograph? Sign your books? Seek advice on mayonnaise that keeps curdling or pastry that won't flake properly? See if she's got any left- over cranberries she doesn't need

"No," said the man, even more mournfully. "We have come to persuade her to adopt our particular foodstuff as the fashionable ingredient of next year."

Toby Skillet fell silent. It had never occurred to him that anyone else would have the same idea as he had had.

"Take me," said the man. "I have come on behalf of pineapple rings. I do not believe that Delia Smith will ever bless pineapple rings. I told them all at Pineapple Ring House - do not send me, for she will not bless pineapple rings. But they would not listen. They said - it is worth trying. And so I have been waiting here for three days."

"I have come on behalf of sesame seeds," said the man in front of him. "I think Delia quite likes sesame seeds. She has once or twice mentioned them in recipes. But not enough to lift the sesame seed trade from the doldrums."

"I have come on behalf of crystallised angelica," said another man, "and quite frankly, I do not care whether Delia Smith plugs crystallised angelica or not, because in three days' time I retire from the job because I am over sixty, and after that, bugger crystallised angelica."

Just at that moment a man emerged from Delia Smith's house and addressed the waiting hordes through a megaphone.

"Thank you all very much for coming to see Delia," he intoned. "She will see as many of you as possible today, but right now she is finishing a test cooking of guava fruit crumble."

As he finished, a man halfway along the queue sprang out on to the lawn and did half a dozen handsprings, then ran screaming out of the garden.

"Has he gone mad?" inquired Toby.

"No," said one of his new friends. "That's the man from Guava Fruit Towers. He has gone back to London to claim success. He's home and dry, now."

Toby Skillet began to realise the enormity of his task. He had thought that finding Delia Smith's house would be the hard bit. He now saw that the hard bit was only just beginning. Little could he foretell that in the months to come he would meet and fall in love with the woman from Pickled Walnut World, who had come to convert Delia to pickled walnuts, that he would invent a recipe for bread and rum butter pudding, the secret of which Delia herself would beseech him to reveal, that he would open a small restaurant which Craig Brown himself would bless with his presence, though not with a good review ...

The sex 'n' cookery novel `Delia's Just Desserts' will soon be in good bookshops everywhere.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

Amanda Hess
Armed RCMP officers approach Centre Block on Parliament Hilll  

Ottawa shooting: A shock attack in a peaceful nation

Jeffrey Simpson
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals