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

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

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

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.  

The Only Way is Ethics: The birth of a royal baby will not top the news for long

Will Gore
Mosul falls: Talk of Iraq retaking the town, held by IS since June, is unconvincing  

Isis on the run? The US portrayal is very far from the truth

Patrick Cockburn
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk