4 Feb 2012

The story of Ingested Read

It all started with an object

One of my favourite creative writing exercises involved the teacher showing an object to the class and asking us to write a story about it. The best part was how a single object could inspire as many different stories as there were people writing them.

Back in 2011, I was struck with the crazy idea of using a novel as the starting point for a recipe. (much in the same way as the object was used as a jumping off point for a story). I challenged myself to turn one book a month into an interpretive cake (or cookie, pie, brownie, muffin, cupcake - you get the idea). Sometimes, I found I could come up with two or three different recipes for one book depending how the plot or characters inspired me.

My number one fan

Jacqueline of The Dusty Baker contacted me to say she loved the concept of my blog and wanted to join in. I was overjoyed. She wanted to know if I could send her a reading list! I was only two months into this whole blogging experiment, I didn't know what I would be reading next month let alone for the next six months. So I created a gallery called Intercaketuality, for all the cake art that would soon be flooding into my inbox. If 'Field of Dreams' taught me anything it was this: If you build it they will come. (Maybe it worked in the days before the internet?)

Experiments in audience building (without social media)

I decided I could drum up more interest by hosting Fairytale Challenges. Afterall, they're short, most of us are already familiar with them and it seemed to me I could get more people involved if they didn't have to commit to reading a whole novel for one post. The mistake I made with this idea was to issue an announcement on FoodBuzz rather than contacting bloggers directly. So with the exception of posts from Jaqueline and my good friend Sam, this idea never really took off either. Just as well, I had enough to be getting on with...


When November came around I thought I'd mix things up a bit for National Novel Writing Month and attempt to write a 50,000 word novel using a cake as inspiration for the plot. (Hmmm...)

Hanging up my apron

In the end, I managed to turn 10 books into 16 original recipes (and one theoretical recipe). Looking back, I'm proud of what I achieved during my year-long baking challenge. I hope you'll be tempted to click on the Book/Recipe tab at the top of the page to get your literary and gastric juices flowing.

I'd love to see your fiction-inspired recipes!

Please get in touch through my About/Contact page.

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