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This blog, was set up at the end of January 2011 to help promote my book of recipesDelicious Dishes for Diabeticswhich was published on the 4th of August in The UK and on November 1st in the USA.

Today I’m publishing my 200th post!

To mark the  occasion, here’s a review of the book we discovered yesterday on an interesting site targeted at book lovers:

Delicious Dishes for Diabetics

Robin Ellis (Author)

Better known for his role as the dashing Captain Ross in the 1970s BBC series ofPoldark, the writer having been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes was determined to manage his condition through life style changes rather than medication.

This is a very well written, visually attractive, concise cookbook, which appeals to diabetics and non-diabetics alike. It is organised in clear sections, from Soups in Section 1, through to Grains and Pulses in Section 11.

Instead of the usual photos of dishes, there are enchanting illustrations instead.

The recipes are tantalizing; Farinata (Pancake), Comfort Lentils and Caponata, to name just a few. My only criticism is that a few healthy puds or cakes could have been included as there is no sweet section.

The book is based on the ‘Mediterranean’ diet; plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, fish etc.

It really appealed to me, firstly being vegan vegetarian and secondly with Type 2 diabetes in my family. This book would make an ideal gift.

Reviewed by: Alison B-Hill – Bradford

How did I come to write a cookbook?

I tell that story in my updated memoir, Making Poldark.

That slim volume is being republished later this year, to coincide with the release in American of the boxed set of Poldark dvds by Acorn Media. I thought I’d share an excerpt of the new chapter with my blog readers….

“Why don’t you write a cookbook Robin?”.

A cookbook? That’s a bit of a leap!

I liked to cook—in fact that’s mainly what I did now.

Twice a day I cooked (still do)—lunch and dinner–and did the marketing.

But a cookbook…?

Weren’t there too many cooks writing too many cookbooks?

And I wasn’t a professional.

It was flattering that friends suggested it though.

My resistence stayed firm for some time–for a few years in fact. I was happy cooking for Meredith and friends who came to visit.

I continued collecting recipes and pasting them in a red foolscap notebook—Ma had done the same in a blue one. We clearly shared a compulsive urge to look for recipes that work.

Brother Jack and sister-in-law Christine kept my bookshelves up-to-date with the newest cookbooks—as did friends who knew I’d be delighted with any new addition.

The pressure was growing though!

When Meredith noticed me writing up a few recipes for the fun of it, she began to say at lunch and dinner tables, “Robin’s writing a cookbook”!

“Really–what a good idea!”

“Um—yes. I’m enjoying it—we’ll see….”

Then on subsequent visits the first question to me was:

“How’s the cookbook going, Robin?”

“Um–fine thanks–slowly.”

About four years ago I’d started working with a laptop—more practical than the desktop in my office.

One afternoon I found myself sitting in the shade under the trees in the garden, experimenting with an introduction to the putative book!

Clearly I had started believing in the idea myself.

The following summer a friend emailed me from her home in the Basque country asking for recipes. She knew I liked to cook, and was too busy working to do much searching for new dishes.

It was a tipping point.

I realised I had a range of interesting recipes ready to send off.

These later formed the basis of the collection that Meredith packaged up to send to potential publishers, testing the waters.

The response was friendly but unproductive.

Unless you are a TV chef/cook or have a current celebrity profile, it is hard to interest that cash-strapped world.

It is tough out there.

Meredith then had a brainwave. It was obvious in a way, but one doesn’t always see clearly what is staring you in the face. 

There was nothing in the proposed book that I didn’t eat on a daily basis and I had been diagnosed 10 years earlier with type 2 diabetes. Meredith ate the same meals as me and didn’t feel deprived. This could be a book of everyday eating for diabetics that the entire family could enjoy too.

The title came later.

Delicious Dishes for Diabetics.

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