Little White Lies and Butterflies blurb
Lydia knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent years climbing the corporate ladder, she’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. Now nearly thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice.
Realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and goes travelling in the hope of finding a new direction. At least that’s the plan.
So when Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re-inventing herself as a professional chef – not exactly the best new identity for a woman who can’t cook. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long and when her family show up unexpectedly things go from bad to worse…
Can Lydia find love? Will she ever learn to cook?
Little White Lies and Butterflies is a heart-warming comedy about finding your place in the world.
As writers we don’t just want to tell a story, we want to pull our readers into our books and make them feel as if they’re there experiencing events alongside our main characters. One way to do this is through the senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Little White Lies and Butterflies is set on Kalymnos, one of the Greek islands, so as you can imagine I had great fun drawing upon all of these as I wrote.
I loved conveying the harshness of the Kalymnian landscape; a haven amongst climbers, its giant, craggy rock faces appeared intimidating to some of my characters, yet inviting to others. I enjoyed writing about the sound of the waves as they lapped against the shore, and the rhythm of the Greek language as Lydia tried to figure out where one word ended and the next one began. And with Autumn taking hold here in the real world, I’m sure we can all imagine the feel of the sand between her toes, the sun on her skin, and smell the aroma of pine cones and sea salt.
The sense that I had the most fun with though was taste. Greek food has a place in this story and just thinking about some of the dishes would be enough to make anyone’s mouth water, not just mine. Such as the Kleftiko, a mixture of melt-in-the mouth lamb, olive oil, oregano and garlic – talk about gourmet heaven. Which is why I thought I’d share the recipe for one of my favourite Greek dishes with you today – Stifado, made with big chunks of beef and juicy shallots in the most mouth-watering of tomato sauces.
Having lived on the island of Kalymnos you’d think I’d have an authentic recipe but, alas, I don’t. Alternatively, I have found one from a website called Greek Islands Travel which I hope you’ll give a try. I know I certainly will.
Ingredients to serve 4-6
- 1kg lean beef
- 500g shallot onions
- 2 large onions
- 3 large tomatoes
- 2 tbl of tomato paste
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- sprig of rosemary
- 4 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small glasses of red wine
- cider vinegar
- black pepper.
- Put the chopped onions in a large skillet with the olive oil and cook on a low heat until the onions soften.
2. Cube the beef and add to the skillet turning up the heat until the meat is sealed.
3. Turn down the heat and add finely chopped garlic, chopped tomatoes, crushed nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary and a good pinch of black pepper.
4. Stir on a moderate heat for 2 mins then add the wine and tomato paste.
5. Add a generous splash of cider vinegar and stir well.
6. Turn out into a casserole dish an add enough warm water to cover the meat.
7. Cover with foil and cook in oven at 180°C for 40 minutes.
8. Peel the shallots and shallow fry on a low heat until soft — don’t let them burn.
9. Remove casserole from the oven and spoon in the shallots (not the oil).
10. Return to oven at 150°C for another hour or until the meat is soft and tender.
Crown with some spinach leaves and serve with creamy mashed potato (use creme fraiche if you are weight conscious), with plain white rice or just some warm crusty bread.
Well, authentic or not, it sounds delicious to me, Suzie, thank you. Will be giving this recipe a go soon.
Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. Her motto is to ‘live, laugh, love’ and when she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.
Suzie lives in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the French countryside, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.