I read this story on Sunday evening. I must say JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) Readers will adore the HEA (happily ever after) for ODC (our dear couple). Welcome, Jen.
A Taste of Peanut Butter
Welcome to A Taste of Peanut Butter where our very own Elizabeth Bennet is a contestant on a televised bake off. Our host, Regina Jeffers, has graciously opened up her blog today so that you may have a sneak peek at the first round in her competition. Gigi DuPaix, aka Georgiana Darcy, is our moderator and is ready to begin.
“Mesdames et Messieurs,” she spoke in a thick French accent. “Bon appétit, and welcome to Another Slice, our newly created show featuring ordinary people with extraordinary cooking abilities; brought to you by the Pemberley Network. For twelve consecutive weekends, we shall present to you contestants from all walks of life who will be competing here in our very own network kitchen for the coveted title of Weekend Prime Baker.” The audience applauded with enthusiasm.
“Now, if I may, let us meet our contestants along with their signature cooking ingredients. First, we have an American student who is pursuing her Master’s Degree in International Marketing here in the UK. Please welcome Mademoiselle Elizabeth Bennet.”
Elizabeth ran out from back stage, waved at the crowd, and confidently put her jar of American peanut butter on the island countertop. “Thank you all for the warm welcome and to the Pemberley Network for this extraordinary opportunity to compete. I must say that I love a challenge and shall look forward to giving you my best.” The crowd cheered as she took her place behind the first work station.
“Next, we have an executive from one of London’s most prestigious hedge funds in the Mayfair district. Please welcome, Mademoiselle Caroline Bingley.”
A tall, skinny redhead sauntered in through the kitchen door, briefly stopping to give Elizabeth a rather demeaning look. With a flip of her head and a wave of dismissal, she faced the audience with an air of triumph in accepting her applause. Decisively placing her bag of shredded coconut next to Elizabeth’s peanut butter, she boasted, “For the record, I should like all of you to know that I will not be bested by an American. I shall triumph over all other contestants with integrity and honour.”
Elizabeth was not surprised in the least by Caroline’s avowal. All morning she had been strutting around the studio, looking down at her fellow competitors and only speaking with Gigi or the three judges when she thought her comments would amaze the entire room. Elizabeth ignored Caroline’s snide remarks knowing that the proof of the pudding was in the eating, not in a lot of hot air. We shall see about that, Miss Bingley. You are about to find out that Americans are not easily intimidated, and I willingly accept your challenge.
“Our third contestant comes to us from the humble village of Meryton in Hertfordshire,” announced Gigi. “A stay-at-home mother with five children, please welcome Madame Martha Long.”
A matronly woman in her early fifties walked in with assurance carrying her container of brown sugar. “Thank you. When cooking for a family of seven, one has to stay creative but disciplined if the house is to run smoothly. I may be a simple housewife, but believe me, I rule with an iron hand and have every expectation of winning this contest.” She curtsied and took her station as the audience gave her their enthusiastic applause.
“Finalement, we have our fourth contestant, a research assistant in the Divinity School at University of Oxford, Monsieur William Collins.”
Nervously peeking through the opening to the staging area, a rather portly man with thinning hair suddenly found his courage and walked straight to the counter where he placed his tray of assorted coffees alongside the other offerings. Feeling a little more at ease, he began to orate as if he were giving a sermon.
“Madame Dupaix, please allow me to tell you and our esteemed judges how honoured I am to be here with you today. Being but a simple clergyman and university employee, it is not often that a man in my position is given the opportunity to exhibit in such a manner. I was truly astounded and humbled when I received my congratulatory letter of acceptance and know that you will not regret your decision in choosing me. While I would not purposely stoop so low as to belittle my fellow women contestants, I would like to state that being the only man in this competition gives me the advantage since everyone knows that a man’s discriminating palate and cooking instincts are superior to most.”
As you can imagine we are going to have great fun at this bake off. Now let’s see…. Where does William Darcy come in? Here is the only hint I’m giving. The rest you will have to find out for yourself.
Elizabeth: Jane, You’ll never believe it, but I met a knock-down gorgeous Brit—dark hair, blue eyes, dimples and all, who just went to buy me coffee. We’re on the same flight.
Jane: What’s his name?
Elizabeth: I don’t know yet.
Jane: Whatever you do, keep those secret weapons in their box.
Elizabeth: It’s too late. He saw them when I repacked after security. I had to offer him something to eat since he helped me.
Jane: YOU are hopeless. All I can say is that men are not normal when it comes to your baking, so you had better be careful. Text me when you land.
Elizabeth: Will do.
There you have it: a small but delicious taste of my latest book. If you would like to speculate a little more, be sure to check out my Pinterest page where I have pictures for this book as well as a Regency short story which is included in my publication. I am giving away three eBook copies of A Taste of Peanut Butter. Please leave a comment to enter. The giveaway will end at midnight EDST on September 2.
Many thanks to Regina Jeffers and Every Woman Dreams for featuring me today! Jennifer Redlarczyk ♫