Please welcome Emy Calirel with
From Brussels, With Love
a World Of Love novel
Dispirited after a recent breakup, Irish project manager Trevor is guilted into a trip to Brussels with his best friend. A chance meeting with cute and funny tour guide Jerome turns into a weekend of sex and friendship. Forgetting his phone at Jerome’s apartment shifts their fling into a long-distance relationship held together by postcards, texts, and stolen weekends.
But distance isn’t the only thing keeping them apart—Trevor is a workaholic who values his success, while artistic Jerome is carefree but insecure.
Starting a life together means facing major challenges, but the loving words they’ve shared build a bridge across the sea—one that might let them meet in the middle.
Get the book:
HOW TO WOO AN IRISHMAN
There’s two scenes in From Brussels, With Love in which Jerome cooks forTrevor. To celebrate the release of the book, I’ll share with you both of these very easy and common recipes.
“Hey, Maman, I need your help,” Jerome said as soon as his mother picked up the phone. “Can you talk me through the risotto recipe?”
“The risotto recipe,” Brigitte said knowingly. “You’re trying to impress someone?”
Jerome tied the apron around his waist before answering. “Just trying to make a nice dinner for someone.”
“Start by getting the Tupperware of pot-au-feu sauce I left in your freezer, and defrost it in the microwave. Man or woman?”
“Man.” Jerome followed her instructions. “But don’t get any ideas. This is not a thing and won’t become a thing.”
“He was only here for the weekend. We had a good time, but he’s leaving tomorrow morning, and then that’s it.”
“Why are you making him Ingrid’s recipe, then?”
Jerome put the microwave on and leaned back against his kitchen counter. “Because he’s a fancy guy, lots of money, and I like him. I want to impress him enough so that he’ll remember me.”
The risotto recipe Jerome’s asking about is very simple, but it looks (and tastes!) fancy when it’s done. Here’s how to impress an Irishman. Or a lover, friend, family member, enemy…
First of all, you do not EVER throw away what’s left of your pot-au-feu (French beef stew, done a lot in winter). Ever. You can do a lot of things with the broth leftover and it freezes great.
In addition to 1 liter (about 34 ounces) of the sieved broth, you’ll need 2 shallots, 200g (about 7 ounces) of arborio, a bit of butter, and some parmesan cheese.
Melt the butter in a pot and brown the thinly sliced shallots to it. Add the rice and stir until the grains become translucent. Add one ladle of the warm broth and stir. Keep your heat on low and add another ladle every time the rice absorbs the previous one. It takes a while (about 15/20mn) but it’s not more complicated than that!
Plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, pour a glass of red wine, and enjoy!
“It smells amazing,” Trevor said when he came back out ten minutes later.
Jerome stood in front of his old beat-up stove, cooking their breakfast. “I usually just eat tartines with honey in the morning, but I wanted to be fancier today.”
“I only had french toast once before.” Trevor leaned over Jerome’s shoulder to smell the food. “I loved it.”
Jerome flipped the toast in the pan. “If you had it in a big fancy hotel, mine won’t compare.”
“No. It’ll be better.”
Trevor reached for a piece of the already-cooked toast stacked on a plate.
Jerome whacked his hand away with the spatula.
“Flattery will get you nowhere. And no eating before it’s ready. I’m almost done.”
Nothing is easier than french toast (which is called “pain perdu” in French, or “lost bread” because originally they made it from bread that was too hard to eat. Nothing was wasted). All you need is bread slices (obviously), 3 eggs, 25cl (about 8 ounces) of milk, 75g (about 2.6 ounces) of sugar, and a bit of butter. I said it was delicious, not healthy!
Whisk the eggs with the sugar and milk and pour into a soup dish. Set the slices of bread into the liquid and make sure they’re drenched on both sides. Put a bit of butter to melt in a pan and cook your slices on each side until they’re brown (but not burnt). And that’s it!
If you wanna be extra fancy, you can add vanilla, cinnamon, or some nutmeg to the mix before you dip your bread.
Eat by itself or with maple syrup, honey, … and a delicious cup of black coffee.
About the author:
Emy Calirel grew up in France, but also spent some time in Africa as a child. When she finally reached adulthood, she jumped on opportunities and moved to California, then Ireland, before coming back to her roots. San Francisco still holds her heart, though, and always will.
After trying a couple different jobs, she settled down and now works in a funeral home/monumental masonry, which she loves. To handle life’s daily stress, she laughs with her coworkers a lot and spends any free time she gets reading or daydreaming about queer folks finding their happily ever after.
She’s a cat owner, a plant killer, and a San Francisco Giants fan. Wanderlust flows in her veins, and her goal is to visit every capital in Europe—if she can ever stop herself from going back to London over and over again.
Emy’s muse is a sassy being who expertly farms plot bunnies in Emy’s overgrown imagination. As a consequence, Emy has more stories and characters living in her head than she’ll ever be able to write in her lifetime. She’s fine with it, though, as, like a child, she loves playing in her sandbox.
A documentary enthusiast and curious to a fault, Emy often loses herself in research and will happily share her discoveries with everyone. Did you know most mammals empty their bladders in twenty-one seconds?
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.