Archive for July, 2012

My beautiful, touching, funny debut novel, House of Dreams  has now been published on Amazon in e-book format. Go check it out.

You can download the first few chapters for free, but the whole thing only costs £1.53!

It’s still also available at Smashwords, and I have just now completed the print version and am awaiting the proof copy – very exciting. So hopefully the paperback will be available soon too.

 

It

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I have long been a fan of the American TV show, Man vs Food, in which likeable, tubby, Brooklynite  food fantaic, Adam Richman, travels around the USA finding cafes and diners that offer some sort of food challenge. These tend to take the form of either a challenge based on size, such as an 8lb burger or giant stack of pancakes:

or some kind of extreme, chilli eating challenge usually involving a bunch of habaneros, ghost chilies and  capsaicin (basically the pure, firery essence of all chillies).

I have entered two food eating contests in my life and have won both (easily, I might add) : chillies and fish fingers. The chillies took a little effort, but to be honest, with 37 fish fingers down and my competitors collapsing in pain, I could happily have carried on.

We don’t really have much of a culture of competitive eating in the UK, but on a recent visit to Crouch End cafe Hot Pepper Jelly, I was delighted to see a gentle move in that direction.

Hot Pepper Jelly  is a cute little eight table joint squeezed in amongst many others along Tottenham Lane ( nowhere near Tottenham, don’t worry; it’s Crouch End’s main drag). It has free wifi,  charming waitresses ( never seen a dude waiter working there) serves a decent coffee in pretty little cups and a really nice selection of cafe food with an emphais on sandwhiches. But the killer is their signature Hot Pepper Jelly  a combo of bacon, peanut butter and a variety of chilli jams and jellies.

They are a thing of beauty as they are and the hot version is already enough to make you wince a little ( you know, in a good way), but once I’d ordered the already pretty fiery version, I noticed on the menu that they now offer a super hot version called… The Inferno. I couldn’t justify ordering another sandwhich right then and there, but I promise you, Hot Pepper Jelly, I will be back to take down your Inferno!

 

House of Dreams – the new novel by Callum Jacobs. Buy it now at Amazon.

Killing half an hour before going to see a performance of some Street Dance at Finchley Arts Depot ( don’t ask!) I took myself to Coffee Republic.

The coffee was pretty good, and although I had a latte:

so couldn’t really get too much of a good read on the full taste, it was way better than the other big high street players.

It’s one of the less well know of the chains and always feels like it’s still an indy and although nowhere as big as the other behemoths of the corporate coffee world, it has around 50 UK bars. It’s got a decidedly hip, New York thing going on, with a moody black and red colour scheme and seems to be the artsy, jazz, black beret and Satre vibe as opposed to the airy, laid back, bleached wood and Beach Boys California deal that Starbucks trades on; it’s NWA vs Public Enemy… in coffee.

Although, in what seemed to be a nod to the hippy fascism more redolent of West Coast USA, they had a sign above the food counter that read:

‘All our sandwiches are made with BROWN bread’

which felt like they’d left unsaid a ‘… so fuck you and your unhealthy lifestyle, buddy’ and seemed a little out of synch with the image. Maybe they’d just run out of white that day.

In other news, my debut novel House of Dreams is getting beta tested by a bunch of people and should be out on Amazon any day now.