Sunday, March 18, 2012


DEBORAH CROMBIE: As we often talk about food here on Jungle Red on Sunday, AND as it's traditionally Masterpiece Theater day for all of us long-time public television addicts, I wanted to share a recent discovery.

Last month when my novel No Mark Upon Her was released, I was (of course) scanning the reviews on a regular basis. I was reading a nice piece in when a name in the right sidebar caught my eye--Robin Ellis.

(Here's the interview.)

Robin Ellis played Ross Poldark, the dashing 18th century British army officer who returns to his native Cornwall after fighting in the American Revolution, in the television adaptation of Winston Graham's novels. The classic mini-series debuted in May, 1977, and is considered one of the ten most popular shows in the history of Masterpiece Theater. Acorn Media has now re-released the entire series in a boxed set, which Ellis is promoting.

But that's not all Robin Ellis is up to these days. He lives in the South of France with his lovely American wife, and he cooks.

Diagnosed a few years ago as Type-2 diabetic, Ellis, who had always enjoyed cooking, applied himself to controlling his disease with diet and exercise.

Ellis experimented with recipes he'd been compiling for years, adapting the traditional cooking of the south of France. The result is Delicious Dishes for Diabetics: Eating well with Type-2 Diabetes.

These recipes are not just for diabetics, but for anyone who loves good, fresh food. Robin also posts regularly on his blog, and the first entry I read sold me on the book. I love Mediterranean style food, and I loved Robin's easy, chatty, and interesting recipes, essays, and photos. It was like cooking with a friend, and a friend who lives in the south of France, no less!

I ordered the book as a little book-pub treat to myself, and I LOVE it! Not only are the recipes delicious, but the book is graced with charming watercolor illustrations by an artist friend of Robin and his wife, Meredith.

Best of all, there are recipes that my husband, an oh-so-picky and unadventurous eater, actually likes! So far the Salmon Fishcakes have been the biggest hit. Pretty amazing response from a guy who doesn't like fish, particularly salmon, to have told me more than once how much he liked the dinner.

So cheers to Robin, and I'm looking forward to many more recipes--and to a spot of
indulgence with the Poldark DVDs...

PS: Robin and Meredith are on a month-long tour of the US, promoting the cookbook. Unfortunately, they aren't coming to Texas, but they may be in a city near you! Here's the schedule.

If you get to meet them, I'll be jealous!


  1. Love that you blogged about Robin Ellis, Deb. We need his cook book in our house! And oh... those DVDs! That is one of our all-time fave series.

  2. dhluma ecoplOne of the many things I like about this cookbook is its manageable size--trade paper. You can even take it shopping with you if what you're going to cook depends on what's available in the store. It does, however, make me wish I was shopping in the south of France....

  3. oops, sorry about typing the captcha in the post. Obviously I'm not awake....

  4. Oh, sounds husband is a big Poldark
    fan! So I 'm sure he'll love the cookbook too. Fine I know that doesn't make any sense....

    Thanks Debs!

  5. Cooking with a friend in southern France sounds wonderful Debs! What a terrific end of book slog gift to give yourself.

    what else was in the salmon patties? I'm not a big fan of salmon either, though I know it's supposed to be so good for us...

  6. Lucy, the second recipe is the one in the book. I used regular flour and a whole egg. Worked great!

  7. Sounds fabulous, Deb! I was once told by a doctor that, if everyone ate according to the diabetic restrictions, we'd all be healthier and live longer.

    And I'm so excited about the Podark DVDs. I've put them on my Christmas list.

  8. Deb - Are there very many vegetarian recipes in the book?

  9. I used to love Poldark, especially since we have family in Cornwall and know all the locations.

    And my sister in law in Diabetic and loves to cook, so I'm going to be ordering the book. Thanks for featuring it.

    Of course if Poldark himself would come and cook for me....

  10. Rhys, I already have dibs on Robin if he decides to come and cook for anyone:-) With Meredith along, of course!

    Nancy, there are lots of good veggie, soup, and salad recipes.

    Maybe if we all ate like this, we'd look as good as Robin:-)

  11. OMG I LOVED Poldark...especially the lovely and feisty Angharad Rees (sp?) Must google her to see what she's up to. The other girl...the blond (Elizabeth?) was Maggie Verver in the PBS version of The Golden Bowl, which is a little creaky now but light years better than the Nick Nolte/Uma Thurman film.
    Robin looks great..his cooking must be good. Or maybe it's living in the south of France.

  12. You're right...the cookbook is great, even for fussy husbands! And the man himself is all you could hope for: charming, gracious, down-to-earth, and still handsome! And his lovely wife is so likeable & talented, too! Had the wonderful opportunity to meet & chat w/them at length during this tour! :)