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Food Requests, Flexibility, and a Healthy Relationship #FoodieReads #LitHappens

This month for our Lit Happens book club, Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures picked The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.* In this topsy turvey world, we all voted for something light and breezy. This fit the bill. Though that is not a cook-from-the-book kinda group; I always find some kind of inspiration to create an edible of some kind! But first, the book...

On the Page

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion feels as if you're reading a screen play of any romantic comedy that features a protagonist who falls on the autistic spectrum. Don Tillman, who has Asperger's Syndrome or is a high-functioning autistic, is a renowned albeit socially inept professor of genetics with an almost painfully predictable schedule. After someone mentions that he would make a good husband, he launches "The Wife Project" with his rigidly trademark rationality and a questionnaire designed to find him the perfect partner.

"A questionnaire! Such an obvious solution. A purpose-built, scientifically valid instrument incorporating current best practice to filter out the time wasters, the disorganised, the ice-cream discriminators, the visual-harassment complainers, the crystal gazers, the horoscope readers, the fashion obsessives, the religious fanatics, the vegans, the sports watchers, the creationists, the smokers, the scientifically illiterate, the homeopaths, leaving, ideally, the perfect partner, or, realistically, a manageable shortlist of candidates" (pg. 20).

Naturally, Don mistakenly assumes that Rosie has been sent to his office by his colleagues and friends Gene and Claudia as a wife-project candidate, so he invites her to dinner and hilarity and hijinx ensue. She can't cook. She's a vegetarian, but will eat sustainable seafood. And she smokes. All of these would typically be deal breakers for Don. But he still finds her illogically appealing and offers to use his genetics expertise to help her identify her biological father and The Wife Project transforms into the Rosie Project.


It’s impossible not to root for Don and cheer him on as he learns to adapt.

"'Where do you hide the corkscrew?' she asked.

'Wine is not scheduled for Tuesdays.'

'Fuck that,' said Rosie.

There was a certain logic underlying Rosie's response. I would only be eating a single serve of dinner. It was the final step in the abandonment of the evening's schedule. I announced the change. 'Time has been redefined. Previous rules no longer apply. Alcohol is hereby declared mandatory in the Rosie Time Zone" (pg. 63).

I read this book in just two sittings. It was a welcome distraction as we are all sheltered-in-place at home. And even though I am going to spoil it - he gets the girl! - you should still read this if you can get your hands on it. I laughed aloud. Really.

Food Requests

So, where I'm headed with this post is about food requests and healthy relationships. I think Don evolved into a better person when he swung to a more moderate version of himself. "Once a week, in order to deal with the demands of living with another person, and to continue to improve my skills in this sphere, I spend an evening therapy" (pg. 323). Once he started to listen, he became a better person and a better partner.

Listening isn't my strong suit either, but when we were discussing Jake's menu requests for his birthday, the list wasn't extravagant, unlike our boys when it's their birthdays. For breakfast, he wanted eggs and potatoes. For lunch, caprese with melon and prosciutto. For dinner, stir-fry. And for dessert, a cheesecake. Done. Done. Done. And done. Oh, and "no more bread, please." I've been on a serious sourdough baking streak. Well, that one I didn't heed. And I added avocados. He didn't complain!

My go-to recipe for potatoes: Roasted Potatoes. And here's How To Poach Eggs.

I'll be posting recipes for that cheesecake and the birthday boule that wasn't requested. But for now, if you're looking for a fun read, this is a good one.

*This blog currently has a partnership with in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to and search for the item of your choice.

Click to see what everyone else read in April 2020: here.


  1. I enjoyed this book too. I'm going to order up the next in the series and see how our friends are doing.

    1. I didn't realize it was a series. I'll take a look once I get through some of these other books on my to-read list.


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