Thank you to everyone who voted for Eden’s Garden in
I’m delighted to announce that Eden’s Garden made it to the finals! Hurrah!
I’m still pinching myself.
I have no idea what happens next, but watch this space.
Congratulations to all the other finalists, and I look forward to meeting you.
Thank you, to all my wonderful readers. A glass of virtual Elderflower Champagne, straight from the Snowdonian hillsides, is winging its way towards you all.
Posted in Eden's Garden, Honno Press, The People's Book Prize, Writing | Tagged Eden's Garden, Honno Press, The People's Book Prize Autumn 2013, Welsh Book of the Month | 6 Comments »
Tomorrow, the last day of November, is the final day for voting for this round of The People’s Book Prize.
Whatever happens, thank you to everyone who has voted for ‘Eden’s Garden’, and to all those who left such wonderful comments. I am amazed and humbled. And grinning from ear to ear. Thank you! One author feeling very warm inside here. If you would still like to vote, you can do so HERE
Meanwhile, the publication of ‘We That Are Left’ is growing ever closer. The proofs are winging their way towards me, and once they are done it’s heading straight for the printers – and a real book will finally appear.
I can’t wait …..
Posted in Eden's Garden, Honno Press, The People's Book Prize, Welsh Book of the Month, Writing | Leave a Comment »
Making Rosehip Syrup from a War Time Recipe
Rosehip syrup was used in both world wars as a source of vitamin C and a soothing home remedy for coughs and colds, so as the first rosehips appeared this autumn I was eager to try out the kind of recipe that Elin, the heroine of ‘We That Are Left‘, might have made during the 1914 – 18 war.
With most of my recipes for the book I’ve tried to be as authentic as possible, with many coming from newpapers of the time. But many are also traditional ones that would have been passed down generations of women to keep their families safe and healthy in a world where a visit to the doctor cost money that poorer families simply could not spare. Many older people I spoke to still remember rosehip syrup as a remedy from their childhood. Some remembered gathering the hips, and all remembered the delicious taste as it was spooned into them – much nicer (and of course far cheaper) than shop bought medicine!
There are plenty of recipes still out there. In the end I went with this one from the BBC ’Woman’s Hour’ website, which is the one given out by the Ministry of Food in 1943 during the Second World War. You can find the link HERE
So first I needed to gather 2lbs (900gm) of hips. These would have been crushed, but I used a food processor and a potato masher. They were then put into 3 pints (1.7 litres) of boiling water. I brought it back to the boil then left it for around 15 – 20 mins. The smell was exquisite! My whole house was suffused with a warm, fruity, slightly fluffy scent. I sat there with a cup of tea just breathing it in.
The next part is to strain this through a jelly bag or muslin. It has to be that fine to strain out the hairs that can be an irritant. I got my straining bag from a kitchen shop in Conwy for just a few pounds. The bag is hung up and left to drip. A rusty coloured cloudy liquid appears in the pan underneath. When it’s all done, you can put the rosehips back in a pan and add 852 ml of boiling water and do the whole thing again to get the last bit of goodness out.
Then it was a matter of boiling it all down and until it thickens, then adding just over 1lb (560gr) of sugar and boiling for about 5 mins more. Then it’s ready to bottle.
I’m not sure it’s an exact science. I’d like to keep on experimenting to see the best taste for me. The first batch was delicious and the colour was beautiful, but it was very sweet. Which I suppose is the point, as it needs to keep and it is a syrup to be used in small doses. I haven’t tried it on icecream yet, but it was very soothing when I came down with a cold, and I have to say I recovered very quickly. I did put a small amount in hot water, which was very comforting.
I’m off to find more rosehips, and rosehip syrup is definitely on my list of autumn treats!
Posted in Historical Fiction, Honno Press, Literature Wales Writers' Bursary, Recipes for We That Are Left, Research, World War 1, Writing | Tagged First World War 1914-18, Historical Fiction, Honno Press, Literature Wales Writers' Bursary, Recipes for We That Are Left, Writing | 6 Comments »
I’ve had a nice write-up in the local paper this week.
Okay, so the Bangor and Anglesey Mail isn’t exactly world wide coverage, but I know it’s some of the best publicity I can have. I’m always surprised at how many people have read (and remember!) even the smallest bit of information about me that finds its way in there. I always think I lead this quiet, slightly eccentric, hermit life, quite forgetting I’ve lived and worked all over the North Wales coast for more than twenty years. In small communities like these, it’s surprising just how many people know me, or know of me. And because I am local, I’m flying the flag for local pride, too. So even those who don’t know me are rooting for me.
I still have this faint (but excruciating) feeling that I’m boasting and everyone’s going to run a mile. But of course local papers love stories, and especially good news stories. It was something I learnt when I was running a small charity. It was easier then, because it wasn’t directly about me, but I’ve learnt to apply it to publicising my books. It’s a fair exchange. I send in an article, with a selection of photographs, the reporter has an easy life and something good to put in the paper. Plus you make sure you get all the facts right. Everyone is happy.
So hurrah for local reporters and local papers!
And while I’m being shameless, if you would like to vote for Eden’s Garden in The People’s Book Prize, please vote here:
Posted in Eden's Garden in the press, Honno Press, Juliet being interviewed, Literature Wales Writers' Bursary, Publicity, Writing | Tagged being interviewed, Eden's Garden, Honno Press, Literature Wales Writers' Bursary, Publicity, Writing | 8 Comments »
Today I’m being interviewed on Dizzy C’s Little Book Blog, talking about my new book We That Are Left, which was finished with the aid of a Writers’ Bursary from Literature Wales. Plus the excitement of being in the running for The People’s Book Prize with Eden’s Garden.
Thank you Carol for a great interview!
You can pop on over and read my interview here:
Posted in Historical Fiction, Honno Press, Juliet being interviewed, Literature Wales Writers' Bursary, Recipes for We That Are Left, The People's Book Prize, We That Are Left, World War 1, Writing | Tagged being interviewed, First World War 1914-18, Historical Fiction, Honno Press, Literature Wales Writers' Bursary, Recipes for We That Are Left, We That Are Left, World War 1, Writing | Leave a Comment »