FRIDAY FEAST with Fiona Palmer

43 Replies

Ooh, I’m feeling just a little bit excited and giggly here in Feast Central. Why? Because rural romance royalty is paying a visit, that’s why. Yes, folks, Fiona Palmer is on the show. Yeehaa!

Fiona hails from the tiny Western Australian town of Pingaring, three and a half hours from Perth, and her stories are so vivid with small town and country life you can taste the wheatstalks. The Family Farm was her first hit and a wonderful story about following your dreams. Heart of Gold, with its honest hero and heroine and excellent portrayal of the stones life can throw at us, followed The Family Farm into best-sellerdom. Fiona’s much-awaited third novel, the evocatively titled The Road Home, releases at the end of March. Let’s take a peek…


When your life is at a crossroads, how do you find the road home?

Lara Turner has a boyfriend, a nice house in the city and a chance at a big promotion. So when her brother calls asking her to come home, she hesitates. Can she face the memories that inhabit the beloved place of her childhood? And how does she feel with the news it’s to be sold? Is she the answer to saving the family farm?

Jack Morgan has memories of his own to contend with. A falling-out with his family and a bitter end to a past relationship have left a big chip on his shoulder. When his best mate’s beautiful sister arrives on the scene, he finds himself deeply conflicted.

Lara and Jack have a powerful attraction but are constantly at odds. Will their love of the same land keep them apart, or grow into a love of a different kind?

From the bestselling author of The Family Farm and Heart of Gold comes a heartwarming novel about finding your true place in the world, and the healing power of the land.


I am so looking forward to getting my teeth or, rather, my eyeballs, into this one!

And now I bring you….FIONA!


Thanks Cathryn for having me, I love reading the Friday Feast blogs. I love cooking shows too, I just don’t like cooking! I love EATING especially anything with chocolate. So you could imagine I’m loving and hating the fact that Easter is just around the corner. Easter chocolate for some reason is just yummo and the kids and hubby know that their eggs are always in danger if they sit opened in my fridge for too long. I call it the ‘mummy tax’.

So for that reason I’m going to share with you a chocolate chip crunch bicky recipe my mum gave me. She told me she got it from one of my Auntie’s but when I told my Aunt about the awesome bicky recipe of hers, she had no idea what I was on about and said she’d never made them. Ha. So the whole origin of this recipe is unknown. Who cares where it came from, I’m just glad that I have it. I don’t make it that often as I can’t seem to stop eating the mixture, before and after cooking! Hey, when we were kids out on the farm with my cousins we would all make a raw cake to eat, and buy the time we actually cooked what was left no one was hungry.

This recipe is really simple. (It has to be for me to use it lol) Sometimes I use Cornflakes and sometimes Special K, depending on what’s in the cupboard.  And once they are made, and cooled I put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. The kids just take them straight from the freezer to eat. In summer they are really nice frozen, they don’t go hard, but are nice and cold. I just love the crunch factor. Oh and the chocolate…did I mention that bit?!

Choc Chip Bicky’s

250gms butter/marg

1 cup castor sugar

Cream together, then add 2 eggs and mix

½ teasp vanilla

2 cups S/R flour

4 cups of cornflakes/special K slightly crushed.  (I just pour it into my hand, crunch it and drop into the bowl)

Mix through and add Choc bits (I like to use a whole packet but it’s up to you. Me, chocoholic remember!)

Put onto a tray in small balls. (I have been known to make huge size ones…you get more choc bits that way)

Bake 180º 15-20 mins or until starting to brown.

I have doubled this recipe and frozen the whole lot so I have a huge supply for the kids school lunch boxes.  (I hate having to cook again, so if I’m turning my oven on I like to make the most of it and do a big cook up)

Well I hope you enjoy these as much as I do, and big thanks to Cathryn for having me.

Also I’d love to offer up a signed copy of my new book The Road Home which is due out 21st March.  Please tell me something you used to eat when you were younger, like my raw cakes or sometimes when we were craving a sugar fix my cousin had taken a packet of jelly and we ate that! (This is back when TimTams weren’t readily available in cupboards!)


Thanks so much, Fiona. Love the way you can freeze these biscuits. Very handy and a very delicious treat in the summer I imagine. As for teenaged snack-fests, I found culinary heaven after the delivery of our first microwave. This is going to sound gross, but after school sometimes I’d come in and unwrap a whole stack of cheese slices – those really plastic-y ones because proper cheese didn’t work the same – tear them up into pieces into a cup then zap it until it turned all gooey and luscious, then gobble it up with a teaspoon. Poor Mum used to do her nut over how the cheese slices kept disappearing. In the traditions of good sisterhood, I blamed my brother.

So come on Feasters, Fiona and I have shared ours, time you shared your naughty and not so naughty eaty-secrets. There’s a wonderful prize up for grabs.

Entries close midnight Tuesday, 13th March. Open internationally. And please provide a way for us to contact you in case you win!

If you’d like to learn more about Fiona and her fabulous books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook and on Twitter.


Fiona’s giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Jenn, the lucky, lucky winner of a signed copy of The Road Home. 

Thanks to all who entered and for your wonderful comments. I bet there’s been a few tubes of condensed milk purchased thanks to Fiona’s visit!


43 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Fiona Palmer

  1. AvatarKellie Schache

    Hi Cathryn & Fiona,
    I remember when I was young, my best friend Sonia (who also lived across the road) and I used to clean out our mum’s cupboards of icing sugar and currants. We used to mix them together, put them in a bowl and hide down the back away from all of her brothers and our mum’s eyes, lick our fingers and dip them in the icing sugar. Not so sure why the currants were a hit but the icing sugar was a little bit like sherbert – the fun was not getting found out!!!!
    Love & have read both of your books. Definately looking forward to reading your new one Fiona.
    Keep up the good work girls.
    Much love, Kellie xxx

    1. AvatarFiona Palmer

      Hi Kellie, My brother and I used to dig into the icing sugar when we were little and one time he dug into the flour and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t taste as good as last time lol. Hmm currants would have added a chewy factor lol. I hope you enjoy this next book 🙂

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I read your comment, Kellie, and immediately wanted to try currants and icing sugar. It’d be a massive sugar hit but I can’t help thinking it’d be damn tasty too.

        I remember discovering a recipe for sherbet in an old CWA or similar cookbook when I was a kid and that was the end of me. So naughty but oh so good!

  2. AvatarAnne Gracie

    Fiona, this looks really yummy. Thanks. And I’m looking forward to reading your books, which are new to me.

    Fiona, I was thinking the auntie your mum got the recipe from might be a courtesy aunt rather than a blood relation. I had lots of those when I was young.

    One of the things I used to love when I was a kid was peas straight from the plant. We’d pick ’em, pod ’em and eat ’em. The other thing I used to sneak was vegemite, straight from the jar, by the finger full. Guess you could call me a savory type, though I do love chocolate.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Oh, I’m with you, Anne. Peas fresh from the pod are beeeeoooootiful. So sweet and crunchy.

        As for sticking your finger in the Vegemite, my other half still does that. Sigh.

  3. AvatarFiona Palmer

    Thank you Cathryn!! Wow, what a wrap, I feel so special. (my head started to swell :/ ) I’ll be busy at Wagin today so I will try and get on tonight to reply. Thanks for having me, I’m gonna love hearing the stories. 🙂

  4. Avatarjennjmcleod

    Did someone say cookie!!!!!!!!! They look good enough to make me turn to sweet. But alas, I am not sweet! (Yes and I am an author. I once admitted on a writer’s loop that I did not eat Tim Tams. I felt the vibrations through my fingers as all the writers’ chins dropped to their keyboards in disbelief. It was hard to say aloud but there it was…I was out! I am not so sweet! I am savoury. And my very savoury sin as a youngster was picking the chunks of salt off a pretzel with my teeth (and sneaking the pretzel back in the bowl) Ewwwww! I know. But no one died – not that I know of anyway!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Oh, oh, I used to loooooove sucking the salt off pretzels too, Jenn! God, I’d forgotten about doing that. No idea why pretzel salt tasted so good but it did for some reason.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Avatarlouisecusack

    Hey Fiona, those bikkies look awesome! My mum used to make chocolate biscuits with roasted peanuts in them, and when I was little it was my job to take the cooled tray of peanuts downstairs and rub the husks off and then blow them off the tray, coming back upstairs with the neatly de-husked and roasted peanuts. I started with good intentions, but the second time I did it I inadvertently blew a couple of peanuts off the tray onto the grass and had to eat them because… well, just because. Then the next thing I knew I was eating roasted peanuts that hadn’t fallen off. Mum started to shake her head and say, “I was sure I roasted more peanuts than that,” when I brought the tray back up, then suddenly those biscuits were being made while I was at school instead of on the weekend.

    Definitely sprung.

    1. AvatarFiona Palmer

      lol Louise I could see my son doing that. He’s into all the nuts. He’d rather nuts than chocolate or lollies, so i’m not complianing. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Hi Fiona and Cathryn,

    Mmmm…Tim Tams dipped in coffee 🙂 A definite ‘must have’ at the writing desk. Those choc chip cookies look yummy. Being able to freeze them is an added bonus. Since my boys NEVER look in the freezer, they can be a well-kept secret.

    As kids we used to love spreading condensed milk on bread and topping it with sprinkles. I think the dentist loved us too 😀

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Condensed milk. *groan* So good it’s nearly worth the time in the dentist’s chair. Nearly.

      I agree, Juanita. The being able to freeze the biscuits aspect of this recipe makes it a real winner. Very convenient.

    2. AvatarFiona Palmer

      Juanita my gran used to make custard with condensed milk. And if we ever had it in those tubes, (like toothpaste) you could just suck it all out. lol.
      Sadly my kids search the freezer, but they don’t look down the back where I hide my chocolate 🙂

  7. AvatarKim Davidson

    Hi Fiona and Cathryn,

    I can’t wait until the new book hits the shelf.

    My naughty moments growing up was the tin of condensed milk stashed under the bed with 2 holes in it, along side was the packet of jelly crystals and Raro (cordial sachets)…… these days during winter it is caramel tim tams from the fridge and being used as a straw for a hot milo 🙂 Mmmm now have a craving hehe. Might go and make your choc chip bickys.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      He he. There must have been a whole bunch of us with secret condensed milk stashes. Understandably. That stuff is soooooo good!

      Caramel Tim-Tams and Milo? Might have to try that one out when no one’s looking, Kim. Things could get messy.

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope those biccies turned out.

  8. AvatarHelene

    Yum! Chocolate chip biscuits were always in demand in our house and I too preferred the unbaked mix for some strange reason… was always being told off for eating too much before it made it to the trays…

    And Louise’s mother and mine must be a similar vintage because I can remember having to husk peanuts as well!

    I can remember making myself quite ill on fairy-bread one birthday party… My eating happens have thankfully taken a turn for the better 🙂

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Hi Helene, and thanks for your comment. Biscuit mix never used to appeal as much as raw cake mix for me, unless it was melting moment mix. Now that stuff tasted gooood.

      Fairy bread. Now that’s a blast from the past. Every birthday party had to have fairy bread. Thank goodness we grew out of that one!

    2. AvatarFiona Palmer

      I still make fairy bread for my kids for parties. But freckles are much better! Then you get chocolate too.
      I can’t wait to see what Penguin come up with for your new cover Helene. 🙂

  9. AvatarJindivick Wildlife Shelter

    My brother and I used to take 20c to the local milk bar and buy a sunny boy. The orange ones were the best! They were sooo yummy in our summer holidays and the anticipation of finding out if we had yellow writing inside the wrapping, which meant we had won a free one was just too much. We would pull the frozen lump out and it would drip and melt down our fingers while we found out. The sunny boys now are a lot smaller and cost about five times as much – but still bring back lovely memories – and yes I have one in my freezer!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Another blast from the past!!! Gawd, I’d forgotten about those. We weren’t allowed to have Sunny Boys very often. Hardly ever, in fact. Not when there were perfectly good home-made icy-poles in the freezer, but for some reason they just didn’t create the same joy as a store-bought Sunny Boy.

      And you can still buy them? How amazing. Might have to suss that out.

      Thanks for visiting the blog, JWS!

  10. AvatarSuzi

    I always loved the good old weetbix with a drizzle of honey and head outside again to munch into it – ate it like a biscuit.
    Re-energized me after a long hot day riding with friends and was quick enough to prepare that you didn’t miss anything while you darted home to grab a bite to eat….Oh the good ole days.
    Looking forward to getting my hands on more and more books. Just read Margareta Osborn’s new book and I am suddenly inspired to become a reader…..geez, not sure sure what’s happened to me – from a none reader to a person who wants another book….I think I’ve found the genre I love…Country!!

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      That sounds far too healthy, Suzi! Nice though…

      How fabulous that you’ve found a genre you love and are reading. That’s really great to hear. With all the excellent rural books coming out this year you’ll have plenty to satisfy your new craving.

      Just as a little promo, I’m giving away a copy of my rural romance, Promises, on the ARRA blog at the moment. Leave a comment and you might score another rural to add to your collection.

  11. AvatarRaelene Hall

    We had to bring the fresh bread from the letter box to the house when we got off the school bus (down Gairdner River way in WA). By the time we got home there would be a gaping big hole in the middle of the loaf of bread where we’d pulled all the fresh bread out. Needless to say mum was never impressed.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Perfectly understandable, Raelene. Everyone knows that the slices from the middle of the loaf taste better!

      My brother was the best at doing that. Drove poor Mum bananas.

      Thanks so much for calling by and commenting.

    2. AvatarFiona Palmer

      I got rid of my bread maker because fresh bread wouldn’t last in our house and we were all growing in size…and it wasn’t upwards. Who can resist the smell of fresh bread. oh yum. Thanks Raelene!

  12. Avatarsamone

    Wow – thanks for bringing back that memory – I used to eat packet jelly too! i remember mum used to get so annoyed!

    I borrowed The Family Farm from my local library, started it Saturday night and couldn’t put it down… Stayed up all night reading it – looking forward to this one.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I’m beginning to feel like I had some sort of a deprived childhood, not eating jelly crystals. Wonder if I should try it now….

      The Family Farm is a great book, Samone. As is Heart of Gold. Love Fiona’s work.

  13. AvatarFiona barry

    Hi guys,
    I remember I use to love eating saladas will heaps of butter and peanut butter between two biscuits and squeezing them together to see who could make the longest worms.
    Sadly we can’t have peanut butter in our house now, as one of our boys are allergic 🙁

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Oh yeah! I remember doing that, Fiona. Such fun! Except we did it with butter and Vegemite. Amazing what floats your boat when you’re younger, although, to be fair, I’d probably still get some weird kick out of doing the same thing today.

      Thanks for clicking on over and commenting.

  14. AvatarJacqueline Reid

    Looks and sound yum 😀 I love eating sweetened condensed milk, especially out of a tube 😀 So yum 🙂

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Don’t we all, Jacqueline!

      My dad has a bit of a sweet tooth and loves to get a bowl of vanilla icecream and pour condensed milk over the top. Sooooo naughty but oh so nice!

  15. AvatarCathryn Hein

    The random number generator chose lucky Jenn McLeod as the winner of Fiona’s upcoming release, The Road Home. And yes, I am extremely jealous too!

    Thanks to all who dropped by and commented. I hope to see you here again.

Comments are closed.