FRIDAY FEAST with Annie West

Happy Friday, Feasters. And what a most joyous day it is too. After yesterday’s freezing misery the sun is once more shining on Melbourne, and mornings like this make me feel happy and bright. But today I’d feel that way even if

photo © Fiona Vaughan 2006

conditions were Arctic. Why? Because I have the loveliest guest on Friday Feast this week, multi-published Mills and Boon author Annie West.

Annie hails from Lake Macquarie way, north of Sydney and nestled at the edge of the Hunter Valley and the glorious coastline of the Lake and the surrounding beaches. A beautiful part of the world and the perfect environment for writing the intense, sensual romances so adored by Annie’s many fans.

Annie’s latest release is the sexily titled Undone By His Touch. Makes you want to read the book for the title alone, doesn’t it? Well, check out this cover and blurb, and I promise you’ll be even more sucked-in and saying, as I did, “Thank you, world, for one-click book-buying!”

 

UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH

 

Cast into a world of black, Declan Carstairs is a man in torment. Consumed by guilt, he sees no way out of the darkness his world has become. Only one thing drives him – finding the woman who caused his brother’s death, and the accident that took his sight.

Housekeeper Chloe Daniels refuses to pity her devastatingly gorgeous boss, but treating him as the strong, capable man he is soon proves dangerous. As Chloe falls deeper under Declan’s spell, awakened by his touch, she forgets all about the secret she keeps that may destroy them both…

 

You can read about the inspiration for the book (including some pictures) and an excerpt of it on Annie’s website here. To read the whole first chapter, visit Mills and Boon UK here.

 

Ha! Told you it’d grab. Now, off clickety-clicking with that mouse you go.

Right. Reading and bookbuying done? Excellent. Now it’s time to get your fingers sticky with Annie’s luscious Friday Feast post.

 

THE COMFORTS OF CHILDHOOD FOOD

 

Hi Cathryn! Thanks so much for inviting me along to join your feasters. I love talking about food as much as I enjoy talking books. Congratulations too on your new release.

I toyed with the idea of featuring some exotic meal I’d attempted, but in the end nostalgia won out and I’m chatting about a favourite childhood comfort food.

Not so long ago I came across plums – lots of them and very cheap. They sat there tempting me with their lush roundness and that lovely straight-from-the-orchard cloudiness on the skin. I was very busy at the time, shopping in a rush while adding to a mental list of things to do when I got home, yet I heard their siren call. I circled, trying to tell myself I wasn’t interested but I could still hear it – those wonderful words – home made plum jam. And I was lost. I’ll tell you why.

I grew up in what’s now a pretty ordinary suburban street. When I was young though, it wasn’t so built up. We had over an acre of land and most of it was remnant rainforest gully. We ran wild outside almost every day and it was a brilliant place to play, despite the venomous snakes who also shared the place. Closer to the house was a very, very old garden with a couple of apple trees two storeys high, all sorts of flowering shrubs and bulbs as well as what seemed to me enormous plum trees.

I’m not sure how many plum trees we had but they covered a lot of ground. When the fruit was ripe our neighbours would gather then leave laden with multiple buckets of plums. Narabeen Plums, Blood Plums, Santa Rosa Plums and others whose names I never knew. Despite the neighbourhood feeding frenzy there was always an abundance left for us. And, being the housekeeper she was, mum made jam. Lots and lots of jam.

Mum made so much jam we never ran out. I remember the first time I tasted store bought jam – on an interstate caravanning holiday when I was around 10.  I didn’t know jam could taste so….nothing. I’d grown up assuming all jam was flavourful and downright delicious.

When I recently cooked up my batch of plums it had been a while since I’d made jam. Tasting the end product transported me in a flash to my childhood. The taste and scent, even the consistency of it, was pure nostalgia. And, though I’m biased, I can report it was delicious. Others say so too! I know it wasn’t my jam making skills but the taste of the fruit.

We all know that smells can evoke powerful memories of the past yet t I hadn’t realised taste had the same power. The sensation was quite incredible and brought back so many things I’d half forgotten.

That got me thinking about comfort foods from childhood and how they make you feel so much better, whether you’re feeling sick, or just ready for a little boost. Apart from ‘real’ plum jam my childhood comfort eats include Christmas pudding, corned beef with veges and white sauce on the onions, and old fashioned chocolate cake. And how could I forget…potatoes cooked in the coals of an outdoor fire (Dad did a lot of burning off at our place). Shove the potatoes in the coals and cover them. Haul them out when they’re black on the outside. Cut them in half, add salt and pepper and scoop out the insides with a teaspoon. Yum!

If you’re interested in trying your hand at jam, try this (and the recipe can easily be halved). It makes a sweet yet slightly tart jam.

 

PLUM JAM

2kg dark plums

4 cups water

1/3 cup lemon juice (but have extra just in case)

1 ½ kg sugar

Quarter plums and remove stones. Add with water to large saucepan. Bring to boil then cover and simmer for an hour.

Add juice and sugar to the saucepan. Stir over heat without boiling until the sugar is dissolved. Then boil, uncovered without stirring for around 20 mins or till jam sets when tests. (Depending on the type of plums it can take longer or you could add a little more juice if it’s not setting).

Pour into hot sterilised jars and when cold, seal.

 

Do you have favourite comfort foods? Ones that remind you of your childhood, or perhaps of some other place or time that you like to revisit? Is there some food that instantly takes you back and makes you feel good?

I’ll be giving away a signed copy of UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH, (my Mills and Boon May release in Australia and New Zealand) to someone who comments. As I write this I’m smiling as I’ve been shopping today and saw it on the shelves. Such a good feeling.

 

A good feeling indeed, Annie, especially with that title and cover, and the reviews have been fantastic too.

So, Feasters, you heard Annie. Start delighting us with your childhood comfort foods. I’m voting for caramel tart, the boiled tin of condensed milk kind. World War Three would almost break out in our house over who was going to lick those tins clean! I’ll also always have a soft spot for my grandmother’s rabbit stew. It wasn’t anything special, just a bunny cooked up with vegies, but one of those simple, delicious and satisfying dishes that sticks with you. Or maybe it was just the pain of crunching on a shotgun pellet that’s stuck with me…

Get those comments in quick because Annie’s giveaway closes midnight, Tuesday 8th May, 2012 AEST. Open internationally.

If you’d like to learn more about Annie and her sexy books, please visit her website. You can also keep up to date by signing up to her newsletter.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Juanita who has won a signed copy of Annie’s gorgeous Undone By His Touch. Thanks to all who commented – great convo on jam! – and who helped make Annie’s Friday Feast such fun.

 

0 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Annie West

  1. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Wow, Annie, your description just transported me back to my childhood. We also had lots of fruit trees and a handful of chooks pecking around beneath them. And yes, my Mum also made gallons of jam. It wasn’t unknown for my brothers and I to knock off a loaf of bread and a jar of jam between arriving home from school and being booted into the backyard to play for an hour. Comfort food? Probably my grandmother’s porridge. Always silky smooth, piping hot and served with a pouring of thin cream, a blanket of brown sugar and a large knob of butter. What’s not to like? 🙂
    Congratulations on the release of Undone By His Touch. Sounds like a super read.

    1. Avataranniewest

      Duh, Louise. I’d replied to you before I realised I should use the ‘reply’ button…It’s just a little further down the page.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Far out, I wander off for five minutes and what to I find on my return? A great conversation bubbling!

        What is it about home-made jam, Louise, that you just don’t get with the store bought stuff? I’ve been on the hunt for some decent fig jam for ages but can’t find any that tastes right. Need to find a nice tree to rob so I can be like Annie and jam it up myself.

        Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Avataranniewest

    Cathryn, you mentioned caramel tart made with condensed milk. I’m sure I used to make caramel chocolate slice just so I could clean up the spoon and saucepan. Double yum! I’m having people over for afternoon tea tomorrow – I wonder if I should make it again after all these years?

  3. Avatarannacampbell

    Waving madly to Cathryn and Annie. Cathryn, I believe you had a very exciting release this week. Congratulations on Heart of the Valley seeing the light. I’ll buy a copy at RWA and get you to sign it. As you know, I treasure my signed copy of Promises!

    Wow, Annie, what a gorgeous post! I was lucky enough to try your plum jam the last time I visited you and wow. I’d forgotten how good homemade jam is. My mother was a wonderful cook and one of her specialties was apricot jam. Man, that was truly the nectar of the gods. Rainy and cold here today on the Sunshine (ha ha) Coast. Just a day to be talking about lovely things to eat. Hmm, wonder if I can skive off and curl up with a book and some chocolate. That’s just what your post put me in the mood for.

    And congratulations on the release of UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH. One of your best! Oh, poor Declan and Chloe, you really put them through the wringer before you give them their happy ending!

    1. Avataranniewest

      It’s an exciting week, isn’t it, Anna, with ‘Heart of the Valley’ out? I found it on prominent display at my local Big W. I love finding books by people I know!

      Anna, I love apricot jam and it’s not one I’ve tried to make. Gee, I sound as if I’m a real jam maker when in fact I’m a jam eater forced by necessity or greed (whichever way you look at it) to make jam occasionally. Do you have your mum’s recipe? Hint – you could send it to me.

      As for putting Declan and Chloe through the wringer – they wouldn’t be worth their salt in a romance novel if they didn’t have a rough time before they get their happy ending. That’s my excuse for being mean to them.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Aww, Anna, you are a darling. I’ll sign that copy of Heart with great pleasure. It is, after all, very hard to refuse my Romance Queen anything!

        Annie’s post is gorgeous, isn’t it. So evocative. Made me think of when my mum and grandmother would get together for a session of jam-making. Fruit picked straight off the tree and then taken inside for immediate bottling, with the not-so perfect fruit chopped up with jam. Those were the days when you used to have to pick the seeds out of your jam. Don’t see that any more because everyone uses those commercial setters. Why not use what nature produces for you?

        Annie, I love that comment about the characters not being worth their salt if they didn’t have a rough time. That’s so true.

        Read your extract too and am completely hooked. Declan is one hot hunk!

  4. Avatarannacampbell

    Aww, yum, condensed milk caramel tarts! Haven’t had those for years. And I fondly remember the caramel chocolate slice from tuckshops at my primary school. That was back in the days when mums used to bake for tuckshop.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I think I had a deprived childhood (joking, Mum) cos we never had choc-caramel slice as kids. Used to gobble slices up whenever we saw them, mind, but it wasn’t something Mum made. Chocolate crackles and honey joys were her speciality. And pavs. Mum didn’t have much enthusiasm for cooking but she made damn fine pavs, and as all sweet-tooths know that’s valuable and enviable skill.

      1. Avataranniewest

        Chocolate crackles! Be still my beating heart. I haven’t had them in years.

        Cathryn, I never had choc caramel slice as a child. I discovered it in my teens and it figured as a family have from then on. Actually, I had to take my parents out for an appointment yesterday and guess what mum ordered to go with coffee afterwards? Chocolate caramel slice – of course it got shared.

  5. Avataranniewest

    Hi Louise. Yes, I remember the feeding frenzy and then being sent outside to play. Actually, I can’t remember if we were sent or whether it was just expected. Finishing a whole loaf and a jar of jam? I’m hoping there were a few of you.

    Love the sound of your grandmother’s porridge. I’ve never had it with butter on top, just brown sugar and milk, or sometimes golden syrup. I think I didn’t eat enough breakfast – I’m salivating thinking about porridge!

    Thanks for the congratulations on ‘Undone’. I just heard from someone who stayed up till 2am reading it so I’m chuffed.

      1. Avataranniewest

        Yep – it’s made my day! If only it would give me the impetus to stick at my current ms.

  6. Avatarannacampbell

    I think it was actually just good quality local dried apricots (she reckoned the imported ones didn’t cut the mustard – or the jame), sugar and a bit of lemon juice. But I’m looking at your recipe and wondering about water. Should have got the recipe from her! My dad used to eat it by the spoonful!

    1. Avataranniewest

      She didn’t write the recipe down? Sigh. But then there’s the fun of experimenting. Call me biased but I prefer the locally grown dried apricots too, though I’ve never made jam from them.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I’ve made jam using dried apricots. It was ages ago, when I’d bought a book on microwave preserving. I made the jam recipe from that and it used dried apricots. Was very intense but it wasn’t what I wanted. I was really after jam like Mum and Nanny made.

        I have the idea that they used the recipe out of the Green and Gold cookbook (best cookbook evah!), which is just apricots and sugar. But now that I look, I think it may have been the (equally awesome) CWA cookbook recipe because that uses the seeds to help set the jam, and I distinctly remember our jam always having seeds.

  7. Avataranniewest

    Cathryn, I’ve discovered a great source of jam if you haven’t got the fruit to make your own – CWA stalls! I was in the Blue Mtns a month or so ago and found a Country Womens’ Assn fete and stocked up on jams – some for my parents and some chilli jam for my son. All good stuff.

    Hey, glad you like my hunk, Declan. I think he’s hot but then I’m totally biased. As for them toughing out the difficult times – isn’t that what romance is about – overcoming the obstacles to win that happy ending? I must say poor Chloe and Declan did certainly go through the wringer in this one, but the ending was worth it. I love reading a book where the author puts the hero or heroine out on a limb. That always keeps me hooked.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I used to LOVE CWA stalls but, sadly, they seem so rare these days. I’m hoping I might find some good home-made jam when I’m over in SA next week touring around.

      Although I seriously need to get off my bum and just make my own. I bought this brilliant copper confiture pan in France and have yet to use it. How embarrassing is that!

      Although it does look very, very pretty on my pan shelf…

  8. Avataranniewest

    Cathryn, you should share some pics of your kitchen goodies some time. I love the sound of the copper confiture pan.

    Hm, I don’t have the Green and Gold cookbook but I’ve got the CWA one – from my great aunt who used to be the local secretary. Some gems of recipes in there, though not, surprisingly for plum jam. Am thinking now I’ll have to look for apricot jam recipes and see if the seeds are left in.

  9. Avatarmichelledouglas

    Ooh, I love food, but I especially love comfort food! Annie, what a delectable post. And Cathryn what a delicious idea for a blog.

    I have never made jam, but I remember pineapple jam from my childhood and am now wondering if I could hunt up a recipe — it was delish. My favourite comfort food from my childhood, though, is bread and butter pudding. Mmm hmm. And my great grandma made the best pikelets.

    Heavens, I not long had lunch and now I’m hungry all over again. 🙂

  10. Avataranniewest

    Michelle, I’ve never had pineapple jam. You know what this means, don’t you? I need to go on a hunt till I find some. Surely I’ll have a recipe somewhere. I’m intrigued, trying to imagine it.

    It’s sunny here but cool and I had soup for lunch so it’s perfect weather for bread and butter pudding. Or pikelets (with jam of course). Thanks for sharing.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      I did the same thing, Annie. Saw pineapple jam and thought, ‘really? I wouldn’t mind trying THAT.’

      Michelle, you’ve been an inspiration!

  11. AvatarKerri/Kaz

    German Apple cake – served warm. Gosh, I can even smell that apple cinnamon as I type. And rich Borscht with sour cream. Mum didn’t make regular stuff when we were kids – they were beneath her. 😉 So, there weren’t many savoury dishes that became ‘regulars’ as she was always trying something new.

    I know the borscht is savoury but I mention it because I just found a great recipe the other day and it took me back to those cold days when mum would make it (during her borscht period . Like an artist she went through ‘periods). I’m making some as soon as I finish this book and get back into the kitchen! (A heap of new recipes are the dangling carrots to keep me plodding on here!)

    One fun thing I remember that we loooved, was very basic though. We would beg mum to make hot chips and wrap them in newspaper parcels – just like at the shops. We weren’t allowed to have ‘shop’ chips much – so this was a treat. I used to do it for my kids – even though they couldn’t remember chips being wrapped in greaseproof and newspaper!

    Boiled condensed milk caramel? Yummo. The nuns taught me when I was boarding school. We didn’t have cooking classes, but as boarders we had to take turns on kitchen duty. Not as cooks – as washer-uppers. Huge job, but one of the nuns baked like an angel and she’d teach us various kitchen skills as we talked and washed and dried.

    Mum didn’t make jam much, though my grandmothers did. And one made amazing pickles and chutneys. I, on the other hand adore making jam – though I’m not very good at it! I’m going to make your plum jam next summer Annie!

    What a fun post! Cathryn – I’ve already sent though hugs on ‘Heart of the Valley’ but I hope it’s trotting off the shelves at a brisk pace.

    And Annie? Undone by His Touch is a must-read – brimming with your eloquence and style. You are the queen of sexy! Congratulations!

    1. Avataranniewest

      Kaz, I’m smiling at your fond borscht memories. I’ve enjoyed it but the first time I ever had it still sticks in my mind. A friend at university made it on a chilly winter night. There it sat, richly coloured but for the dob of sour cream in the centre, and it was stone cold. I’d been looking forward to hot soup but instead got cold beetroot and sour cream. It took me a while to work up the courage to try borscht again.

      I love the sound of your German apple cake. Surely it’s afternoon tea time by now? I wouldn’t mind a slice to keep me going.

      How much fun to live with a cook who was artistic enough to go through creative periods. That sounds terribly exotic and impressive. I must say the idea of hot chips wrapped in greaseproof and newspaper sounds like a winner. What kid wouldn’t like that? What grown up for that matter?

      I’m beginning to wonder now what foods my kids will think of as their comfort eats. Now, that will be interesting.

      Thanks for the kind words about ‘Undone’! That’s lovely of you.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        I’m going to sound like a complete philistine and admit I’ve never eaten borscht! I think it’s the fact that it’s cold and soup to me always means something lovely and cuddly. Although gazpacho is fine. Go figure…

        Ahh, Kaz, you have SUCH a way with words (funny that) and I’m still smiling over your mum’s artistic periods. She does indeed sound an artist, but of the culinary kind. What fun that must have been!

  12. AvatarKeziah Hill

    Childhood comfort food – my mum’s golden syrup steam pudding. I have a recipe for it somewhere I must dig out. She also used to make a really simple lemon tart. Just a tin of condensed milk mixed with lemon juice and poured into a Nice biscuit pie crust. Ah, those were the days. Annie, I don’t make plum jam but I do like stewed plums and porridge in winter. Congrats on the new release Cathryn!

    1. Avataranniewest

      Keziah, I’m a sucker for golden syrup steamed pud. A friend of mind gave me her recipe years ago and you’ve just reminded me I’ve got it and probably have all the ingredients. Have I got the energy, I wonder. Your mum’s lemon tart sounds a bit like a lemon cheesecake my mum used to make and I’ve just started making again. Nice biscuit base, then a filling of condensed milk, cream cheese and lemon juice. Topped with cream and passionfruit. Sigh. I’ve never had stewed plums with porridge. You’re the second person to mention porridge to me today and I’m beginning to think about lovely warming breakfasts.

      1. AvatarCathryn Hein

        Golden. Syrup. Steamed. Pud. Oh my god, my mouth is watering just thinking about that. Like treacle pud, I take it? I’ve had a go at individual treacle puds and they were so sweetly comforting but golden syrup? Now we’re talking.

        Thanks for the release congrats, Keziah. Bugger the champas, I feel a strange need to make golden syrup pud to celebrate now. Or maybe golden syrup dumplings… decisions, decisions.

        God, I love winter food!

  13. AvatarVanessa Barneveld

    Hi, Annie! Hi, Cathryn! Congrats to both of you on your fab new releases!

    Annie, your plum jam looks divine. Really makes me want to try making my own for the first time. I love most food of any kind and never waste an opportunity to treat myself. One of my favourite childhood comfort foods is Mum’s ultra-thick pea and ham soup.

    Cathryn, I’m nuts about caramel. I have a recipe for making it from scratch, but first I need to invest in a Teflon saucepan. Seems to be a sticky, messy operation!

  14. Avataranniewest

    Hi Vanessa. It’s nice to have a new release in store, and at the same time as Cathryn. I do enjoy seeing all those nice, new, glossy covers in the stores.

    I love a nice soup so I can see the appeal with the pea and ham. Just the thing for this weather too. I can’t imagine making caramel from scratch but I’m sure the results would be worth it. Maybe let me know when you’re scheduled to cook some?

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Hi Vanessa, how great to see you here. Ahh, caramel, what a joy that stuff is!

      Mum just used to plonk the tin of condensed milk in a pot of water, bring it to the boil and then simmer for a few hours. Once done she left the tin to cool before opening. Terribly dangerous, and one time she popped the can before it had cooled properly and this great fountain of warm caramel painted the ceiling and formed caramel stalactites. Pretty awesome sight when you’re a kid, let me tell you. Very Willy Wonka!

      But I did see another recipe the other day where you tipped the condensed milk into a small baking tray, set that tray into a water bath, covered both tightly with foil and then baked for an hour or so until the milk had turned to caramel. Probably tastes the same but nowhere near as much fun.

      I wouldn’t worry about needing a non-stick pot because it’s so sugary that a dose of hot water would just wash any residue away. Unless you burn it on. then things are bad. Have made that mistake before. Stuffit.

      1. AvatarKeziah Hill

        Not to put too much of a downer on this delicious discussion, but boiled condensed milk pud is a favorite of women in prison. Easy to do. Just another piece of weird knowledge from my time working in the prison system.

  15. Avataranniewest

    Cathryn, if you’re making golden syrup pud let me know and I’ll fly down. It’s just the night for it here – we’ve got the fire going and a steamed pud would be perfect.

    Love gazpacho too. I used to make it a lot and have just realised it’s been over a decade since the last time. Why do some things just fall out of favour, I wonder?

    1. Avataranniewest

      Keziah, I can understand why it’s so popular there – it must be one of the ultimate comfort foods, and as you say, easy. You do have some fascinating knowledge!

  16. AvatarCathryn Hein

    Steamed pud would have been perfect here to but Jim took over the kitchen tonight while I tried to get organised for my library tour next week. Beef in beer for dinner, a la Delia Smith’s excellent recipe, but sadly no dessert. I would kill for a pud right now though. I’ve golden syrup and condensed milk on the brain!

    Oh, well, will just have to eat chocolate instead.

    1. Avataranniewest

      Life’s hard sometimes, isn’t it Cathryn. But a man who cooks is worth his weight in chocolate.

  17. AvatarSharon Archer

    Yummy blog and comments! Thanks Annie and Cathryn!
    I remember lovely homemade jams too! Going to the fruit stalls to buy bulk, sometimes slightly battered because they were cheaper, boxes of fruit and then back home to peel and slice and cut out the tatty bits so we could preserve or make jams. The kitchen would be filled with delicious smelling steam.
    And then there was roast chicken which was a special occasion food when I was a child – and I’m sure it used to taste more… chickeny! LOL
    And then there were self-saucing chocolate puddings! Yum!
    Thanks for this walk down memory lane!
    🙂
    Sharon

  18. Avataranniewest

    Hi Sharon. I’m glad the post has taken you down memory lane. That’s one of the things I remember about childhood – the kitchen smelling so good. Mum did a lot of cooking and I suppose now I appreciate it when someone else is doing the cooking.

    Yum to the roast chicken. They did taste more chickeny didn’t they? And as for self saucing choc puddings…I’ve got mum’s recipe somewhere. Perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on a cold night. Thanks for reminding me.

    1. AvatarCathryn Hein

      Hi Sharon and thanks for dropping by Friday Feast. Funny you should mention roast chicken. It DID taste better back then but I wonder if that’s because it was a bit of a rarity. Chicken used to be hugely expensive and roast chook was a real treat. Oh, the joy of eating a roast chicken thigh with its lovely golden skin!

      Speaking of self-saucing puds, I found the most amazing recipe for a lemon one a few months back, which uses orange marmalade in the mix. it’s sensational! Might have to share it on Friday Feast one day.

  19. AvatarJuanita Kees

    Love plum jam! What a great recipe Annie. Thank you. There’s nothing like hot, fresh-baked bread coated in farm fresh butter and layered with home-made jam. I hear my arteries screaming but I’m ignoring them 🙂
    My favourite comfort food as a child was the special rice pudding our Scottish neighbour used to make. I’d sneak in next door after school on a wet and wild winter’s day and she’d have it ready and steaming for me…yum!

    1. Avataranniewest

      Juanita, let’s not talk about arteries in the same sentence as fresh butter and jam. We have to have some treats.

      How fantastic to have had a friendly Scottish neighbour to cook you rice pudding after school. It must have made wintry days a treat. Thanks for sharing.

  20. AvatarSerena Tatti

    Hi Annie,
    What a great blog. You did bring me back and I remember all the lovely dishes my Mamma would make. One of my winter favourites was semolina dumplings in beef broth. I had watched her make many dishes and wrote down several recipes, but always regret not asking my Mamma exactly how she made the dumplings. I’ve tried and come close, but it’s never quite the same. Congrats on the release of *Undone By His Touch*. I know I’m going to love it!!

    Thanks for having Annie as your special guest, Cathryn, and mega congrats on the release of ‘Heart of the Valley’!! Must rush out and get my copy 🙂

    1. Avataranniewest

      Hi Serena,

      Isn’t it hard when you just can’t quite get it the same as the recipe you remember? I’m glad though that you did get some of your mother’s special recipes written down. I’ve got several collected over the years from special people at it makes the cooking even better, I think, than collecting recipes from a magazine or cookbook. I find they’re special remembrances of friends and relatives.

      Thanks for the congratulations. I hope you enjoy both ‘Undone By His Touch’ and Cathryn’s ‘Heart of the Valley’.