FRIDAY FEAST with Jennie Jones

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Greetings, food ‘n fiction fans, and welcome to another delicious edition of Friday Feast. This week: buttery goodness, a treasure or two, plus a wonderful giveaway!

First, the ridiculousness that is Us Heins Weren’t Meant To Play Golf. I’m still in Mount Gambier and have been a touch too busy dealing with Mum’s move into full-time care to play much golf, but I did head out for a few smacks on the practice fairway with Dad. Dad, bless him, had an air swing for his first shot which reminded me yet again about why I can’t play either. We also managed a round at the very picturesque Casterton Golf Club where Dad was so enamoured of all the gorgeous manna gums he kept hitting his ball at them. Playing with borrowed clubs, I wasn’t much better but at least I had an excuse for my wayward shots!

Author Jennie JonesWith that out the way, it’s on to our guest and it’s my pleasure to welcome back rural romance author Jennie Jones whose Swallows Fall series has been delighting readers since her first book, The House on Burra Burra Lane, hit the shelves in mid 2013.

Jennie has two new additions in the series coming this year. The House at the End of the Street will be out in August, but today we’re very honoured to be hosting Jennie on release day for The Turnaround Treasure Shop. Rah! And you’ll be cheering even louder in a minute when you see what Jennie has in store for us. In the meantime, check out the cover and blurb for The Turnaround Treasure Shop. It’s gorgeous!

THE TURNAROUND TREASURE SHOP

Cover of The Turnaround Treasure Shop by Jennie JonesRevisit Swallow’s Fall in this short novel from Jennie Jones about an ex-military man, a single mother, and the impossibility of dreams coming true.

Fatalistic, long divorced and doing her best to give her children a good life, Lily Johnson works two jobs in her hometown of Swallow’s Fall, saving every spare cent for the day she can lease the empty corner shop on Main Street. She longs to open it as Turnaround Treasures, a second-hand shop bursting with rescued country curios—but there aren’t enough spare cents and Lily’s dream is slipping away.

Ex-Navy diver Nick Barton arrived in Swallow’s Fall a year ago to quietly reunite himself with civvy life. Recognising an instant attraction to Lily, Nick backed away fast. Given his track record of an unhappy ex-wife and the baggage that comes with a Special Forces career, Nick doesn’t think he stands a chance with shy, reserved Lily. He can’t be with her – but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t see her.

Lily has spent her whole life cheerfully giving to others. When Nick offers her the ultimate chance for a turnaround, will Lily’s fear of being ‘second hand’ ruin the opportunity of forever love for both of them?

Doesn’t that sound fun? And because today is the official release day, you can own a copy of The Turnaround Treasure Shop with a simple clickety-click. Buy now from Amazon.com, Amazon.au, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, JB H-Fi or your favourite ebook retailer.

Loaded up? Good. Now sit back and enjoy. This is lovely!

Shortbread, Sherry & Chic Afternoons

It’s so lovely to be welcomed back to Cathryn’s Friday Feast. Hope you’ve got your rolling pin floured and ready to go, Cathryn. This is a shortbread recipe handed to me just after I got married. I copied it (in my terrible handwriting) into a Recipe Notebook I bought from the kitchen and garden courtyard shop at Hever Castle – the childhood home of Ann Boleyn. It was Jennie's hand written recipe for delicate shortbreada pleasant purchase after a wonderful tour of that exception property ending with a good look at implements of torture commonly used in the sixteenth century – which were not pleasant! Hence the trip to the courtyard shop to re-charge.

I’m partial to shortbread, sherry and chic afternoons although they don’t happen as frequently as I’d like. Sipping a sherry mid-afternoon seems such a contemplative, relaxing way to behave. Sipping sherry makes me think of my Nan. She always had a bottle in the sideboard and when I was old enough to move from Babycham to real alcohol, I did enjoy a sherry or two and still do.

In The Turnaround Treasure Shop (a shorter length novel in my Swallow’s Fall series), my heroine is mid-thirties, long-divorced and doing her best to look after her two teenage children, work two jobs in the remote Snowy Mountains town of Swallow’s Fall and save for her dream. She taught herself how to turn shabby old country curios into sparkling new I-want-one wares and longs to open the empty shop on Main Street. So I thought it would be great to have a Friday Feast full of old-fashioned afternoon delights.

Here’s my Delicate Shortbread recipe – the biscuits will be thin and crunchy to the bite but still have that buttery melt-in-your-mouth shortbread-gorgeousness – and beware, the pastry is so delicate that when you roll it out, you won’t be able to pick up the pastry to turn it once it starts to get thin.

Delicate Shortbread

Jennie Jones's finished delicate shortbread

Makes 30 biscuits

Oven temp: 150C

Two large baking trays greased with butter or lined with baking paper (better result with baking paper)

100 gm icing sugar

200 gm unsalted butter, softened

200 gm plain flour (can use wholemeal flour if preferred)

100 gm cornflour

(Optional: 50 gm of finely chopped crystallised ginger, or finely grated zest of one large lemon)

Castor sugar for sprinkling

Method:

Cream butter and icing sugar very well using a mixer.

Add sifted flour and cornflour and fold with a metal spoon. (At this point, also add crystallised ginger or lemon zest if using.)

The metal spoon will only do so much, so get in with your hand and knead in the bowl until all the flour has been mixed, then take half the pastry and roll out on a very well-floured surface to ½ centimetre thickness. (This pastry is soft and will be difficult to move or turn while rolling.) Use a sprinkle of flour when needed – especially on your rolling pin.

Steps to making delicate shortbread

Cut into preferred shapes – scone cutters are perfect, as are star and heart cookie cutters.

Use metal baking spatula to slide off the floured surface and onto your prepared baking sheet.

Repeat with the other half of pastry.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes, but keep a careful watch after 25 minutes to ensure they don’t brown too much. They should be golden in colour.

Remove from oven and transfer to wire cooling racks.

Sprinkle with castor sugar while warm.

Enjoy with sherry, champagne, tea or coffee!

 

Oh, I will most definitely enjoy, Jennie! Luuuuurve shortbread. The more buttery the better and this recipe looks gorgeous. Thanks so much for sharing.

Now, my Feasty friends, because Jennie is so nice she’s offering you a…

GIVEAWAY!

Here’s what Jennie has to say:

“As today is the release of the fourth book in my Swallow’s Fall series, The Turnaround Treasure Shop, I’m delighted to offer one reader an eBook copy. Simply comment on this question: Do you ever have a hankering for something old-fashioned?”

Well that’s an easy-peasy question for me to answer. I do LOTS of hankering for old-fashioned things, especially when it comes to food. Corned beef, pea and ham soup, a good old cream sponge or pavlova. The list is huge. Not so much for other things though. I’m quite partial to the luxuries of modern life!

What about you? Do you hanker for old-fashioned things? It can be anything, your choice, and if you share we’ll pop you into the draw to win an ebook copy of Jennie’s gorgeous new release, The Turnaround Treasure Shop.

Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Tuesday AEST, 26th May 2015. Open internationally. Rah!

If you’d like to learn more about Jennie and her gorgeous books, please visit her website. You can also connect via Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter using @JennieJRomance.

 

Friday Feast recipe index link.

38 thoughts on “FRIDAY FEAST with Jennie Jones

  1. AvatarJennie Jones

    It’s so lovely to be back on Friday Feast, Cathryn! Thank you for having me and my shortbread (and my book). They’re all eaten now so I’ll have to make some more 🙂

  2. AvatarLaura Boon

    Hi Jennie, congratulatons on the release of The Turnaround Treasure Shop. I’m a fan of shorter novels so I am very much looking forward to reading it. I am definitely a fan of modern amenities myself, but I also like old books, wooden tennis rackets and vintage jeweller. Go figure!

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Laura, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks going through my mother’s stuff and discovering some wonderful old books and jewellery. You would have loved it!

    1. AvatarJennie Jones

      I’ll definitely make them for our next catch up Lily! Aw – aren’t grandmothers marvellous for keeping sherry in the cupboard? My Nan also had a bottle of Johnny Walker tucked away too 🙂

  3. AvatarDelores Bebbington

    I loved to visit my grandmother’s house . It was always spotless and the floorboards gleamed with polish. Best of all she made the most delicious gooseberry pies. If I close my eyes I can still smell them. I haven’t seen gooseberries in a very long time but would love to grow a bush just to make a pie like Grandma’s.

    1. AvatarJennie Jones

      Oh! My Nan used to make gooseberry pie – I loved it so much. Haven’t had that in YEARS Delores. I’m not sure if I’ve seen gooseberries here in Western Australia… will have to do an internet search now 🙂 Thanks so much for popping over to Cathryn’s Friday Feast.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Wow, gooseberries! What a blast from the past they are, Delores. My godmother used to make gooseberry jam and remember the saying “playing gooseberry”? Not many people would know what that meant now. You just don’t see them.

  4. AvatarDB Tait

    Congrats on the release Jennie! I sometimes have a hankering for my mum’s rice pudding and baked custard. Don’t think you can get more old fashioned than that. Nursery food, or food for sick days.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Pure comfort food, DB. Perfect for this time of year too. Which reminds me, I have a recipe for white chocolate and banana baked rice pudding somewhere that I’ve been meaning to try. Hmm. One for when I get home perhaps.

  5. AvatarJennie Jones

    Oh, rice pudding. One my favourites still. I like it thick, with a creamy dark skin on the top. I might have to make that this Sunday now. I remember my Grandad (a master baker – unfortunately my brother got those skills, not me!) cooking up the Sunday lunch. There was either gooseberry pie or rice pudding for dessert. Yum. Thanks for the reminder Deborah.

  6. AvatarSally Schmidt

    Congrats on the release!

    To me old fashioned means anything my grandmother or mother made because it was all made from scratch: lemon meringue pie, eclairs, homemade noodles and dumplings and in general just simple things. I enjoy the conveniences and don’t like antiques, but I don’t like everything that is already prepared or boxed or decorated.

    1. AvatarJennie Jones

      Eclairs! There’s another favourite. I remember baking them with my best friend at school. Couldn’t bake them now – they’d be terrible – choux pastry frightens me these days – but I do love a good eclair (not the horrid supermarket bought ones). And I so agree with you, Sally – making something from scratch is a joy. If only we all had to the time to do it more often. Thank goodness our grandmothers did. And thank goodness there are still boutique type delicatessens or cake shops that do their own baking and making. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment!

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Lemon meringue pie! I’m with you on that one, Sally. One of my favourite things, although some golden syrup dumpling would go down very nicely on this cold night.

        Thanks for joining in the Friday Feast fun.

  7. AvatarJenn McElroy

    While I don’t necessarily miss old-fashioned things, I miss “old-fashioned” attitudes! I miss the time (like my own childhood!) when a call home from a teacher generated an actual parent response. Now I get serious attitude from parents because it’s my fault that their child used inappropriate language, etc. So, that’s what I miss! 🙂

  8. AvatarLouise Reynolds

    Hi Jennie and Cathryn! I love the look of those biscuits. I’m not a huge fan of shortbread because they’re often quite chunky but those slimline biscuits look very civilised.
    When I think of old-fashioned I think of neighbourliness and (unconscious in those times) sustainable living. We don’t grow a lot of fruit on our inner city block but I do enjoy sharing what we have with our neighbours. Right now our small mandarin tree is fruiting and I took a bag next door for our neighbours who care about the miles their food has travelled. Can’t get closer than that! When I was a kid and we went on our Summer holidays, the neighbours knew that our backyard veggie patch was open for picking. They’d pick and water and when we got home it would be in great shape. Old-fashioned? Maybe, but lots of people out there doing it fresh.

    1. AvatarJennie Jones

      Hi Louise, I love the story of your veggie garden and fruit trees and how they were ‘open for business’ and how everyone cared and tended them. That’s a truly lovely story. Neighbourliness like that is definitely missed! We need more of it.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Ooh, lovely on the mandarins, Louise. Home grown always tastes better. And yes, I, too, remember times like that with the vege garden and people sharing produce. But your comment also makes me think of the time, quite a few years ago now, when I had an excess of home-grown lettuce and decided to cut a couple to share with my neighbours. They thought I was weird! I left their door certain that my carefully grown lettuces were tossed straight into the bin. Never did it again.

  9. AvatarJuanita

    Yum! Sherry and shortbread! I’m so there! Congratulations on the release of Turnaround Treasure Shop, Jennie. My pre-order has arrived, so I’m off to enjoy 😉
    Waving hi, Cathryn x

  10. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Hi Jennie! Hi Cathryn!

    Shortbread is just so yum. I have a delicious gluten free shortbread cream recipe I found just the other day. Wasn’t sure about the ingredients: cornflour, rice flour and besan flour, but was very surprised how nice it tasted.

    I just adore old – fashioned country style furniture, they just don’t make them like they used to. And I do love the Victorian jug and basin sets and chamber pots – not to live in that era though, I like my creature comforts too much. Good for collecting though.

    Congrats on the release Jennie!

    1. AvatarJennie Jones

      I adore some of the country-style furniture, Sue. It doesn’t even need to be vintage or antique (although great if you can afford some). So long as it’s stylish and practical. Not really into the big heavy Victorian pieces though. Your gluten-free shortbread sounds fabulous. Thanks for popping in, Sue.

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        Waving back atchya, Sue! I love the way you’ve adapted so many common recipes to gluten-free. That’s so cool, but I guess there’s a bit of needs-must behind it. Still, very clever of you I reckon.

        Am with you on the furniture. There’s something wonderfully romantic about those big old pieces. But yes, that era can keep its chamber pots!

  11. AvatarAnne Gracie

    Love the look of those shortbreads, Jennie — and your writing is lovely , not messy at all. I can read that recipe from the picture on the screen!
    Am looking forward to your book, too.
    As for old-fashioned things, I love them and have a house full of them. I like houses with a bit of history and things in them that are beautiful or useful, well-used and well-loved. I love having the spice canisters that used to grace Nana Dyson’s kitchen, and her old flour tin and tea-caddy, and all the other treasured bits and pieces that are part of my family history.

    1. AvatarJennie Jones

      Haha Anne – you should see my handwriting now, after 20+ years of using a typewriter/keyboard/computer instead of handwriting letters and such (such a shame we don’t write letters the way we used to). I too love things that mean something. I have a lot of wares and such from my Nan (the original Jennie Jones) and I love them all, no matter that they’re worthless or not much use. I can’t throw them away…

      1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

        I can relate to that, Jennie. I once had good handwriting, now it’s not much better than a scrawl.

        Having just spent 2 weeks helping sort out Mum’s things when she went into care, Anne, I can relate to all those weird and wonderful things that have next to no value and yet seem so impossible to part with. I came home with far too much but how can I throw out things that hold so much memory? I’ll let the next generation sort it out!

  12. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

    Thanks to everyone for your great comments and old-fashioned loves. The Turnaround Treasure Shop ebook giveaway has now closed. Congratulations to Sally who has won herself a copy of Jennie’s fab new read. And thanks again to everyone who joined in the Friday Feast fun. Hope to see you all again here this Friday when there’ll be another gorgeous recipe and fab giveaway, this time from one of Australia’s most loved Regency romance authors. So stay tuned!
    PS. If you don’t want to miss any Feasts, or any other posts, simply type your email address into the SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL widget in the right hand column just below the cover of The French Prize, and they’ll all be delivered direct to your inbox. Easy!

      1. AvatarJennie Jones

        Woo hoo! Congrats Sally. I’ll be in touch. And thank you Cathryn for hosting me on my release day – twas fun, and I got to eat all that shortbread 🙂

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Never mind, Anabela, there’ll be plenty of other opportunities. Friday Feast runs every week and we have another great author, recipe and giveaway coming up tomorrow!

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