Long to feel young at heart, to suffer once again all the agony and ecstasy of freefall teenage love? Don’t mind a super clever and oh-so-gorgeous snuggly ferret? Then Friday Feast has the author for you!
It’s my great pleasure to host Australian author Ebony McKenna on Friday Feast today, a lady who is as cute and adorable as her Ondine series. A series, I should add, as perfect for the old adults among us as it is the young. The Ondine books are simply wonderful; a sparkling combination of magic and romance, from a fantastically imaginative author. Just what you need to escape a miserable winter’s day or to heighten that summer joy.
Plus who can resist a ferret? Those creatures are just made for love!
Ondine is your classic 15-year-old student looking for fun in her summer holidays.
When she finds out her pet ferret Shambles can talk, and is in fact a gorgeous boy trapped under a witch’s spell, she vows to help him become handsomely human again.
But her plans for an idyllic summer of romance are complicated when an assassination plot is uncovered and a long-lost treasure is discovered. Then things get really tricky when Ondine falls under the spell of Lord Vincent, the devastatingly handsome son of a duke.
Set in the magical and wonderfully weird European country of Brugel, The Summer of Shambles is the first in the four-part ONDINE series.
Doesn’t that sound fun? Ondine: The Summer of Shambles is out now in paperback throughout the Commonwealth. Try your local bookstore or most excellent Australian bookseller Booktopia. Ondine can also be purchased from Amazon UK or Bookdepository.
For ebook lovers in Australia and the UK, try Kobo or Amazon UK (for Kindle). For the US and other non Commonwealth countries, clickety click on over to Amazon.com for the Kindle version. For a full list of links please visit Ebony’s website.
Keep your beady eyes out for more Ondine books, with book two out now in ebook and paperback in selected countries, followed by book three in December and four in March, 2014. Nearly a year of fabulously ferrety fun reading!
Now kick back and enjoy Ebony…
Curry pies. I am addicted to these things and hardly need encouragement to talk about them. I don’t think I’d survive Melbourne’s winters without at least one a week. Not that I can make them, because that would require a recipe and following it. Yes, I can follow a recipe, but I’m hungry now.
Lucky for me, Melbourne is blessed with pie shops. I have several within driving distance that make extraordinarily good ones. Or at least, they sell them. I don’t know if they individually make them.
Your basic curried beef pie is the traditional meat pie, with added curry powder mixed in. Nothing too hot or outlandish here. Just your regulation pie with the shortcrust pastry on the bottom and flaky pastry on top with poppy seeds. You can never eat them in your hands, as something happens to the curried gravy to make it extra dribbly. You will need a plate and a knife and fork. It’s the civilised pie, if you will.
But keep an eye out for specialty pie shops. There’s a gorgeous pie shop in a place called Brentford Square in Forest Hill. It’s called Paul’s Pies, and they make two kinds of curried pie: Curried beef, with onion and sultanas (which is a very English way to make curry) and the other curried pie, which is Thai chicken.
You heard me. Thai chicken.
Utter, utter heaven.
Another cafe I went to had curry pies with jalapeño peppers. Eating them was the most delightful torture as the pain burned higher and higher with every mouthful. Of course I ate the whole thing.
BUT, my favourite curry of all time is the seasonal bliss of my mother-in-law’s Boxing Day turkey curry. And she is generous enough to share this with you. (Possibly in the hope that one day I’ll do it. But she’s so good at it, really, should I even try?)
(This is a rare photo of the boxing day curry, as its rare that anyone sits still long enough to have a photo taken before devouring it.)
BOXING DAY CURRY
(This amount probably covers 6 people. I just double everything (except the curry powder which I increase to 3 not 4) if having 10 or more. )
Oil to cover base of pan
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
1 heaped tablespoon of flour
2 tablespoons curry powder ( I use Keen’s curry powder and Madras curry powder, one tblsp of each)
2 cups of chicken/turkey stock or water with a Chicken Oxo cube
1 kg of turkey meat (either recently cooked, or as leftovers from Christmas Day curry)
2 tablespoons of sultanas
Lightly fry the onions, celery and green peppers.
Add the apple slices
Combine the flour and curry powder and sprinkle over contents of pan
Stir and cook gently for 2 mins
Blend in the stock and bring to the boil
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins
Add the turkey meat and sultanas.
When all combined pour into casserole dish and place in oven for 1 hour at 160C
Serve with steamed rice and seasonal vegetables.
Note: Turkey curry apparently keeps for several days in the refrigerator, but it never lasts that long at our place.
Geez, thanks Ebony, I now have a shocking hankering for a big dribbly pie. Something my bum does NOT need right now. I also can’t stop thinking about Bridget Jones and her mother’s (in)famous Turkey Curry Buffet. Although unlike Bridget’s mum’s cooking, I bet your mother-in-law’s curry is delicious. Certainly sounds it. Just the thing to attract any passing Mark Darcys!
Back onto pies…
So Feasters, what’s your favourite bakery treat? Are you a pie person? Maybe sausage rolls tickle your fancy. Perhaps a sneaky cream bun or two… ‘Fess up! I don’t want to be the only one here with a desperate need to raid the pie shop. You need to suffer too!
If you’d like to learn more about Ebony and her WONDERFUL Ondine series, please visit her website. You can also connect via Twitter (highly recommended as Ebony is very witty and informative), Facebook and her blog.