Between Dreams and Reality + Fox Pic Spam!


I'm guest blogging over at the wonderful Between Dreams and Reality, in English and French*, no less! I'm chatting about Genny and what happens in the first three Spellcrackers books, so why not head over there and have a look! :-D

And if you missed my last post, I'm at the SFX Weekender in Prestatyn this weekend, where the fantastic Brian Blessed (OMG! Prince Vultan in FLASH GORDON*!!!) is a guest! And if you're going to be there, then I'd love it if you say Hi! I don't bite - truly - and I'm happy to sign anything (within reason - cheques, excepted, of course *g*). 

*The lovely Melliane is super awesome and has translated the post! Huge thanks and kudos to you, Melliane!

*This lucky girl got a DVD of Flash in her Xmas stocking! Yay!  And now you've all got the theme tune earworming it's way into your brains! *g*
Flash a-ah
Saviour of the Universe . . .


And here's some Fox Pic Spam! We think this pair are either siblings from last year, or a new pairing this year! They came in to nab some bread put out for the birds :-) (Sorry, the pics are a bit murky; I took them with my phone through the upstairs window.)

Where I'll be - Anthony Head - Giveaway!

A quick post to say I've happened across a giveaway for The Bitter Seed of Magic and Under Attack by Hannah Jayne on Paranormal Haven Blog (Int. Ends Jan 31.)

And I will at the SFX Weekender next weekend! Yay! I'm going as a punter, not a guest, but I'm happy to sign books, or anything else (within reason!). If you're going to be there, then do say hello! I don't bite. Much! *g*

The programme's just gone live and it looks like a whole lot of fantastic FUN! Plus, ANTHONY HEAD! *nuff said* *g*

Scottish Recipe - Clootie Dumpling!

It was Mr Mc's birthday last week, and I made him one* of these! I am now the BEST WIFE EVAH! *g*

Clootie Dumpling Recipe - Traditional Scottish Suet Fruit Pudding

This recipe is Mr Mc's gran's, so it makes a GIANT clootie, since his gran always made it for family get togethers and birthdays. It's easy to make, but you do have to keep an eye on it when it's boiling to make sure it doesn't boil dry. So it's not something you can ignore while it's cooking.

Clootie refers to the cloth/tea towel that the dumpling is made in.

24 oz self-raising flour
8 oz sugar (caster/soft brown/granulated all work)
4 oz suet
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
12 oz mixed fruit (or the whole packet if it's 14 oz like the one I used :-D)
1 grated apple
1 tbsp treacle
1 tbsp syrup
1 pint milk (makes a sticky wet dough/moist dumpling)

1 large cotton tea towel/cloth to wrap the dumpling in
Huge saucepan, with lid, for boiling
Ovenproof plate to go in bottom of pan
Baking tray lined with greaseproof paper

Put the cloth in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Leave to cool.
Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Add apple, treacle and syrup and mix.
Add milk and mix.

Put upturned plate in bottom of pan to stop the dumpling burning. Use an old one that will survive a heavy dumpling sitting on it for a couple of hours (mine broke this time :-( )
Fill pan with water and bring to boil

Wring out cloth* and spread flat.
Cover cloth with a thick layer of flour; this stops dumpling sticking to cloth and helps to form the dumpling's skin.
Put mixture in cloth, leave room for expansion and tie up ends with the string.
Place in boiling water.
Boil for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, taking care to keep water boiling on a constant fast simmer, topping up as necessary with hot water from the kettle.

Remove from pan, and peel away cloth, careful not to break the dumpling's skin which is very soft just now.

Put dumpling on greaseproof paper lined baking tray, in a warm oven (100 degrees C or equivalent) to dry out for approx half an hour/hour. This forms a nice firm skin.
Clootie is now ready to eat! And it's DELISH!
Slice and eat hot or cold with cream, custard, or butter and jam.
Allow to cool thoroughly then store in an airtight container. Eat within 2 days.

Or, as this is a HUGE clootie, I usually slice and freeze. That way individual slices can be defrosted as needed, and can be reheated in oven, or fried in a little butter, or toasted.

So there you have it, how to make a clootie dumpling. Let me if you've got any questions about making it, or if you try it! And if you do - Enjoy! 

* Last time I made one was 2 years ago. I was the BEST WIFE EVAH! then too. *g*
* make sure cloth is cool enough to touch so you don't burn yourself.

Rabid Reader Double Giveaway!

Hello 2012!  I hope you all had a wonderful time ushering the New Year in? Mr Mc and I greeted  it quietly with the requisite malt and shortbread while watching the spectacular fireworks at the London Eye on the TV :-D. Sadly, the excitement and late night (I'm such a lightweight :-D) must have been too much for me as the Migraine Monster attacked yesterday (not hangover related, more's the pity), but after crawling under the covers early afternoon and hiding until this morning, the MM is now only a tiny niggle and victory should be mine very soon. *relieved sigh* :-)

And so onto my first post this new year! Which is to give you the heads up that the fabulous Mardel at Rabid Reader has a giveaway for 'The Bitter Seed of Magic' (Out Now US *happy dance*, and UK!) and the amazing 'Doc Vampire Hunting Dog' by J.A. Campbell. So head over to there now and enter! (there's not a lot of entries, so the odds are good for winning :-)) Open to US only, I think, and ends Jan 15. So, go on, go enter! You know you want to *g*

Yay! Don't the black and red covers look purty together? Though I'm not sure my vamps would be too chuffed to bump into Doc, not with that stake of his! *G*
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...