Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘March House Books

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It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and I for one have so much to be thankful for. A wonderful family, great friends and a fun adventure ahead. I am also incredibility thankful for all my blogging friends. Who would have thought when I started this blog 4 years ago, that I would meet so many awesome people.

One of those awesome people is Barbara at March House Books. This weekend I am a featured guest on this lovely blog where I talk about one of my favourite subjects; dreaming.

Daydream Believer, Darlene Foster

Hello readers of March House Books. I am delighted to be a guest author on one of my favourite blog sites!

For as long as I can remember, I have needed to be around people. They energize and inspire me. When there are no people around; I simply make some up. It all started when I was a young child living on a ranch in the Canadian prairies. Surrounded by never ending sunshine, a huge blue sky and tons of wide open spaces to wander around, I lacked someone to converse with. My parents were busy working hard, and who wants to talk to little brothers. I named my teddy bears, gave them personalities and created adventures for Ted, Teddy, Toostie and Elvis, in my head. It wasn’t long until I began to make up other imaginary characters and situations. My parents called me a daydreamer, and I guess I was.

My old friends, Elvis, Ted, Teddy andTootsie

My old friends, Elvis, Ted, Teddy and Tootsie

Read more of the article here and check out the picture of me in a cowboy hat at age twelve.

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks so much for reading my blog posts and making comments from time to time.

I am now off to visit my family in Alberta.

 

A good friend suggested we attend a demonstration on making Welsh tea cakes at a local book store. You know how much I love book stores and good food, so it didn’t take me long to decide it was a good idea. We had a marvellous time.  Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks is a store devoted to cookbooks as well as books related to cooking or food. The warm, inviting store has an amazing collection of books, many filled with mouth watering photographs of culinary delights. One could spend hours browsing and it is difficult to leave without a purchase.

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The shop has a full kitchen which is used to demonstrate recipes as well as for holding cooking classes. To celebrate St. David’s Day, staff member Mark Holmes, a transplanted Welshman, demonstrated the art of making Welsh cakes in the shop kitchen. He even wore the traditional daffodil in his button hole to honour the occasion.

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Grating the fresh nutmeg

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Rolling out the dough on a counter lightly dusted with icing sugar

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Cutting out the cakes after chilling the dough

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Cooking in a frying pan at low to moderate heat

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Ready to eat!

Mark recalled stories of his grandmother making tea cakes at home in Wales, while we sampled the mouth watering finished product along with a lovely cup of tea. We learned some great tips as well. For instance, grating the cold butter into the flour mixture is much easier than cutting it into the mixture and has the same desired results. I can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly March 1 afternoon.

Life is full of coincidences and they no longer surprise me. Two days ago, Barbara, a dear blogging friend from England, wrote on her blog, March House Books about a vintage cookbook called   250 Recipes by Elizabeth Craig . She included  recipes from the book such as the following  for Welsh Cream Tea Cakes. This one is a bit different as it calls for baking the cakes in an oven, instead of the traditional method of cooking them on a bake-stone or griddle, like a pancake. Either way, they are delicious.

Welsh Cream Tea Cakes from 250 Recipes by Elizabeth Craig
1 lb flour
1/2 teaspoonful salt
1/4 lb currants
Grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoonfuls Borwich’s Baking Powder
1/4 lb butter
2 oz sugar
cream to mix
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a basin. Rub in butter, then mix in washed and dried currants, sugar, and a grated nutmeg to taste. Mix to a stiff batter with fresh cream, and foll out on a floured pastry boards. Cut into squares. Bake on a greased tin in a quick oven. Sometimes I make mixture a little thinner, and cook it in buttered muffin tins. Again, I fork out pieces of dough, and arrange them on tin, like rock cakes, without rolling mixture.
To see more recipes from this quaint book with unique paintings, visit Barbara’s blog:
Do you enjoy looking through cookbooks, new or vintage?

I  am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.
Louisa  May Alcott

 

A blogging friend of mine from England, Barbara from March House Books, has posted a delightful edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott with charming illustrations.  Check it out here:

http://marchhousebookscom.blogspot.ca/2013/08/book-of-week-louis-may-alcotts-little.html

One of my all time favourite books is Little Women. I had two copies when I was a young girl, one I bought for myself and one given to me by a favourite aunt. Although well-worn, I still have the copy that was a gift.  I have since purchased another copy that I use when I am tutoring students in English as a Second Language. The students love it as well. The great thing is, I get to read it over and over, which is wonderful as I never tire of it.

What is it that makes this classic so appealing through the generations? For me it the depiction of strong family values during difficult times and the strong character and determination of Jo.

What is one of your favourite books from childhood and why do you love it so?


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