First, I want to thank everyone who came to the facebook launch of Home for Christmas, the last of this first batch of Fortune Bay books. (Don’t worry, there should be another one coming out next summer, 2017. Join my mailing list for news of new books.)
It was great to hang out with some readers who are quickly becoming friends, and to meet so many new potential readers from as far away as South Africa, Holland, New Zealand and Australia!
I promised to put up my recipe for fruit cake – guaranteed to turn skeptics into fans. So here it is.
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, who originally found it in the Toronto Star many years ago. Apparently it was sent in by a reader from Winchester Ontario which, coincidentally is where my sister lives. I love when synchronicity happens!
There are quite a few steps, but worth the trouble. It doesn’t really take that long and you end up with fruitcake to eat and give away.
My recipe says “make in late October”, so I better get at it!
The other day, my mother tried a piece of my Zucchini Bread.
“What is that flavor?” she said. “Mine has never been this nice.”
“Cloves,” I told her.
“I don’t like cloves,” she said. “But I love that.”
I have to admit it was particularly good batch. I usually grind whole cloves and if you are not diligent with the mortar and pestle, the flavour of the chunks of clove can over power the loaf.
This time I hadn’t been able to find whole cloves at the store, so I used ground and found it was better for this bread.
Also, I wrung out the grated zucchini just the right amount and the moisture level was perfect. Last time I was showing someone how to wring out the excess moisture in a tea towel, was over zealous and the bread was a touch dry. But do wring it out to prevent a soggy loaf.
It’s a great way to use that excess zucchini at this time of year, or get a nice size one at the farmer’s market and knock yourself out!
In The Good Neighbor, (yes! out this week!) Stephanie goes out to her garden and finds:
The stump end of a mammoth zucchini peeked out at her from under a leaf. Not good. Zucchini were the jesters of the garden, growing to ridiculous, bulbous proportions when your back was turned…
Hefting a giant zucchini in one hand, she measured its weight, reminded of a childhood summer day spent grating the big ones for zucchini bread, the smell of cloves and cinnamon filling the air. She put the offender under one arm, the basket over the other, and started down the shoreline path to the cabin.
Cloves and spice, Aunt Augusta’s trademark. Stephanie must have the same recipe I have.
The Good Neighbor is Frankie and Sean’s story (characters I introduced in Summer of Fortune).
In this book, Sean moves into Augusta’s cabin while he searches for the daughter he gave up for adoption fifteen years ago, and struggles to come to terms with the fact that he just might not find her. How, then, can he stand to see Frankie and her father so estranged, when a simple phone call might be all it would take?
The Good Neighbor begins in August, and since Sean is an excellent cook and there are a lot of cooking and gardening references ,
PESTO seemed like the perfect choice of a recipe to feature on today’s blog. And let me tell you, good pesto made from freshly picked basil is truly a gift.
If you don’t grow basil in your garden (yet) or don’t have room for a garden, you can treat yourself to a meal of fresh pesto before the summer is over by buying a plant, sold at most grocers at this time of year.
Once you try pesto made in your own kitchen with garden fresh basil leaves, you will never go back to the store bought variety.
And it’s easy! Since tastes and ingredients vary (types of basil, sizes of cloves of garlic & lemons, amount of salt) every batch will be slightly different.
You be the final judge of exactly how much of each ingredient to add. And with these ingredients, how can you go wrong?
And don’t forget, for this last, beautiful week of summer, Lake of Dreams is free in eBook form on online retailers until the end of August. See the sidebar. No excuses!
Happy eating, and good reading,