My novel, Grace, Lady of Cassio, begins in 1331 during the reign of Edward III. It will be published in August 2022.
At heart I am a historian. My novels are rich in historical detail that requires intensive research, some of which I am sharing in this blog.
Lemon Rice With Almonds
Grated skin, juice and pulp of1 large lemon. (I use an organic one.) 1 cup ground almonds. 1cup rice. 2 cups water. ½ teaspoon salt. ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. 1 tablespoon butter. 2/3 cup of currants. 1 cup dry white wine. (I use apple juice.) 1 cup fresh peas. Garnish. 12 teaspoons of honey. (I use organic honey.)
Put the water, rice, salt, cinnamon, butter and lemon in a non-stick saucepan with a lid. Stir once while boiling it for 10 minutes until most of the fluid is absorbed. Simmer the almonds and currants in the white wine or apple juice for 7 minutes then add it to rice fluffed with a fork. Stir in fresh peas (sometimes I use frozen peas) simmer for 5 or 7 minutes, adding a little boiling water if the rice sticks to the bottom of the saucepan. Garnish each portion with honey.
2 cups wheatgerm or buckwheat groats. 2 tablespoons butter. 4 cups milk. 1cup half inch slice of peeled carrots, ½ cup peeled, diced fresh parsnip, 1 cup raisins, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon dried sweet basil, 6 tablespoons honey (
I prefer organic honey), 3 tablespoons plum jam.
Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan. Add the groats and stir for 2 or 3 minutes over a low heat, then add the other ingredients, except for the basil, honey and jam. Simmer slowly for 20 minutes. To serve, ladle the gruel into bowls, put a tablespoon of honey in the centre and a dessertspoon of plum jam in the middle. Sprinkle the basil around the edges. Serve hot.
Pears with Carob Cream
6 firm, edible pears. Juice of 1 fresh lemon. (I use an organic lemon.) 2 heaped tablespoons carob powder. (A substitute of chocolate, available from health food shops. 2 tablespoons sugar (I prefer soft brown sugar) or honey (I prefer organic honey) ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 cup double cream/whipping cream.
Cut the pears in half with their skins on and scoop out the core area with a sharp knife, dredge each half with lemon juice. Bake pears in a 350 degree oven for 7 or 10 minutes and allow them to cool. Beat the cream, salt and carob powder together until it is thick. Pipe or spoon the carob cream onto the pear halves. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before serving.