Chocolate and prune cake, muse.

I am making one. The cacao beans are roasting and prunes are soaking. It’s experimental, free of bad things – if that’s possible. It’s a cake for a food Renaissance! How’s that for some ridiculous posturing!

And if it’s a fail, I’m sure the pigeons will set upon it. Wish me luck…

I have  signed up for a serious Raja Yoga meditation class starting this weekend.

Submitted a short story to a competition which has no doubt disappeared in the ether never to be seen again. The character develops. She leads and brings me new tales. I am discovering a lot about her. I think she is a muse, but I haven’t asked her. Maybe she’s just the manifestation of my imagination.

Whatever is going on, I am giving time to writing and editing more regularly.



Chocolate and Almond Biscotti – Take 2!

This is a gluten, dairy and sugar free recipe – but there are eggs, so not vegan. It makes a gritty, bitter and sour biscuit.


You will need:

A large bowl, a small one, baking tray and grease-proof sheet. A big wooden spoon!


1 cup of almond flour

1 cup general other GF flours

1/2 cup darkest chocolate powder and ground raw cacao beans

1/2 tsp xantham gum

1 tsp GF baking powder

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

Some flaked almonds

2 tblsp of rice bran oil or coconut oil

Put all the dry ingredients in the large bowl and stir through thoroughly.

Put all the wet ingredients in the small bowl and mix.

Add the wet to the dry and mix using the spoon and then your hands – don’t over do it.

Place on a baking tray on a sheet and as per other biscotti recipes on this blog – bake – two times, slice and store.





A Favourite Author

It took me some time to realise that I had been reading a good number of novels by one particular author over the last few years. That I had accumulated a sizable stash on my shelves written by her.

Just recently I looked them out and found that some had disappeared – Jigs and Reels, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters – and concluded that possibly I had just given them away. Sometimes you do with books that you like.

But there were others still here – Chocolat, Lollipop Shoes, Peaches for Msr le Cure, Fools and more. Had this author outstripped my love of stories by Thomas Hardy when I was younger? It seemed so. Or perhaps, equal to.

I began to wonder what it was about her story-telling that I liked. Well, food was one thing, I like food and words together, recipes being a part of the magic of story-telling. I liked her main characters. I related to to being an outsider woman with one child living in a small place. I liked the French connection – the duality of Yorkshire and France/Europe as a part of the author’s background and the way she uses aspects of this to great effect with her imagination.

I think overall it is the diverse background, the understanding of women, recipes and parenthood.The primordial thing of having a certain kind of power that some may find threatening and react to -only because there is a difference between you and others.

But also an understanding that writing stories is a process which holds fear for the author. Never being very sure that what you have to tell is what someone, somewhere may want to hear. That you can tell a story which feels authentic, with words that lift that magic from the page and fill a person’s world at that moment in time. Perhaps they will always remember the story you told, perhaps the whole world will.

Here is a video of the TED talk Joanne Harris did at Manchester Uni. Do watch it right to the end. The conclusion is a very good one. The thread of life is there through stories and connects us all.