August 26, 2015
The time has arrived to proudly, excitedly announce the U.S. and Canada release of SEASON OF SALT AND HONEY!
On September 1, 2015 my second book will grace bookstores or plunk in your mailbox if you have pre-ordered it online. Finally, finally, finally! I’m very happy about this news (all the exclamation marks may have given that away) for many reasons but two in particular. Firstly, SEASON OF SALT AND HONEY is set on the Pacific NorthWest coast, north of Seattle and south of Vancouver, the verdant, ancient landscape I fell in love with when I lived in that beautiful part of the globe. The book is heading home! And secondly, many of the network of kind and generous souls who helped the book come into being live in the U.S. and Canada so it will be amongst loving family.
I am so thrilled about this launch I have created a competition to win a copy of the book PLUS a surprise selection of some of these beautiful, delicious, escape-to-the-cabin goodies to be won in the days leading up to The Big Day. Including:
Fragrant, NZ -made beeswax candles
Folded, calico tote by Apple Green Duck
Handmade Blue Earth soap with lavender oil and calendula petals
Chronicle Books botanical print notebook
Retro pack of dominoes
Pack of 8 x blank cards with envelopes in “Dune Grasses” print by Jane Galloway
Bengt & Lotta forest print dishcloth
Daffodil-yellow Laguiole fruit and cheese knife
Artisan chocolate bars by Whittaker’s
Can you imagine running away to a cabin in the forest bag packed with some of these lovely, luxe and delicious goodies? Plus, entering is not only simple but also FUN! It’s as easy as one, two, three. It all happens over on instagram and this is all you have to do to be in to win:
One: Follow our instagram account – @forkandfiction
Two: Post a photo relating to food or love (two of the major themes of SEASON OF SALT AND HONEY). That’s right, your own photo, no need for pesky reposting!
Three: Tag @forkandfiction and apply the hashtag #seasonofsaltandhoney and / or #hannahtunnicliffe so I can find your beautiful entries.
Enter as often as you like, every entry counts!
That’s it! That’s all! Every day leading up to launch day – Thursday 27th, Friday 28th, Saturday 29th, Sunday 30th and Monday 31st of August – I will select one winner to receive a prize pack to be posted anywhere in the world, Timbuktu inclusive. That’s five chances to win!
If you have already read SEASON OF SALT AND HONEY or would like to transfer your prize pack I can post it directly to whomever you elect – a gift for Mum? A favourite Aunty? A BFF living abroad? You choose and I will post. Imagine the brownie points you would chalk up…
If you don’t have the Instagram app you can get it here, or you can bug someone who has to enter for you and then gift you the prize pack OR ELSE!*
Swags and swags of good luck to everyone who enters. Pass the message along to friends, have fun with your photos and best of luck!
P.S. With love and VERY BIG thanks to the wonderful, kind people who helped me with the research and writing of SEASON OF SALT AND HONEY and gave me support throughout the publishing process. x
* I cannot be held responsible for threats or bribes offered.
August 19, 2015
Call off the hunt! The search is over! I have finally found a chocolate icing / frosting that is not a) so sweet it makes your eyes water and requires peeling children off the ceiling post consumption b) tastes like it’s been mixed with sand / concrete mix c) is sadly, insufficiently chocolatey d) all of the above.
I realise that chocolate frosting is a very particular, personal kind of a thing. It recalls childhood birthday cakes and being allowed to lick the bowl. Perhaps the only true requirement of perfect chocolate frosting is that it reminds you of the one that was made for you as a little person. So I guess it could be possible that My Ultimate Chocolate Frosting might not be Your Ultimate Chocolate Frosting… but, frankly, I refuse to believe it.
Because this chocolate frosting is just so good it has to be universal. The reasons being that it is:
* Sweet but not tooth-achingly so
* Silken in texture with appropriate heft and thickness for spreading
* Perfectly chocolatey with a hint of fudge
* Very easy to make
We use this frosting to ice chocolate cakes, BabyMac’s “Anne” recipe being our go-to (primarily because it always works and tastes great, secondarily because it’s the easiest chocolate cake recipe in the known universe). I am sure it would be wonderful on cupcakes too and I have been known to simply spoon it from bowl to mouth with a concerning absence of self-consciousness.
So, here it is. Other than the creme fraiche you probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen right now. Which means, with a hasty trip to the supermarket, you are literally moments away from having the Ultimate Chocolate Frosting at your lips…
* * * * *
Ultimate Chocolate Frosting (adapted from My Little Expat Kitchen)
85 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
120 grams of good quality dark chocolate (minimum 50% cocoa solids)
1 tsp vanilla extract
140 grams icing sugar
140 grams creme fraiche (approximately 1/2 a tub)
2 pinches sea salt flakes
Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, whisking often and making sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. The bottom of the bowl must not come in contact with the simmering water.
Once the mixture is smooth and melted, remove bowl from the top of the pan and add the vanilla extract. Whisk to incorporate and then add the icing sugar a little at a time, whisking to incorporate it (the mixture may look grainy, but don’t worry, it’ll all come together!)
Gradually add the crème fraîche and whisk until the frosting is shiny and smooth. Add the salt flakes and stir till combined.
* * * * *
Hooray! Something to finally, properly honour your favourite chocolate cake, something for your kids to lick from the bowl and a recipe to hand down as little ones become big enough to make their own cakes for their own celebrations. If you get a chance to make Ultimate Chocolate Frosting I would love to hear your feedback, convinced as I am that it is simple, ultimate and perfect.
I’m kind of wishing this chocolate frosting was dateable; I would be totally, jealously, setting it up with my single mates right now…
August 12, 2015
You know when you get all nostalgic for those childhood foods you haven’t eaten in years, things like bright-orange cheezies, gum balls and breakfast cereal with sugar as the first ingredient? Okay, maybe I should rewrite that sentence to just read “I”. I won’t hold you responsible for the same questionable childhood eating habits I had. Unless you want me to…
But those foods–that nostalgia! I vividly remember eating dripping chocolate fudge popsicles on hot, crowded beaches in Vancouver. Those purple, possibly grape flavoured ones too. Something that was ice cream dipped in chocolate and called a Revello? Yes. Freezies that were super sweet and also distractingly acidic, I assume from the functionally fruitless artificial flavour? Oh, how growing up ruins all the fun.
August 5, 2015
I’m sorry. This is not the post I intended writing. I had much better posts in mind. About how I found evidence of The World’s First Blogger or sharing the recipe for the best chocolate treat I have made all year. And then…
Since last Thursday the whole family have been felled by a multitude of sucky sicknesses. There’s been, in no particular order – croup, fevers, nasty viruses, chest infections and worms (Yes, I know. Ew.) We lurched, descended, battled with one house-plague after the other. We dispensed paracetemol, washed load upon load of laundry, switched and swapped beds before ending up in the one bed, consoled, complained and bought more boxes of tissues. On going to the doctor again yesterday I opened with “So, since you saw us at the end of last week…” Yup. We became That Family.
July 29, 2015
You know when you discover something new about a person you’ve known a long time, something that radically changes the way you view them? Secret talents, long-forgotten epic travels, famous grandparents—something that inspires a perspective shift so that you’re suddenly looking again, looking closer at this familiar old friend, who suddenly seems just a little bit…exotic. Nuanced. Evocatively complex. Definitely more interesting.
So, I don’t have a friend like this. (Do you? Because if so—awesome. Love it when that happens.)
What I have is a town like this. A town I’ve lived in for more than five years, that I thought I’d pretty much figured out. And now it goes and shows me stuff I didn’t even know it had. I was recently offered the chance to participate in a food tour organized by Vancouver Island Expeditions—a tour of local food and beverage creators that, as I’ve said, were not on my mental map of This Is Nanaimo.