Posts from — November 2012

Launch! 1

November 7, 2012

First: some dog bone cookies. Because, you know, a novel about a dog needs dog bone cookies at its launch. DH and I made them last night after we put little e down to sleep. Plain, simple, sweet, buttery sugar cookies. No icing, no spice. I haven’t made them without adornments in years and didn’t last night because I didn’t have the time, but now I’m glad. We forget how good simple things can be.

And now: the launch.

A second hand kids’ bookstore run by the local literacy association hosted a gathering today for a reading and signing of my book, Nobody’s Dog. It was great fun! A class of ten-year-olds, some family and friends, co-workers, a few of my adult students and some friendly strangers all crowded into the shop this afternoon. The cookies went over a treat. Thanks to everyone who came out!

I was also interviewed by a local radio station and that conversation will be online soon, and I’ll post the link when it is.

XO

Ria

In: Food, From Ria, Writing

Making it work 5

November 5, 2012

I was going to call this post “Failure”. It felt a bit pessimistic. Then I wondered about “Embracing Failure” but that seemed falsely positive. “Making it work” fit the bill. It is a post about baking but , of course, it’s really about my life. Which seems to be full of curve balls and hiccups and speed bumps lately. Nothing too serious, but enough to slow me down or send me down the wrong path. Like when you have guests coming over for afternoon tea, you’re all geared up to bake and you suddenly remember that your oven has no markings….

A previous tenant who liked to clean wiped off all the labels. Bless them. Yes, that’s me writing “Function” on there, to help me remember which dial is timer, which is function and which is temperature. The function aspect is by far the most complicated. I have not yet quite figured out which click of the dial is Bake as evidenced by this. Banana Choc Chip Char-Top Muffin.

Note to self: Click number three is Grill with Fan. Not Fan Bake. Without getting totally dramatic (I’ll leave that to B2, she is rocking the two and a half year old “assertion of will” at present) these blackened muffins are representative of life at the moment. BUT (and this too resonates) look at the heart of the matter.

Not too bad. Not great, but hey, not terrible. It’s still banana and chocolate at the end of the day. That’s good, right? So, I did what any self-respecting failure expert would do. First, I cut off the burnt bits.

Then I slathered a load of ganache on the top (utilising my this-makes-me-feel-like-an-adult secret stash of Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt. What can’t that fix, right?)

Scattered some crushed up banana chips…which are delicious, by the way….

And, just for good measure, added a festive looking bird. Ta-dah!

At this point I was feeling very when-life-hands-you-lemons-get-yourself-tequila-and-salt. The muffins weren’t dreadful, my guests couldn’t have cared less, B1 was thrilled with eating the ganache off the top…and well…meh, who can complain. We made it work. And that’s the approach I need to take to life right now. Frankly speaking I’m struggling to find time to write, I’m juggling a bit too much and things seem very prone to going off-course. But, it could be worse. Much worse. Really, it’s not too bad. Especially when you add the right kind of chocolate, the right kind of attitude and, of course, the right kind of company.

And with that note, I do wish you were just around the corner. I know you would have eaten my bake-fail, drunk my tea and laughed along with me.

HUGS, Hannah x

In: Food, From Hannah

Sweet Little Something 2

November 1, 2012

An end of week ritual – a wordless post, a personal photograph that captures a moment to be savoured, relished and preserved for looking back on. One photograph from Hannah, in the Southern Hemisphere and one from Ria, in the Northern Hemisphere. Feel free to post your questions, thoughts and comments. Have a great weekend!

From Hannah:From Ria:

 

In: From Hannah, From Ria, Sweet Little Something