Tag Archives: Viv's Family Recipes

A Recipe from The Wolves of Vimar Series

These little cakes are a favourite of Carthinal, in The Wolves of Vimar series.

In The Making of a Mage, a Wolves of Vimar prequel, Carthinal becomes apprenticed to Mabryl, an archmage. He was known to sneak into the kitchen where Lillora, Mabryl’s housekeeper, was making the cakes and sneak one or two (or several).

Here’s a bit about the book.

Carthinal is alone in the world. His parents and grandparents have died. Without money and a place to live, he faces an uncertain future. After joining a street gang, Carthinal begins a life of crime. Soon after, he sees a performing magician, and decides he wants to learn the art of magic. But can he break away from his past and find the path to his true destiny?

You can buy the book from your favourite store, in ebook, hardback or paperback, by clicking on its cover in the side-bar, or here.

It is also available as an audio book.

Here is the US link

And this is the UK link

It is also available from The Independent Bookstore, which is Next Chapter’s online store.

Here is the recipe for nectar cakes if you would like to try them for yourself.

They were actually invented by my son, Richard, when he was about 7 years old. He was very fond of honey!

Nectar Cakes

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry 

125g margarine

125g runny honey

125g flour

2 eggs

Method

Roll out the pastry and cut rounds. Place one pastry round in each hole of a bun tin.

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend on high power until creamy.

Put spoonfuls of the mixture into the pastry cases and bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes.

You can find more recipes in Viv’s Family Recipes, along with some hints and tips garnered from Viv’s family members.

More British Wild Flowers.

Today I’m going to talk about something that is useful as well as pretty. this flower graces our hedgerows every spring and gives us wonderful free fruit in the summer.

I am, of course, referring to the Bramble.

Bramble fruits are known as blackberries because of their black colour. And they are delicious in a pie or crumble, especially when paired with apples.

Image by Gábor Adonyi from Pixabay

As you can see, the fruit is red before it turns black, but it is only ripe when black. The red fruits are hard and sour. Each ‘fruit’ is made up of a number of small

Brambles are found in hedgerows and have long, thorny stems. Gathering them can be a somewhat painful experience, but well worth the occasional scratch.

If you wait too long to go out foraging for this delicious fruit, you will find the wildlife has got there before you. Not only humans, but the birds enjoy this fruit as well as a variety of insects.

Brambles belong to the Rosaceae family, which also includes the rose. Five heart-shaped petals and five sepals. The leaves are divided into three or five serrated leaflets. The leaf stalks are also prickly.

They grow almost anywhere, and have long roots which, I can tell you from experience, are almost impossible to get up. In spite of their wonderful fruits, they are a nuisance when they appear in your garden. They can root and produce new plants if the stems touch the ground, thus quickly taking over. This isn’t a problem in the hedges or scrubland, but not welcome in the garden.

Having said that, they are important to wildlife. They are a food source for bees, both honey and bumble. Some caterpillars eat their leaves, and foxes badgers, mice and birds eat the berries. A large clump will also provide a good habitat for wildlife, especially grass snakes (which, incidentally, are harmless).

You can buy cultivated blackberries in the supermarkets, but why would you do that? You can get this fruit absolutely free, and it’s a great afternoon out with the kids.

Just be sure that everyone has long sleeves, and if you have a dog, make sure he doesn’t like them, too. I had a dog that enjoyed them, abd we couldn’t put the bowl of gathered fruit down or he’d eat them.

FUN FACT.

I gave the name of Bramble to a dog that attached itself to Fero in my Wolves of Vimar series, Book 2, The Never Dying Man.

(Here are links to Book 1, The Wolf Pack, and Book 3, Wolf Moon.)

If you want to make a blackberry and apple crumble, it’s the easiest thing in the world.

  1. Peel and slice the apples and mix with the washed blackberries and put into an ovenproof dish, size depending on how much fruit you have.
  2. Add sugar to the blackberries and apples, according to your taste.
  3. In a large bowl, sift 170 grammes (6 oz ) of plain (all purpose) flour.
  4. Add 85 grammes (3oz) softened butter, cut into small pieces. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Add 85 grammes (3oz) of caster sugar and mix well in.
  6. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the fruit and press down slightly.
  7. Sprinkle with sugar (optional) and cook in a pre-heated oven, 180C, until golden brown.
  8. Serve with custard or ice cream.

You can alter the quantities of crumble mix depending on the amount of fruit you have.

I had some of the mix left over last time I made a crumble. I seemed a waste to throw it away, so I pressed some into a couple of biscuit moulds and put them in the oven. I cooked them until they were golden brown. They turned out to be rather sweet, but crunchy biscuits!

For more recipes, and a few old-fashioned hints, you can buy Viv’s Family Recipes by clicking on the link, or the book cover in the sidebar. You can then choose your favourite book site to buy.

In this recipe book I give some tried and trusted recipes from my family and friends, as well as some from my grandma, dated 1909. (Most of which I’ve not tried! They are very carb and fat-heavy, and many require long cooking. But it’s interesting to see what they used to eat in days gone by.)

If you would like to receive an exclusive, free short story by me, called The Haunted Table, simply click the link. This will take you to the page where you can download it.

Maria and Tom have bought an antique table for the old cottage they have bought. When they hear strange noises in the night that sound like crying, they worry their house is haunted, but the sounds seem to come from the table.

They set about trying to find what is causing the disturbances. The answer is stranger than either of them had thought.

(Clicking the link will add your email address to my email list, but don’t worry, you can unsubscribe immediately if you wish. Nor will you get any spam. I only send out an email each quarter, or if I have any exciting news–like a new release.)

Nectar Cakes

Image by Gasfull from Pixabay

When my son was small, about 6 or 7 years old, he enjoyed eating honey. One day, he suggested making cakes using it and so we came up with the following recipe, which we called Nectar Cakes.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

Shortcrust pastry (Home made or bought.)

125g margarine

125g runny honey

125g flour

2 eggs

Method

Roll out the pastry and cut rounds. Place one pastry round in each hole of a bun tin.

Put all the other ingredients into a food processor and blend on high power until creamy.

Put spoonfuls of the mixture into the pastry cases and bake in the oven at 180C for about 15 minutes.

When I was writing my Wolves of Vimar books, Carthinal decided he would enjoy these cakes, and so I had Lillora, Mabryl’s housekeeper, make them. (Mabryl is Carthinal’s teacher of magic.) Carthinal was not above creeping into the kitchen and stealing a few when Lillora wasn’t looking.

(See The Making of a Mage. A Wolves of Vimar prequel.)

In the book that I’m currently editing (Immortal’s Death. Book 4 of The Wolves of Vimar series) Randa, one of the companions who call themselves Wolf, is also partial to these cakes.

I must admit that I don’t blame either one of them. They are yummy, if a bit heavy in the honey.

If you would like to find more recipes from my friends and family, check out Viv’s Family Recipes.

There are a few ancient recipes there as well as modern ones. These give us an insight into how people lived in the early 20th Century. Also the book contains snippets of information about the various recipes and the people who gave them to me.

At the end, there are a few Hints and Tips from the early 20th Century, too. (There were more in the original book I took these from, but many were possible dangerous, so I didn’t include them!) As well as some ancient remedies for coughs and sore throats.

You can get the book in a number of formats from your favourite seller. Just click on the book title in this post.

If you want to find out about the friends who call themselves Wolf, especially Carthinal, you can get the books by clicking on the cover in the sidebar, or the book title above.

They are also in a number of formats and from numerous sellers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo etc.

If you make these cakes, I would be delighted to hear what you think about them, and possibly see a picture of how they turned out. Leave your comments in the comments box.