Jenny Kane is a fellow Accenteer (that's a new word now, it's official...) but also an amazingly prolific blogger and writer. I am totally in awe and a little bit jealous that she gets to write under lots of different identities, and across so many genres including contemporary women's fiction. It must be a real joy to experiment and delve into lots of different types of storytelling. A real pleasure to welcome her here today....
A Pudding Wish
Hello everyone - and an early Happy Christmas!
Many thanks to Kristen for inviting me along today to share some of my festive foodie thoughts and memories.
The main Christmas food tradition in my family is the making of the Christmas pudding.This is a ritual I remember taking place every year since my memory kicked in- and I know took place for decades before I arrived on the scene in 1972.
In October- usually the weekend nearest to Halloween, my family gathers at my parents home (it used to be my grandparents home), and together we grate the lemons and nutmeg, crumb the stale bread, weigh the suet and stir in the fruit, crack the eggs, and so on. The recipe- which I am giving you an exclusive peak of here- is always slightly altered, as we randomly throw in a touch more of this and a little bit of that until it looks, feels and smells just right. There is an entire notebook of what extra bits and pieces are added to the original recipe each year – it’s a really thick tome!
The biggest part of the ceremony however, is the adding of the stout - Guinness obviously.
We all line up and, taking it in turns, we pour a little of the stout into the mix, stirring with a wooden spoon as we make a private wish.
I remember when my own children took part in the mixing for the first time. It was an oddly emotional moment. Their eyes were as round as plates as they watched their Nan joyfully throw random food groups into the massive bowl, which smelt beguilingly of cinnamon, fruit and alcohol. We had to abandon a couple of those early wishes as the concept of not saying them out loud was a tricky one! But naturally, extra goes were allowed until they got it right.
This year I was emotional again- but for a very different reason. Not only did my children get their wishing spot on, but they did pretty much all the prep, washed up, and then my eldest -who is almost 18- asked her Nan for the recipe for when she leaves home next September. I have no idea how I didn’t burst into tears – thankfully I was making sure there was no left over Guinness, so I was a little fortified emotion wise!!!
Christmas food forms such an important part of the festive season, that when I came to write all three of my Christmas time novella for my Another Cup of...series, I made it an essential ingredient to the plots. After all, how can you possibly have a festive story without mince pies, mulled wine and Christmas cake? Unthinkable!
This year you can purchase all three of those novellas in one complete collection.
Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection
There is something very special about Christmas… Jenny Kane's Christmas Collection combines all three seasonal shorts from Jenny’s best-selling Another Cup of … series in one festive anthology. In ‘Another Cup of Christmas’, we return to Pickwicks Coffee House in London, the setting for Jenny’s bestselling novel Another Cup of Coffee. Together with old friends Kit, Amy, Scott and Peggy, we meet new Pickwicks waitress Megan, who’s in charge of organising a charity event for the local hospital…is romance as well as seasonal goodwill in the air? ‘Christmas in the Cotswolds’ sees Megan, now an established face at Pickwicks, travelling to the beautiful Cotswold countryside after an emergency call from her friend Izzie. Can Megan help Izzie pull off the perfect Christmas at her Arts and Crafts Centre – and save the business from disaster? Kit Lambert, Pickwicks’ writer-in-residence, takes centre stage in ‘Christmas at the Castle’. Already nervous about appearing at her very first literary festival, in the grounds of a magnificent Scottish castle at Christmas time, Kit suddenly finds herself co-organising the whole thing – and trying to repair old friendships – with the deadline fast approaching…
You can buy Jenny Kane Christmas Collection as a paperback (very soon) or as a download (now) from-
Jenny Kane is the author the contemporary romance Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016), Christmas at the Castle (Accent Press, 2015), the bestselling novel Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the modern/medieval time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the bestselling novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle (Accent, 2016). These three seasonal specials are now available in one boxed set entitled Jenny Kane’s Christmas Collection (Accent, 2016)
Jenny’s fifth full length romance novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published in June 2017.
Jenny’s first medieval murder mystery, The Outlaw’s Ransom will be published in December 2016 under the pen name, Jennifer Ash
Jenny is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015)
Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.