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G…uest #20: Cooking'n books

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Please meet Shehanne shehanne moore Smexy Historical Romance
Firstly may I say how wonderful it is to be here, especially when you might say I’m an okay plain cook, nothing fancy. Oh, and did I mention the dudes? Well, they are the hamsters who run my blog. They are very keen on recipes because they are very keen on eating everything in sight, including my guest’s dogs, cats and things.  So I should add, it’s even better to be here without them.
Cook pic for Esme
Sort of without them anyway. I’m also a writer of historical romance. I’m not going to start banging the drum for period details but I do like to weave them into the backdrop. So the foods, the recipes of whatever era I’m working in are pretty important and something I will research.  I can think of one time-travelling heroine who thought well to console herself with the parades of food and drink the rich consumed in Georgian times, and the shock she got on discovering every pea and carrot was counted by the hero’s stingy sister-in-law/aunt.  Then there was the hero who thought it would be no trouble whatsoever for the heroine and her maid to go and get a goat from the Italian hillside for his supper….
But rather than bang on any longer, or tell you what he did get for his supper, seeing as my characters often like to share their favourite recipes—some quite awful ones, I must add—

I’m going to hand you over to Gentle, a secondary character from one of my books, The Viking and The Courtesan. Gentle is a rather large and somewhat aggressive, Saxon lady whose husband dumped her in a convent in order to get his mitts on her money and she is a sort of cook which is how she sort of ends up with the Vikings.   Gentle is going to tell us a bit about food and cooking in Viking times and share a recipe.  Hopefully one she hasn’t spat in first as she is a bit like that unless she likes you. In which case you’ve probably even more to worry about….
“Thank you Shehanne and thank you Esmé for inviting me.  I’m a very plain cook. In fact, so plain, I don’t mind what I throw in the pot, even them hamsters if you want. See, from what I see round here, them Vikings ain’t fussy either, not like Lady Poshluggs–that’s the heroine by the way, just don’t tell I called her that, she gets upset—what turned up her nose at reindeer stew, when it was a delicacy it took me all day to burn…sorry,  prepare.
The amount of cabbage and turnip I gets asked to boil, here with them Vikings, is no-one’s business. And nuts, if I eats another nut, I will go just that. Though at least they do like their ale and mead. And so do I.
Now, where was I? Oh yes.  Having another tankard. I gets to do a lot of filling of them in the book. And not just other peoples’ neither when the occasional back is turned, although that Snotra what is the love of the hero’s life, has got eyes in the back of her head as well as the front I can tell you. More than he’s got or he’d see right through her.  Notice someone like me. She’s got a tongue like a whip too which is why I can’t linger.
Now, you didn’t seem to like my Reindeer Stew recipe. Or my eels. So here’s my Creme Bastarde recipe and that is what it is called by the way.
cream bastarde
4 egg whites, beaten as much as Snotra likes to beat everyone in sight.
2 cups cream
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
pinch salt
2 tsp sugar
Beat the egg whites until just frothy.
Mix into cream and bring to a boil slowly, stirring continuously.
Simmer for about five more minutes, stirring continuously.
Add the honey, the salt. Keep stirring. Then pour through a strainer.
Add the rest of the milk and the sugar and then beat it for a couple of minutes.
Allow to cool.
You know something? You would be better buying a tin of custard, a tin opener. I’m sure Creme Custarde is what it should have said and it gives you more time with the mead you see. It’s been lovely meeting you all.”
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73 thoughts on “G…uest #20: Cooking'n books”

  1. Pingback: Meet Esme, the woman who hunts recipes. | shehanne moore
  2. Pingback: September G…uest Post Roundup | The Recipe Hunter
  3. Naughty recipe. Love the concept of this blog – great combination :). The Viking and the Courtesan is a fabulous book and loads of fun too. Shehanne writes great characters

  4. Great post, Shey – amazingly creative. But why does the Bastarde need straining? Any of the cooks here know the answer to that?
    As to eating Rudolf and friends – even worse than Bambi, IMHO.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • Well, neither Gentle nor me are really cooks just passing ourselves off so we don’t know. But wondering, given it is a medieval recipe if it was lumpy. Nowadays we would just blend but not in these days.
      As for the reindeer stew? No way. But I gather that was what Vikings ate. My heroine point blank preferred to starve with her nose in the air. xdxxxxxxxxxxx

      • I doubt it was lumpy. Somebody had to beat it smooth or they probably would have been beaten bloody.
        I have heard that, cooked right, deer meat is pretty good — but I’ll pass, thank you very much, as long as I have *anything* else to eat.
        I love the names you come up with for your characters, Shey.
        xx, mgh
        PS. Tink sends his love to the Dudes.

      • LOL. I am sure Snotra would have set about Gentle if it was lumpy but that would have been a big mistake, cos she’d have been beaten bloody. I pass on the deer meat too. If it’s not Bambi it is Rudolf for goodness sake. The Mr has eaten venison a few times. Not for want of me saying, ‘ How can you?’ You’re very sweet Madelyn. I need to have a character’s name ‘right’ in my head before I can start to see them. Lots of love to TInk from me and the dudes xxxxxxx

  5. Shey, can I ask a question? Was it called Creme Bastarde because it was meant to be rubbed all over Sin’s chest for Malice to lick off?

  6. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Shehanne is over on the Recipe Hunter’s great blog today. At first it looked like we were going to get Reindeer Stew and Eels but thankfully she handed over the reins (sorry) to one of her minor characters, Gentle who cooks for Vikings and shares the recipe for some rather lovely sounding custard.

  7. Love it! And naught wrong with rabbit stew it is a wonderful thing …I may try the Barstarde it looks and sounds rather droolicious and not a nasty in sight…Wooo Hoo…But please …Don’t start me on the subject of hamsters and yours may be little darlings……But that wheel when ones daughter is trying to sleep… so she removes it ( the wheel) and in the morning when she moves the cage…the little darlings had chewed a hole..perfectly round…in MY carpet……Hampster stew anyone ????…Love your post!

    • I left a reply but it does not look like it posted to say thank you so much. (Funny I am now getting notifications re this blog and others that I had had already. Must be something up with WP today.) Hampster Stew indeed! I don’t actually have any hamsters. Just this kiddy on mob who run my blog. All happened by accident. I used to blog sensibly. But my younger girl did once have a custody battle over a hamster with her partner, Yep. And to get her to come home we had to let her bring it… SO I know what they can be like. Thrilled you liked the post xxxxxxxx

      • WP, FB it is all having games with me and has been for the last couple of weeks..I was thinking it was my laptop until others seemed to have problems as well…I do love your post, hampsters or not and sometimes we all need fun in our lives don’t we ?

      • it is defo playing games. Firstly I have had all kind of probs getting the reader to load and I don’t like email notifications of post cos I get swamped. Secondly comments are getting chewed. BUT I have seen some folks on facebook saying their posts are vanishing, like their ordinary posts, many of their commets too, so there’s glitches . It’s not you. The wee dudes will be blogging today. To add to everything our internet provider did four maintenance this morning so I am just catching up now. But you are right we all need a laugh in life xxxxxxx

  8. Sooooooo lol! Great to see you here Shey. Best you left the dudes at home for this one, or maybe they would have liked that reindeer stew and eels. So glad you didn’t share that recipe, lol, but the Bastarde looks delish! 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxx

  9. Hi Shehanne, I loved that this post was written from Gentle’s perspective 🙂 I thought she was a tough lady in your book but really did mean well. Now I confirm it! Yummy share here, waaaay better than reindeer stew 😉 My dad told me he had rabbit stew when he was a kid in England. Hugs for you! Great choice Esme having Shey here 🙂

    • It is wonderful to be here. When Esme kindly asked me I thought about how often I am looking at food in books to help with the background historical detail. I felt that letting the characters offer up the menu covers my lack of fancy menus. I never like writing a real baddie in a book –ok maybe apart from Snotra– but I do feel even those who come over as Gentle does to start with are that way for a reason. No-one is all bad. Life had not dealt her a very good set of cards. And by the end of the book she and Malice were friends after a shaky start. Rabbit stew was eaten quite a bit in England. During WW2 especially when food was short. There was song about it called Run Rabbit. But I’ve seen it on menus. never had it. Lovely to see you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  10. I have a visitor this week but once they are gone I will get you another post AND your questions too. I am hoping you will share all about your lovely blog and recipe. I reckon a lot of my followers would be interested in Recipe Hunter xxxxxxxxx

  11. Loving every second of this. What a great Migraine-friendly recipe for those of us who can’t just open a tin of custard full of modern day migraine-triggering nasties. Bravo not only for the recipe but presentation as well 👏👏👏💜💜💜💜


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