Saturday, 23 October 2010


Serves 4
2 hrs cooking time

Beef Stew

1lb cubed trimmed shin of beef or casserole beef
2 parsnips, cubed
2 sweet potatoes chopped
4 med. carrots, cubed
1 large onion
4 med. potatoes, cubed
1 handful red lentils
2-3 handfulls frozen peas
1 veg organic stock cube(Kallo)
3 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh chopped rosemary
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 table spoons olive oil
about 1 pint water
(optional - add chopped fresh chilli. Or, whole for a little flavour, but do not burst)

For Dumplings
half pound Self Raising (org) flour
pinch salt, and water

Add salt to flour and knead into a fairly stiff dough.
Knead for 5 mins, so that it is smooth.
Cover with a damp cloth until ready to use

Method for cooking Stew

. Use a large iron casserole pan with a lid and heat oil.
.When oil begins to smoke, put in washed beef cubes and stir quickly with a metal spoon, making sure all sides of meat are sealed. Brownish, not burnt.
. Add crushed garlic, water and rosemary, and stir
. Cover pan and lower heat and simmer for an hour, or until meat is almost softened.
. Add salt, pepper and vegetable cube.
. Add vegetables
. Make sure there is enough water. Add more if necessary.
. Add red lentils and cook for another 15 mins.
. Re-knead dough, which should have soften now, in order to consolidate.
. Pinch bits and make small balls, about 1" in diameter, and drop into the boiling stew
. Stir gently and cover
. Simmer on a very low heat for another 20 mins.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


Although this is not a Caribbean Recipe, it is the one I have used for three Octobers in a row, when the apples are ripe, falling, and I feel, really, it is criminal to waste food.

This chutney has been extremely popular with family and friends who have had the delicious opportunity of tasting it. I say opportunity, because there have been times it is like gold dust. My son and his girlfriend have been known to fight over it. So when it comes to the end of stocks, I keep the last jar for them....even the last half jar!

It can be eaten with almost anything! Anything... even with a curry, as a replacement for mango chutney. It is also an accompanyment for anything cold - chicken, turkey, ham, meat pies, quiche, salads, cheese...etc.

My stepson has replaced his need for Branst... Pickle with Spiced Apple Chutney. Apparently this one is much better. It is a must have at Christmas too.

I have to admit now, that this recipe is more or less taken from Nigella Lawson ...who is not adverse to taking recipes from somebody I'm passing this one on, tweeked here and there by me.

ALSO. It is a crime to waste apples. So here it is. Go make!


600g cooking apples
1 large onion
2 bird's eye red chillies
250g demerara sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 heaped tablespoon chopped or grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon tumeric
350 mls cider vinegar

4 x 250 ml jars

Peel and roughly chop the apples.
Finely chop the onion.
Seed the chillies,, and chop them finely.
*(Use gloves, or be careful to wash hands properly before touching eyes)

Use a large heavy stainless steel pan, and place all the ingredients in.
Bring to the boil.
Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 40-60 mins, or until the mixture thickens to required thickness. If you want it not so runny, keep simmering could take another hour, but do NOT allow it to stick in the pan.

Taste. If you prefer more salt, add up to another half teaspoon.

Sterilize jars. The easiest way is to wash them and place them in a tray in the oven at 180C for about 15 mins.

Allow the mixture to cool very slightly, and spoon into the jars. Close with lids, and tighten again when almost cool.

Label with date. This can be stored in a cool place, and will last for many months.
Only refridgerate when opened.

NB. Vinegar - Cider vinegar gives a more mellow flavour. But you can use Malt vinegar which gives a sharper flavour. I do a batch of each, and I have found that many people prefer the one made with Malt vinegar.

This is a very satisfying process. Enjoy.....and make another batch. Remember Christmas!


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Authonomy Race

Dear Followers, and All others,

I am very aware that I have not paid any attention to you and my blog for a number of weeks .... well all of September! And for that I am very sorry. However, I have been thinking of you, REALLY.

So much has suffered since I joined the Authonomy site, because of it's addictive nature, and the race to get my book on the Editor's Desk at Harper Collins. My editing has taken a back seat, but I must, must slow down and tackle what is most important.

Authonomy, is a website run by Harper Collins, in order to divert authors away from sending manuscripts directly to them in the post. This website in itself is a very good idea. However, it is questionable as to the outcome for any particular author. Involvement feels like an adiction - as if I were involved in gambling. But instead of gambling money, the author is gambling time. Precious time. But to take a break, means that one's ratings slip, both individual ratings, as well as book ratings.

So, here it is. I put some of my book on the Authonomy site. Any amount over 10.000 words.
I have 8 chapters of God of the Cocoa - 31,000 + words, at the moment.

Any member can: Read it, Back it, or put in on their Watchlist.

They can also Comment, and send a message to the author.

All of these bring points to the book and the author/member.

If and when the book reaches the top 5, out of all 7,000+ books on the site, it will be looked at by a Harper Collins Editor. That is the aim of the author.

This takes place at the end of every month. So the race is on for October!!!

God of the Cocoa, has been on the site for 4 weeks, and it has been doing remarkably well in the scheme of things, but it needs more people to back it.

In the Weekly ratings, it has been up at No 4, in the Historical genre, No 7 in the Literary genre.

But that doesn't matter. It needs to rise to the top 5 in the Overall ratings.
At the moment it is at 1236, out of the 7,000+ on the site.


I would be eternally grateful to you for this!!!

Don't forget, I value your support as well as your feedback, even if you don't like something, I've written, for any reason, please tell me.

Here is the link.


Marilyn xxx