Archive through September 08, 2007

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 3: Alliance of Light: Stormed Fortress: Status: Archive through September 08, 2007
   By Leonie on Wednesday, September 05, 2007 - 11:49 pm: Edit Post

Delicious conversation! We also have fairy cakes, which can be made in a couple of ways. The original recipe has icing or icing and hundreds and thousands on top, and for the adaptation known as butterfly cakes, you cut a circle out of the top, fill the depression with lemon butter or jam and cream, and after halving the cut out, stick it back on top like butterfly wings.

Nice to hear you like Anzac biscuits, PurplePenny, and thanks for the explanation about cobbler - I was a bit concerned there for a moment! :-)

My favourite scone recipe:
4 cups Self raising flour
300mL cream (whipping or thickened - it doesn't matter)
300mL lemonade

Heat oven very hot, mix everything together (mixture is sticky), then press out on floured surface and cut into rounds. Place on baking tray next to each other, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until hollow when tapped.

Serve buttered or with jam and cream...

   By Neil on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 03:28 am: Edit Post

Hi Janny

I remember a Traitor's knot first chapter being posted on the board a month or 2 prior to publication?

Are there plans to do something similar for Stormed Fortress?

Hope that's not too "pushy" :-)

   By Derek Coventry on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 05:44 am: Edit Post

I think I'm putting on weight just reading the above messages. It's convinced me never to leave England where muffins are just muffins that you get from the Muffin man; cookies are biscuits with choc chips in and biscuits can be sweet or savoury; and a cobbler is someone I go to to get my shoes repaired.
And I'm a tasty Crumpet lover!
And how can I stretch out my re-read of Traitor's Knot over the next two months?

   By Angus on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 08:43 am: Edit Post


Just got in the office and saw all this stuff about biscuits, cookies, fairy cakes, muffins. I should have had breakfast!

For Canadians, our terms follow fairly closely what Lyssabits described for Americans. Cobblers are always sweet, but that is not the common term in Canada. Usage tends to be "crumble" or "crisp". I have always referred to the latter, e.g. "Apple Crisp". This dish is essentially apples and sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, in a 9" x 11" pan or a loaf pan (glass is better than metal), topped with a mixture of rolled oats, brown sugar, and lots of butter. Then it is baked. Served warm is best, but cold will do. Many like it a la mode, but I prefer the unadulterated, pure crisp, warm from the oven. Rarely makes it to a second day in my house.

Muffins have become the cake-like things PurplePenny describes in Canada, though in my youth they were less cake-like, and a little more savoury (like bran muffins). There are also cup-cakes, which I think are the fairy cakes described above. The English muffin is the round, bread thing that is excellent lightly toasted, with butter, and all sorts of jams. Great with eggs and bacon, and even McDonalds has the famous Egg McMuffin (TM), though home-made is way better. Relatively similar to a crumpet, or what I know as crumpets.

Biscuits. Small, not sweet at all (often too salty due to too much baking soda). Great with a nice thick stew. I have tried what is called "gravy" in the US south. Sorry, definitely not to my taste, and its colour (a pasty gray/white) for gravy is very strange. Also usually has way too much corn starch. I think of gravy as dark brown (for beef gravy) and lighter brown for chicken, turkey or pork.

Corn Bread. DEEEEELICIOUS! A sweet bread, in a loaf, made with corn (maize for Europeans) flour.

Cookies. Anything small, sweet, crumbling, doughy, or crisp, and usually round and flat. Ginger snaps, peanut butter (my favourite), hermits (raisins and dates etc.). Great with strong tea.

Peanut Butter. One of America's greatest gifts to the world. I prefer the natural, 100% peanuts kind, not the sweetened type, but that will do in a pinch. Great with ripe bananas in a sandwich, raspberry jam or jelly, or honey. I went to France as a kid, and you couldn't get it. You could get Nutella, which I hated. However, the stuff will kill my nephew, unless he uses his epi-pen. Peanuts are surprisingly deadly to some people, and more and more people seem to be developing an alergy to them. I still love peanut-butter, though.

I guess this thread is how we fill our time for the next two months...


   By Walt on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 10:26 am: Edit Post

Angus, you'd love my biscuits: I use very little baking soda and give the batter time to rest and proof... gives me very light, fluffy, scrumptious pillows of melt-in-your-mouth goodness. You'd also love my buscuit gravy - deffinately NOT your bland, pasty gray, add half a bottle of Tobasco sauce gravy... lots of fresh herbs, mushrooms, sausage... okay, now I am very hungry.

My two pence on cobblers: they are determined by the region of orgion. My great-grandmother from Maine baked hers in a pastry shell with small blobs of scone dough baked on top. In the southern states, I was seved cobbler baked with biscuits on top. Out here in California, we tend to go the "crumble" route. My kids love my cobblers with the oats, cinnamon, brownsugar, and butter with a sprinkling of toasted almonds on top.

My favorite scones? I make a savory scone with rosemary, basil, and pepper-jack cheese... Yum!

You know we're all chomping at the bit for Stormed Fortress when we resort to trading recipies in the Status discussion!

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 12:45 pm: Edit Post

You Guys!!!!! All this, pouring into a household that Hates to Cook!!! You bakers can have your argument in my kitchen, anytime, anywhere! grin.

Chapter excerpt appearing one month prior: usually this was done by HarperCollins in Australia....ask em there if they plan to scratch your itches.

Teaser Here - I will look into it....there's a distinct PROBLEM: almost All of this book will pose a spoiler....but....since the book's blurb (now posted) had the same difficulty, some areas are already spotlighted - though things may Not fall out as you think, from thereforward.

It appears we went into the last stage of production, books should be in the making even as we speak.

The possibility of US rights - is still tumbling. Gads I hate patience. But for the moment, it's a case of hurry up and wait. I continue to work my way forward, meantime.

DragonCon's reading consisted of an excerpt of a new novella, set in Athera.

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 01:19 pm: Edit Post

For Wierdness on disseminating books - anybody ever checked out this site???

   By PurplePenny on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 04:46 pm: Edit Post

Janny -you can come and stand in my kitchen whilst I cook Jumbles for you. (But it's very tiny so we might have to take it in turns to breathe....)

Apologies Janny for us taking over the thread with our food talk... we have to do *something* whilst we wait :-) (Though I only just realised that it is not long now, WOOT!)

Teaser - heck we'll take just a smattering of words :-)

Trys - no, we got it from French (who got it from Latin). It means twice baked.

Indeed Eddie Izzard :-) (that's how I know that little factoid - he mentioned it in an interview)

Interesting that American muffins are not sweet themselves, only the filling, because here the cake that we now call muffin or American muffin is sweet, very sweet!

Angus - here in the UK cupcakes and fairy cakes are similar but not quite the same thing - fairy cakes are as Leonie describes but cup-cakes are flat on top with a *very* thick layer of icing on the top ... but it isn't the same kind of icing as on a fairy cake.

Crumpets in the UK are nothing like muffins. Muffins are a bread like dough but crumpets are made from a batter mix. There are also pikelets which are made from a similar batter but are a different shape (and I'm sure that many a Northern cook would also insist that they taste different too).

We too have crumble - it is a pastry-like mix which has not been pulled together and rolled out. I've only ever seen it on sweet fillings (rhubarb is the best, with apple a close second). Many people put oats into the crumble mixture but I prefer it without.

I love peanut butter :-) I also love marshmallow fluff. We used to only be able to get it from one of the USAF base shops via someone who worked on the base, but now we can sometimes it is in the supermarket.

Another can of works.... Marmite or Vegemite? (and having lit the blue touch paper I shall retire to a safe distance muttering "Marmite toast, mmmmmm")

   By Lyssabits on Thursday, September 06, 2007 - 05:11 pm: Edit Post

Hehehe, vegemite.. even our proud Aussie post-doc won't defend vegemite to the wondering Yanks around her. ;)

I don't know if muffins aren't sweet, I think you can find several recipes to contradict that. Bran muffins, for example, are often made with honey. (Because who would want to eat them otherwise? ;) ) Apple muffins (my favorite) have a decent amount of sugar, and a lot of cinnamon in the batter.. especially the ones you make with applesauce rather than chopped apples. Poppyseed muffins are pretty sweet, the ones they sell here at work have, I think, almond extract and probably some sugar to sweeten them. Or you get the lemon-based poppyseed. I think you can find both sweet and not-so-sweet muffins. So I'm not entirely sure where the distinction between muffins and cupcakes is, except I suppose, that you generally don't ice/frost muffins.

Heh, I'd be happy if I knew enough about this stuff to argue about it in your kitchen, Janny. ;) I keep trying to get my Dad, the best chef I know, to teach me his ways, but he's so secretive. I think he worries if I know how to cook like him, I'll never come home again.

   By Wendy Collett on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 04:24 am: Edit Post

An example of an old fashion hard biscuit is an ANZAC biscuit. A history titbit - they were sent to the WWI diggers in the trenches from Australia, and were still edible when they got there months later!

Did you know that they tried adding Viagra to tea and coffee, but it made all the biscuits hard when they were dunked? :P lol hehehe (Credit to my rude retired auntie for that one!)

Scones - I've never made them with cream in my life, always just regular/fat reduced milk. Cream is for the topping afterwards.

Dampa - well, you make that will 4 cups of flour, and 2/3rds can of beer, serve dripping with treacle (cockie's joy), and a good cuppa.

Leonie - footy in Queensland is Rugby League also.

As a final food titbit, I was on a bus tour the other day with a Danish tourist. We went into the bakery and I bought a 'Danish' pastry - shortcrust base with shortcrust strips laid lattice-like over fruit/jam. She had never heard it called a 'Danish', and nobody knew why it was called that?

Ah, now I'm hungry, too much talk about food tonight before dinner! To the kitchen, Batpeople!

   By Angus on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 07:47 am: Edit Post

Marmite v. Vegemite?

My only knowledge of the latter is from a song from an 80's band from Aus, "Men At Work". The name of the song was, I think "Land Down Under", or "I come from a land Down Under". The line was "He (or "She", because I forget) just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich".

Never heard of marmite. What exactly are these two things? I take it one is generally accepted, and the other, well...

Ever heard of Beaver Tails? Now those are yummy, and vegetarian despite their name! High sugar, high carb, high fat. All the bad things required for deliciousness.

We could have a discussion on the best kind of clam chowder, given the nautical themes in WoLaS. We could also discuss the best way to prepare roast beef (my favourite meal, followed by apple pie (or crisp/crumble).

I definitely have to try rhubarb crisp (or crumble).

My mouth is now actually watering as I write this...

   By Konran on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 02:18 pm: Edit Post

All this food talk is making me hungry, too :-( It's almost the season to bake pumpkin bread... I want some now.

   By John Liddall on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 05:05 pm: Edit Post

I don't often post but as I am enjoying the posts on this particular thread I thought I would add my 2 cents worth and help Angus out with at least one Australian's views on Vegemite.

Vegemite is a yeast extract containing many useful vitamins and a deal of salt. As per Men at Work's song, it is often used on sandwiches but also on toast at breakfast. Unfortunately for it's reputation it seems always to be presented badly to visiting celebrities and visitors, especially when it happens on TV and the aim is effect rather than promotion. In these situations it is usually spread very thickly on a single slice of bread. The cameras will zoom in the see the reaction which is always negative. No Australian would attempt to each Vegemite in this way. It needs to be used sparingly. Marmite is very similar and has it's supporters. Not widely known is another variation called Promite and this is my favourite.

At one time, when there were still telegrams (cables), messages of advice were often read out at wedding receptions providing advice for the bride and groom on aspects of life and the wedding night. One piece of advice that was common was 'to remember Vegemite - too much spoils the flavour'. There are no longer telegrams and the wedding night no longer has the same significance but too much Vegemite still spoils the flavour.

Just while I am here, I feel compelled to add some comments on the use of a few words. The words concerned are 'affect' and 'effect' and 'insure' and 'ensure'. Please feel free to offer contrary advice if you wish but it appears to me that in the US, if not across North America, that 'affect' is used for both 'affect' and 'effect' and similarly, 'insure' is used for both 'insure' and 'ensure'.

In both instances, the choice in my experience depends on whether the context is active or passive. You will 'insure' your house to 'ensure' you have damage protection. This is not the best example but this early in the day is the best I can come up with quickly. In the case of 'affect' and 'effect' the difference is between cause (effect) and consequence (affect).

Finally, for my annual post, here in Oz we have both the sweet muffins (cakelike) and the bread type muffins often also frequently called English muffins.

   By Leonie on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 08:30 pm: Edit Post

Yes, vegemite! Mmmmmmmm....... To eat it properly it most definitely needs to be spread thinly either on toast with butter, or bread - my kids prefer their bread unbuttered. I think preference for Vegemite, Marmite or Promite has quite a lot to do with your upbringing or country of origin.

In our family, the kids and I like Vegemite, and my husband likes Marmite. He, however, grew up in New Zealand, (South Island). I find Marmite too sweet, but love Vegemite. Am now contemplating a Vegemite sandwich for lunch.....

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, September 07, 2007 - 09:00 pm: Edit Post

John Liddall - welcome here. I do not see those two sets of words as interchangeable one bit - and I live in the US. Though of late, I've seen some truly atrocious spelling mess ups, in publications....where somebody proofing should have known better.

Language evolves despite us....

   By Lyssabits on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 02:41 am: Edit Post

*scratches her head* Isn't it the other way around? Affect is the cause, and effect is the consequence? A drug that affects you negatively has unwanted side effects? Although in that case affect is a verb and effect is a noun. You can effect a change, on the other hand, in someone's affect, if you switch which is the noun and which is the verb. ;) This is a pair of words that drive me crazy, because I can relearn the rules a million times and I'm guaranteed to STILL get it wrong from to time. I may, in fact, have it wrong right now.

If you want bad writing, you need look no further than scientific journals. The number of mistakes my boss makes.. they really need to force scientists to take writing classes during their phds. ;)

   By David Gardner on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 07:06 am: Edit Post

You ain't seen nothing until you've seen a marmite vs vegemite vs promite holy war ;)

(vegemite 4life)

   By PurplePenny on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 07:28 am: Edit Post

The two words that I've seen used the wrong way round are "accept" and "except". I've seen many web sites that claim to "except" credit cards and one site that used "accepting" incorrectly in its terms and conditions.

The problem with the latter was that it did actually make sense within the context of the sentence (so that you might think that something was acceptable) but taken in the wider context of the entire paragraph it was obvious that they meant the opposite and they were "excepting" it: that is to say they were making an exception of it and it was not acceptable.

I agree with Lyssabits about the "affect" and "effect" driving me crazy.

For a late night attack of the munchies nothing beats a nice hot slice of Marmite toast. One tip for getting the Marmite to spread evenly on hot toast (because the butter melts before you get a chance to spread the Marmite) is to mix the Marmite with the butter before spreading.

Here in the UK there is an entire Marmite marketing campaign based on the fact that people either love it or hate it. You will even hear people referring to "The Marmite effect". For instance "The new library is a bit of a Marmite building" (meaning it provokes strong feelings for or against).

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 10:19 am: Edit Post

Marmite building - asphalt architecture??? gah!

   By Blue on Saturday, September 08, 2007 - 01:16 pm: Edit Post

What about improper contractions? Someone uses the term should've (should have) and spells out should of - "I should of known better," makes my head ache!