Thursday, 28 October 2010

Of the Galaxy National Book Awards, chocolate, pears and puddings...

Very exciting, Coco has been shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards. Am going to celebrate with a cup of tea and a large quantity of chocolate...
PS. Am speaking next week at a couple of places: on Monday 1st at the Four Seasons hotel in Hampshire (yum, the talk is combined with a delicious afternoon tea: have just checked, and the menu includes homemade scones and jam, caramelised apple baba, and spiced pumpkin tart).
Then to Lutyens & Rubinstein bookshop on Wednesday 3rd November at 6.30(for 7pm). There will be wine and v. special bookbags on the night... (21, Kensington Park Road, London W11 2EU; ring 0207 229 1010 for tickets).
Meanwhile, am happily ensconced at home, re-reading Howard's End, and planning to make pear and ginger pudding. It's my own version of Eve's pudding: layer some sliced pears in an oven-proof dish, then add a simple sponge mixture on top -- just weigh three eggs, then cream equal parts butter and brown sugar (ie, if eggs weigh 200 grams, then you need 200 grams each of butter and sugar); add same weight of self-raising flower, plus eggs, a good pinch of dried ginger, and enough milk to make it slightly runny. Pour sponge over pears, and bake until golden. It should be cake-y on top, saucy in the middle, and fruity at the base. I have, on occasion, added a few dark chocolate buttons into the indentations of the pears; please do try this at home...

11 comments:

Ali Mal said...

Congratulations. Well deserved :)

kairu said...

Definitely well-deserved! Congratulations, Justine.

Jan said...

Very pleased to hear about both award and choc!
Enjoy scoffing Justine....just when all the ladies in Chester have vowed to go on cabbage soup diets.... after marvelling at your stunning and slender elegance..
Tuesday was a super evening and your book is great.
( And He In The Portrait Above And Beside You enjoyed it hugely!)

Justine Picardie said...

Thanks so much! Hope He In The Portrait Above approves!

Pearl Westwood said...

Hi Justine, firstly what wonderful news!
I just wanted to say thank you for such a wonderful afternoon in Manchester on Wednesday, it was great to hear your stories and I am really enjoying the book, it is unputdownable! I really appreciate your attention to detail, and it is answering many questions I have long had about Coco. Thank you!

enid said...

Great news and most well-deserved.

kairu said...

Love the sound of that cake! (Although I must admit I have yet to meet a cake I didn't like the sound of).

The 100 year anniversary of the publication of "Howards End" was just last week, I think. I wondered aloud on Twitter if E.M. Forster could have predicted the ways in which we "only connect" now. While I have always loved "A Room With a View" most of all, "Howards End" has definitely stayed with me as deeply. Time for a revisit!

I have been watching the early Merchant-Ivory films made in India, my favorite being "The Householder." Many of their films starred the Kendal sisters, as well as the unbelievably handsome Shashi Kapoor (who was married to Jennifer Kendal). It is a little disorienting to see them frame Bombay much the way they would frame Florence and the English countryside two decades later, and there is a scene in "Shakespeare Wallah" (with the 19-year-old Felicity Kendal) which mirrors one from "A Room With a View" (with the 19-year-old Helena Bonham Carter) almost 20 years later.

Rambling again...

Justine Picardie said...

Thanks so much -- food for thought, as always. I haven't read Howards End since I was in my 20s -- and what I'm finding so interesting is that it does still connect. I suppose we are all in search of something we imagine as 'understanding' -- propelled onwards by the powerful human instinct that desires connection, the need to feel understood, as well as reaching out to others, and showing them that we care. The odd thing is that it can also exist on the internet -- or via twitter, as you have mentioned before... in the the sense that there are other voices, other souls, who do connect, through the vast distances that divide us, across what Forster called the Abyss.
If that makes any sense at all?

kairu said...

I haven't been able to get a hold of Joanne Harris' new novel, "blueeyedboy" which seems to be about the interactions and connects we seek on the internet. Very intriguing!

I think I was in college the last time I read "Howards End." Must see if I still have the paper I wrote for my freshman English class (taught by an enormously tall Englishman with an impenetrable Midlands accent). What you say makes perfect sense.

Justine Picardie said...

Also, thanks so much to Ali, Jan, Enid and Pearl for your comments and support. Have been enjoying reading everyone else's blogs... a whole new world out there...

Lilacs In May said...

Congratulations, so well deserved.