About Katy Walters

Katy lives on the South coast with her husband and a loving hyper friendly dog who likes to greet and lick everyone on sight. She has a BA Hons (Psych) BA Eng.Lit. MA in Religion and Mysticism and a Hon Dr. Science for research into pain control. She was a psychologist and hypnotherapist before changing direction for full time creative writing, Her main genres are historical romance, crime and science fiction.

Delicious Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Pie.

SMOKED SALMON and ASPARAGUS QUICHE.

PASTRY

Use shop made pastry quiche or cook your own and use the recipe here for processor or hand

For two  8 inch pastry cases

10oz. self-raising flour

Five ounces butter

1 egg

Milk or water to mix

QUICHE ingredients:-

Six generous slices of smoked salmon finely flaked or narrow slices

2 finely chopped onions

Twelve spears of asparagus

Six ounces of Swiss curd cheese

Pepper 1/4 teaspoon, 1 tablespoonful of dried dill, half a teaspoonful of salt

3.1/2 ounces of milk, 7.1/2  fluid ounces of double cream

 

Three quarter baked pastry cases set aside 

Keep oven at 380F or 190C 

Beat eggs, add salt, pepper, and dill.  Add milk and double cream. Set aside

Spread finely cut pieces of the salmon and half of the cheese in both pastry cases

Add six spears of asparagus for each pie.

Pour beaten mixture of eggs, milk, and cream over the salmon cuts and asparagus spears in both pastry cases

Sprinkle rest of cheese over both

Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Test by inserting a knife into the center. It should come out clean.

Serve with a glass of sparkling prosecco, followed by raspberry and blueberry trifle with single cream.

The trifle recipe in the next blog.  Happy eating.

Now on Amazon. https://goo.gl/jUBpZs

The Royal Wedding

It was a glorious Royal Wedding on a gorgeous sunny day.  I am not really enamored with ceremonial occasions and cringed at the thought of watching an hour-long wedding in a church. However, hubby encouraged me to wait to see Megan Markle’s dress. I am so glad he did.

The elegant simplicity of her gown portrayed the modern elegance of Givenchy reminding me of the lines of a medieval maiden’s courtly dress. In my view, the artless veil embraced a timeless Arthurian theme, as the bride walked through an abundance of hanging rose bushes decorating the ancient archway of the chapel.

I was enchanted with the romance of this bridal scene, the soaring ancient stone walls, the beauty of the bride and yearning glances of the groom, as he watched his bride walk towards him. Prince Harry’s look of love for his bride would pluck the chords of anyone’s heart.  Along with millions of other viewers, I was charmed.  This was magical; one was drawn into the timelessness of the imagination

People listened in awe to Bishop Michael Curry’s electrifying sermon, his exuberance sweeping the congregation to the ‘power of love’.   Viewers swam in a wave of emotion, lifting up the soul.  He talked of love, the core of our being, he talked of poverty and starvation, of slavery and the vale of tears, yet he led us to the power of love that can overcome any obstacle.

It was a ceremony that will ever be imprinted in my memory, a memory where along with millions of other viewers, I smiled, laughed and wept for the sheer passion, sweetness, and poignancy of this ceremony. Why poignancy? Our prince has given so much to so many and now joined his bride in the power of love.

It was particularly pleasant for my husband and me to watch some scenes from the procession and the chapel. We grew up in the shadow of Windsor Castle and enjoyed summer picnics by the river Thames. I was taken back through the years as the procession drove slowly past my first flat over an antique shop and only minutes away from the Long Walk to the castle.  Later Brian and I had our first basement flat nearby.

I was excited to learn of the titles bestowed upon Prince Harry as we now live in Sussex amidst a wealth of historical towns both medieval and Regency.

We wish the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex much happiness and fulfillment in their future plans which will help people and organizations in so many avenues.

 

 

History of the Victoria Sponge Cake and a time consuming recipe.

 

I do love to know the origin of recipes.  On looking up the history of the Victoria Sponge I find it is possible the earliest references come from the English poet Gervaise Markham, ‘The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and  Outward Virtues Which ought to be in a Complete Woman’. This is from the year 1615. So cakes and recipes say it all.

Hmm … Huswife indeed, (swear word here). We’ve come a long way, girls.  Margaret Wolstenholme, our mother of feminism would have had enraged words and actions about that, as would Emmeline Pankhurst, a political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. (Wikipedia).

Her famous quote says it all:

“Trust in God – she will provide. Justice and judgment lie often a world apart. The argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics.”

So having cleared that up, I can proceed gently into the case for the Victoria Sponge.

According to Wikipedia, it is claimed to be the first of non-yeasted cakes. The recipe can also be found in Lydia Mana Child’s book, The American Frugal Housewife (1832). The sponge cake is thought to be one of the first of the non-yeasted variety.

There are several variations of the cake, ranging from European patisserie to the Anglo-Jewish ‘Plava’ the Italian genoise and the Portuguese Pao-de-Lo. Wikipedia has it that it is possibly the ancestral Italian Pan di Spagan (Spanish bread). 

So have researched and appreciated the antiquity of the sponge cake I can also say it was a favorite of Queen Victoria as well. In the end, she did wear very big knickers. Blame it on the cake.

And now without any more ado, I will proceed with the recipe for this virtuous sponge.

Sponge Mixture

6 ozs of self-raising flour

6 ozs caster sugar,

6 ozs margarine preferably a buttery one.

3 large eggs. Don’t throw them at hubby., (Save the argument for later.)

2 tsp. baking powder.

1 tsp vanilla extract optional use.

Filling:

7 ozs butter

7 ozs Icing sugar.

Good quality jam – strawberry, raspberry or blackcurrant.

Eight fresh strawberries, a few blueberries and some blackberries to your taste.

Now, if you’re feeling especially virtuous you could grab your wicker basket and skip beaming down to the field if you have one there. Sing the latest ditty as you run through the long grasses, bosoms bouncing,  picking the berries fresh from bloodthirsty thorns. And yes … yes. You could milk the goat and get the fresh cream that way instead of opening a tin. Mind your bottom though, goats have vicious horns.

Utensils:

Food Processor

2 –  7 inch baking tins.

Baking parchment to line 2 seven inch baking tins.

Palette knife.

Method:

Oven preheat to 180 C or for gas setting, no. 4.

Make sure no-one puts their head in it. I had to fight the urge after reading the Virtuous Huswife.

So, prepare two seven inch baking tins by placing a round of parchment paper for each. This will ensure the cake or your skin does not stick to the tins.

Process together the butter and sugar.

Add eggs one at a time.

Add the flour, baking powder, and vanilla extract.

Mix thoroughly.

Use a tablespoon to test if the mixture has a soft dropping consistency. I resist testing with my tongue or even licking my fingers as people have to eat it. If the mixture is too stiff add a little milk, not too much, but enough to get the dropping consistency. Rather a drop at a time than spoil it by making it too runny, bursting into tears and throwing the whole ruddy mess across the kitchen. But then the dog would have a field day licking it all up, so all is not lost. Cheer up.

If the cake still exists, allow 20 – 25 minutes for baking or until it is a warm golden brown. To test, just use a clean palette knife, pushing it gently to the bottom of the baking tin.  No, don’t stab it, even if its burnt you can still give it to the cat. She will love you forever.  Now if we’re still cooking, the blade should be clean when withdrawn. Don’t keep it in your hand if hubby is giving snide remarks. The cake will be delicious, don’t listen to him. If there is a sticky residue, bake a little longer and push him out of the kitchen. Then vent your rage, by throwing the knife at the door.

If the cakes are still around, wash and prepare the strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.  Dry using paper toweling.

When ready, remove the two cakes from the baking tins and peel off the parchment. Pull the knife out of the door and test the ruddy cakes again. Calm down,

Place both cakes on a wire rack or grill rack to cool and …  your dear self as well. You see, I do love you, I understand just how you’re feeling. All you wanted to do was bake a bloody cake and the world and his wife are bombarding you. They haven’t forgotten when dearest aunt Lou’ choked on the meringues. Look, it’s not your fault,   See, I’m here, you’re not alone.  I’m here, I’ve got your back.

Filling:

Place the butter in the food processor mixing bowl and gradually, whilst processing, add icing sugar.  If it is too soft add more icing sugar. Mind the processor knives, they’re not called Ninja for nothing. I actually sent mine back when I saw them. I was terrified, the last thing you want is to be near the Ninja knives when someone’s insulting your buttercream. And I have a nasty temper at times, but never violent, well only when I’m cooking.  I can see you feel the same, so hang in there.

After the cake is cool enough, use the palette knife to spread jam on one cake, follow with butter icing. Place some of the fruit on this lower cake, saving some for the topping.

Proceed by spreading more buttercream on the top layer cake and placing more berries on by pushing them gently into the butter to stay in place. Oh, I see, hubby’s back.  Look, resist the temptation. Don’t … don’t do it. He can be in your face as much as he wants, but you’re not going to plaster your beautiful cake over his bloody face.  Don’t let him win.  Resist the temptation. Right – good; now you’re calm.  I love you, don’t forget that.

Carefully sandwich the two cakes together. God – you’ve done it.

Lastly dust with icing sugar. Cover and when thoroughly cool, either serve on your cake plate or place in the cake tin, not your husband’s head, I meant your cake.

Present with edible or fresh flowers.

Note. With regard to the fantastic photo of this famous cake, I think Shutterstock take’s a far better photograph than me. Actually, the cake doesn’t exist, it’s all in my mind. I can imagine it but I just can’t cook the darn thing. :))

So getting back to ‘The Virtuous Huswife,’ one can either bake the damn cake or, for goodness sake, pop out to the nearest Supermarket and buy one. They make delicious Victoria sponges there, and it does give a girl time to  write that masterpiece or paint another mind-blowing portrait for the Tate Gallery, or direct the latest box office smash hit or train for the London Marathon or … knit?

Have a wonderful week.

xoxo.

 

Thrilling new novel. Will have you on the edge of your seat.  Fantasticj.  Now for sale  On Amazon.

The Incredible Box set by nine USA Today and Best Selling leading authors, Now

It will be Fine – Really.

GERD, ACID REFLUX AND THE REST.

It will be fine on the day.

Hello dear friends,

I am so glad to be here typing to you all.

It has been a traumatic and triumphant time for me, so the 24th of the month has stolen up quietly.  Nevertheless, I have a store of delicious menus and wonderful advice for those who suffer from GERD and Acid Reflux and for those dear souls like me who’ve suffered from Peptic Strictures; I’ll explain a bit later what that is.

GERD is such an awful sentence I wish they had a more dignified term. It gives the idea of ‘grumpy burping’, and I have this vision of a pot-bellied grouchy old man grimacing whilst leaning over his walking stick. As for Acid Reflux, I picture this extremely emaciated aging lady with dyed black hair and a nose hanging over her lips waving a scrawny fist at me.  I named her Aunt Aggy.  She has to go but I’ve been told she’s a permanent fixture in my, to put it politely, ‘gut’; that’s Peptic Strictures; it means the gut is closing up.

After being diagnosed and treated, which I am coming to in a minute, the dietician handed me a list of foods I am forbidden unless of course I want more choking episodes which would end up in another endoscopy and that is my worst nightmare.

It all came about after a choking episode where I was running around the garden trying to cough up some salmon. As this was becoming a habit of eating, choking and fingers down the throat, hubby insisted I see the doctor, who promptly sent me to a specialist. When the specialist said it was necessary for me to have a two-foot tube down my throat. I asked if I could have a general anesthetic, but he explained I needed to be aware really. So I pleaded with him, begged him, saying I needed to be put out – unconscious.

So he asked me gently why I was so afraid, and this is actually the truth, I said, ‘I’m afraid I might punch you.’

I mean can you imagine a guy coming towards you waving a pipe and asking you to open your mouth whilst he puts two foot of tube down your throat??? No, it was impossible. But he took my hand and gazed into my eyes saying. ‘I think we need to sedate you. Don’t worry you won’t know a thing.’ I bit my lip literally and said, it was not strong enough, I was very strong-willed and I would wake up. But he smiled and said, ‘don’t worry you won’t wake up.’ It was beginning to sound like a horror film.  But he managed it and I didn’t wake up. And I can honestly say to anyone out there, don’t worry, it’s fine you won’t feel a thing. I have no worries about going again, maybe the odd diarrhea the night before but I know I’ll be okay.

So to get back to the list of foods. ‘The dietician said, no vinegars, sauces, no garlic, no spices, no chilies, peppers, no onions,  no dairy, which means cheeses etc., no meat;  but I was a vegetarian with the occasional fish, so the latter was okay.  I could have fish as long as it wasn’t fried etc., but I feel the boiled cod is laughing at me. Boiled beef which I said I don’t eat and carrots without the spices – need I say more? And as for the rest, the dietician elaborated for me, no alcohol, oh God that was my five o’clock treat after writing all day along with a packet of chili crackers – gone. She carried on, no tea, coffee; Horlicks was a big no no. But she did advise water!! So I asked about tomatoes surely I could have tomatoes? No definitely not, banished forever along with pizzas.

So what was left? She said veggies were okay.  Complan was good or mashed potatoes but to be careful as they could get stuck in my esophagus.  Avocado pears were out for that reason and citrus fruits would only make it worse. , but I could eat berries unless they were strawberries. Cereals were fine as long as they were very soggy. I don’t like cereals but I had no choice. So things were grim.  But at least the surgeon managed to enlarge my oesophagus so I could eat – but what?

You know to be an author one has to have a vivid imagination and I have plenty of that even if the trolls, take a fiendish, delight in writing what a lousy author I am.

So I began to build a list of recipes after hours of searching on the Net and was getting along quite happily with quiches made with eggs and a dash of cheese and asparagus and steamed – no sauces – yuck, but as I was starving it was fine. Yoghourt –I’ve always hated it, but it was a lifesaver. Now the only thing is, it causes flatulence, belching and breaking wind, so going out for a meal with friends was dicey especially in a restaurant. And I certainly didn’t want to have to warn my friends that I might belch or talk about the wind and things, and well … you know. Quite embarrassing especially with men present as well. I mean how could I say, ‘Look I might leave the table quickly, so please forgive me.’ They’ll want to know why? So I got by with my old friend, boiled cod.  As for the alcohol, I did actually cheat and have half a glass.

But then dear friend, I managed to get another health condition which really nailed the food list, I ‘ll only say it was a nasty condition and a rotten four months of red codes flashing around, oh an orange one for the CT Scan. Thankfully I have the all clear I didn’t have the condition after all. Four months of terror – truly – terror and a diet to die for, it was even more restricted. But hurray – yaay – seaweed pasta, now that was an option, or that dark green spirulina powder nicknamed pond scum – yum yum.  After being sick a couple of times I trained myself to like it.

Beans and nuts saved the day, after a plateful of mashed chickpeas I could clear a room full of people in seconds.  I was the lead in the orchestra of belches and f…rts.  Joan of Arc has nothing on me when it comes to eating gross food! The family were very understanding so we all just enjoyed a cup of tea minus the milk and sugar of course.  It has left me a vegan and oh my God, that is another story again.   Have you read of people who live on air?  Trouble is I’m not ready to talk with angels yet. I did talk a lot with them when I needed healing and they rallied round, but they’re busy elsewhere now.

Yet you know I am not suffering now, even though I long for chocolate, oh , I didn’t mention that – forbidden of course, my beloved chocolate bars – gone with the wind from the chickpeas. But yes I am not suffering now, as I am finding being a vegan fascinating.  It is as if I am on a journey, an exciting journey finding out new plants and leaves to eat. Did you know you can bake leaves, add a little salt – rock salt, and it makes a tasty morsel with the black beans.  Yes I know, impossible but it can work.

So whilst I’m off to the fairies, I will leave you with a lovely little vegan recipe and hope you enjoy it.

Thank you for listening to me, reading I mean and I must go now as it is now 4.00 am and I have to get this on the website and not being a computer expert, I find that difficult at times.

Love you all,

Katy.

PS the surgeon and I are really good friends,

https://minimalistbaker.com/simple-tofu-quiche/

Vegan recipes do not cater fully for peptic strictures and GERD but I use what I can from them and they taste delicious.

This recipe is for all the GERD, Acid Reflux and IBS sufferers out there just cut out what doesn’t agree with you.

RECIPE FOR A DELICIOUS SAUCE

First thing, meditate for a second. Close your eyes and tell yourself you are hungry and you are adapting.  That’s the holy word – adapting.

Warm up half a  pint of soya milk on the hob or microwave. I don’t use the latter anymore, not after all I’ve read on it. But you might like to.

Put two tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and heat it up. Stir in two dessertspoonfuls of Spelt flour or organic flour. Half a pint of the Soya or Cashew milk.

Slowly pour in the soya milk and give it a good stir and squash out all the little lumps. Then add vegan mozzarella cheese and stir followed by a couple of teaspoons of Nutritional Yeast. Stir in, adding more soya milk if it gets too thick.

For a savory add Marmite (safe) or mustard (safe)  Yes, you can have a dash of mustard.

Then you’re done. One vegan sauce. It’s lovely once you get used to it.

Nutritional Yeast is a must for vitamins. Can be bought on Amazon.

Now I have found a fantastic site Vegusto – 100% plant-based gourmet – expensive but so what, you’re not buying lots of other stuff,  so buy and enjoy.

I am not making any money here as I just want to help others have some joy in their lives.   In time I will be giving out a lot more recipes – delicious once you’ve adapted.

With this site you can filter out garlic, onions, yeast, soya, nuts, lactose and eggs, in any order you need. So dear ones there is hope.

https://vegusto.co.uk/collections/vegan-meaties