Guest Review: One More Song – Nicki Edwards

One More Song

One More Song

Nicki Edwards

Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781760551407

 

Description:

Harrison Baxter and Edwina Campbell lead completely different lives.

Much has changed for Harry since he escaped his home town of Yallambah ten years ago, headed for the bright lights of the big city. Now he’s the star of Melbourne’s hottest musical, chasing only the next standing ovation. Why bother going back to Yallambah to visit his parents when his father couldn’t care less about his success?

Meanwhile, nothing much has changed for Edwina in the last decade, which is exactly how she likes it. Eddie adores her career as a nurse and loves the Yallambah community – she can’t imagine living anywhere else. And even if she wanted to, she could never leave her beloved grandparents, who raised her and love her like their own daughter. She’s not going to abandon them in their old age. Not for anything.

So when Harry and Eddie bump into each other on one of Harry’s flying visits home, their instant mutual attraction seems as pointless as it is intense. There’s no way they could ever make it work.

Or is there?

 

Brenda’s Review:

Harrison Baxter revelled in his life – musical theatre meant everything to him and his lead role in Les Mis was a dream come true. The Sydney season was coming to an end and he and the crew would begin in Melbourne in the New Year. In the meantime, Harry was heading home to Yallamba for Christmas. His mother, father, sister Claire and husband Simon, plus their two children had always lived in his old home town, but the bitterness between Harry and his dad was what had kept him away for so long. He wasn’t looking forward to the week-long stay…

Edwina Campbell – nurse; volunteer with the SES – had offered to take over the organising of the children’s Christmas party which her Nan had always done, as she was in hospital following a hip replacement. Her grandad was with her Nan, so Eddie was alone at the farm. As things started to go wrong – one after another – Eddie didn’t know how she would manage. But the arrival on the scene of Harry, with his offer of help, was a lifesaver for Eddie. Maybe their Christmas party would be a success after all?

But would the flush of attraction between Eddie and Harry ever come to anything? When tragedy and heartache loomed, it seemed to be over before it began. As the town of Yallamba rallied, uncertainty was high. What would be the future for these caring, special people in the small town of Yallamba?

One More Song by Aussie author Nicki Edwards was absolutely superb! Filled with heartache, hope, happiness and sadness; of loss, the loyalty of family and most of all, of life, One More Song ticks all the boxes. Wonderfully rounded characters, I especially enjoyed Eddie – written with compassion, caring and sensitivity, the author has written her best yet in my opinion. A highly recommended 5 stars.

With thanks to Pan Macmillan for my uncorrected proof to read and review.

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Post Script: The Burden of Lies – Richard Beasley

The Burden of Lies

The Burden of Lies

A Peter Tanner Thriller

Richard Beasley

Simon & Schuster Australia

ISBN: 9781925368154

 

Description:

Cocaine. Construction. Corruption.

The unholy trinity of Sydney.

 

Self-made property mogul Tina Leonard has already lost her business, her home and custody of her children because South East Banking Corporation left her bankrupt. Now it appears she is being framed for the murder of her banker Oliver Randall, a senior executive of the corporation. Her motive? Revenge for ruining her life and her business.

 

When maverick lawyer Peter Tanner is brought in to represent Tina, he bends the law to learn the truth. Was the real killer employed by the bank to silence Randall, who knew too much about their corrupt clientele and business dealings?

 

As Tanner digs deeper the truth is harder and harder to find. Drug dealers and dodgy cops are a breed apart from corrupt corporate bankers, who’ll do anything to keep their names in the clear.

 

Who really silenced Randall? Tanner gets more than he bargained for as he tangles with craven bent banks and a client who can’t talk, and danger lurks far too close to home.

 

Bestseller Richard Beasley’s latest sharp-edged, gritty Peter Tanner thriller.

 

My View:

An outstanding read!

On my copy (and advanced readers issue) of this novel the cover has a stamp that says “If you love Michael Connelly you’ll love Richard Beasley” and as many of you have realised I am a big fan of Michael Connelly – how true this  declaration turned out to be! Like Connelly, Beasley characterisations are the strong foundation the narrative is built on. As with Bosch, you will fall in love with Peter Tanner; his wit, humour, sarcasm, self-doubts, his, at times outrageous (but truthful) courtroom frustrations and unfiltered comments…brilliant. Bosch and Tanner – both dedicated, passionate about their vocations, both mavericks who play by their own rules.

 

Loved every minute of this complex, twisty yet credible plot, loved the courtroom drama, loved the characters, and loved Peter Tanner!

I predict we will see this on the small screen sometime soon. My only conundrum – trying to work out who I think would make a great on screen Peter Tanner. Any suggestions?

 

 

Mango Chutney: Cornersmith Salads & Pickles Vegatables with More Taste and Less Waste – Alex Elliott- Howery & Sabine Spindler

 

CrnrSmthSaladsPickles

Images and recipes from Cornersmith Salads and Pickles by Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99) Photography by Alan Benson.

 

Mango chutney

 

PREPARATION TIME

20 minutes, plus 20 minutes sterilising, plus 10 minutes heat-processing (optional)

COOKING TIME

about 1¼ hours

STORAGE

3 months, or
up to 2 years if heat-processed

MAKES

4 x 300 ml (10½ fl oz) jars

 

1.8–2 kg (4 lb–4 lb 8 oz) sweet, ripe mangoes; you’ll need about 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz)
sliced mango

1 brown onion

1 red onion

80 ml (2½ fl oz/⅓ cup) olive, sunflower or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

11/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

300 ml (10½ fl oz) apple cider vinegar

110 g (3¾ oz/½ cup) sugar

 

When mangoes are cheap or you have a neighbourhood mango tree that is dropping fruit faster than you can eat it, make this chutney! It’s delicious with curries and seafood and makes a great gift. This one has a bit of heat to it, but you can leave the chilli flakes out if you’re after something milder.” p.60

 

Cut the mangoes into 3 cm (1¼ inch) cubes and discard the peel and stones. Very thinly slice the onions.

Measure out the spices and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large non-reactive saucepan. Add the onions and sauté with the salt over medium–low heat for about 8 minutes, until soft and collapsed. Add the spices and stir for a minute or two, until fragrant.

Add the mango and stir until the spices are evenly mixed through. Add the vinegar and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Cook over low heat, stirring regularly to make sure the chutney isn’t sticking, for up to 1 hour, or until the chutney is glossy and thick, with no puddles of liquid on the surface. Taste and add more spices or salt if needed, then turn off the heat and leave to cool for a minute or two.

Meanwhile, sterilise your jars and lids (see page 212), putting the jars in the oven about 15 minutes before the chutney has finished cooking.

Fill the hot jars with the hot chutney. Remove any air bubbles by gently tapping each jar on the work surface and sliding a clean butter knife around the inside to release any hidden air pockets. Wipe the rims of the jars with paper towel or a clean damp cloth and seal immediately.

Leave to cool on the benchtop, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months. To extend the shelf life to 2 years, heat-process the jars (see page 211) for 10 minutes.

Try to let the chutney sit for 1 month before you eat it. Once opened, refrigerate and use within 3 months.

 

Mango chutney

Broad Bean & Pea Salad with Freekeh & Yoghurt Sauce: Cornersmith Salads & Pickles Vegatables with More Taste and Less Waste – Alex Elliott- Howery & Sabine Spindler

CrnrSmthSaladsPicklesImages and recipes from Cornersmith Salads and Pickles by Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99) Photography by Alan Benson.

 

Broad bean & pea salad with freekeh & yoghurt sauce

 

Broad bean

PREPARATION TIME

25 minutes, plus overnight soaking

COOKING TIME

25 minutes

SERVES

4

 

160 g (5½ oz/¾ cup) freekeh, soaked overnight

125 g (4½ oz) podded fresh peas

350 g (12 oz) podded fresh broad beans

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over
the salad

1 large brown onion, thinly sliced

1½ tablespoons chopped dill, including the stems

juice of ½–1 lemon, to taste

⅓ cup picked dill and mint leaves, torn just before serving

ground sumac, for sprinkling (optional)

 

yoghurt sauce

200 g (7 oz/¾ cup) natural unsweetened yoghurt

2 garlic cloves, crushed

pinch of salt

pinch of chilli powder or  cayenne pepper

 

When it’s broad bean and pea season, you should eat them every day! This salad stars freekeh, a delicious, highly nutritious grain made from roasted green (early harvest) wheat. If you can’t obtain it, use barley, spelt or other grains instead.

This salad looks great on a large flat platter. You could also double the quantity and take it to a barbecue or picnic.” p.12

 

Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drain and rinse the freekeh, add it to the pan and cook for
6–8 minutes, or until the grains are just tender, but still retain their shape. Drain and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, bring another saucepan of water to the boil. Blanch the peas for 1 minute, then remove
with a slotted spoon. Refresh them under cold water, drain well and set aside.

Bring the water back to the boil and blanch the broad beans for about 2 minutes. Drain, then refresh under cold water. When cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the outer skin. Set the broad beans
aside, keeping them separate to the peas.

Combine the yoghurt sauce ingredients in a bowl, mixing until smooth. Set aside.

Pour the olive oil into a frying pan large enough to hold the broad beans in one flat layer. Heat over medium–high heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, then let it soften over medium–low heat
for 5–10 minutes, stirring now and then.

Turn the heat back up to high. Add the broad beans and stir-fry for 2–4 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Add the chopped dill and turn off the heat.

In a mixing bowl, combine the fried broad beans and peas. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

To serve, spread the cooked freekeh on a platter, arrange the broad beans and peas on top and drizzle
with the yoghurt sauce. Finish with the torn dill and mint, a sprinkling of sumac, if desired, and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Chilli Sambal: Cornersmith Salads & Pickles Vegatables with More Taste and Less Waste – Alex Elliott- Howery & Sabine Spindler

CrnrSmthSaladsPickles

Images and recipes from Cornersmith Salads and Pickles by Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99) Photography by Alan Benson.

 

Chilli sambal

 

PREPARATION TIME

20 minutes, plus 20 minutes sterilising, plus 10 minutes heat-processing (optional)

STORAGE

3 months,
or up to 2 years
if heat-processed

MAKES

4–5 x 375 ml  (13 fl oz/11/2 cup) jars

 

750 g (1 lb 10 oz) long mild red chillies

250 g (9 oz) carrot

50 g (1¾ oz) knob of fresh ginger

4 garlic cloves

55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) sugar

1 tablespoon salt

185 ml (6 fl oz/3/4 cup) white wine vinegar

 

We make mountains of this sambal when chilli season is in full swing. It’s a staple at Cornersmith, and in all our fridges at home. So quick and easy to make, it gives tacos, rice dishes, marinades and breakfast eggs a good hit of heat.

We use carrot as a base in this recipe as it adds sweetness and gives the sambal a fantastically bright colour, but you could experiment with other bases such as green mango or pineapple. Try green or yellow chillies too.

With fruit-based sambals, you may need to add more vinegar to loosen them. Keep tasting and adjusting the sugar/salt ratio until you’re happy with the flavour.” p63

Chilli Sambal

Sterilise your jars and lids (see page 212).

Roughly chop the chillies, carrot, ginger and garlic cloves. Place in a food processor with the sugar and
salt and blitz for 5 minutes. Slowly pour in the vinegar until your sambal has a smooth consistency; you may need to adjust the quantity.

When the jars are cool enough to handle, pack the sambal into the jars, pressing down firmly to make sure the chilli paste is covered in a thin layer of liquid.

Remove any air bubbles by gently tapping each jar on the work surface and sliding a clean butter knife or chopstick around the inside to release any hidden air pockets. Wipe the rims of the jars with paper towel or a clean damp cloth and seal immediately.

You can store the sambal in the fridge for up to 3 months, or heat-process the jars (see page 211) for 10 minutes and store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 years.

Once opened, refrigerate and use within 3 months.

 

 

TIP: If your chillies are extra hot, you can always change the ratio of the sambal. Try 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) carrot to 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) chillies – or even 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) carrot to 250 g (9 oz) chillies.

 

The First of the Summer Veggies Have Been Picked

I love the summer garden – stone fruit, tomatoes, capsicum, coriander (cilantro), cucumber… and the obligatory tonne of zucchini – to eat, freeze, giveaway and pickle.

 

garden 24/11/017

 

Recently I have come across the most useful book: Cornersmith  Salads and Pickles – Alex Elliott-Howery and Sabine Spindler.

CrnrSmthSaladsPickles

This book is amazing, just what I need. I am not a naturally inspired salad maker – but I want to make inviting salads  and vegetable dishes that say eat me. It has recipes for yummy meals and guides for pickling and fermenting (good for the gut) which are great ways to store and use up our abundant seasonal fresh produce.

The Cornersmith way of eating sounds like a perfect match for me (and you): “The Cornersmith way to eat is about bringing together a variety of deliciously simple elements. Make one or two vegetable dishes, open a jar of pickles or ferments, add a good loaf of bread and perhaps an easy protein – a great piece of cheese, some eggs, a slice of grilled meat or fish. No diets, no superfoods, no guilt… Just good food with more taste and the added benefit of cutting down food waste. From the award-winning Cornersmith cafes and Picklery comes the follow-up to their bestselling self-titled cookbook, with a focus on seasonal salads, pickles and preserving. Including dozens of simple ideas for fresh ingredients that might otherwise be thrown away, Cornersmith: Salads & Pickles is your handbook to putting vegetables at the centre of the way you  eat.” 

 

https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/cooking-food-drink/general-cookery-recipes/Cornersmith-Salads-and-Pickles-Alex-Elliott-Howery-and-Sabine-Spindler-9781743369234