My guest today is Australian rural romance writer Heather Garside. Heather has brought a plate of muffins and the only thing to drink with muffins is tea, and I’m pouring as I write. Heather has a new book out, Tracks of the Heart, published by Clan Destine Press.
What are your memories of your mothers cooking as a child?
I grew up on an isolated cattle property and as we only had a 32 volt lighting plant, we had kerosene fridges. (This all makes me sound very old!) Therefore our food was mostly very plain but I used to love mum’s puddings – anything from plum and rice puddings to tarts and jam roly-polys etc., served with homemade egg custard.
What was your favourite dish as a child?
I remember the first time I tasted a cheesecake my cousin had made. It was so delicious and rated as my favourite food for many years.
Do you like to cook?
Yes, within limits!
Who do you enjoy cooking for? If you don’t enjoy cooking, then what do you like to eat?
These days I’m usually just cooking for hubby and me. I try to eat very little sugar and usually no white flours, although I do have some honey. In the winter time I love lamb roasts or lamb shanks with vegetables; hearty and warming food.
Is the food in your stories important?
Food is usually incidental rather than a feature in my books.
Your favourite snack?
I indulge my sweet tooth with homemade muffins, made with brown rice and buckwheat flours, and using honey to sweeten them.
What’s your latest book?
Breakaway Creek is my latest full-length novel but I have just released Tracks of the Heart, a collection of three rural romance short stories.
What do you love most about this book?
In Breakaway Creek I love the story of Alex and Emma, a couple from the 1890s who must fight the prejudices of the time to be together.
Where can readers find it?
Share one of your favourite recipes – anything you like, cake, martini, Peking Duck, cheese on toast …
Apple Currant & Spice Muffins
(This is a large recipe but I freeze and thaw in the microwave as needed)
1 cup almond meal
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 cups brown rice flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons mixed spice
1 tin apples (or use fresh chopped apple)
1 ½ cups currants
1 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup honey
2 teas vanilla (optional)
1 ½ cups milk or rice milk
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, add apple and currants. In another bowl, combine beaten eggs, milk, oil honey & vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir thoroughly. Spoon into muffin trays and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 30 medium-sized muffins.