Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Welsh recipes and steam punk

I can't believe that March is slipping into its final week! Where in the world does the time go?

Before it is over, I do want to keep my promise and post a few recipes from Wales. That region holds a bit of my ancestry since my maiden name was Morgan, the same one I chose for my first nom de plume way back when,  well before  I  published Powerful Medicine and Andy vs the Colonel, now nearly twelve years ago! If my husband, bless his heart, ever felt a twinge that I did not use my married name when I started striving for publication, he never gave me the slightest hint. In fact he joked a lot about being "Mr. Gwynn Morgan" when he accompanied me to some RWA and RT conferences in those years. So although some non-fiction work appeared under the Gaye Walton name, all my fiction is under either Gwynn Morgan or Deirdre O'Dare--the later all appearing after he had passed away. Anyway Morgan is a Welsh name and there was some Welsh blood on my mom's side as well.I celebrate that heritage with pride and bow to the Welsh dragon, a handsome beast indeed.  Below is Llanberis Pass in a mountainous region of Wales. Very rugged terrain! I visualize my ongoing Gothic tale taking place in a similar locale. There will be more on it in my other blog before long.

So here are a couple of recipes:

Teisen Fel or Honey Cake

2 cups sifted flour (modern flour probably does not need sifting)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1/2 cup honey--warmed to liquid
1 tbsp warm honey
1 tbsp confectioner's (very fine) sugar
2 tbsp milk (use if eggs are small)

Mix flour, cinnamon and soda. Separate the eggs, leaving one egg white separate. Cream butter and sugar, beat egg yolks and blend in and then gradually add honey, continue beating. Stir in flour mixture and add milk if batter seems stiff. Beat the single egg white and fold in. Grease small cake pan (8-9" sqare or 8" round) and pour in mixture. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Let it cool in pan for two minutes and then remove and cool on wire rack. Beat the two egg whites with the fine sugar until thick. Brush cake with tbsp of warm honey and dab meringue mixture on top so it stands in points. Put back into over at 325 for 10-15 minutes until meringue is set and delicately golden on top. Meringue can be left off and top with fine sugar instead.

Swper Mam or Mother's Supper

8 large bacon rashers or ham slices
2 medium peeled and finely chopped onions
1 cup grated hard cheese (cheddar is good)
pepper and salt to taste if meat is not salty

Spread half the meat in the bottom of a fireproof shallow dish--cake pan or casserole dish.
Cover with the chopped onions followed by the shredded cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with the rest of the meat. Bake at 375 for an hour until the top meat is crisp. Traditionally this is served with either baked potatoes in their skins or Welsh Omelet.

Crempog Las -- Welsh Omelet

2 cups flour
2 eggs, separated
4 tbsp milk
2 tsp chopped parsley
pinch of mace or nutmeg'salt
bit of fat to grease pan

Put the flour in a bowl and add spices and beaten egg yolks. Mix with fork then stir in milk, beating until mixture is smooth. Whip egg whites stiff, add chopped parsley and fold in egg whites into the batter, mixing well. You can  fry in a large skillet until firm and then cut into quarters or separate to fry individual pancakes. Be sure pan is very hot if cooking the whole thing before adding batter! Flip to cook both sides golden brown. Spread with butter and serve with Mother's Supper.

There you are! Fairly easy and quite delicious!

And now to steam punk. It's becoming quite a fad and has developed a number of offshoots now with fictional offerings in science fiction, where it began, and now romance and even westerns. I think part of the popularity is the fact we all secretly love the idea of playing dress up, let's pretend and role playing games--sometimes it may be hearkening back to the Medieval or Renaissance eras like the Society for Creative Anachronism and the various Renn Fairs etc; it may be Star Trek and other sci-fi based conventions; it may be reenactments of the old west, the Civil War etc and now we add a revamped Victorian era with twists to history, wonderful gadgets and inventions, wild adventures such as are found in the fiction of earlier writers such as H. Rider Haggard and Jules Verne and added inspiration from several films like Wild Wild West and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The neat thing is you can weave in whatever fantasy or off-the-wall things you fancy! What is not to like? I'm rather new to the whole idea but find myself quite taken with it so I expect you will be hearing more as I attempt some fiction, probably combining romance with either the western or the more traditional venues and maybe even getting personally involved. I've already started to invent an avatar or character for myself. More on her soon! And yes, she has Celtic heritage! Drop by later in the coming week to meet Alana Quaterfoil--my tongue-in-cheek nod to Haggard's Alan Quartermain of King Solomon's Mines etc. Africa and the Orient are not the mysterious realms they were in the 1800s but one can still pretend, go instead to the old west or diverge from history and visit an alternate world that may somewhere actually exist.

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