Series Notes #5 – The Impetuous Cook – Illustrating Book Four

One needs to take a break from anything to do with writing and sometimes, illustrating. Last week I was  busier than usual – singing for my supper – uploading data for my youngest daughter, who has an online hamper business. While doing so, I was constantly reminded of good food, snacks and cakes for special occasions, remembering a time  in South Africa, when we occasionally entertained my husband’s colleagues. One of them always referred to me as “Super  Cook”. I’ve not really lived up to that title lately, but seeing all the special goodies from Umbria – the region in Italy where my family lives and where the devastating earthquake occurred in August – I decided to do something to improve my former “Super Cook” status; despite my brain’s permafrost-cooking mode, unpacked baking utensils and recipe books. This then is what resulted.

CHEESE BREAD IN A RING

INGREDIENTS

  • Two-and-a-half cups of flour
  • Three teaspoons of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 250g butter, or margarine
  • 250ml skimmed milk
  • Two-and-a-half cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • Two eggs
  • Two dessertspoons sugar*

*I don’t advocate the use of sugar in savoury dishes,  but I wanted my grandchildren to eat the cheese bread with their soup, rather than reject it summarily.

METHOD

  • Cream butter, sugar, eggs;
  • Sieve dry ingredients over this mixture and stir everything together, adding milk and finally the grated cheddar cheese;
  • Bake at 180-190 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes;
  • Prick to check if baked through, remove and leave to cool for a few minutes, turn over on a rack.

After all that unusual activity, I was exhausted, but strangely enough, ready to tackle painting an abandoned silver mine  – an important illustration, because at this spot, villains and heroes visit during the course of their Kalughari *trails. The only permanent resident there is a solitary, nosy eagle owl. So, just painting inanimate things and trying to make it interesting stumped me somewhat, but after the cake-baking episode, I felt more up to the task.

 Faunalang* – the bush creatures’ peculiar language – for a semi-desert in “Fauna Park Tales” series.

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This illustration comes from “An African Adventure: Trails and Trials” – Book 4 in the “Fauna Park Tales” series, due for release in April 2017.

book-cover-trails-and-trials

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