Archive for February, 2011

A cookbook for all fans of BBC Radio 4's The Archers

A must-have cookery book for fans of Radio 4's The Archers

I have spent some happy time today looking through the proofs of Jennifer Aldridge’s Archers’ Country Kitchen – a book of recipes that David & Charles is publishing in the summer. Author  Angela Piper has played Jennifer in the BBC Radio 4 series for more than 45 years, and this cookery book should tick all the boxes for an Archers fan.  There are recipes from Archers characters old and new,  from Brian’s Proudly Potted Trout to Eddie Grundy’s Saucy Pickle, and including dear Nigel’s Nanny’s Nursery Pudding.  Let’s hope that even those furious fans who have stopped listening (following Nigel’s demise), will still appreciate the recipes in the book, which really does bring a little bit of Ambridge to life.

So why not turn back the clock a few years and maybe shed a tear or two….

Nigel’s Nanny’s Nur­sery Pudding

The lovable Nigel Pargetter was cared for in those innocent formative years by a doting nanny.  If Nigel was good, it was syrupy pud – with even a spoonful for his precious teddy bear, Tiddles.


115g (4oz) unsalted butter
115g (4oz) caster sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 eggs, beaten
175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sifted
6 tbsp (90ml) golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the orange zest and juice, and then beat in the eggs a little at a time. Fold in the flour. Spoon the syrup into a greased 1.2 litre (2 pint/32 fl oz) pudding basin and then spoon in the sponge mixture. Cover the basin with pleated greaseproof paper or foil and place in a roasting tin three-quarters filled with water. Bake for 1½ hours, until risen and firm, topping up the water in the roasting tin if necessary. Turn out and serve with a jug of warmed golden syrup mixed with fresh orange juice.


Read Full Post »

Farewell to Marie

Marie Jones leave F+W Media International

Marie Jones

Lovely Marie Jones is leaving F+W Media International today.  Marie has publicised our craft books to great effect for several years and is moving on to a job with Coats Crafts UK.  Our loss and their gain.

Read Full Post »

The Book of Forgotten Crafts by Paul Felix, Sian Ellis and Tom Quinn

The Book of Forgotten Crafts

The wheelwright, the cooper, the broomsquire, bee skep maker, flint knapper and gig boat maker –  all are examples of the 49 traditional craftsmen and women who feature in this beautiful new book by Paul Felix, Sian Ellis and Tom Quinn.  Paul Felix has just come into the office here at publishers David & Charles and has been telling me some wonderful stories from his more than forty years of photographing craftspeople, including one about a willow basket weaver whose business has evolved into making baskets for hot air balloons and who is now making hundreds of willow coffins.  Anyway, Robin Wood, chair of the Haritage Crafts Association, has been kind enough to write a foreword for The Book of Forgotten Crafts, and he says it all, really –

” This book is very timely.  There seems to be a great resurgence of interest in traditional trades and crafts, and perhaps the most important aspect of the book, and the work of the people it features, is that it is inspirational….

Tony Handley, rush seat maker

Tony Handley, rush seat maker

Whilst traditional craftspeople share dedication, above all, to their materials, skills, and the pursuit of excellence, they also share the fact that they are an intrinsic part of our heritage.   Smith is our most common surname and the Potters, Turners, Dyers, Thatchers and Wrights show that we were a nation of craftspeople.  We seem to be only just realising that these skills, passed down through many generations, are as much a part of our heritage as our historic buildings and monuments, and it is our duty to ensure this inheritance is passed on to the next generation.

Who knows, perhaps this book will be the chance encounter that sets a new generation of craftspeople on their own inspirational journey.”

Robin Wood, Chair, Heritage Crafts Association

The Book of Forgotten Crafts can be pre-ordered from Amazon.

Read Full Post »