Success and Envy

I read an article tonight about the EL James phenomena and her 50 Shades series on The Guardian

Is one person’s success opposed by another person’s envy? Is EL James the anti-JK Rowling?

What makes a good story and does it matter if someone takes the characters from one context, puts them in another and abuses them, and what is this about?

I wish I hadn’t asked myself that….I could ask more questions about why some people create what they do, but…and ask that of myself too.

Should writers self-evaluate, or just write?

Moroccan Orange Cake

Light and perfumed, gritty and moist – this is a superb cake.

You will need a baking dish – this is a batter cake.

4 medium sized eggs

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

2 cups of flour (any kind will do oat, corn meal, wheat) or you can add ground almonds as part of the flour here for extra grit

4 tsps baking powder

A bit of salt

1/2 cup of fresh orange juice

Zest from 2 oranges

1 tsp vanilla extract of vanilla sugar

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C

Get a big bowl and add the eggs and sugar and beat, then add the oil and the dry ingredients  – mix

Put in the juice, vanilla and orange zest -mix.

Pour in to the baking dish. At this point I put on a sheet of greaseproof paper over it to stop it from burning.

Bake for approx 40 mins.

You can make this cake with whole boiled oranges using the flesh and peel in the recipe – it’s a more dense and moist cake, and more orangey!


Chicken in white wine and dried fruits

Served up as part of the Monday night main course at Arvon Centre, Moniack Mhor  this is delicious. I’ve cooked it twice up at the centre now…

You will need for 6 people

1 onion peeled and chopped

A good handful of fennel seeds

6 chicken thighs skinned and tidied up

Then some:

Dried apricots

Dried figs




Half a bottle of dessert white wine or more

A cup of water

Firstly chop the dried fruits and soak and place in a bowl. Add the wine and allow to soak for a couple of hours.

Go and read for a bit.

Coat the chicken pieces in flour and fry in a pan to seal, then add them to the casserole dish.

Sprinkle on the fennel seeds.

Add the soaked fruits and wine and the cup of water.

Place in the oven and slow cook for approx two hours til the chicken is tender. Don’t let the chicken dry out – add water or wine if needed.

The fruit will go all soft and mushy and the whole thing will smell just divine.

Serve with roasted vegetables and a hearty salad.

So sephardic…