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Soup

Covid, Brexit and the threat of rising inflation has made me wonder about food security during the coming winter.

Rumours of shortages in the supermarkets mean sourcing local and seasonal food will be more important than ever. We’re lucky to have plenty of vegetables in the garden, but rising fuel prices mean I’m re-thinking the way I cook.

We’ve got electricians working here at the moment. They often have to cut off the supply, so I’m having to plan our meals carefully. I was up at 5am baking sourdough loaves.

Straight from the oven! ©Christina Hollis, 2021
The first leeks since last March! ©Christina Hollis 2021

Later I’ll be making leek and potato soup for the first time since last spring. We’ve got a gas hob, so than can be cooked without electricity. I’m in the process of making the twenty-first-century equivalent of a haybox. That’s a way of cooking soups and stews without electricity.

A haybox uses the heat retained within a dish to cook it. Recipes are brought to a rolling boil on a gas ring or open fire, then the pot is plonked into a highly insulated container. This keeps the food cooking for a long time, while the temperature gradually drops away. It’s suitable for soups, stews, and rice pudding. Dishes typically take about six hours to cook.

I haven’t done any haybox cookery since I was in the Girl Guides. In those days, the insulation really was hay. This time around I’ll be stuffing a cotton casing with the kind of filling used for beanbags. That will be a more hygenic way to keep our leek and potato soup cooking!

Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Amazon, books, Bristol, Uncategorized

Special Offer—but you’ll have to be quick!

I had two bits of good news today which I just had to share. First, The Bristol and Avon Family History Society gave my current non-fiction release, Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol, a great review. Here’s a taste of it, courtesy of my publisher, Pen and Sword Books…

‘This book is meticulously researched & contains extensive reference notes, bibliography & a detailed index… An excellent contribution to the history of Bristol’s women.’ (Bristol & Avon Family History Society)

My second piece of good news is that Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol is now available as an ebook. You can download it by clicking here, or on the advert at the top left of this page. If you’d prefer the paperback edition (at the special offer price of only £10.55) you can buy that here.

Please let me know what you think of Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol.

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Christmas Lights In The Darkness…

I haven’t blogged for a while as my mother is dangerously ill, so everyday life has taken a back seat. Between the Winter Solstice on 21st December and the start of the New Year, the days here are short and dark. It’s no wonder candles and coloured lights are so important during the holiday season. 

However you celebrate at this time of year, within whatever faith or maybe none at all, I hope you have a lovely time. Remember what the Dalai Lama says; My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. Keep your friends and family close in your hearts, and give them an extra hug whenever you can. 

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Is There Anybody There?

Before you read any further, if you’re a human and you’ve opened this blog, please go straight to the comments and type “!”. Then come back here, and read on…

I love reading other people’s blogs, and blogging myself. This site gets plenty of traffic, but not many comments. It makes me wonder whether it’s worth spending time on writing, posting and checking blog entries here, when I could be working on my next book, or out in the garden enjoying this lovely spring sunshine.

It’s not as though I’m vanishing from the blogosphere entirely. As well as my own blog on this site, I blog on 14th of each month for Authorsoundrelations.  I also contribute to Janice Rosser’s site OAPSchat, as well as taking part in blog tours, and guest spots with other authors. You can always find me at my website, christinahollis.com, too.

At the moment I’m behind with my writing schedule for 2016, so I’m going to be blogging here less frequently for a while. To paraphrase the politicians favourite phrase, I’ll be spending more time with my Work In Progress 🙂

Of course, if you want to get in touch with me, come rain, shine, or looming deadline, just add a comment below!