Boswells Blog

16th May 2019

'The Boswells Connection'... Recovery

'The Boswells Connection'... Recovery

One week to go until the launch of ‘The Boswells Connection’ a book of fictional stories linked to Boswells written by Oxford Inc, a group of writers who compile stories around a common theme. Join us in store next Saturday 25th May between 11am – 2pm to meet four of the authors behind the project and to have them sign your copy of the book (which must have been purchased in Boswells). We have lots of other events planned for that weekend too so join our mailing list or follow us on social media to keep updated.

Seeing as May is ‘Share a Story Month’ we’re posting the start of a couple of the stories to give you a taste of what’s to come. We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

 

Recovery

Annie Winter

As Julie turned into the next aisle of the toy department, the large bag hanging from her shoulder sent a display of novelty balls flying. Mortified, she scrabbled around on the floor to retrieve them as they rolled energetically away. Another woman shopper squatted down to help and between them they managed to retrieve the escaped balls and load them back into their container, by which time a sales assistant had arrived.

‘Thanks so much for helping,’ Julie said. ‘I feel such an idiot.’

‘Don’t worry,’ the woman replied. ‘We’ve all done it.’

‘That’s so kind of you,’ said Julie. ‘Can I buy you a cup of tea as a thank you?’ She felt drawn to her rescuer’s warm smile and the friendly interest in her eyes. She was wearing an elegant green jacket which matched them.

‘Well, that would be very nice, but’ looking at her watch, ‘I have to be at the bus station in five minutes to meet my children. It was nothing, really.’ And with a kindly wave, she shot off down the stairs.

Julie was in the shop to choose a present for her small nephew’s birthday. She loved the toy department. For much of her married life it had been the best – and lately just about the only – toyshop in Oxford. It was full of memories of her children’s lives; the cuddly toys, the Lego, the shelves crammed with everything a child could possibly wish for. Now they were grumping their way into adolescence and were too cool for old fashioned things like toys – screens were all they seemed interested in these days.

After she’d chosen and paid for the present, Julie went into the tea room and looked around for a free table. It was Saturday afternoon and the café was full. Julie didn’t feel like having to exchange pleasantries with a total stranger, but there wasn’t much choice if she was to get a seat at all. Ah! There was someone leaving a table in the corner so she made a swoop towards it, just seeing off a couple of middle aged women who had also been hovering.

While waiting to give her order, she tried not to feel tempted to get out her phone and pretend to the outside world that she had a million emails to answer and lots of games to play. So, she sat and looked pensively into the middle distance until the waitress came. As she waited for her Earl Grey and chocolate brownie to arrive, a flood of painful thoughts seeped into her mind and her eyes filled with tears. The weekends the children went to their father seemed to stretch out forever. She tried to take part in outings and trips with her friends to fill the gap, but with most of them she felt their paths were diverging. What she was experiencing as a single mother, soon to be divorced, bore little resemblance to their comfortable, even smug, existence in couples. She had tried joining things but it was difficult to get out in the evenings, and at the weekends when she did have the children she wanted to be with them.

It was nearly two years since Ted had left…

If you’re tempted to know the ending and read the other varied stories then make sure to get your hands on a copy of the book!!

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1st March 2019

Pancake Day Recipe!

Pancake Day Recipe!

Shrove Tuesday is less than a week away.

Traditionally it was all about emptying the cupboards of fattening ingredients in preparation for fasting through Lent. Shrove Tuesday would have been the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast and pancakes are the perfect way of using up these ingredients. In more recent times even those that don’t fast consider the day as an excuse for a pancake feast.

So, whether you can make perfect pancakes or end up scraping batter off the ceiling, whether you’re a frying pan flipper or someone who carefully turns over with a spatula, whether you top with sweet or savory…  it’s time to get your frying pans at the ready!

Ingredients:

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • Melted butter or oil for frying

Method:

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next gradually add small quantities of the milk, still whisking. The batter should end up smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now heat the oil or melt the butter in a pan, pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.

Now get the pan really hot, and then turn the heat down to medium. Ladle the batter and as soon as it hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. You can lift the edge with a spatula to see if its tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over and cook the other side for just a few seconds only - then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

You can stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest. Or keep the plate in the oven on a low heat or re-heat in the microwave after making them all.

Serve with you favourite toppings!

Pancakes

If you’re feeling fancy you could use some of our metal cutters to make neat, shaped pancakes. Place the metal cutter in the pan, carefully spoon in the batter and once the first side looks cooked carefully remove the cutter (with tongs or oven gloves!) and flip the pancake to cook briefly on the other side.

Follow us on social media for more top pancake tips on Tuesday. 

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

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