Join us as we talk holiday fun with Amanda Ward.
What is your favorite holiday candy?
Candy in England are sweeties. I am rather partial to Foxes Glacier fruits, and tins of chocolates.
It’s the season of Egg Nog. Do you prefer it with rum, without alcohol or can’t stand the stuff?
You know, I’ve never had it. In the 1970s there was a drink called Advocaat, which was yellow and tasted a bit like custard. Mix it with lime, lemonade and serve with several cocktail cherries. It was called a Snowball. I think that’s the English version of Egg Nog. I know we have mulled wine, but I’m not keen. I guess my favourite tipple at Chrimbo would be the classic sparkling wine like a dry cava.
What is one of your holiday traditions to do each year?
Having a glass of sparkling wine whilst helping my mother in law in the kitchen on Christmas day. Keeping the glass topped up, is the cooks helpers privilege.
If you could kiss any character under the mistletoe, who would it be?
Of mine? Probably Joel Harper. As for my favourite film star, it would have to be Richard Armitage who plays Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit. Sigh!
Holiday cookies are my favorite to bake each year. Do you have a favorite holiday cookie that you enjoy each year?
Mincemeat pinwheels. Spread a sheet of ready-made puff pastry with mincemeat (we soak ours in brandy). Roll up and freeze for 20 minutes. Slice into thin pieces and place on a greased baking tray. Bake for 10 mins in a medium oven 200C. While warm, separate from the tray and sprinkle over icing (powdered) sugar. I mix mine with cinnamon and mixed spice for that extra zing. Delicious. However, I do have a major indulgence for the humble homemade mince pie. Especially my mothers and mother in laws. They are both great.
The Mis-Adventures of Pann Haggerty by Amanda Ward
Sweet Cravings Publishing
Buy at: Publisher / Amazon
It’s true, picking up a teenagers’ underpants for the umpteenth time can lead to a mid-life crisis. Widow Pann Haggerty, an Englishwoman of a ‘certain age’ decides to leave her life in England behind for a trip around America in an RV in search of new experiences maybe even love.
Filled with a notebook full of ideas from the movies and television shows, Pann is addicted to, she arrives in New York determined to walk barefoot in the park and eat an English breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Disaster awaits for Pann in every state she visits, but with her on this journey is her knight in shining armor ‘average’ Joe Harper. Her protector and guide in this new and exciting country. He is there to save his country from this quirky, impulsive, yet loveable woman, who is hell bent on taking the States by storm, and perhaps even his heart!
“What do you think you are doing, crazy lady?” Joe said slowly.
“Well, duh,” Pann mocked him. “What does it look like? I’m having a tea party. Where better to have one…than here?” She announced taking a bow. Cutting a piece of sunken, lopsided cake, Pann put it on a napkin and handed it to Joe.
“I knew you were up to something,” Joe muttered taking a bite of the cake. It tasted much better than it looked.
“You can’t have a tea party without cake,” Pann said stubbornly.
Joe took a deep breath. “Wrong revolution, darlin’. That was the French one,” he informed her.
“And the tea party?” asked Pann, totally confused by all the history being thrown at her.
“To do with taxing of tea. Crates of it were thrown overboard and into the river.”
“That’s terrible. What an absolute waste of perfectly good tea.” Pann sniffed in disgust. She sat down with her own cup and munched on her cake.
Joe couldn’t resist taking a photograph of her.
“Say Tea Party!” he teased. Pann stuck her tongue out at him. Joe continued taking photographs anyway. She pulled up her jeans at one point, exposing red socks.
“Pann what are you wearing?”
“Red socks. You said Boston was the home of the Red Socks. So I am wearing them because I’m in Boston.”
“Pann, you crazy English lady. When I said Boston was home to the red socks, I meant the Red Sox. A baseball team,” Joe said slowly and carefully so she would understand.
“Baseball,” Pann thought for a moment. “Is that like rounders?”
“You have to be kidding me! You’ve never heard of baseball?” Joe’s voice was incredulous.
“Of course I have. You hit a ball with a round stick. Then run around the field and touch bases. That’s rounders.” The tone of her voice dared him to argue the toss.
“What about football?” Joe decided to open the can all the way.
“Rugby,” Pann countered.
“Football.” Pann was evidently enjoying her banter with him.
He sat down on the steps and put his head in his hands.
“Save me from this crazy English woman,” he pleaded to no one in particular
“Sorry, pal. You’re on your own,” replied a passer-by