Book Week Scotland 2017 is taking place from Monday 27 November – Sunday 3 December. This year’s theme is Nourish and to celebrate our book week I’ve asked some of my favourite Scottish authors to provide me with a recipe that they feel is the perfect accompaniment to either their own book or a book of their choice.
Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every November.
During Book Week, people of all ages and walks of life will come together in libraries, schools, community venues and workplaces to share and enjoy books and reading. They will be joined in this celebration by Scotland’s authors, poets, playwrights, storytellers and illustrators to bring a packed programme of events and projects to life.
Book Week Scotland is brought to you by The Scottish Book Trust
Today I’m joined by Theresa Talbot and Madeleine Black
Theresa Talbot is a freelance writer, journalist and radio presenter, perhaps best known as the voice of Traffic and Travel on BBC Radio Scotland and as the host of The Beechgrove Potting Shed. Prior to working with the BBC, she was with Radio Clyde and the AA Roadwatch team. Theresa worked in various roles before entering the media as an assistant in children’s homes, a Pepsi Challenge girl and a library assistant. She ended up at the BBC because of an eavesdropped conversation on a no.66 bus in Glasgow. Her passions include rescuing chickens, gardening, music and yoga.
What Nourish means to Theresa:(along with her top soup recipe!)
Nourish…..to me nourish goes hand in hand with cherish, with love, with kindness and hope. The dictionary gives a more precise meaning.
- ‘..to provide food or other substances necessary for growth, health and good condition…’
- ‘…to keep a feeling or belief in one’s mind for a long time (he long nourished an ambition..)..’
I hadn’t realised before just how linked the word nourished is to my book Penance. The sheer lack of nourishment afforded to the most vulnerable characters coupled with the absolute nourishment of an outdated belief are central to the theme.
But enough of the sad stuff – would you like my soup recipe? I swear when you make this the angels will sing!
Start with your basic veg – onions, celery, leeks & carrots. Chopped finely then sweated down in olive oil until soft. Add a veg stock cube (no liquid yet) then bung in some uncooked rinsed lentils, top up with water and add that bouillon stuff. Then boil for 10 mins and simmer for an hour. Loads of white pepper too. I mean loads.
The white pepper reminds me of my childhood. We didn’t have black pepper then – and actually had to buy olive oil from the chemist as it was so exotic. Anyway, back to the white pepper, a good pinch of that up your nose brought on a sneezing fit so violent that it guaranteed at least a morning off school on a Monday. If not the whole morning then it bought enough time to miss the bus and saunter in late WITH a note from your Mum.
Bring back white pepper, that’s what I say!!
Right, Theresa, I’m making my way round to yours right now! Get the soup on! And I completely agree with you, a good pinch of white pepper certainly cleared the sinuses back in the day!
Theresa has written two books, a memoir called “This Is What I Look Like” and “Penance” which is a brilliant psychological crime novel based on the riot that resulted in the closure of Glasgow’s Magdalene institution. You can read my review of “Penance” here
Follow Theresa on Twitter at @Theresa_Talbot or check out her website
Theresa’s books are available to purchase from:
Madeleine is the author of Unbroken, which is her own story of survival following rape at a very young age. Unbroken left me in tears but also full of hope. She recognises that she was a victim of a crime that left her silent for many years, but has now found her voice and intends to use it. Not just for her, but for so many who can’t find theirs yet.
You can find my review of Unbroken here
Madeleine has written a heartwarming and thought-provoking article on what “Nourish” means to her. She has also provided a link for the perfect dish to eat at her table.
Nourish and Me
My book choice of Anne Frank’s Diary may seem an odd one to represent Nourish, but the Holocaust is part of my history as my Dad was a survivor.
The word nourish makes me think of family.
The family that was murdered at the death camps.
The family that my Dad created with my mum.
And the family that I thought I would never have.
I can think of nothing better than having family and friends crammed around my dinner table enjoying a meal, each other’s company and lots of laughter!
Family was so important to my Dad and when I look at mine I realise that we’ve carried on, the Nazis didn’t win.
My Dad told me that during his experience he could go weeks without food, but he wouldn’t have survived without hope and his belief is strongly carried within me too.
I identify with Anne’s strength and courage but most of all her ability to always see the good despite living under such terrible conditions.
“It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals; they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart”
So the Scottish recipe I choose is a big pot of comforting, warming and nourishing traditional Scottish stew for all to share
OK soup with Theresa and then a taxi round to Madeleine’s for some hearty stew! I reckon I’m going to be the size of a house by the time book week is over!
Madeleine’s book, Unbroken can be purchased from:
For more info please see her website madeleineblack.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @madblack65