Monthly Archives: February 2018

What’s the Story?

Michael Yates is an established writer whose latest collection of fiction, 20 Stories High, is published this spring. The 20 stories are a mixed bag of the funny, sad and scary, with a cast list of heroes, villains… and ghosts! 20 Stories High will be launched at Henry Boons at 7pm on Thursday 22 February.

Michael will be working with us at Wakefield Library in March and April on a short story writing course ‘What’s the Story’ Over four sessions he will teach you how to write your own short story,  make your plots exciting and your characters come alive.

Monday 12 March, 2-4pm: What is a short story? How to build a plot. How to create character. Brainstorm a plot for your story. Write an exciting intro.

Monday 19 March, 2-4pm: Develop your plot. Find a setting for your story. How to win the reader’s attention. How to keep the reader’s attention.

Then a three-week break to write your story! You will be able to keep in touch with tutor Michael to ask his advice by e-mail!

Monday 9 April, 2-4pm: Hearing the stories (1). Writers read their stories. The class look at ways to improve them.

Monday 16 April, 2-4pm: Hearing the stories (2). Writers read their stories. The class look at ways to improve them.

The Learning Zone, Wakefield Library, Wakefield One, Burton Street

Wakefield, WF1 2DD

The course is free but please 01924 305376 or email wakefieldlibrarymuseum@wakefield.gov.uk to reserve a place

 

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Civilisations

One of my spring highlights will be  Civilisations , an epic new series from the BBC spanning 31 countries on six continents, and covering more than 500 works of art. Presenters Simon Schama, Mary Beard and David Olusoga will explore African, Asian and American as well as European cultures to explore how human creativity began and developed, how civilisations around the world influenced one another and how artists have depicted the human form and the natural world. Here are some reading ideas to enjoy as you watch. What would your suggestions be?

 

You can also visit Wakefield Library for Dancing with India, a performance and workshop exploring traditional Indian temple dance on Saturday 3 March 10-12. Free, no need to book.

On Monday 5 March you can enjoy Rainbow Serpent, an Australian creation story workshop, at South Elmsall Library 9.30-3.15. Free but booking is essential.

Castleford Library is hosting a talk on The Romans of Castleford, Tuesday 6 March. Free, no need to book. 2-3.15pm

 

 

 

Read Regional 2018

Read Regional is back for 2018,bringing 12 northern writers and their wonderful new books to libraries across the North of England. The free booklet will be available form libraries shortly with information about the books and interviews with the writers. You can also find out about this year’s writers here . 

Four writers are visiting libraries in the Wakefield district. We start on 13 March 11am with crime writer D.M Mark, talking about his first historical crime novel The Zealot’s Bones. It is set in Hull in 1849 during a terrible cholera outbreak and the author describes it as ‘ a story of redemption and revenge: bloody, grimy and raw’. Expect lots of bodies and giant rats!

A second crime event takes place on 26 April, 2pm  at Hemsworth Library. A.A. Dhand’s first novel Streets of Darkness was described as “A tense slice of neo-noir that has won Dhand comparisons to both BBC drama Luther and HBO’s The Wire ” (Observer) so we are thrilled he is coming to Hemsworth to talk about Girl Zero, a second outing for his Bradford based detective D.I. Harry Virdee.

May sees a change of mood with A Sweet, Wild Note by Richard Smyth. Richard will be visiting Horbury Library on 18 May, 10.30am. The book is a cultural history of bird song, its place in our literature, science and music, what it means to us and what it would mean not to hear it. Horbury is Richard’s home town and we are delighted to welcome him back.

The final event takes place at Castleford Library on 14 June, 2pm. Sarah Dunnakey will be talking about The Companion, a compelling mystery of buried secrets and unsolved murder set on the Yorkshire Moors and partly inspired by Gibson Mill near Hebden Bridge, a former cotton mill which became an entertainment centre in the early 1900s. Sarah lives in Hebden Bridge and as well as writing  works as a question researcher for TV shows like Mastermind, University Challenge and Pointless.

Rhubarb ramblings from the Nom Nom Nom cookery book reader group

Wakefield Libraries’ Nom Nom Nom Cookery book reader group has been meeting on the first Saturday of each month at 2pm since April 2014. Our meetings are a  bubbly combination of chat, reading and cookery skills sharing. At our most recent meeting on the 3rd February 2018 we turned our thoughts to the forthcoming Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb, which will be taking place 23-25 February 2018.

As huge fans and advocates of rhubarb-based cookery we felt we had to share our favourite recipes with each other and Wakefield Libraries blog readers. Rhubarb, now in season, is so much more versatile and delicious than it is often given credit for. Our top 10 rhubarb recipes include:

  1. Rhubarb Ginger Crunch from Mary Prior, Rhubarbaria, (Prospect Books, 2008)

A no-bake cheesecake with a crunchy ginger biscuit base and creamy filling.

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Rhubarb Ginger Crunch

2. Custard yo-yos with Rhubarb Icing from  Yotam Ottolenghi, Sweet, (Ebury Press, 2017)

Delightful sandwich biscuits with a rhubarb-vanilla custard cream filling. Sometimes known as ‘melting moments’ or ‘custard kisses’.

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Custard yoyos with roasted rhubarb icing

3.  Roasted Rhubarb with Ginger from Claire Bailey, The 8 week blood sugar diet recipe book ( Short Books, 2016)

A compote featuring rhubarb, coconut oil and ginger, could be eaten on its own, or as a topping with porridge, thick yogurt or ice cream

4. Rhubarb Curd from Sean Wilson, The Great Northern Cookbook ( Hodder, 2012)

Another versatile recipe, Nom Nom cooks particularly recommended this is used in place of lemon curd to make a light gluten-free dessert in Mary Berry’s Meringue roulade recipe

5. Joan’s Rhubarb and Oat Muffins Apple (or rhubarb) and Oat Muffins

Moist and with a pleasant tang of rhubarb, these muffins were a real treat. Joan modified an existing recipe she likes to use, substituting rhubarb instead of  apple

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Rhubarb Crumble Muffins

6. Spiced Rhubarb sauce for Mackerel from Mary Prior, Rhubarbaria, (Prospect Books, 2008)

Proof, should it still be required, that rhubarb can also contribute to savoury dishes, this sauce with a hint of winter spice would go well with a range of oily fish and roast meat dishes.

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Spiced Rhubarb Sauce for Mackerel

7. Rhubarb Lattice Pie with Cardamom and Orange  from Epicurious

A beautiful-looking traditional rhubarb plate-pie hiding a fragrant twist of cardamom and orange. Works well also with ginger and orange.

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Rhubarb Lattice Pie with Cardamom and Orange

 

8. Rhubarb and Almond Cake by Nadiya Hussain for The Times

We wholeheartedly agree with Nadiya’s own description “A cake of sharp contrasts, thanks to a shot of rhubarb”

9.  Rhubarb Mule Cocktail  A favourite recipe from Jennifer Klinec

Jennifer came to speak to our group a couple of years ago after her return from Iran, where she had fallen in love with the food and a certain Iranian gentleman. Her recipe for a  Rhubarb Mule Cocktail  is bursting with the same joie de vivre as her book.

rhubarb mule

Rhubarb Mule cocktail

10. Virginia’s Rhubarb and ginger cheese cake 

made as dainty cupcake-size samples, this no-bake cheesecake was another simple way to incorporate the sharp tang of rhubarb into a delicious creamy treat.

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Finally…Tusky – Yorkshire forced rhubarb pieces dipped raw into a bowl of sugar and eaten as a sweet treat

A traditional treat for children, candy-pink ‘tusky’ with a bowl of sugar to dip and eat raw is a sweet-sour taste explosion guaranteed to blow off your hat (and some tooth enamel).  Its a  love-it-or-hate-it experience to sort the true rhubarb connoisseur from the  mere aficionado! Dare you try?

 

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