Showing posts with label James Walker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Walker. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ellen's Gold - James Walker, Author

Shrewsbury Lamb Cutlets

8 lamb cutlets
1 tbs of olive oil
1/4 ib of (button preferably) mushrooms
4 tbs of redcurrant jelly
1 tbs of worcester sauce (do you have that in USA? Its vinegar/malt vinegar based, so I suggest malt vinegar would be an okay substitute)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs of plain flour
1/4 to 1/2 pint of stock
seasoning - pepper/salt to taste
dash of nutmeg

Brown cutlets in oil. Slice mushrooms. Place cutlets and mushrooms in casserole. Place jelly, worcester sauce(or equivalent) and lemon juice in a pan and
stir over a low heat for 2 minutes or so and then add the flour and the stock and bring steadily to the boil in order to make a gravy. This can be thickened to
taste by adding a little more flour. Add seasoning, nutmeg and parsley and then pour over cutlets and mushrooms.

Cook @ 325 degrees for 90 minutes.
Ellen’s Gold – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds
From its frontispiece it was apparent that the book had been published in Augsburg in 1784. It was so dusty that he wondered if it had gone unread and forgotten for nearly as long. What intrigued him about it though were the words written in English across the cover “two times eight,” not once but three times. It seemed very strange, and when he began to thumb through the book he also discovered the words, again in English, “10 times 10” had been written on a couple of pages. It also looked as if these pages had been glued together and then pulled apart. Further on still he discovered that two pages had been cut out of the book. Then, most surprisingly, he came across a drawing on a blank page. It was clearly a crude map of a locality, which meant nothing to him except that it included a road marked as leading to Erfurt. The book had effectively been defaced, but clearly with some deliberate purpose rather than through mindless vandalism. Suddenly, he felt something lying under the flap at the back of it. To his surprise it was a letter, or part of a letter, for there was no signature, dated 13th December 1813, and written in English.
Max Kelber owned a book shop and when Frau Paulsen offered her large collection of books, he made the trip to her home to take is pick. Among the books he found the mystery book with its puzzling code, map and then a letter addressed to just the name Ellen. The letter, also written in English, gave what appeared to be coded directions to the treasure that was hidden near the town of Erfurt. But who is Ellen and where exactly is the treasure?
Ellen Charpentier lives is from and lives in Paris. Colonel Michael Korsowski is from Poland and is serving under Napoleon in his battle against Russia to recover land that once belonged to Poland. With Ellen and Michael, it was love at first sight and the more they saw of each other, the more they knew they were meant for each other no matter what. Ellen, a widow, was free give her heart to Michael but he was married to a woman who refused to grant him a divorce so Michael became a career soldier as his only means of being out of a marriage that had no love. As the war takes Michael and his troops into Russia, they are able to capture the city of Moscow. Along with the capture they discover riches beyond anyone’s dreams. This, he believes, will be his ticket to a happier life. Even if he can’t marry Ellen, they can take their share of the treasure and go to America to start a new life together. But what Michael nor anyone within his commend counted on was the severity of the Russian winters. As they lost men and horses they were also faced with having to do something with the treasure. This eventually left them with no choice but to bury it with hopes of coming back after the war ended.
Reading Ellen’s Gold was like reading a history book but an enjoyable history book. The battles were clear enough that I felt like I was actually ‘reading’ a movie. I could picture each event in my mind as I read along. I could see the frozen Russian winters, the struggles that Napoleon’s armies had as they tried to survive the cold without food for themselves nor their horses. I could also feel the desire each man had to keep the treasure safe so that when the war was over and he received his share he could start a new life of ease and comfort.
But, if the letter was found years later within a book, was the treasure ever found? Will Kebler search for this treasure for himself? Will any of the men who carried it so far out of Russia live to collect their share? The answers to those questions and more are found within the book which I feel you will enjoy searching for as you read Ellen’s Gold which is really two stories in one; the 1st being the survival of not only the treasure but also Michael and his men. The second story is more of a gothic novel with kidnapping and murder. All-in-all Ellen's Gold is a really top grade book!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Enemy My Love - James Walker, Author

Creamy Leek Croustade
(A James Walker favorite)

Part 1:
6 oz. (175g) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 oz. (50g) butter or margarine
4 oz. (100g) cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz. (100g) mixed nuts, chopped
1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) mixed herbs
1 garlic clove, crushed

Part 2
3 med. sized leeks
4 tomatoes
2 oz (50g) butter or margarine
1 oz (25g) 100% wholemeal flour
1/2 pint (284 ml) milk
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp (60 ml) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

Put the breadcrumbs in a basis, rub in the butter, then add the remaining ingredients from part 1.  Press the mixture into a 11 x 7", (28x18cm) tin.  Bake in the oven at 220c (425f, mark 7) for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  Meanwhile slice leeks and chop the tomnatoes.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Saute leeks for 5 minutes, then stir in flour.  Add milk, stirring constantly, then bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.  Add the remaining ingredients of part 2, except the breadcrumbs, and simmer for a few minutes to soften the tomatoes.  Check seasoning.  Spoon the vegetable mixture over the base, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and heat through in the oven at 180c (350f, mark 4) for 20 minutes.  Serve at once.  Serves 4.

My Enemy My Love – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; A Book and A Dish; Think With Your Taste Buds 
“I am sorry to burden you with my troubles,” Beatrice said, catching her breath as she did so in an effort to keep calm. “Nonsense, my dear, what are friends for. You must stay the night with us. There is enough food, I’m sure.” Claire looked at Brigitte as she spoke. “You can help me prepare supper tonight, can’t you?” It was more of a demand than a request. “Of course, Mama.” She looked once more at Beatrice and couldn’t help thinking how badly this awful war was treating her. One of her son’s blinded for life, the other still serving at the front presumably, her daughter heavily pregnant with a bastard child and God knows where, and now her husband arrested for the kind of offence that could well result in his execution. It was little wonder that she was in tears when her once so secure world was rapidly crumbling around her. Not for the first time she decided that the evil Boches had much to answer for, given the misery they were visiting on so many innocent people whose lives they were trampling underfoot. Then she thought of her letter to Friedrich; it was enough to make her want to laugh. “This war is making fools of us all,” she mumbled to herself.
Aubert and Beatrice Guilloux, along with their two sons Antoine and Philippe and daughter Cosette live in the countryside of the French city of Lille. Aubert, with Philippe as his accountant, has a successful tannery business that has allowed him to provide everything needed to make his family happy in all of their desires. Their estate consists of their own home as well as cottages for some of the servants, a stable full of horses and through Aubert’s ability to manage money, rental property for yet another income. Things couldn’t be better…that is until WWI started and the Germans invaded France and took over Lille. Aubert and his family were required to move into one of the cottages giving the house up to the German officers.
Cosette had led a fairly sheltered life where her family supplied her every whim so moving into the cottage did become quite a change for her. Their horses had been taken over by the Germans so her love for riding and jumping had come to a stop. She, nor anyone else in the family, was allowed to go near their old home. All she had left to entertain her were walks to the lake. But these she found were quite dangerous as three German soldiers captured her with the intent of rape. Her rescuer turned out to be a German officer that caught her attention as well as her heart.
My Enemy My Love is another of those books that I almost didn’t read. I enjoy reading some history but have never enjoyed reading anything written about WWI or WWII. It’s always given me a ‘dark’ feeling about life during this time. But, as I’ve stated before, I will read at least the first 50 pages of any book before declining. My Enemy My Love turned out to be another of those books that I just kept going after the first 50 pages. Yes, it still gave me my ‘dark’ feeling but it also showed me the strength people find deep inside themselves when faced with the dangers of war and injustice. I find myself wondering if I could be so brave. Could I risk my own life to help my country? Would I hate ALL of those that brought this pain upon my world or would I look at them as just doing what they are told and must by their own leaders? Could I actually love one of them knowing that if found out I would be considered a traitor even by my own family? Through My Enemy My Love, Author James Walker has given me many mixed emotions and feelings making it difficult to answer any of these questions for myself. This is truly a great book that took not only a strong imagination but an awful lot of research. See, other than the main characters, most of the other characters are real and went through what he epics within this writing.

A message from the Author - The book was dedicated to my wife but perhaps I should have dedicated it to my grandfather who was still suffering from the physical and mental impact that the Great War had on him more than 50 years after it ended. I also have a German great-grandfather , which has influenced my perspective on the two world wars, and a love of French history which made the research a pleasure rather than a pain.  My other grandfather, who died before I was born was an 'old contemptible' at Mons in August 1914 and a cavalryman to boot, so I have watched the successful war film War Horse recently with some emotion knowing that he was caught up in the madness of sending horses against machine guns!

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