What God Wants – Ashley Winter

This entry is part 1 of the series 7-Day Readings

It’s Friday Again!

Once again, I am interviewing one of the authors from our beautiful boxed set, In All Things. Today, I’m chatting to Ashley Winter, an author who was born and brought up in South Africa, but today lives in Wales. She wrote a 7-day book covering seven desires of God’s Heart.

Interview with Ashley:

Hello Ashley, It’s great to have you as a guest on my website. I loved having you as part of the team of authors who together wrote short devotional books based on Africa.

Ashley: Hi Shirley. It’s great to be here. Thanks for the invitation to talk about our latest project. I so enjoyed the whole process.

Shirley: That’s great to hear. I loved your theme. When I first read the title, What God Wants – Seven Desires of God’s Heart, I wondered where you were going with the idea. But it is a lovely and challenging read. And your cover is incredible! If there was a prize for the best cover, you’d get my vote! What was the best experience for you?

Producing the book

Ashley: I love to create, and this project was no different in that regard. Planning, writing, designing the cover, and then seeing the finished project is always rewarding. Then working with other like-minded authors, I got to enjoy seeing their books come together and compliment mine. A lovely process.

Shirley: That’s fabulous. I’m sure it wasn’t all fun and easy-going though. I know it certainly wasn’t for me. I had some real challenges. How about you?

Ashley: So true. I am not a non-fiction writer, so this was a challenge for me! I found selecting the chapters and then organising my thoughts into those chapters the hardest part.

Shirley: How did you find your experience working with the other ten writers? Some of them were well-published. Others were fairly new to the publishing scene, especially to e-book writing.

Ashley: That was an absolute highlight! And really—this was the reason I wanted to join in! Shirley, you were so organised, yet gracious, and made the whole process easy.

Shirley: This sort of comment constantly amazes me! It was a totally new experience for me, and I lived in fear of being blasted out of the water by one of you who had more experience in this field. You were the ones who were gracious! You just kept encouraging me and literally did everything I asked of you.

Working on a multi-authored project

Ashley, have you ever participated in a boxed set or any other multi-author project before?

Ashley: No, this was my first, but I’d love to do more in the future.

Shirley: I’m so glad this worked well for you, and that I haven’t scared you off!

Shirley: On launch day, 24th October, we held a bumper Facebook Launch Party, attended by 743 people. Wow!

From all reports, it party seems to have been a resounding success. I know I loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute! There were times when Facebook had me chasing all over the page trying to find my missing posts!

How about you? What did you enjoy most about it? Did you have any major challenges?

Ashley: I always enjoy these Facebook parties! I love the interactions with readers and the way we like-minded women can come together and find a place to open up a little bit and share about our lives. No challenges! Only fun!

Over to the Readers:

As we round off this short time together, let’s ask our readers a question. Whether you’ve read Ashley’s book yet or not, how would you answer this question?

What one thing do you think God wants of you today? Don’t dig too deep. Just think of your life today, given all our current challenges, and give us an idea. What does God want from you?

Get the Boxed Set here

Other authors in the set already interviewed:

Shirley Corder – 7 African Animals

Sunrise to Sunset- – Deryn van der Tang

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News from Shirley

 

 

In All Things – 13-book Boxed Set by Authors of Africa

This entry is part 5 of the series 7-Day Readings

Lockdown!

As the very strict lockdown imposed on South Africa was prolonged, I decided to suggest a 13-book project for some of the writers on my Christian Writers of Southern Africa Facebook group.

On the 10th July, eleven authors stepped to one side to work on what was to become an extremely fun, and at times very challenging, project. Over a period of 16 weeks, we tackled and produced a 13-book boxed set of daily devotions, all with a covering theme of Africa. 

See more on the details of this exciting set by clicking here.  read more

Sunrise to Sunset – Chatting to Deryn van der Tang

Interview with Deryn

As it’s Friday once again, here is an interview with one of the authors published in In All Things, a 3-month boxed set of daily devotional readings, all linked to Africa. Each small book of seven devotions is written by an author who was either born in Africa or was born elsewhere but has lived in Africa for some time. So we all share the theme – Out of Africa! Today, I’d like to introduce you to Deryn van der Tang. read more

Meet Shirley Corder, Author of 7 African Animals

7 African Animals Author Interview

Over the next three months, I’m going to be looking at the authors who compiled the thirteen one-week books that make up the boxed set, In All Things ~ 13 Weeks of Devotions from Africa. I plan to interview all the authors and give you some insight into the background to their books, the motivation behind the themes they chose, and their general experiences of the project. 

I’m starting with the first book in the box. This happens to be my own, 7 African Animals, and what they teach us about God. Because this is my book, I obviously won’t do this in the form of an interview, but I’ll try to cover the same issues.

read more

The Price of Valor – a Novel by Susan May Warren

THE PRICE OF VALOR

 

This was the first time I had read any of this series. As a South African, I do not normally jump at military or politically-motivated stories as they don’t necessarily tie in with experiences in my own country. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this incredibly gripping and baffling story produced by Susan May Waren. It is her final (third) adventure in the Global Search and Rescue Book series. read more

Dunk and Enjoy! Buttermilk Rusks from South AFrica

This recipe is for buttermilk rusks, one of the snacks you were offered if you attended the launch party for our newly released boxed set of devotional books, In All things. Click here to order the boxed set. A LIMITED EDITION of 13 books for only $0.99. 


Background to the creation of rusks:

The South African karringmelk (buttermilk) rusk can be compared to American biscotti, but they are, in fact, only distant cousins.

The S.African rusk evolved from early Cape settlement and from the pioneers making their laborious and dangerous trip  inland from the coast via ox-wagons. They are extremely hard, almost inedible unless dipped (or dunked) in hot coffee, or as in our case at the In All Things launch party, Rooibos Tea.  (Learn about Rooibos tea over at Anna Jensen’s blog by clicking on the link.)

Enjoy a karringmelk (buttermilk) rusk - almost inedible until dunked! Then it's wonderful! Click To Tweet

Photo copyright Kyle Ueckermann. Recipe copyright Hanlie Morrison.

The best way to wake up in the morning - to a cup of steaming coffee or tea and a S.African rusk (or beskuit). Click To Tweet

So now let’s make rusks!

Sorry the ingredients are metric, but that’s our method of measurement in SA.(See Conversion  Table here.)

Ingredients:

3kg self-raising flour
2 x 500g butter
2 x 500ml buttermilk
8 eggs (beaten well)
1 desert-spoon baking powder
2.5 cups sugar
2 teaspoon salt

Method:

Mix self-raising flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
Melt butter and sugar together slowly (body temperature ONLY).
Add buttermilk.
Pour the melted mixture into flour mixture.
Add beaten eggs.
Knead well.

Press into oven pans about 1.5cm high.

“Cut” into rusks about width and length of adult middle finger by pushing a long flat object (eg. ruler or egg lifter) into the dough to separate the dough. Do not try to cut with a knife – the dough will just drag.

Bake for around 1 hour in a 165 degree Celsius preheated oven. Stick a toothpick in and if it comes out clean, they’re ready. If not and the rusks are browning, cover with foil and bake longer.

Once baked, remove and break into separate biscuits along pressed lines.

Place back into the oven pan, stacking biscuits loosely and dry overnight in a 70 degree Celsius oven.

Make sure to wedge something in the oven door that will keep the oven open fractionally—about a centimeter—so that there is airflow to dry the rusks slowly.

How to eat a rusk:

Once rusks are ready, grab a cup of coffee (or rooibos tea – follow this link to read more),  dunk and enjoy! There’s a knack to dunking. Dip the rusk too long and it’ll break off in your hot drink. Too short and you could just break a tooth! Dip twice before  popping the end into your mouth. And keep a teaspoon handy to fish out any errant pieces that bob to the surface of your drink.

“The accepted and correct way to eat a rusk is to dip it in a cup of tea or coffee. (Anyone who tells you otherwise, does not deserve to eat them.) Click To Tweet

 

Curried Mince and Vetkoek – yummy South African recipe.

This recipe is for the curried mince that we offered inside vetkoek as one of the snacks you were offered if you attended the launch party for our newly released boxed set of devotional books, In All things. Click here to order the boxed set. A LIMITED EDITION of 13 books for only $0.99. **LINK

Background to Vetkoek:

Vetkoek (literally Fat Cake, referring to the method of frying in oil) is a delightful, typically South African snack. This traditional pastry both in Afrikaans and Zulu culture (where it is called Amagwinya), is basically made from flour, water, sugar and salt formed into small balls and deep-fried until golden brown.

It’s usually served hot with curried mince but is also delicious with butter, cheese and jam (jelly).

For the recipe to make vetkoek, follow this link.

You haven't lived until you've tasted traditional South African Vetkoek and Curried Mince! Click To Tweet

To make curried mince:

Ingredients:

  • Beef Mince (If you’re in the US, you probably call it ground beef) – Buy mince with a low percentage of fat.2 You can also use pork mince (ground pork) or half/half.
  • Vegetables – including potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, fresh tomatoes, chopped into 1cm pieces. Optional addition of frozen petit pois (tiny peas).
  • Additions – Tomato Puree, Chutney, a pinch of sugar, and salt, beef stock which you can make with a stock cube and a cup of boiling water
  • Oil – to brown the meat.
  • Spices –  a selection including mustard seeds, fennel seeds, all spice, turmeric, and ground coriander. Finally, curry powder depending on your taste. It shouldn’t be over spicy, but should have a clear curry flavour.

Method:

  • Fry the spices then add the curried mince and let it brown. Keep stirring until the mince is brown and crumbly.
  • Add the onions and celery and fry until the onion softens.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, chutney and sugar and salt.
  • Once the tomatoes soften, add the carrots, potatoes and stock.
  • Put on the lid and allow to simmer until the mix is cooked through and juicy.
  • If there is too much liquid, allow it to boil without the lid for a few minutes.
  • Finally add the frozen peas and stir well.

Serving:

Split your vetkoek in half and fill with the curried mince. A small amount of chutney adds to the delicious flavour. Pick it up and take a large bite! Yummy!!!

Sink your teeth into this wonderful South African treat - Vetkoek and Curried Mince! Click To Tweet

(Thanks to https://www.foodleclub.com/ for the basic recipe and images for this meal.)

Alternative option

This mince mixture can also be used as a curried mince served with yellow rice.

To make the yellow rice:

Cook rice in water and salt as normal, adding a generous amount of turmeric powder and a handful of raisins.

Serve the curry and rice with

  • a small salad comprising chopped onion, tomato, cucumber and green pepper.
  • banana sliced into rings
  • desiccated coconut sprinkled on top (optional).

Have you ever enjoyed vetkoek? If not, will you try them now? Easy to make and delicious  to the taste!
Leave a comment below.

Don’t forget to order your copy of the brand new book, In All Things!

Get Your Copy

13 Books on Preorder, the Launch Party, In All Things!

Updated since the launch party!

Last post I shared with you how ten authors of Christian Writers of Southern Africa, (CWOSA), took up my challenge to create a boxed set of 13  devotional books. Here’s some news about our amazing launch!

I now have very exciting news to share! ‘In All Things – 13 devotions from Africa’ reached #1 on Amazon in the New Releases: Spiritual Devotions category. What an exciting moment to see our boxed set boasting its little orange ribbon.

read more