Saturday, 13 August 2016

Food & Drink Month: Q&A with Rebecca Raisin

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Rebecca Raisin back to the blog as part of this Q&A for the Food & Drink feature month.  I had originally planned to review her book Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm last Summer but then illness and life took over and I never managed to read it but hopefully either Emma or myself will finally read and review it before the end of this feature month.  

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey? 
I’m a romance writer from Perth, Australia. I started writing very short stories which helped me to be economical with words! I loved trying all sorts of genres to see if I could, and then eventually fell in love with writing romance. It has been great turning a hobby into a career! 

Where did the inspiration for Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm come from?
A reader friend of mine was googling the town of Ashford where the Gingerbread Series books are set and he was telling me the street names…One was something like Pumpkin farm road or similar, and it gave me the idea to set a story at a farm, but with something as luscious and sweet as maple syrup! I really liked the idea of having layers of secrets in the story, from the farm itself and the people who end up there. I think it’s my favourite story for that reason! 

Whilst researching the Maple Syrup industry, did you trial recipes on your family? 
I did! We lived on French toast for a week because it’s just so delicious! With lots of whipped vanilla bean cream, and roasted pistachios! We also used it a lot in savoury dishes so it balanced the heat. I thought it was very cute making meals with maple! It’s such a special ingredient once you learn how precious it is, the ways the maple trees provide and for how short the tapping season goes for. I now have so much respect for maples and mother nature! 

If you had to describe Secrets at Maple Syrup Farm in one sentence, what would it be?
Oh good question! Erm… ‘Love, and life isn’t always perfect so pack your bag and go on an adventure…’

Describe your cooking style, follow recipes religiously or wing it and see how it turns out? 
Wing it! I will read a recipe but then it all gets too complicated and I just guess! This has turned into some epic disasters but also a few happy endings. 

If you were going to apply to be a contestant on a cooking show, would it be Masterchef or Great British Bake Off? 
Masterchef! We don’t get the bake off here anymore, I think Australia had one or two seasons of it and that was it, so I haven’t seen it much at all. Masterchef is on at the moment and we watch it as much as we can! Always so hungry for the desserts!

You're planning a dinner party, which 5 people (dead or alive) would you invite?  
Ernest Hemingway and Hadley, Edith Piaf, and Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald. I am so fascinated by that era and I have so many questions for them! 

It's your last day on earth, what 3 course meal would you choose?
Something French! Just drop me at a patisserie that also serves white wine and I will be happy to gorge! French cakes are like little edible pieces of art and I would find it very hard to stop at just one. 

What's your favourite dish to cook?
I like cooking comfort food, but I also don’t like recipes to be too technical. Donna Hay is a great Australian chef who makes all those complex dishes easy for every day cooking. Check out this beef and ale pie… She’s the best. And now I want pie.

Now for a few quickfire questions to finish ;-) 

Gordon Ramsay or Marco Pierre White? Marco! He’s the best, so charming, so lovely, and sort of sexy (he is!)
Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry? Mary Berry, gotta love her! 
Sweet or Savoury? Sweet! 
Steak or Lobster? Steak! 
Profiteroles or Crumble? I think you know the answer… Profiteroles! 
Smoothie or Prosecco? Again… Go the wine, always! Haha.

Thanks so much for having me here! Now I am off to find something to eat… ☺ xxx

Rebecca's latest book The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower is out now. To find out more about Rebecca and her books you can connect with her via:

Twitter: @jaxandwillsmum
Facebook: Rebecca Raisin - Author


  1. Great questions and great answers. I love maple syrup on sweet things like waffles, and savoury like salmon. I look forward to your review of Rebecca's book.