Tuesday, 26 February 2013

New release in time for Mother's Day: 'Blackbirds Baked in a Pie' by Eugene Barter

We are very excited to announce to you the release of the latest Sunpenny book, out this Friday, the 1st of March:

'Blackbirds Baked in a Pie'
(Memories of Rozinante)

Do you know any cookery lovers or Francophiles? This new release has come out just in time for Mother's Day and Easter, so if you're looking for a gift that can be enjoyed for a long time to come, it would be a wonderful choice. Or you could just treat yourself to it and the delicious recipes inside it! Find out more to whet your appetite...

About the book
Sir Edward Heath's Private Secretary didn't take retirement sitting down...
Fate has plenty of surprises in store for Eugene when, at the age of 60, she decides to leave her Welsh home and find a house in France to run as an auberge. Finding the perfect place in a small market town in the foothills of the Pyrenees, she names the house after Don Quixote's mule, 'Rozinante', and settles down to fulfill her dream.
A forest fire heading towards the house before the removal van has even arrived, is only the start of many surprises! The house's eccentric water pump, a curmudgeonly neighbour, and the outlook of the laid back local workforce being that manana is the order of the day, make a lively beginning to Eugene's new life in St Eulalie. Many happy guests from all over the world find their way to Rozinante, with Eugene and her family entertaining them, plotting their walks and creating delicious meals for them. All the while trying to stop Buster the Golden Retriever from stealing their underwear and burying it in the garden!
Humorous and often self-mocking, always gentle and quirky, Eugene takes us on a journey through the countryside and its people, Catalans and French alike, with a good dose of her German and English guests thrown in. Her love of the region shines from the pages – surely a timeless joy for all ages.
The second part of the book  focuses on the recipes which Eugene devised for her guests.  Although many of them are French or Catalan in flavour she also manages to introduce the French to English pies and, in the true spirit of entente cordiale, succeeds in gaining French respect for English cooking. 

About the author
Born in Penarth, South Wales, Eugene Barter left school at 16 to work as a trainee journalist on two local newspapers, in the days when discrimination against women in the workplace made the job twice the challenge it was for male colleagues. Moving on to an assignment in Holland at a Unesco conference, she stayed on for two years, learning the language and working with companies in Amsterdam struggling to get back on their feet after the horrors of the Second World War. Studying with the Open University in her late forties, she became a Tutor/Counsellor after graduating, before moving briefly back into journalism, then working in the House of Commons – eventually becoming Senior Secretary to Sir Edward Heath. In her sixties she took on the running of an auberge in France, and this book, Blackbirds Baked in a Pie, is a lively and affectionate account of her time there.
Now 85, Eugene's love affair with France continues undiminished. 

Blackbirds Baked in a Pie is also accompanied by the beautiful illustrations of Mary Jose, which really bring the settings to life vividly.

About the illustrator
Mary Jose is English, but she and her husband have travelled the world extensively. She was one of the first and most regular guests at Rozinante. She is a self-taught artist, now happily settled near Prades, where her paintings are widely praised. It was, in fact, the evening meal with Champagne to celebrate the purchase of their house there, that the 'blackbirds baked in a pie' incident took place.
There are frequent exhibitions of Mary Jose's work in both France and the UK. Visit Mary Joses website at: www.maryjose.fr

The recipes 
Eugene's delicious tailored recipes featured in the last section of the book became very popular amongst visitors to her auberge in France and are accompanied by short and often humorous passages explaining the inspiration and stories behind them that make this book stand out from the average recipe collection. With everything covered – from cheese and marinades to fruit puddings and buffet parties – there's sure to be something to take your fancy!

 Here are a few examples from the collection:

  • Apple Dessert cake (our Marketing Coordinator, Louise, made this cake for her family and it went down a treat!)
  • Chicken with Cider and Apple
  • Catalan Meatballs
  • Creme au Touron
  • Roquefort Turnovers

Special Offer!

As a special deal for our loyal friends we are offering you the chance to own a copy of Blackbirds Baked in a Pie for just £8.99 with FREE P&P in the first 2 weeks of publication only, if you order directly from Sunpenny. All you have to do to take advantage of this special offer is to send a cheque made payable to Sunpenny Limited, to the value of £8.99 to the following address:

10 Aspen Close,

Please include a note stating the book title, your name and the address you want it sent to.

Look out for more information on where to buy Blackbirds Baked in a Pie on Friday, here and on our Facebook and Twitter profiles!

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