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Fun, Interviews, Uncategorized

Member Mondays: Diana S., Our Giveaway Winner!

As our region membership expands, we want to learn more about you, our members, so we have come up with a new thing: Member Mondays! We kind of kicked it off with our interview with author Pamela Aidan (read it HERE). Every Monday (or every couple of Mondays), we will be sharing answers from our “Member Mondays” questionnaire with a different member of our region. If you would like to participate, please email Jane at jasna.ewanidsm@gmail.com! We want to hear about everyone!

We are so happy to share answers from our 2019 Spring Giveaway winner Diana S. today! She is a newer member and her first event with us was our Spokane Northanger Abbey discussion meeting in February.

2019 Spring Giveaway winner Diana S., pictured at our recent Spring Tea in Pullman, Washington, with her prize!

Name: Diana S.
Location: Spokane, Washington

  • How did you become a Jane Austen fan? How long have you been one? Decided to give P&P another chance, fell in love. Twenty years ago. (Hated it in high school)
  • Favorite Jane Austen novel: Persuasion
  • Favorite Jane Austen character: Henry Tilney
  • Favorite Jane Austen couple: Admiral & Mrs. Croft
  • Which Jane Austen location would you most want to visit? Chawton Cottage. I’ve been to Bath, but years before I was a Janeite, so I’d like to go back and see it anew.
  • Favorite JA Adaptation: 1995 Persuasion, starring Amanda Root & Ciaran Hinds
  • Special Jane Austen items in your in collection? 1st editions of her juvenalia 1922, 1933, 1951. 1885 Northanger Abbey & Persuasion. 1890 Life of Jane Austen by Goldwin Smith. 1898 Letters of Jane Austen.
  • Favorite Jane Austen quote? There are too many brilliant quips to be able to choose just one.
  • Best part about being a Jane Austen fan? The sense of peace & fulfillment upon finishing one of her books. The feeling that all is well with the world.
  • Biggest villain in a JA novel? John Thorpe.
  • Favorite JASNA EWANID events so far? Northanger Abbey discussion and the annual tea. I loved them both!
  • Favorite place to read? Outside, on a sunny day with a slight breeze, in the garden, with a glass of wine. (Editor’s note: that describes today’s weather perfectly! Happy reading, Diana!)
  • Are there any other authors you recommend? Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Bronte . . . the usual suspects. 🙂
  • Hardback, paperback, or e-reader? Hardback, preferably antique.
  • How do you mark your place in a book? A ribbon.
  • How do you organize your books? I guess by genres—music, art, gardening, but antique books are separate from modern.

Thank you for sharing, Diana! We hope you enjoy your giveaway prize!! If you would like to participate in Member Mondays, send us an email at jasna.ewanidsm@gmail.com!

Uncategorized

Spring Tea Thank Yous and Recipes

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Our Spring Tea on Sunday April 28, 2019 was wonderful.  Pamela Aidan spoke on “Creating the Regency World” and enthralled listeners with information about the Regency era, her writing process for creating the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series, and stories about the Prince Regent.  A highlight for many attendees was getting to talk with Pamela individually as she signed copies of her books.  If you have not had a chance to read the interviews with Pamela we did on the website before the tea, scroll down on the blog to find them.

Thanks to all our attendees, many of whom drove long distances to join us. They were patient with us when we were not quite ready on time. We appreciated their enthusiasm for Pamela and their love of all things Jane Austen.  Our members are the best!

There were three businesses that helped to make our day a success.  The setting of The Seasoned House was beautiful and appropriately historic. Goose House Bakery made the tasty scones and wonderful desserts. Since we had lots extra, happy attendees took home goodie bags!  Sam’s Apothecary in Pullman created tea blends with a Pride and Prejudice theme, including the Mr. Darcy (Rooibos Blue), Elizabeth Bennet (Madame Grey),  and Mrs. Bennet (Brain Off), and members were able to take home samples or buy larger jars.

Many people contributed to the success of the day.  Cassandra Dole Bates and Michele Larrow did most of the shopping and prep work of the food, and they attempted to organize the chaos of the day! Cassandra, our new treasurer, moved to our region from the JASNA Mississippi region. Although not originally from the South, she imbibed all the rules for hosting a proper tea and her contributions to the day were huge. Jane Provinsal, Amy Lyons, and Chuck Pierce did our set-up and clean-up.  Vickey Bolen, Sara Thompson, and Nancy Tschida were an amazing team who helped the day happen with tea sandwich making and cleaning the dishes!  Jane Provinsal created the beautiful menu party favors with the teapot charms and got people settled with their choices of tea.

Recipes

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Goat Cheese-Pecan Jane Austen Silhouette Tea Sandwiches

This is an adaptation based on a recipe from Southern Living.com.  That recipe used pepper jelly.  The fruit paste makes this recipe sing!  Cassandra made the filling, and Nancy, Sara, and Vickey constructed them and decorated them the day of the tea.

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, with about 30-60 cleaned leaves for decoration
  • Rutherford and Meyer fruit paste (apricot and cherry were used)*
  • 15 bread slices (we used Franz Hawaiian-style sliced large loaves)

Using a JA silhouette cookie cutter**, cut two Janes from each slice of bread. Stir together goat cheese, cream cheese, pecans, and parsley. Spread on the bread Janes. Cut one fruit paste (cherry) for hair and a strip of  the other flavor (apricot) for the dress along the bottom.  Tuck 1-2 parsley leaves as ruffles behind the dress fruit paste. Makes 30 silhouettes.

* We found the fruit paste, which is from New Zealand, in the deli section of the Pullman Walmart!  It is on Amazon too or they have their own website.

**Thank you to Roseann Thompson, a long-distance member of our group, who sent me a JA silhouette cookie-cutter made on a 3-D printer!

Mock Clotted Cream

Several people asked for the recipe of the clotted cream that Cassandra made (you can see it in the black tea cup in the top picture or in the last picture).  The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman website by a food blogger named Erica:  https://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/how-to-make-mock-devonshire-clotted-cream/.    It uses three simple ingredients: butter, sour cream, and cream cheese.  No wonder it was so decadent!

kentbendtea

Kentucky Benedictine Tea Sandwiches (adapted from Southern Living.com)

  • 1 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peeled and seeded cucumber, grated on the large holes of a box grater and drained of some liquid (or more, use English cucumber if possible)
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions (or less to taste)
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 16 bread slices (used Franz Hawaiian-style sliced large loaves)

Stir together first 7 ingredients. Spread mixture on 1 side of 8 bread slices; top with remaining 8 bread slices. Trim crusts from sandwiches; cut each sandwich into 4 rectangles with a serrated knife.  Makes 32 large quarters.

The tea was such a wonderful experience.  Pictures will be coming soon, but we wanted to get our thank yous out quickly.  Michele

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Fun, Interviews, Uncategorized

An Interview with Pamela Aidan-Part II


Last week we shared Part I of our interview with Pamela Aidan, author of the “Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman” series. She will be speaking on “Creating The Regency World” at our upcoming tea on 28 April. Tickets are on sale through today, 22 April, so buy yours while you can on our Event Page.

We gathered questions from people on our social media channels and added them to a list of our own. Our questions are in italics and Pamela’s responses are in bold for easy reading. Thank you, Pamela!

-How much research do you do before you write compared to during the writing? What kind of outline do you do? 

Most of the research is done before so that I am immersed in the time and place. During the writing, the research pertains to fact checking or to getting more information on an idea that pops in unexpectedly.

-Were any of the characters you created based on people in your life?

    I used names from my family at various times, but the only character was one that was mentioned in passing, a Belgian boxer named Eugene Bleret who was modeled after a great-uncle.

-How do you make sure you stay true to the characters created by Jane Austen? 

Decades of reading and re-reading Pride & Prejudice and keeping the novel open on my desk as I wrote. I felt I knew Darcy inside out.

-From Michele: How did you learn so much about how a servant like a valet would function in the Regency world? (For example, in particular, Mr. Fletcher, Darcy’s valet, who Michele loves.)

    Lots of Masterpiece Theater viewing, probably. But Mr Fletcher is outside of the common way when it comes to valets. I reasoned that a person in that position would know most of the intimate details of his master’s life and thoughts just to be able to serve him well. Then, you have the kind of person Darcy is—what kind of valet would he require? Fletcher was a lot of fun to write and he almost ran away with the show!

-From Jane: Do you have any “rituals” when you are preparing to write? Such as, do you use paper/notebooks and pencils/pens? Computer? Do you write in a certain place? At a certain time of day?

I start on the computer and while writing the Trilogy worked first in a cold basement, then a warm little office at home, usually in the early morning.

Favorite tea or beverage to drink while writing? Snacks?

 Tea, of course! Earl Grey with milk and sugar.

-Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

    I love listening to Enya while writing.

-Have you made any “literary pilgrimages” to see Jane Austen sites? Or other authors?

Unfortunately, no.

If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would it be?

I’d want to talk over Mansfield Park.

-What is one of your favorite experiences as a writer?

I’ve gotten many letters over the years thanking me for the Trilogy. Several testified that they read the books during a particularly difficult time in their lives and that the books helped them get through them. To be of assistance in that way is highly gratifying.

-The Spokane Public Library contributed a few questions:

      What are your best resources for research and getting into the mindset of the time/place?

    The best preparation for getting into the mindset was decades of enjoyment of Austen and Georgette Heyer novels. Heavily used resources were:

1.Our Tempestuous Day: a History of Regency England by Carolly Erickson

2.An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England by Venetia Murray

3.The Friendly Jane Austen by Natalie Tyler

4.Ruling Britannia : A Political History of Britain, 1688 – 1955 by Glyn Williams & John Ramsden   

5.English History in the Making by William L. Sachs

6.Prince of Pleasure:  The Prince of Wales and the Making of the Regency by Saul David.

7.Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History by Mark Girouard

8.A practical View of Christianity by William Wilberforce   

9.Miniatures & Morals: The Christian Novels of Jane Austen by Peter J. Leithart

-Why did you choose to write in this voice? (Mr. Darcy, obviously) 😀 (Paraphrasing this one from SPL) Why does he do the things he does?

    My initial impetus was a desire to understand why and how Darcy changed. I don’t think Austen ever went into Darcy’s interior life beyond the considered statements he makes at Netherfield during Jane’s illness and his short analysis of his growing years during the walk to Oakham Mount.  He is absent for at least half of the book, during the time when his sea-change in beliefs about himself and his situation via Elizabeth would have occurred

-If someone can only buy 1 book on the time period, which book would you recommend?

    An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England. Venetia Muray. Viking, 1998. (Ed. Note: Oh, yes, I adore this one!!! -Jane)

-How much research do you do before you write compared to during the writing? What kind of outline do you do? 

Most of the research is done before so that I am immersed in the time and place. During the writing, the research pertains to fact checking or to getting more information on an idea that pops in unexpectedly.

And the question everyone wants to know the answer to! -From Charles: Do you have plans to pen a post Pride & Prejudice as you contemplated for an interview at the end of the third installment of your Darcy Trilogy?

I always hope. Now that I’ve retired, there’s more possibility for it to happen. I have some ideas but not enough to get started yet.

We hope you enjoyed this interview! Thank you, Pamela!!

[Read Part I]

Interviews

An Interview With Pamela Aidan-Part I

There are only about 10 tickets remaining for our upcoming Jane Austen Spring Tea on 28 April, featuring author Pamela Aidan speaking on “Creating The Regency World,” so please purchase yours today if you want to make sure you are in attendance! You can do so HERE. We are delighted Pamela agreed to do an interview with us and happy to share Part I with you today! Part II will be up next Monday, 22 April, the last day to purchase tickets (provided they don’t sell out before).

We gathered questions from people on our social media channels and added them to a list of our own. Our questions are in italics and Pamela’s responses are in bold for easy reading. Thank you, Pamela!

-What’s your favorite Jane Austen novel? Who are our favorite characters? Favorite character you love to hate? Favorite location in JA’s novels?

Pride & Prejudice/ Darcy and Elizabeth/ Wickham / Pemberley

Which characters would you invite for dinner?

    Darcy – We’d talk over whether I got anything right in the Trilogy and then what his life with Elizabeth was like.

-If you could have a meal with Jane Austen, which one would it be? What would you have?

    After all the Austen movies I’ve seen, it looks like Regency era breakfasts are fantastic! Slices of those delicious looking hams and beef roasts and sweet rolls.

How did you become a Jane Austen fan? 

    Decided to read the “classics” in 10th grade. There was a series that published twenty or more of them and the first one was Austen. I’d loved Georgette Heyer and was astonished to discover where her novels came from.

-Do you have a favorite out of the novels you have written?

    The second and third are both contenders. The second because it is all my own ideas and the third because of some wonderful scenes that where so much fun to flesh out.

From TallFleur on Instagram: How do you balance what is lore of the times (modern beliefs of the Regency era) vs. what actually occurred? Where do you draw the line in appeasing readers who may mistakenly or rightfully call out one or the other in a review?

    As far as I remember, all the events in the Trilogy and Master Darcy were either ones that actually occurred or were plausible given the cultural currents during the time period. The possible exception might be the amount of “cant” or slang I employed in the speech of some characters.

How did your years as a librarian influence your writing? 

    The influence of years of librarianship was more in the publishing of my novels than the writing of them. Knowing the difficulty and time involved in bringing a book to publication, I looked for an alternative. It so happened that print-on-demand had burst on the scene several years before and here, also, my years of librarianship helped my husband and I to research and produce a product that stood well in comparison to those published by the big publishing houses.

Check back next Monday, 22 April, for the second half of the interview, including Pamela’s answer to whether she plans to write more novels!

[Read Part II]

Fun, Giveaway

2019 Jane Austen Spring Giveaway

Happy Spring! 🌼🌷🌸 We have decided to do another spring giveaway!!

This year we have decided to take a page from “Northanger Abbey” and make the prize a little mystery, but don’t worry: you don’t have to listen to John or Isabella Thorpe!

Visit the link below and have a look at all the ways to enter! The winner will be announced April 9th or 10th!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0036c5682/

Fun, Quotes

Vote! Jane Austen Madness 2019-Favorite Quotes!

It’s another year of “Jane Austen Madness!” This year’s theme is “Favorite Quotes” and we are voting in rounds, rather than the whole bracket at once! The first round is open from 21 March-28 March and has 64 marvelous quotes taken from Jane’s novels, as well as a few from film adaptations.

To participate, please visit our Facebook event, where we are updating frequently and plan to add some fun things like giveaways, questions, and more! You can vote every five minutes, so if you have to choose between beloved quotes, vote for one and then vote for the other!

If you would rather vote straightaway, you will find the bracket here:
https://brackify.com/bracket/29113/Jane-Austen-Madness-2019

Uncategorized

Negus at a Ball

Cassandra Bates, our treasurer, has shared another wonderful recipe from the past for Negus.  Whether you can attend the dance this Saturday March 9 or not, this seems like a most intriguing recipe to try at a ball or at home.  Let us know if you try to make it and how it turns out.

“There were more Dancers than the Room could conveniently hold, which is enough to constitute a good Ball at any time.”

Letter to Cassandra, January 9, 1799

Even though in the Inland Northwest, Spring seems far away, but it will be here soon and that will bring flowers, new plant growth, green grass, and warmth. In Jane Austen’s time springtime was also the most active time for the London Season, which meant Balls! Food at Regency Balls ranged from simple fare to elegant dinner settings. Since it is still cold here in the Inland Northwest, here is a recipe for Negus. Negus is a mulled wine of sorts invented by Col. Francis Negus in the early 18th century. During Jane Austen’s time it was a popular beverage at Balls, however it slowly lost favor and became a popular children’s drink (not recommended).

To Make Negus:

“To every pint of port wine, allow 1 quart of boiling water, 1/4lb. of sugar, 1 lemon, grated nutmeg to taste.

Put the wine into a jug and rub some lumps of sugar (equal to 1/4lb.) on the lemon rind until all the yellow part of the skin is absorbed, then squeeze the juice, and strain it. Add the sugar and lemon-juice to the port wine, with the grated nutmeg; pour it over the boiling water, cover the jug and, when the beverage has cooled a little, it will be fit for use.”

From Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1861

Negus is mentioned in Mansfield Park, in Jane Austen’s inimitable description of Fanny leaving the ball where she danced with Henry Crawford (pictured below at the beginning of the dance in a Brock illustration):

Shortly afterwards, Sir Thomas was again interfering a little with her inclination by advising her to go immediately to bed.  “Advise” was his word, but it was the advice of absolute power, and she had only to rise and, with Mr. Crawford’s very cordial adieus, pass quietly away; stopping at the entrance door, like the Lady of Branxholm Hall, “one moment and no more,” to view the happy scene, and take a last look at the five or six determined couple, who were still hard at work–and then, creeping slowly up the principle staircase, pursued by the ceaseless country-dance, feverish with hopes and fears, soup and negus, sore-footed and fatigued, restless and agitated, yet feeling, in spite of every thing, that a ball was indeed delightful” (280-81, Oxford Edition).

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