Tag Archives: Ruth Pretty

Winners in my book

In my previous  post   I wrote, amongst other matters,  about baking delicious, crunchy rye crackers, using a  recipe  by New Zealand caterer, Ruth Pretty.

Rye Crackers

Rye Crackers

I mentioned that ” I had to  bake the crackers about 15 minutes longer than suggested, to get the degree of cracker-ness that I like..” and I said “…. but, my goodness, they are good.”

And, my goody-goodness, within 24  hours of publishing my post, I found this comment in my inbox…

ruth pretty November 11, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Hello and yes they are lovely crackers. You mentioned that you needed to bake them 15 minutes longer than recipe said. They look much thicker than how we make them so that will account for the longer time. Ours are thin and crisp. I will try them thicker as that will be an interesting change. Keep cooking!

Yes, a comment from  Ruth Pretty herself!!!! … with helpful advice as to why I may have needed to cook my crackers a little longer than her recipe suggested. Now, I am an iddy biddy blogger in the middle of itty bitty  nowhere, so I nearly choked on my cracker crumbs to see Ruth’s comment on my blog: a) BECAUSE SHE NOTICED; and b) because she CARES enough about her recipes, and her work, to follow what is happening to them on the blogosphere.

In my world that makes Ruth Pretty AWESOME. I can’t tell you how many times I have  commented on author/poetry/artist websites, because of my genuine interest in someone’s work or book, and received no feedback; none, not a bite, so I give up, disappointed, and wondering why said persons even bother with a web presence.

Sophia Stuart,

Sophia Stuart

writer, photographer and award-winning digital media advisor in her article, New Hollywood (Digital) Dating Rules  for the Huffington Post, writes “You need real people to manage your Social network presences. Try not to outsource. It won’t be your voice. This is too important to farm out. And if you engender real loyalty from your audience, not only will they follow and friend and respond to you and your brands — they will tell everyone they know (many more people than you know, when you add up the network effect) and this is the best bit — they’ll do it for free (but only if they really like you). There’s no substitute for a true relationship.”
Her article should be compulsory reading for anyone wanting to establish a digital presence. ( And just so you know, she follows her own advice to the letter….communicating with  Sophia [or her IL persona  teamgloria ] is a delight, a true delight )

I am not sure who directs Ruth Pretty’s digital strategy; perhaps Ruth herself but  she clearly  knows how the relatively new internet world/market works.

I am not currently in the market for a new recipe book  but, if I were, I would definitely be looking at one written by Ruth Pretty. For one thing, I now know that the recipes will be accurate (v. important!), and, should I have any difficulty , Ruth is  willing to help me get it right.

So cake tins and chefs’ spatulas off the bench, and raised, to Ruth Pretty.

And now it’s time for my cuppa and a Rye Cracker slathered  with my favourite manuka honey.

Crackers, Ruth, Sophia, manuka honey, teamgloria; all winners in my book; oops blog. 🙂

© silkannthreades

Let’s talk hardtack

This morning I woke up to a  version of this ; The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, is Ended, one of my all time favourite hymns.

I lay in bed listening to words and music that I hadn’t heard in years, and felt profoundly peaceful. The hymn was part of our New Zealand  Praise Be programme for Remembrance Sunday, on this second Sunday in November.  On Remembrance Sunday,  people throughout the Commonwealth  pay tribute, before God, to those who laid down their lives in war.  I haven’t been to a Remembrance Sunday service, in real life,  but the few scenes (and one  service sheet ) that I have seen, via the internet and television, always impress me with the beauty of their words and their music and their surroundings. Heavenly and divine aptly describe these church services where we honour peace and life, and, somehow, try to atone for the horror of war and conflict.

Now, although to a certain extent I am a person of faith, my spiritual life is more bread and butter than angels and divine inspiration, which means that, as I was  listening to the hymn this morning, my mind suddenly  jumped from wreaths on tombstones to one word…hardtack!  Yes, hardtack! Well…. it was nearly breakfast time, so quite natural that my stomach/brain would be reminding me of food. And, since an army is said to march on its stomach, I would guess most soldiers, of older times, also thought  more often of hardtack (what they would rather have, or what they could do with it!)  than their Maker.

Hardtack, as many of you may know, is a  type of plain cracker made from flour and water and salt and, in ages past, was used to sustain soldiers and sailors.  Hardtack was hard, very hard, and very long- lasting. It was a substitute for bread. In World War One, Australian and New Zealand troops ( ANZACS)  jokingly called their hardtack,  ANZAC wafers. They were also called ANZAC tiles.

According to this source,  http://definingnz.com/bully-beef-and-biscuits/ , the daily ration of an ANZAC soldier  was ”disablingly bad”  and included 7 ANZAC Wafers ( ie 7 hardtack biscuits).  Considering many soldiers  didn’t have a full set of teeth, or had false teeth,  eating the rations must often have required more energy than they had to spare. Apparently the Anzac biscuits (and the bully beef) were so inedible that, sometimes, they were merely nibbled on and then thrown in to No Man’s Land.

The Australian War Memorial  website offers a recipe for ANZAC wafers. However, I don’t suggest you try it, unless you  want to boost your dentist’s bank balance.

A happier and more nutritious alternative would be to try these delicious, crunchy rye crackers that I made, based on a  recipe  by New Zealand caterer, Ruth Pretty. I had to  bake the crackers about 15 minutes longer than suggested, to get the degree of cracker-ness that I like but, my goodness, they are good. No armed services personnel would throw these crackers in to No Man’s Land.

Rye Crackers

Rye Crackers

And, if you do make these crackers, or something similar, remember as you munch, that our service personnel once had more to fear than enemy fire. Remember too, that how we treat and train our armed services is often more  important than how we pray for them.

After bites; Captain Clark Gable had false teeth 🙂

Some viewers may not be able to see Praise Be for copyright reasons.

© silkannthreades

Often the soldiers managed no more than nibbling away at the edges before tossing the centres out into No Man’s Land. – See more at: http://definingnz.com/bully-beef-and-biscuits/#sthash.4Em0zDGB.dpuf
Often the soldiers managed no more than nibbling away at the edges before tossing the centres out into No Man’s Land. – See more at: http://definingnz.com/bully-beef-and-biscuits/#sthash.4Em0zDGB.dpuf
Our rations are 7 biscuits a day, a very little each of jam, tea & sugar & a very fat chunk of bacon. There is any amount of bully beef but only because it is poor & barely eatable. I have a struggle to get satisfied; it takes a lot of gnawing to fill up on biscuits & our 7 are as many as a man with ordinary jaws can manage. – See more at: http://definingnz.com/bully-beef-and-biscuits/#sthash.4Em0zDGB.dpuf