Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo

Wolfman's Books by Kyle J. Glenn
Wolfman’s Books by Kyle J. Glenn

 

I know, I’m a writer not doing National Novel Writing Month? It’s practically an unofficial writer requirement at this point, but I have mixed feelings about it. I think it’s great if it excites you and gives you the chutzpah to get cracking on your novel. But from all the guides to “surviving NaNoWriMo” and vague sense of panic currently flooding my Tumblr dashboard, I don’t think I’m the only one who finds NaNoWriMo more stressful than inspiring. Personally I don’t want my writing process to feel like a Terminator apocalypse that I have to survive. I think November is a pretty crummy time to enter a voluntary literary house arrest — who wants to be a sleep-deprived zombie for Thanksgiving and Christmas? I miss the writing projects from undergrad, but I’m still so happy that I don’t have deadlines that I’m not willing to give myself a crazy one now.

 

Narcissism and Self-Loathing
Ted McCagg’s “Writers Explained” is pretty much perfect.

 

The more I thought about the crazy deadline and how (woefully) unprepared I would be to start a novel on November 1, the less and less I wanted to start the project at all. (Plus Teddy was completely horrified when I mentioned it to him, and since he’s my resident sounding board and first reader I figured I should pay attention.) I decided that the timing wasn’t great for me, so why not use the NaNoWriMo start date as an inspiration for my own personal goal? The other day my friend Erin reblogged this simple plan that only requires you to write 350 words a day for 260 days out of the year, so I decided to set my own (manageable) goals for next month: I’m hoping to write 5 scenes over that month, and if I’m really prolific, maybe 10. That seems so piddly compared to 50,000 words, but honestly I’m totally fine with that! I really want to set up a writing routine that works for me all year.

 

I definitely don’t want to crush anyone’s NaNoWriMo hopes and dreams – if you’re excited for it, go for it! But if you’re anything like me and you’re worried about stressing yourself out so much that writing becomes a chore, or beating yourself up if you don’t make it to 50,000 words, set your own goals. Get what you want out of NaNoWriMo, and you’ll succeed whether you make it to 2,000 or 50,000 words.

 

Whether you’re doing NaNoWriMo or not, here are some links for various writing resources that might be helpful:

  • How to write quickly… good resource for anyone doing NaNoWriMo, or anyone who has to beat a deadline.
  • The Elephant Technique… this blew my mind, and might be one of the best (and simplest) writing tips I’ve read. Unless you’re writing a story about elephants, in which case you might want to make it the “Platypus Technique.” Also a guide to NaNo/ novel Prep.
  • If thinking about writing dialogue stresses you out (I can’t be the only one, right?), this list of resources should help calm you down.
  • Honestly Fix Your Writing Habits  and Clever Girl Helps are both chock-full of helpful information. Austin Kleon’s Tumblr is pretty awesome too.
  • Ten Things I’d Like to Say to Young Writers. Again, Chuck Wendig is not exactly safe for work – or your grandma – but he’s not screwing around when it comes to writing advice. This is also a really good kick in the pants for when your enthusiasm starts to (inevitably) fade.
  • This quote is so good that I accidentally reblogged it twice within a month on my writing Tumblr. I also have an “Authors Talking Shop” tag with quotes from various artists, authors, etc. about the creative process.
  • Can I go to this Writer’s Retreat?

 

Go nuts, you crazy kids! Are you planning on doing NaNoWriMo this year? Do you think I’m a wimp for not doing it? If you’re not, do you have any other writing goals you’re working towards? I’d love to hear!

Continue Reading

Monday Thoughts & Links

Lettering Practice

I’m totally late on my Weekend Thoughts & Links post, but the words just weren’t coming the past couple of days, so I did other things. I painted (as you can see in the photo above – sorry for the wonky lighting!), read some Calvin & Hobbes, visited Teddy’s parents and pet an adorable puppy (that I contemplated taking home with me), got a pretty new lipstick, and ate some to-die-for filled doughnut holes from our favorite doughnut shop. Seriously, if you’re ever in the Galleria area of Houston make sure you go here – but make sure to get there early, or all the doughnut holes (and pretty much everything else) will be gone, as we found out when we brought some out-of-town friends there after church. Sorry Jennette and Nathan!

I really appreciated all those little things because I’ve been dealing with a case of the sads for the past few days, mostly because I’ve been feeling really homesick. Today I wanted to pack up and go back home, but that’s not really practical with jobs and leases. Also the thought of being stuck in a car for 20+ hours with my cat who HATES car rides isn’t particularly appealing. I also know that moving back to my hometown or my college town wouldn’t the same, because I’ve changed and people I’ve known have moved away. It’s been hard to deal with lately, because I still don’t feel at home here either. I’m hoping that will come eventually.

While this has been kind of a dreary Monday, I have seen some things around the internet that I’ve been inspired/ excited by (although this print pretty much perfectly sums up how I felt about this Monday).

I’m pretty sure I’m the only blogger who hasn’t talked about Halloween — not because I don’t like Halloween, but because Teddy and I will be stuck late at work that night and didn’t really have any set plans, so it was honestly hard to get in the Halloween spirit. But I’m going to pick out a pumpkin tonight, and Teddy and I are going to make a Halloweeny drink the night of – maybe with these Monster Cocktail Stirrers?

I’m officially in love with this dishtowel… I want to frame it.

Since it’s fall, it seems like the perfect time to learn how to braise.

I really want to be intentional with my shopping / clothing pieces, but I appreciate that Kelly doesn’t follow the minimalist thing with clothes. I love the thought of having a uniform, but I also like the idea of being prepared for different occasions/ weather conditions. Maybe it’s possible to have a happy medium?

I loved these photos of ballet dancers.

I like this 30th birthday party, and I think it’s nice that 30th birthday parties are kind of a thing. My roommates and I were convinced that our 21st birthday was the last birthday that would be really exciting, so I’m glad that your birthday-party-days don’t have to be over after you turn 21.

I love these Disguises Placemats, but it seems a little pricey for a paper placemat. I’m also really liking these striped placemats from West Elm, and the matching napkins. I think mixing and matching the dark blue and yellow colors together would be really pretty.

Both the hometown and dapper animals pillows are pretty awesome. They also have dapper animals plates!

This Monochromatic Monday from Camille Styles is beautiful, and totally matches the moodiness I want for the fiction story I mentioned earlier.

I hope you had a good Monday, and a great week! If your Monday wasn’t so great, I hope your week gets better! I’ll be hanging in there with you!

Continue Reading

Apple Pie Two Ways

Have you ever noticed that whenever a chef decides to show off by making something two ways,  one- or both- is completely dismal? Or am I the only armchair coach for Cutthroat Kitchen?

Apple Pie Two Ways

 

The thing is though, I only think that’s a bad idea if you serve them together. I’m all for experimenting and finding new favorite flavor combinations, even if I don’t do it as often as I should. (If you listen veeeery carefully, you can hear Teddy crying tears of joy that I finally made a roast chicken that wasn’t lemon-thyme chicken. What, it’s my favorite, ok?) So, here’s my apple pie two ways, one savory, one sweet. I think they’re both delicious, but I wouldn’t serve them at the same time. I’m not a show-off.

 Unbaked & final

Apple-Thyme Galette

This recipe was inspired by my roommate Annie’s Mom’s apple dumplings with sausage (one of her family’s favorite traditions). The sausage and dumplings were so unexpectedly perfect together that I started wanting to try it myself. I didn’t want to steal Annie’s idea (plus who wants to compete with a Mom’s recipe? Nobody!) So I cooked down some apples with butter and thyme and made a galette out of it. The best thing about galettes is that they’re pie for lazy people- it looks like they took a lot of effort, but you just roll out dough, plop some filling on top, fold up the edges, and call it a day. I think it’s a great option for the pie-phobic.

 

Continue Reading

Weekend Thoughts & Links

Searching for Anne of Green Gables

This week was really long, but one of my college friends / bridesmaids was in town this weekend, so it’s been really great getting to see her. I’m going to keep this short and sweet this week, so here’s some things I’ve seen on the internets this week and thought were cool.

 

Pros & Cons of Blanket Coats:

Cons- maybe a little too close to the horrific ponchos I wore in middle school?

  • most of the coats I’m seeing online are a little out of my budget. I live in Texas and already have a perfectly decent coat, so do I really want to splurge on a trendy one?

Pros – a socially acceptable way to wear a blanket in public

  • not too hot for Houston and can be layered
  • socially acceptable blanket-wearing in public!

Verdict – A blanket sweater. Same comfy blanket-wearing possibilities, but with less risk of deciding it looks too much like a poncho and regretting it later (or at least less risk of feeling like I spent too much money on it).

 

Searching for Anne of Green Gables… I love this article, and I really want to do something like that now…

 

I love that LA has a “reading to kids” program… Houston has some similar programs (although I don’t know if they’re volunteer-based). Two of my favorites are the Page to Stage book club and the Summer Storytime Tours at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

 

This sounds like such cool job… although I’m honestly like the kids who come home saying “I know what I want to be when I grow up!” (Just ask Teddy.) Recently I’ve wanted to be a bookstore owner, a restaurant and/or coffee shop owner, and now a community studio owner. Basically I want to do all the things, at the same time. Yikes!

 

If you liked the Inspiration board post last week, here are some other ideas / articles you might like: SMP Living From Pinterest to Picnic, Our Labor of Love’s Photo Board Generator

 

Anatomy of a Perfect Breakfast-in-Bed, and one of my favorite gift ideas- adding notes in a cookbook about your favorite recipes/ pictures.

 

Fall weather is slowly but surely coming to Texas, and scarves will be a great way to combat the slightly chilly temperatures. I want to add this scarf to my collection to celebrate.

 

I’m starting to collect prints and photos (like this one!) for a gallery wall above our couch, and I’m hoping to trek out to Teddy’s parents’ sometime soon so we can make this hanging rope shelf. It’s really simple, pretty, and won’t make tons of holes in our apartment wall!

 

I have some exciting plans for this wrapping paper.

 

This guy sounds like a gem. He’d probably be the one drinking in the corner and judging everyone for “having fun” and “not being cool enough” at your Halloween party.

 

I’m starting to think of Christmas ideas for family and friends, and I loved the idea of getting little beauty products for stocking stuffers and smaller gifts. I’m thinking about getting these soaps from a shop I found in Charleston over the summer.

I hope you have a good, relaxing Sunday night, and a great week!

Continue Reading

Dear Reader: Harry Potter Re-Read

Harry Potter

As I mentioned earlier this month, I started a re-read of the Harry Potter series this summer, and I fell in love all over again. One of my favorite things about the series is that while it’s an easy, comfortable read, there’s plenty to make you uncomfortable. Despite his (generally) good intentions, Harry is not the most reliable narrator, and so all of the descriptions of characters and events are colored by his perspective. This is something I think many critics forget; Harry’s beliefs don’t necessarily reflect Rowling’s, and so when it comes to the ethics of the series there’s an intriguing question about where Harry’s ideas end and Rowling’s begin.

 

For instance, there have been lots of comments that the good characters are always thin and conventionally attractive while the villains are always ugly and/or fat. Harry tends to describe his enemies in negative terms, while overlooking his friends’ flaws. Harry’s assumptions are at the forefront of the novels, and while many of his biases are revealed and directly commented on, many are not. I think it adds to the realism of the magical world– it has its own prejudices, political problems, and injustices, just like ours does. And I kind of love that.

Divine Magic1

One of the best examples of this is Dumbledore- Harry is reminded often throughout the series that he should trust Dumbledore implicitly, and since Harry is “Dumbledore’s man” throughout the first six novels, the reader isn’t given much reason to doubt Dumbledore’s apparently benevolent means of fighting Voldemort. However, Rita Skeeter’s expose opens up a massive can of worms about Dumbledore’s intentions and methods, which makes Harry (and the reader) downright uncomfortable. Harry eventually accepts those questionable decisions and remains “Dumbledore’s man,” but should the reader follow his example?

 

I took a class on Harry Potter my junior year of college (one of the many reasons I loved being an English major), and when we discussed Dumbledore’s questionable motivations and actions the conversation was heated. Most of the class was horrified by the suggestion that Dumbledore was anything but a kindly father figure– despite the fact that he let Harry fight Voldemort as a child, espoused Grindelwald’s blood purity ideals (albeit briefly), and manipulated all the other characters. Since I didn’t have the same emotional connection to the series (after all, I’d only read them 2 or 3 years before) I thought it was a really interesting discussion and wasn’t emotionally traumatized. (I told you the discussion was heated).

 

Dumbledore's Dark Secret

 

I’ve tried to remember that while I read the books, and think about the uncomfortable things a little more seriously. I talked about food and the role it plays in the series in my last post, but I think there are some really interesting questions about the political power structure– i.e. the relationship between the Ministry, the Daily Prophet, and Hogwarts, and the Order of the Phoenix, the Muggle/Mudblood/ House-elf/ Non-wizard/ racism commentary, as well as Dumbledore himself.

 

I also love the commentary and additions made by fans of the series. I think some of the best commentary on the books is made by Tumblr users, believe it or not- I love seeing the alternate universes, headcanons, and interpretations. I particularly like Brigid Vaughn’s art and commentary on the series; she’s one of many questioning the assumed races of the main characters, and adding diversity in a way that still matches the books’ character descriptions and personalities. (You can see some of her Harry Potter-themed art and other Tumblr posts here, and all of her art here.) I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to depict the characters, and I think the different interpretations only make the books richer.

 

What do you think of the series? Do you like the commentary and debate, or would you rather just enjoy the books at a simpler surface level? Personally I have a feeling that I’ll be thinking about the story with the little boy living under the stairs any time soon.

Continue Reading

Weekend Thoughts and Links

Cloudy Sunset View

The view from our trip to Central Market last night. The clouds were so cool! And they’ve already started decorating for Christmas in uptown Houston, and I’m already getting excited for Christmas. Don’t worry though, I won’t start playing Christmas until at least after Thanksgiving. Playing it before then drives me crazy.

I’m a little scatterbrained today (I think I’ve had a little too much caffeine for the day), so I’ll just leave you with some things that caught my eye this week:

I love Kelly’s DIY Strawberry Costume, and her costume prizes would be awesome for any Halloween party.

For anyone else who has problems finding a button-down shirt that won’t leave those awkward gaps at the chest, there’s now a handy guide. Finally!

I thought this behind-the-scenes look at wine making was really cool.

These kitchen organization ideas are killer. Definitely going to implement some of these next weekend.

I loved the home tour for this “mid-century whimsical” house, and even though I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of mid-century style, I can definitely get behind the whimsical part. Who doesn’t love unicorns wearing headphones?

Planning on making these chicken pot pies for dinner sometime this week.

This article about the job market for creative writing students (and humanities majors) is 100% accurate. Sorry, Tracy.

This interview about Brave is over two years old by now, but I still think the comment that the stakes wouldn’t be high enough if Merida wasn’t a princess is total bullcrap. And I really want to prove that wrong with Elsbeth .

Loved this interview with Katherine Sabbath, and I can’t wait for more from Coco Cake Land.

I hope you have a great week full of great snacks, movie nights, and some fun plans!

Continue Reading

Sketchy: Character Development

Meg Chittenden quote

Along with the writing I do for this blog, I’ve also been working on two story ideas that will (hopefully) turn into novels. I’m trying to move past the planning stages to the writing portion, which has always been the biggest struggle for me in the past. Even when I was little I would come up with elaborate backstories for my Barbies but then when it was time to actually play with them I got bored quickly. So I’m trying to break my old, bad habits. At the moment I’m getting to know my characters better, which is both more fun and more difficult than I expected. I have writer friends whose characters talk at them, forcing them to scramble to transcribe as much as possible so they don’t forget. Unfortunately, my characters aren’t so helpful. Usually they flit around the edges of my thoughts while I throw ideas at them and see what sticks, like an imaginary game of 20 questions. Or those magnetic dartboard games where the darts fall right off the board unless you throw perfectly (which I never do).

 

One thing that’s been helpful for me so far is secret Pinterest boards for characters, setting, mood, and plot ideas, but after a while they tend to get cluttered. I recently stumbled on Emily Henderson’s Material Girls series, where she makes design mood boards for imaginary clients. (This one is my favorite.) I loved that idea, and since I’m kind of obsessed with moodboards/ inspiration boards anyway I thought making a more permanent (but still digital — at least until I get a printer) inspiration board for some of my characters would be a great reference point. Here’s my moodboard for Elsbeth, the 12 year-old protagonist of my fantasy story:

Elsbeth Inspiration board

 {sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5}

 

Elsbeth lives with her grandfather in a small village (in either Germany or France — I’m having a hard time deciding), and she’s just old enough to start wondering if the fairy tales her grandfather tells her are true. She works for the local brewer 4 days a week, mostly helping brew the beer and mead and taking care of the bees and goats. Adanne promised to give one of the baby goats to her next spring, and Elsbeth is beyond excited. She’s resourceful and spunky (try to think of a better word… fiery?), and is familiar with the forest that borders the village thanks to frequent trips with her grandfather. (These visits will be really important later in the story.) She’s fiercely loyal, with a hot temper and a vindictive streak. She’s not one to be left out of anything.

 

Favorites: taking care of the goats, gingerbread cookies, her Grandfather’s clocks (and dollhouse? Other toys?), her Grandfather’s stories, her friends (need to think more about them)

Dislikes: Thunderstorms (is that when her parents died?), bullies, being kept out of things, people thinking she’s stupid

 

I wasn’t expecting it to be so tricky writing such a short summary! I’m so used to hearing “show, don’t tell” that it’s actually kind of hard to just describe my character briefly. And while this is obviously veeery rough, it’s actually showed me a lot of the areas I need to think about more. For instance, I need to find more dislikes and flaws for Elsbeth besides the stereotypical “I don’t like sewing, or washing my hair, or clothes or other girly things like that. I’m not like other girls.” This worked out really well, and I think I’ll do it for some of my other characters, since it helps me figure out where to go next.

 

 I also love Chuck Wendig’s list of 25 Things You Should Know About Character (word to the wise, Wendig doesn’t shy away from profanity or the ick-factor, so if profanity-laced writing advice isn’t your thing, I might skip it). I also really liked this article about 3 goals for every character, and Yeah Write! has a great archive of posts about characterization if you’re looking for more resources.

What’s your process for character/ idea development for writing? Do you think mood boards are helpful, or do you think they’re only for designers and visual artists?

Continue Reading

Weekend Thoughts & Links

This is weekend is the first weekend it’s felt sort of like fall in Houston, and I’m enjoying it as long as it lasts.

Baking Day2

I baked all the fall things today: Apple Pie Biscuits, Pumpkin Pound Cake, and Boiled Cider (which I’m planning on putting on everything). Funny story about pound cake– it’s a big deal in my family . We have a top secret family recipe and I had to explain why I was yelling in the kitchen to a very confused Teddy — apparently it’s not normal to open the oven and yell at the cake so that you’ll get a sad streak (which is considered the best part of the pound cake in my family). Please tell me we’re not the only family that has a weird cooking tradition.

If yelling at pound cakes isn’t your thing, you should make these Apple Pie Biscuits! They’re really yummy, and since they happen to be part of Joy the Baker’s Baking Bootcamp, if you make them by October 11 and post a photo on Instagram you could win a year’s worth of flour and some other cool stuff from King Arthur Flour. You can find all the details and the recipe here. (For the record, I’m not affiliated with this contest and I don’t get anything for posting about it. I just think it’s super fun and wanted to let you know while you still have time to enter. Good luck!)

 

Other things I thought were cool on the Interwebs this week:

I saw my name pop a couple times this week, which always takes me by surprise because I don’t see it very often. Garance Doré wrote about Tabitha Simmons’ new line of shoes, and they are awesome and I want 200 pairs. And it took me longer than I’d care to admit to figure out who the Tabitha from this post was. Oops.

 

This is the cutest desktop background ever. I’m a sucker for schnauzers (or scottie dogs that I pretend are schnauzers).

 

I had no idea that October is National Arts and Humanities month, but I really liked the Vogue photoshoot for it. (Is it just me or is it hard to keep up with all the National ____ Days/ Months lately? I only knew about National Coffee Day and National Taco Day because everybody else was talking about it. Oops.)

 

This party happened earlier this year, but I was thinking about it again this week. Doesn’t it look fun? I really want to throw/ attend one of these this winter.

 

Speaking of parties, this one seemed really cool, and I can’t wait for her to post more about the hanging wall paper idea, because I’m definitely stealing that. Also I’m glad I’m not the only one who has to invite people over to be motivated to clean/ decorate/ do laundry.

 

These shirts are supposed to tell the story of NYC, but personally I don’t think I could wear a shirt that says “Pervasive” or “Galvanic” or “Inexhaustible.” But I could totally get behind “Elusive,” or “Spectral” for Halloween (especially if you’re not into dressing up but don’t want people to get on your case about it). I also think “Abrasive” would be great for days grumpy/ sleepy days when you don’t want to talk to anyone.

What have you been excited about this week? I hope you have a great weekend!

Continue Reading

Treacle Tart (and House Elves)

Treacle Tart5

Treacle tart and I are still becoming friends. The dough and I got in a fight during my second attempt (Apparently I was having an off day in the kitchen and it decided to take advantage of that. Jerk). While treacle tart seems kind of unusual to me, it’s sweet and soft and comforting and very British, so it makes sense that it’s Harry Potter’s favorite dessert.

Treacle Tart (Attempt #1)

I loved Emma Gardner’s post about treacle tart’s role in the Harry Potter series. She notes its appearance at 4 out of the 5 sorting feasts Harry attends; it definitely highlights the stark contrast between his dreary life in the Dursleys’ cupboard and his wonderful new life at Hogwarts. The Dursleys even chose his meager treats at the zoo — they bought him the cheapest lemon ice pop (and only so they weren’t embarrassed in front of the lady selling ice cream) and they let him finish the knickerbocker glory that was “too small” for Dudley.

 

After years of neglect and near-starvation, Harry is thrilled to buy treats on the Hogwarts Express and share them with his new friends, but the Sorting Feast is even more exciting. Food magically appears on the table, and he can eat to his heart’s content for the first time in his life.

The Dursleys had never exactly starved Harry, but he’d never been allowed to eat as much as he liked. Dudley had always taken anything that Harry really wanted, even if it made him sick. Harry piled his plate with a bit of everything except the peppermints and began to eat. It was all delicious…. When everyone had eaten as much as they could, the remains of the food faded from the plates, leaving them sparkling clean as before.  A moment later the desserts appeared…. As Harry helped himself to a treacle tart, the talk turned to their families (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, page 123).

Hagrid and Mrs. Weasley both made sure to provide food for him whenever he visited (although Harry much preferred Mrs. Weasley’s cooking to Hagrid’s rock cakes), but the treacle tart at Hogwarts becomes his favorite. It symbolizes being loved and cared for, which is a completely unknown feeling at the Dursleys’.

 

However, Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn in The Goblet of Fire that house elves make all the food at Hogwarts. While Harry and Ron don’t grasp the consequences of this, Hermione is horrified. The plentiful, nourishing food at Hogwarts is connected to the problematic treatment of house elves at the hands of wizards.

“Slave labor,” said Hermione, breathing hard through her nose. “That’s what made this dinner. Slave labor.” And she refused to eat another bite…. “Treacle tart, Hermione!” said Ron, deliberately wafting its smell towards her. “Spotted dick, look! Chocolate gateau!” But Hermione gave him a look so reminiscent of Professor McGonagall that he gave up (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, page 182-3).

In The Deathly Hallows, the connection between treacle tart and house elves is even stronger — the reformed Kreacher makes treacle tart especially because he knows Harry likes it so much. Treacle tart means home and love to Harry (which explains why he smells it in the Amortentia), but it also brings up uncomfortable questions about the house elves at Hogwarts, and the shaky relationships between wizards and other magical creatures. I love how complex such a seemingly small detail becomes in the context of the whole series. I can’t say that J.K. Rowling explicitly made the connection between house elves’ rights and treacle tart, but I think it adds even more depth to the series.

 

Treacle Tart4

 

If you like Harry Potter, or even just like English food, try this recipe. I’d love to know what you think. For Americans who have no idea what treacle is, here’s an explanation:

 

Embarrassingly, I thought treacle was a type of gasoline for years because the first time I heard of it was in Alice in Wonderland, and I’d only heard of water or gasoline wells. (In my defense, I was in elementary school.) Eventually I discovered that treacle is actually just a syrupy by-product of the sugar production process. Apparently there’s a long tradition of tricking people with stories about treacle mines or wells, so at least I’m in good company. It’s fairly unknown in the US, but it’s really similar to the corn syrup used for Pecan Pie in the South or the honey in a Honey Pie from up North (although I’ve never had a honey pie, so that’s just an educated guess). I would NOT suggest substituting corn syrup or honey for the golden syrup, though. I’ve been able to find golden syrup at Fresh Market and even some Krogers, but if you can’t find it near you you can order it on Amazon.

 

Baking Notes:

We used Emma’s new and improved recipe and it was delicious! I “pulled a Monica” (Friends, anyone?) the first time I made this and completely forgot to add the lemon juice to the filling. But the lemon juice totally makes this tart, so don’t make the same mistakes I did.

 

I used Challah bread for my breadcrumbs, and then store bought, but both times my crumbs were smaller than the ones Emma uses in her post. So if you want larger breadcrumbs maybe grind them a little less finely in your food processor.

 

The dough is one of the fussier pie crusts I’ve made, so I’m still deciding if I’m going to use this one next time or try another pastry recipe.

 

Definitely make sure to watch Emma’s videos about rubbing the butter into the flour, and how she mixes the wet and dry ingredients together. I’d never even heard of rubbing in butter into a pastry dough, but I think I’ll have to try it more often – it definitely mixes more evenly than with a pastry blender.

Continue Reading