~M Y S T O R Y~
I live with my husband in the countryside, not too far from London. At one time we had a smallholding with pigs, chickens, a couple of sheep and some ducks, plus pigmy goats. It was so nice retrieving the fresh eggs each morning from the straw in the nesting boxes, and watching the pigs ploughing their way contentedly through the orchard. We were pretty much self-sufficient for awhile. Nowadays we enjoy the meadow with its’ wild flowers, and grow a variety of organic vegetables.
All through the years of raising a family of 4 sons, I would find time to enjoy my hobby of drawing, painting and writing. In the early nineties, along with a good friend, another Jane, we set up Janes’ Country Kitchen in our local town, which ran for about 20 years. We had a buzzing delicatessen, a small restaurant where we served fresh homecooked food, and a thriving catering company. A lot of the recipes we put together and tried out on our customers, which I’m glad to say, they thoroughly enjoyed.
I taught myself to scan my drawings and paintings onto the computer, where I worked on them to produce a collection of greetings cards.
My idea for the Pottlewick Village Recipe book came about one sunny day when I was sitting on a bench next to a village pond, working on a pen and wash painting of the pretty houses that surrounded it. There was a pub, with people sitting outside drinking and chatting in the warm sunshine, and the tiles on the church spire glinted merrily above the roofs of some pretty shops. While I was drawing, I began to think about the village and the people who lived there.
Mrs Clementine Leach, the heroine of my book, actually started off in my head as a poem which I wrote and illustrated some years ago. It was called, ‘Mrs Clementine Leach, an Overblown Beach Beauty’. The idea to set a recipe book along with a story just grew in my mind, and I started drawing the characters to go with them.
I hope you enjoy some of the recipes, and the characters who created them.