Avon Van Hassel

Building Worlds and Filling Them With Magic

So, if you’ve read my free holiday story, Wintersufel, you’ll know all about Princess Rona and the rite-of-passage of a sumptuous dish symbolically served during the Midwinter feast. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s adorable. And there’s a lot of food in it. So here, for the last blog post of this hellish …

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Ahh, a nice cup of tea. What could be more soothing than gentle perfumed steam rising from a tasteful china cup to warm you on a rainy day or accompany a good book? It’s almost hard to imagine the turmoil that went into making it. You can’t make a cup of tea without something reaching …

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Ahh, the holidays. These days, at least in my household, it’s all Christmas carols, holiday movies, baking stollen and cookies, and frantically wrapping presents so they’ll look nice under the tree. That’s not too unusual. But I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the origins of Christmas and winter traditions, and how it’s all changed …

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There’s a recipe that’s been bugging me for years, a dish teased by Washington Irving a century and a half ago. I’ve been asking my mother for years to make it, and this year we figured it out together. And I present it to you now as an option for that Thanksgiving turkey.

What is a tavern or inn? In Britain, a tavern and an inn are pretty much the same thing. Taverns are places where people, gather, drink, exchange news, and can hire a room for the night. Inns are establishments which are licensed to house lodgers. So pretty similar. Nowadays, they’ve been all but replaced by …

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