Of Black Butter

BEWITCHED got a truly lovely review from Heather Hiestand from Romance Reader at Heart:

It’s so refreshing to read historical romance that’s actually, well…. feels historical. Schwab’s gift for detail and description really makes this story come alive. I still remember the black butter for instance. I’d never heard of it before but the way she introduced it, then explained it, then had another character comment on it showed wonderful writer skills. Her powers of description defied my usual skimming technique.

Actually, this is a paranormal story with a great conflict, not just a circa 1820 historical romance. What do you do when you realize you were only in love with a man because you were under a spell? And you know that, but you still half feel all those great love feelings, and half realize it’s a spell? Even worse, the man is totally under the spell, doesn’t believe in magic, and you’ve already given your… oh wait, don’t want to throw a spoiler in here!

BEWITCHED is thoroughly delightful, and if you are a historical romance fan you should definitely pick this up, whether or not you like paranormal. Lovers of witch books will find this fabulous as well. It’s great!

*happy sigh*

In case you’re wondering about the black butter: I found the recipe in THE JANE AUSTEN COOKBOOK by Maggie Black and Deirdre Le Faye:

From the sixteenth century, apples, pears and soft fruits improved so much in quality that cooked fruit mixtures became very popular for pies and tarts and as spreads. Dark-coloured mulberries, currants and blackberries in particular supplemented well the less tasty but pectin-rich apples for making the stiff mixtures which came to be called jams and, because the were the same consistency as the dairy foods, butters and cheeses. Although adults enjoyed them and served them to their guests, they were also considered wholesome (and cheap) treats for children.

In one of Jane [Austen]’s letters we find references to ‘black butter’ (perhaps blackberry and apple) being eaten by her family as a treat.

This reminded me of the apple butter I had enjoyed so much on my first trip to the US, which is why I let Amy eat black butter in the novel. Besides, the name “black butter” is wonderfully quaint, isn’t it? 🙂

2 thoughts on “Of Black Butter

  1. Seeley deBorn

    What a great review! Celebrate with black butter!!

    I miss blackberries from the island. They grow wild there. The ones at the fruit market here just don’t taste the same as the ones warm from the sun on the side of the road.

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