Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Jam Sponge Kinda Day ....!

Hello there ... 
hope you have had a good day .... rain and thunder here .... there's a surprise!

 I spotted these lovelies this week .... £1 a bag .... a bargain....what a treat. 
But what a thought .... Spring so near .... just around the corner ... just where has the year gone?

I had that kind of day today .... a pondering sort of day.

Hubby P was away working his little socks off ... doing a house clearance .... always a bit of a sad job when it is helping a family dispose of the belongings of their mother or father. It can be emotionally draining and of course physically tiring .... anyway suffice to say he was away doing his job...

Too wet to play outside so I decided to bake.

I gathered my baking equipment together ... now you can see I don't go in for anything fancy .... I must say I do have a bit of an aversion to anything loud and noisy .... don't much go in for anything choppy..whirry...spinny...etc.

This is how I was taught to bake ... and I can do it in my sleep ... its as second nature as ... well i don't know ...whatever else I learned as a child!
I grew up in a home with out electricity so an electric cake mixer would have been useless anyway ... a mixing bowl and a spoon ... its all that's needed. 

 I fancied a bit of jam sponge and custard.... I have this jam from Approved Foods ... I think its sold to hotels etc .... no fancy packaging .... designed to be presented at the breakfast table in a pretty china dish. 
Anyway its just fine ... not quite as good as homemade of course but for the price ... just great.

 I just put it into jars ... its jam.

Made a very nice jam sponge.
I lined a loaf tin with greaseproof ....  put some jam in the bottom and then sponge mixture on top ... popped it in the oven ... baked ...

 Turned it out and pulled off the paper ... nice sticky and jammy!

I made some more Banana bread with the very last of the bargain bananas .... they had just about had it ... but fine in the cake.

Just enjoying my jam sponge and custard and having a listen to the  Carpenters... who remembers ..?

Another sad story .... another lovely young woman beset with her own personal demons .... 
 Enough for now ..... take care xx

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Thoughtful Bounty .... And making The Most Of It.

Summer .... however rubbish ... is rattling on ... and the Autumn almost upon us.... I know ... I know ...not had any summer yet all that!

But I feel its more important than ever to harvest whatever we can ... save and store for the coming months ... 'things' are not getting any easier ..... and food is as expensive as ever.

So what a thoughtful boon.... a kindly gift ... a
 'Waste Not Want Not' 
kind of 
'Pass it On'.

I called ... as usual at 'Collin the Veg' for my weekly order of veggie goodies ...and it must be said his prices are very reasonable.
 As it was the end of the trading day (at the carboot/market) he said could I do 'anything' with some bananas and cooking apples ... they were okay ... just getting a bit over ripe ... and of course he could not sell them the following day ... so they would be thrown in the rubbish ....wasted.

 I said of course .... Yes Please.

Well .... he said.... I know you do all that proper cooking ... jam and cakes and stuff ... and will do something with them.

 And what bounty it was ..... a big box full of apples and bananas!

I set to as soon as we got home ... it was a very ripe boxful ... the whole van smelled like a banana.
I simply chopped all the apple and filled my trusty 'Big Pan' .... simmering them and putting them through a cloth to make some Apple Jelly.


I used 8 of the ripest bananas to make a batch of Banana Bread ...
It turned out really well ... I've not made it before ...I just got a recipe off the Internet .... modified it a bit to what ingredients I had in the cupboard. 

 Jelly turned out fine ... just a simple Apple Jelly ....I eat loads of it ... just love it with pork, or chicken ...or cheese ... or stirred into a sauce or stirfry .... Yum.

 It seems banana bread is a hit .... I made it yesterday and this is all that is left of a large loaf tin sized cake ...Hubby P has discovered it tastes just lovely slavered in butter .... 'keeps his strength up' ... or so he tells me.

Don't know why I bothered wrapping it in tinfoil ... telling myself 'well ... it says it will keep a good week ... and it is better ... is more moist ... after a day or two' ... fat chance in this household!

In the midst of the baking etc Hubby P walked in with a big bag of runner beans from a neighbour ... well they too needed to be sorted ... chopped, blanched and popped in the freezer for another day, a little work but so welcome to brighten our meals in the coming weeks.
 We had some for dinner with our pork steaks ... and a little apple jelly of course.

Still lots of bananas left here .... I've had bananas with my bran flakes, bananas and custard .... Richard has eaten a few .... Hubby P .... well .... I can only get fruit into him in the guise of cake/pudding etc ... so the banana bread is a good bet .... any good banana ideas? ..... anyone tried banana curry?

How is your harvesting going ...any ideas for interesting preserves? .... I'm getting a bit bored with the same old jams etc.

Bye for now x

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Just How Many Courgettes Can A Girl Eat ?.........

Well what a glut .... I know we are very lucky to have plenty of food ...but just how many courgettes can a girl eat?

It seems everyday there are more and more of them .... they seem to be breeding in the fridge veggie box.

It was doing that 'rainy' thing again this morning so I resolved to deal with the fridge-y stuff.
I picked all the courgettes I could see ... even quite small ones .. I just know there will be heaps more in a day or two, and grabbed what was in the fridge.


Sliced um all up and put them on trays to open freeze ....then I can bag um up in large-ish bags/or tubs maybe much easier when they are not all stuck together ...I can just get a few out for a stir fry or whatever.

Been getting rather a lot of cucumbers too .... so I made some of the cucumber and onion pickle .... we eat it by the ton yummy.

Its just a case of slicing up some onion and cucumber and pouring over some malt vinegar... I add a bit of sugar. 
I keep a jar of it in the fridge and as we eat it I add more bits and pieces of cucumber and onion .... until the vinegar looks a bit cloudy ....then I start afresh.

Mushrooms looked a bit dodgy ... this humid weather everything goes off so quick, so I peeled them ...they looked a bit better.... chopped um up... rooted in the fridge for other 'need to be used up' stuff... and made a quiche-y thing for tea.

I filled the oven whilst it was on .... Hubby P appreciates the odd bit of home baking.

He always looks forward to his bit of 'Flypaper'.... anyone else know of 'flypaper'? 

Its how I use up the last little bit of pastry ....roll it out into a little square...spread a bit of butter on...a few sultanas....sprinkle of sugar....fold over... and lightly 'squash the flies'.

It was my Dad who called it Flypaper ....I've grown up with it ...Dad use to smear butter all over it too...but that's a bit too rich for me.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Rain!.....Oh come on ....really.. its Summer for goodness sake!

Hello is it with you ....don't tell me .... you have a drop of rain!

I'm tired of it ... just can't get any outside jobs done....

 The dogs are tired of it ... poor old girl.... Fly feels the damp in her old bones and really didn't want to leave her bed until I lit the fire and she could doze in front of it.

 Percy the Pigeon is tired of the rain .... he's taken to roosting in the woodshed at night and wandering the garden during the day.

He didn't want to leave his roost this morning in the downpour that was the daylong weather ... so Hubby P gave him breakfast in bed .... you can see the remains of the grain on the logs if you look carefully.
I think I have gone wrong somewhere ..... Can't say I remember when I last had breakfast in bed! 

 Even our comings and goings through the gate and Uncas ... 'Gate Guarding' as he does ...even in the rain/snow or whatever.. given the chance....couldn't shift Percy.
For those of you who have followed the saga of Percy ...he is a lot better and quite a happy chappy moochin about the garden, his wing seems to be stronger and he has an attempt at flying now and then but its not great. 
I don't know that we can do any more for him ... hopefully he is a little safer whilst he stays in the garden.

Even Hubby P is tired of the constant rain....he sits in the doorway ....his favourite spot....watching the rain ....

 He had company today or two little birds sheltering under the apple tree .... and can you see him .... sat watching Hubby P Hubby P sat watching him....

 Directly across in the tatty old tool shed.....

A little bird ... sheltering from the rain....

Well that's been my day .... to be honest not a lot done .....rain stops play as they say .... 

Any excitement in your lives ... what do you do these rainy days?