Thursday, 4 December 2014

Mmmm... Manchester Tart ...

Hello there ... 
Just a quick catch up .. it seems to have been a busy week ...

Earlier in the week we had some sunshiny days ...
 a good chance to sweep up the leaves .. 
 I'm hoping there won't be many more .. 
the trees look pretty bare ... 
cold and stark looking against the cold blue sky ...
I think Winter is here ..

 Hubby P here wielding a garden fork ....
 I asked him to give the chickens scratching pen/run a good forking over. 
The run is only small and it soon gets wet and muddy  ..
 I thought the wind and bit of sun we had might dry it up a bit.

The Girls enjoyed it ... lots of tasty worms and whatnot ..
 indeed .. 
a feast!

In a day or two I will keep them shut in their hen house ..
 they have a lot of scratching room inside ..
 just to give the run a 'rest' for a while. 
They are only getting cold and wet if/when they go outside ...
 the older ones are sensible and stay indoors .. 
it was always thus!

 Work continues on my dresser ... 
inbetween the 'earning a living' work ... 
or rather ..
 at this time of year 'trying to earn a living'.

This side piece of the dresser has to be scribed /fitted to the wall ... the wall it is built to /against was the outer wall of the cottage which means it is very 'humpy and bumpy' ....
 a 'technical term' you understand.

The cottage is built from boulders and rough stone so the walls are very uneven ... 
but we like it that way.

 This is one of the huge shelves .. 
you can see what a big 'curvy bit' ...
 there we go with the techie terms again ....
that Hubby P has had to cut out of the plank ...
 so that it fits snug up against the wall.
Its all very time consuming ... 
but Hubby P seems to like the creativity of it all ... 

Watch this space for more updates ... doors next I think ...

 Much to'ing and fro'ing with bits of wood means the door is open ... house cold 
 so I may as well play outside too ...
 everything is looking a bit sad and weary.

 This is/was a rather nice bedding Geranium .. past its best now.

Being of the thrifty mind ..
 I wondered if I could keep it going for next year.

I remembered when I was a young woman .. 
fresh out of college.. 
I worked in a Lab..(testing animal feedstuffs)...
 near Grange Over Sands.
 Away from home of course.. so I lodged with a lovely family who ran a guest house. 
The place was packed with returning guests every summer .. 
 a nice warm lively place to live .. 
the rooms had big bay windows that looked out across Morecombe Bay.

Anyway .. back to the Geraniums .. 
the front of the gust house was adorned with pots of lovely bright Geraniums ... 
and every year the Landlady's Mother would take cuttings and root them and pot them up ....
 We spent all winter with the bathroom windowsils crammed with pots of 'next years Geraniums' ... 
the original plants went on for years and years .. and years ..

So in a last ditch attempt to salvage something of the plant ... 
I know its a bit late ..
but I took some cuttings and sat them in a pot of water on the kitchen windowsill ...
 hopefully they will take root .. 
and will delight us again next summer.

 And today's creativity ... a bit of baking  .. 
a request from the 'wood lads' for Manchester Tart ..

Who remembers that from School Dinners ?
and ..
What other delights can you remember .... 
I just loved school custard ...
 but the mashed potato was awful!

Anyway enough of me ...

Take care .. bye for now x


  1. Hi Victoria

    when I saw the title of your blog I thought there was going to be a recipe for Manchester Tart. When we lived in Holyhead I used to buy the small individual ones from the County Bakery just opposite the market. I don't know if it's still there - we moved nearly 19 years ago.

    If you have a recipe I would love to have it.

    I enjoy reading your blog and remembering places that you mention.

    Pat at the other side of the country.

  2. I never heard of, Manchester tart, but that looks like custard? My Mum used to make a pastry case, with jam at the bottom and custard on top. I loved school dinners, it was all cooked fresh in our school kitchen while we were in assembly and the smells would torment us!

  3. I have salvaged my geraniums from my hanging baskets this yaer , they are doing very well on my spare room window sill x

  4. Living in an old cottage I perfectly understand your technical terms. We have lots of humpy, bumpy. knibbly, knobbly walls.
    I have put our geraniums in the greenhouse to take their chances. Usually works, apart from a couple of years ago when it was an exceptionally harsh winter. Might try to put some stems in jars like you to double my chances.
    I LOVE Manchester tart, any chance of your recipe?

  5. My Grandad was a gardener and he did that with his geraniums too, in fact my Mum does it now. My fave pudding Manchester tart, I like to slice bananas into mine when I make it, yummy
    Twiggy xx

  6. loved your post!
    looking forward to more of your sharing.
    I have never been able to get geraniums to root like that.
    they always shrivel away.

  7. Introduced Sir to Manchester tart last week. didn't have cocoanut for top dressing but did have a few chocolate buttons. Worked like a charm and he is a big convert!

  8. Hi Victoria I absolutely love your blog, I love your make do and mend, waste not want not style x

  9. Oh yes, lumpy walls, know all about those. And the sloping floors, and doors set into not-squared door frames (the front door here has an inch gap top and bottom, but hey ho, we have Planks!) Good baking array - I need to do another Mincemeat cake, as the last was so lush. What's the trick in getting Geraniums to root - I have rescued all my outdoor ones and have them on a sunny windowsill down in what was my mum's kitchen.

  10. I sympathise on the wonky wall situation, I live in an old house and none of our walls are straight, none of the corners are right-angles and everything is a bit higgledy-piggledy but apart from having a bit of a nightmare trying to find a place for the furniture to fit, I really love it. School dinner favourites ...... cheese pie, it was always deliciously cheesy but I HATED semolina pudding and sago pudding ..... even now I can't stand the thought of them :-)

  11. Oh my, Manchester tart was my favourite put - the banana one and the jammy one. Sometimes we had a topping of coconut. It looks as though yours has 2 out of my 3 but I bet there's jam in there as well.

  12. I blogged about this in 2012!!
    My HG loves Manchester Tart more than me!!


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