Saturday, 27 November 2010

WMD mincemeat

I made some mincemeat, using a recipe off the 'net, attributed to Mary Berry...

All recipes looked different, and the sainted Delia's recipe didn't seem to have enough alcohol...only 3 tablespoons...the supposedly MB recipe I found had 200ml.  That's a third of a pint.  I had to rummage on the top shelf under the stairs to find enough booze in one bottle, as our purely medicinal calvados is down to a thimbleful and the brandy from That Supermarket is reserved for the cake.  Some dodgy rum from a French supermarket should do the trick...

As soon as I poured it in, I knew we were in trouble....just one teaspoon of the mix to "test" and I had my wobbly boots on...and the experimental baked apple with mincemeat stuffing made for a distinctly drowsy evening semi-comatose on the sofa.

Hopefully if we keep it at the back of the cupboard it won't spontaneously combust and will mellow nicely ready for next year.  I will have to try again, and yes, will probably use the Delia recipe along with the rest of the English-speaking mincemeat-making world.

Much more successful was a new ginger cake recipe found here

Don't pay any attention to what it says about rubbing in the butter - just melt it in the pan with the sugar and syrup and milk, then pour it all into the dry stuff.  And when you add the egg, mix it all up quickly - I was afraid it would scramble.  The only fiddly bit of the recipe is chopping the stem ginger. 

 Definitely the easiest ginger cake ever made, only one egg required leaving lots of eggs available for more cakes, and very delicious with custard: the Girl was deeply chuffed - spag bol for tea, followed by cake and custard.  Apart from an imminent piano exam clouding the horizon, it doesn't get any better than that.
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Friday, 19 November 2010

Where else...

....would you put two trumpets and two trumpetees, other than a summerhouse at the end of the garden?

And whose idea was it to give 30 nine year olds trumpet lessons? 
With free trumpet, no excuses, no get out?
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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Misc stuff for a misc week

Embroidery, done as a teaching sample but I liked it so I did some more and stuck it on a card.

Birthday cake for someone's breakfast - the candles are in dog years...

And a quick round of pop-up pirate whilst cooking dinner:

Sort of sums it up, really.

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Sunday, 7 November 2010


The first thing I did when I was Programme Secretary for our Embroiderers' Guild branch was to book Carol Naylor to come and give a talk.  She came yesterday, and despite a few technical hitches with the slide projector, we had a lovely afternoon.  I just love her work.  Sigh.

I have also worked out why my jeans don't fit any more:

There are four Granny Smith apples in there somewhere, the ones that were sautéed in butter, they seem to be buried under that mountain of whipped cream...somewhere on top of the layer of toffee....not quite as far down as the crumbly biscuity it's a fruit-based dessert, almost a health food in fact...
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Saturday, 6 November 2010


It's amazing what you find when searching for recipes for romanesco cauliflower...

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Hedgerow jelly

Finally remembered to ask my neighbour if I could help myself to their crab apples to make my hedgerow jelly: all the other ingredients have been lurking in the freezer since September, and we needed the space...

A combination of sloes, elderberries, blackberries, rosehips and crab apples, which produced a lot of little jars of very dark purple very sticky jelly.  There is a very definite elderberry tang to the taste, though... 

I made elderberry jam ealier in the autumn, as I couldn't resist picking them.  I knew there must be something I could do with them, and a friend told me to make jam to use as a cough remedy - dissolve one teaspoon in a mug of hot water at the first sign of a cough or cold.  But the stuff tastes so foul that nobody around here dares even sniff....

But what do I do with 8 jars of hedgerow jam with elderberry tang? 
I was going to give my neighbour a jar to say thank you, but I'm not sure now...
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