Sunday, 29 July 2012

Marlborough Buns try 2.

 So vibrant. 
and doughy 
 and glittery. 
 Ready for the oven
 Glossed to perfection,
with a sugary crust.  
Packed up for tea in the afternoon with my parents as chief tasters. 

And the verdict, was yum yum from my parents but I can taste where they need another tweak or too. 

This is an intriguing recipe, I didn't expect to crack it first time,  but I know I am nearly there. 


Monday, 23 July 2012

Focaccia with rosemary.

There are times that I even surprise myself.

As I was picking the rosemary yesterday I was already dreaming of making this bread, the rosemary tips were young and tender and smelt heavenly. 
When hubby tasted it this evening he proclaimed it was the best bread he has ever tasted.  My husband is not one for either bread or praise, most of my culinary adventures are met with 'its tasty'. 

There have been times I've nearly lamped him with my rolling pin after spending hours on some culinary expedition when it has been met with a 'its tasty'.

But today was different, today he was almost giddy about the bread. 

And when I tasted it I thought Wow. 

The recipe came from Flavoured Breads by Linda Collister called Focaccia with rosemary and sea salt. I added a little bit more water as my flour must have been very dry, I knead for ten full minutes, (I timed it) and then followed the rest of the recipe, the dough rises three times in this recipe. 

I've used six recipes out of this little book, they have all worked out beautifully and I intend to bake them all, eventually. 

Summer came to the plot.

I can't tell you how relieved I feel that at last we have some sunshine. I had started to hibernate, my need for sleep and carbohydrates has increased dramatically over the last two weeks, 11 to 12 hours kip, sometimes longer, had become the norm, otherwise I felt dire.  This last two weeks has been really tough to get through and then ta da, a sunny day. 

Hubby dragged me down the plot.  He knows whats good for me, even if I don't. 

I've decided to do a thirty day, everyday to the plot to try to combat this mood along with setting myself up for the winter. 

Anyway onwards and upwards, today at the plot there was...
  nasturtiums, which I planted to have with salads. 
 The parsnips (middle row) are doing well and the beetroot is coming along, although its germination has been a little patchy. 
 The Autumn rasberries we planted last year have come along in leaps and bounds and are starting to fruit well. (If a little early because of the weather) 
A few raspberries picked from the summer variety. 
 Blue lake icebergs, yum, yum.
One tidied up ready to come home. 
 Blackcurrants, raspberries and cherries (buried underneath) and mint, sage, rosemary and oregano.  There is only one way to pick blackcurrants, sitting on a chair. The pesky little things hide really well and it takes me a good three quarters of an hour to find all the fruits off one bush.  
We are trying celery in the greenhouse this year and it seems to be coming on very nicely, which will please my Father as it is one of his favourite foods. I have failed to provide him with any since we had the allotment having one failure after another, maybe this year he will be lucky.  
 The runner beans are coming along nicely. 
And I have several yellow courgettes in my fridge just waiting to be cooked. 

The cucumbers have failed, having endured one cold day too many they curled up and died. Cucumbers are known for being very temperamental.  Our tomatoes are well behind this year, and don't even talk to me about the peas, I may just cry. 

But as always, nature provides and we are having a bumper crop of Globe Artichokes. 
 I grew these plants from seed a few years ago and they have loved this damp weather.  I am always very amused by them because you cannot get the seed to grow true, so on one plant you will have the rounded ended leaves and on another plant they may be spiky.  It is said if you get a plant that grows and produces very well the only way to propagate from it is to take cuttings. 

There are about twenty artichokes here, we have already eaten thirtyish and there are over twenty left on the plants.  
 I love their greens and purples and all the shades in-between, they are so pretty. 

Tomorrow I may well be making garlic and rosemary foccacia,  garlicky artichoke hearts, iceberg leaves becoming cups filled with a fried up garlicky courgette mixture (must check hubby hasn't got a meeting on Tuesday!)  and something to do with eggs, adding some spicy potato wedges for the hungry boys all gaily sprinkled with nasturtium flowers!  They are going to love it. wink


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Marlborough Buns.

I bought a bun the other day from Waitrose, it intrigued me and looked like it had the right amount of glossy sugar coating to fruit.  It was called a Marlborough Bun and to all intents and purposes looked like a rock cake.  I bit into it to find a delicate doughy texture combined with a zingy heavy on the lemon candied peel filling, along with cherries and sultanas. 

I then became addicted to them,  I'm putting my cravings down to SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I know that I don't have the severest form of this disorder but at the moment I am feeling very much like I do come the end of February, Pllleease can we have some sun, and soon. 

I couldn't find a recipe for this on the net but after much research realised that their origins must be from the Bath Bun.  I've made one batch, I need to tinker with the recipe, its not sweet enough (according to the boys) and it needs more fruit.  But I am on the right track.  
I'll post the recipe when I get it right, but until then may I present my first attempt at making Marlborough buns. 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Secrets

Shall I share three little secrets?

 Okay then.

 1. When all is quiet and the day is over and I am listening to my hubby snoozing gently I catch up with my games on "words with friends" (an Internet alternative to scrabble) on my iPad. Its great, I love it.

 2. My love of scrabble started my love of dictionaries which I used to read as a child, the oldest of which is a first edition published in 1721 that uses f's instead of s's.

 3. I have been known to share a punet of strawberries with my golden retriever (one for you, one for me) rather than my children! He adores them!

 Your turn.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Olympic Torch

The Olympic torch came through Kenilworth yesterday. 

It was very exciting. 
And is something I most probably will not witness again in my lifetime.  

I am really looking forward to the opening ceremony, (which is on son no.1's birthday!) and fully intend to be perched on the sofa, knitting on one side, cup of tea on the other. 

Sunday, 1 July 2012

My London Bag.

As it has become known now. 

Do you remember the fabric I bought at the most recent quilt show I went to in Malvern. Yes thats right, the fabric that had haunted me for nearly a year since I saw it last.
Well the day before our hols when we went to London and immersed ourselves in art, culture and all things red, white and blue I managed to put sewing machine to fabric and made the bag I so wanted. 
 And it was made with incredible speed, I galloped along making decisions as I went. 
And somewhere along the line I forgot to take any more photo's and began packing bags. 
But not until the bag was completed.  I've forgotten to take a photograph of its insides but it is fully lined with the red and white stripy ticking.  We were both very pleased with it and so were the tourists. I was stopped a couple of times to ask where I had purchased it from and as you might imagine I was delighted to say I made it myself. 
During our foraging in Liberties I found some London themed fabrics. 
Very pretty 
and they would make great bags, 
But at £79.00 a meter, I left them where they hung.