Saturday, 24 June 2017

afternoon tea..

'There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea'  Henry James A Portrait of a Lady.

I couldn't agree more.
The last few strawberries from the allotment, a slice of homemade cake and a cup of tea is more or less my idea of heaven!

Here is a cake perfect for an afternoon tea time treat.
Mary Berry's Crunchy Top Lemon Cake from Mary Berry's Ultimate Cake Book.

A soft, fluffy cake with a pleasing hint of lemon and a crunchy top to add texture.

(I know there is a lot of sugar in this cake and sugar is one thing we all seem to be trying to reduce. But it is a tea time treat after all so I reckon it's allowed!)

Happy weekend one and all.


Monday, 12 June 2017

allotment tasks

It's a busy time on the allotment, so all help is gratefully received.

There are important tasks to be done: watering, stroking the thyme plant to release the aroma and ....

... most important of all, pouring water onto the paving stones to see how they change colour.

We picked the first of the gooseberries and several bowls of strawberries plus some radishes.
There are beetroot, broad beans and swiss chard to come soon.

And if you have red onions and cucumber, (or other crunchy veg) either homegrown or bought in your fridge, here is a very quick and simple pickle to add a pop of flavour to summer meals.

Recipe adapted from the June edition of Waitrose Food magazine.

Hoping the week ahead is a good one for you.


Sunday, 4 June 2017

a taste of summer

Is it just me or is there a proliferation of buttercups this year?
The meadows round here seem to be have an abundance of these sunny little flowers.
So good to see.

And on the kitchen windowsill, these little seedlings which with a bit of nurturing, will hopefully produce lots of delicious Butternut Squash later in the year.

On the allotment, the artichokes are growing well. I'm hoping they will be an improvement on last year's harvest.

It seems a little early to be picking them, but they are already quite big.
Not sure what to do. Any ideas?

Self seeded Sweet Williams from the allotment and cornflowers, scabious and roses from the garden.

And finally, a delicious summer lunch using English asparagus in a creamy filling on puff pastry.
The recipe is from Kellie at Food to Glow. Her blog is a real treasure trove of inspiration and information.

The recipe can be found here.

I loved the addition of capers in the filling and dressing, which gave a lovely hint of acidity.