Monday, 8 September 2014

Sun Soaked Woo

Oh, the Woo, the Woo. 

She is so very old now and she reminds me of a very special, if a bit threadbare, beloved toy. She spends her day sleeping, meeowing -  to me, but mostly to herself - threatening a fur ball, sleeping some more, eating some more and pestering me for anything I have on my plate.

In the past week she has so far eaten: a bran flake, a piece of apricot, a bit of scrambled egg and some lettuce. She is not phased by the fact that it did not come from a pouch -  all she cares about is the taste.

However, in her ripe old age of, we would wager, 16 years old, she loves none of this compared to her adoration of the sun. 

Never in the morning, only in the afternoon, you can find her, spark out, on the end of the bed. In her deafness, you do not have to worry yourself with waking her, unless you blunder into the edge of the bedstead with your thigh. She will not be disturbed by your effing and jeffing - just by the movement.

She might open one eye and spy you with mixture of love and hatred. Her slumber was interrupted (scowl) but she still loves you (purr). 

At this point she usually stretches out and goes straight back to sleep. I feel so guilty if she gets up and, sun drunk, totters over to me. 

I much prefer to let her get on with her daily soak.

Friday, 29 August 2014

WW2 Bakery ~ Vinegar Cake

How could I not try something that sounds so, well, unappetizing? 

I went out and bought some Sarsons especially for the occasion. Isn't it odd buying one of those cupboard staples when you run out? Like, salt. I always really seem to notice when I buy these bits. Or am I just weird?

This cake-u-lar grabbed my attention straight away. Vinegar? In a cake? Saaaay whaaat?

Although it felt a little odd tipping it into milk instead of on me chips, I have to say that this bake is really rather nice.

170g self-raising flour (or plain with 2 tsp on baking powder added)
90g sugar
90g margarine
1 tbsp vinegar
1/4 pint of milk
1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
90g mixed dried fruit
(you can round these 90gs up to 100gs - I did with no adverse effects)

  • Preheat oven to 350F / 180C / GM4. Grease & floor or line an 8" cake tin
  • Cream together the fat and the sugar in a large bowl. Sift the flour into a separate bowl
  • Pour the milk and vinegar into a bowl or jug, add the bicarb and whisk together. It should begin to froth. The more air added -  the better
  • Mix the froth into the creamed sugar and marg, add the dried fruit (I used raisins as that's all I had)
  • Pour into your baking tin and bake for about 45-55 mins, depending on your oven

With no eggs, the alchemy of the vinegar and Bicarb of Soda really does work wonders. I paid careful attention to how much I sprinkled in, as I have been known in the past to be a bit teaspoon-happy, chucking in what I think is about a spoonful, which has ended in something tasting a little like soap. 

Mmmmm. Soap.

No such mistakes here though with the finished cake being crumbly and light, with a slightly crispy top. There was no hint of vinegar (or soap) and it was nice to have a cake that was not spiced - there has been a lot of ginger used in my kitchen of late -  so a plain cake is rather refreshing.

It has lasted a good week with no adverse side affects and I would certainly make it again. As it is plain, you could flavor this in any way you choose. Perhaps some lemon and orange rind? Or some dried cranberries and nutmeg for the festive season?

Either way, you will have some right nice cakeage at the end of it.


*Adapted from The Victory Cookbook

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Winds of Change

Can you feel it in the air? That change that is coming our way. I hold out hope for one more blast from the golden orb -  but if not -  I am happy that we had a sun-shiney summer this year. Granted, there have been some kick-ass downpours and heavy ol' thunder -  but for the most part it has been awesome.

And now, we head off into Autumn. It might be a little early, but there is a certain chill in the air. It never fails to transport me back in time, when a new term of school was just about to start and there was so much stationary to be had. I am a stationary fiend. Which is interesting how little writing with a pen I do these days. I have to change that. There are some pen-pals of mine around this here globe that have not heard from me in a good long while. For shame.

I love Autumn, a time of new beginnings , the harvest not far away and the subtle winding down of the year. It makes me ponder and dream about what may lay ahead for me and The Beard.

Since Summer Solstice, I have been getting back in touch with the Witch'ed one inside of me, the one who used to be an every day reflection, the one who used to look for signs in birds and the flowers.

She has never really been all that far behind me, but took a bit of a back-seat as I embraced dressing a little more retro. I am enjoying the fact that she is making herself known. 

I know that I am on the right path -  I can just feel it. It is always nice to have an affirmation though - this week in the finding of not one but eleven Hag/Adder Stones whilst visiting friends on the coast. 

Not looking for them -  literally stumbling over them whilst strolling on the beach.


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