Three fruit loaves, two fruit cakes and one banana cake. Plus roast chicken for dinner. Not a single moment in the garden :( But I did buy a beer kit for FH's birthday though. Recipes below.
Moist Fruit Cake
Put in saucepan:
1 small cup water, 6ozs sugar, 1-lb mixed fruit, 1 tspn mixed spice, 4ozs butter
Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool (not cold)
When cool add ½ teaspoon baking soda.
Beat 2 eggs well and add to mixture, then add 8-oz flour and 1 teaspoon baking power sifted together.
Bake in moderate oven. Great Grandma's instructions are for 60 minutes but mine was cooked in 40.
Put in bowl: 4-oz sugar 1 cup sultanas ½ oz butter 1 tablespoon golden syrup 1 teaspoon baking soda
Pour over 1 cup boiling water and stir well.
When cool add 8 oz flour and 1½ teaspoons baking power.
Pour into lined loaf tin. Bake approximately 45 min at 350F
The banana cake is from the Edmonds recipe book. I made that for the children, because Brighid insisted. I've frozen most of it for school and kindy lunches. Brighid helped me for a while. My pace picked up a lot after she wandered off to do other things.
Nice tasting swede
3 C coarsely grated swede (1 small swede)
2 T water
2 t butter
1 T brown sugar
1 t soy sauce
Combine all ingredients in a heavy based saucepan. Cover and cook gently, stirring frequently until they are tender-crisp (about 5 minutes).
The swede is from a few weeks ago. It ticks budget and nutrition boxes. It also looks good on the plate beside kale, in case you were wondering if I had abandoned my primary vegetable alliance. I made pumpkin soup for dinner on Monday night and then on Wednesday night I cooked pasta and used the leftover soup as the sauce and grated parmesan cheese on the top of each individual bowl. It tasted fine and I thought the wolf would not break down the door if I keep this careful use of food thing going.
Tonight I cooked roast chicken. The oven had been getting so vile it would smell before I cooked food in it and even I could not stand it any longer. So I cleaned it and as I think the culprit for making all that oven mess was roasted chicken fat, I cooked tonight's roast in an oven bag. It tasted fine, but as I was pulling the bag off it I thought about how endlessly bad plastic is supposed to be against hot food. I need a third solution, and I would like one which preserves a proper crispy chicken skin, doesn't make a mess of the oven and doesn't involve plastic. It's time I started chopping up the chicken carcass before it is cooked and doing more interesting things with the meat and keeping the bones for raw bone stock (as opposed to using the cooked bones). I'd done enough kitchen time today though, long before dinner prep time.
Tonight was book group. It was great to hear what everyone else has been reading. I've brought home Jeanette Winterson's Lighthousekeeping and Emma Donoghue's Room to read by the end of the month.
I've no idea when we will get as far as painting the dining room, but we still talk about possible colours and in the meantime I'm liking the Habitat of the week series. My latest idea is to pick up the rose red and cream of the dining room table (which is wooden with a red and white formica top) by making three walls cream and a feature wall of rose red. It took a long time to even consider something as gentle as having the bold colour on one wall instead of four.
I did manage to share a little creative love yesterday at kindy. Brighid had worn her button necklace the day before and proudly answered questions about it with "My Mum made it". Awwwww. (NB: Remember this when she is sixteen Sandra, and tomorrow when she is obstreperous). The teachers asked if I would show them how, so I brought some cotton thread and buttons down to kindy and made necklaces with kindy kids. Only one kindy kid made her own and the others preferred to choose the buttons for me to make one for them. I might source some thick bright braid or rope and do another session on plaiting, this time set up so the kids do the plaiting. I've also got a book out from the library with some cool string dolls which might be doable... Then I snuck off to Mary K's to borrow her baking tins and after kindy and lunch was done, Brighid went to Sharon's and I went to work. I find myself feeling like I should be doing something else no matter what I am doing and am making myself shake it.
The new chooks are still very shy and skittish. I don't think they've had much human interaction before now. I think next time (which of course won't be for years) I will buy from a smaller, local source.