The thing about having your young people around for the weekend, is that, despite the piles of socks, papers, laptops and musical instruments tripping you up at every turn, the random kitchen equipment lying on your best chairthe suddenly full washing basket and the contrasting simultaneous disappearance of all the bread and milk with the appearance of enticing things in plastic boxes in the fridge, you also find in your kitchen, half-empty bottles of flat, cheap cider: alongside an inexplicable bag of screws, a bottle of off milk and a very large suitcase. Your average parent might start screeching at … Continue reading Cider

Rhubarb 2

A cake was needed for a little household celebration, so I looked up my faithful recipe books , this time to see if I could do something a little more successful with the rhubarb than last week’s curry. I found ‘allotment cake’ in one of the recipe books. This involved copious amounts of rhubarb and also carrots (not from the allotment and requiring more grating than I would normally choose to do). The evidence suggests that it was a success: helped by a welcome invasion of assistant gardeners and their friends. I may need to make some more. I visited … Continue reading Rhubarb 2

Puddings and cakes

but first an advent calendar update.  Here’s what the garden store cupboard has brought us in this first week of December.  In no particular order (because there is no order in the world), we have had apple gingerbread, peas, marrow pickle, tomatoes, rainbow chard, chillies garden apples and purple radish seed pods   In honour of the apples and, since it’s Friday night, I made some apple cake. It’s in the oven now.  It was a new recipe for me and at several stages looked most unlikely to work. I’ll let you know. Earlier this week I made the Christmas pudding … Continue reading Puddings and cakes

Rain and poetry

We’ve just had a few days away in the Lake District, celebrating my senior assistant’s birthday.  October in Grasmere was never going to guarantee glorious sunshine, so we went well prepared with boots and waterproofs.  We enjoyed walking along rain soaked paths, some of which were just not passable, even with good boots: and climbed a foggy mountain, enjoying the sun coming back out through the clouds on the way back down At the wettest point, we went in search of poetry at Dove Cottage.  While the senior assistant was immersed in poetry and history, I was thinking about William … Continue reading Rain and poetry