Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Getting some work done

After 3 lazy days when the minimum of work was done, it was time to get back to normal.  So I started the day by doing some baking. I made a big batch of currant shortcakes mainly for putting in the freezer for Him Outside.

8oz SR Flour
4oz Butter
4oz Caster Sugar
3oz currants
1 egg
Egg  for brushing on and caster sugar for sprinkling.

Rub fat into flour stir in sugar and currants, mix in egg.
Roll out as thin as the currants will let you. Cut into squares, oblongs, whatever.
Put on greased baking sheets. Brush with a little beaten egg and then sprinkle just a little sugar.
Bake in medium not TOO hot oven for 10 - 15 minutes until golden. Watch them to make sure the currants don't burn. Leave for just a couple of minutes to cool then use a fish slice to move onto cooling racks.

I also did a plain sponge in square tins. This will also go in the freezer either to be used as a sponge cake or cut into fingers to use  for trifle bases.

My other bake was a packet of the carrot cake mix that came from approved foods when I got the Bread Flour.( Did anyone else take advantage of that offer. I still can't believe I have 12kg of flour in the cupboard for £2 !)
I NEVER usually buy cake mixes but carrot cake is one of my favourites that I don't bother to make very often. So when I saw 4 packs for £1, I thought they were worth a try. They are actually very nice. I was puzzled by the smell of the packet of icing mix - bad feet! It turns out the icing has cheese powder in it to imitate the cream cheese that would normally be used to ice carrot cake. I wondered whether to use it but decided to give it a go and used a few drops of lemon juice to add a tang and that turned out OK too.

I am not converted to ready made cake mixes as I'm not keen on the list of weird ingredients on the packet. But I'm hoping that as a one off ( 4 times!) they will not do me any harm.

After baking it was back to the fruit cage to do some more pruning of raspberry canes. Summer fruiting raspberries have to have all the canes that fruited this year cut out at ground level and the new growth of canes that will fruit next year are gently bent to go up between the wires to hold them in
place. I managed to get to the end of one whole row. So just one more left to do.

While I was baking and it was still foggy outside Him Outside did the downstairs hoovering for me ( he is getting quite handy with the hoover, since he has been helping indoors more so that I can help  him outside with more jobs ) Then he got  busy clearing a veg bed that had finished, covering with compost and turning it in with the rotavator, and finished off the day by transplanting some lettuce plants.

We had three caravans leaving and 3 new ones arriving so quite a busy day on the campsite. By this time next week we will be empty for the first time for months. The September diary is very quiet although we might have a group of teenagers and their teachers coming here while doing their Duke of Edinburgh award.

We had a Once-a-Year dinner tonight!

Pasta, Aubergine and cheese bake.
 For 2 people
1 Large Aubergine or two small.
3oz Pasta penne
3 Tablespoons Tomato Puree in third pint hot water
4oz grated mature cheddar
Salt & Pepper

Cook pasta as usual
Slice aubergine fairly thin and fry in olive oil ( I use rapeseed oil) until browned.
Layer aubergines, pasta, puree mix in a baking dish, with a little cheese, salt and good twist of pepper
Save most of cheese for putting over the top.
Bake for 25 minutes in hottish oven.

Forgot to take picture until we had started eating, so this looks a bit messy but tasted lovely

 The reason we only have this once a year is because it is a bit greasy as the aubergines absorb a lot of oil. Also aubergines are not something I buy as we try to eat only our own vegetables most of the time, so we can only eat this if we've grown them in the first place! Which we did this year and have a good crop mainly to sell or we also roast them in a mixed vegetable roast.

Tonight we will be watching New Tricks. We only "found" this programme about 2 series ago and have no idea why we didn't watch it in the earlier series. I'm interested to see how Nicholas Lyndhurst fits in as he is much younger than the other actors in it. There's also a repeat of Only Connect on in a minute - good brain testing quiz.
Better go and put the TV on and the kettle too I think.


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