Sunday, 31 October 2010

Our first Halloween

Well, Scarlett refused to wear the Scary Red Fairy dress and we had very few callers to the door but we had a great time. We baked cakes, made biscuits, got covered in icing, ate hot dogs and laughed, alot.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Good gourd!

I was given some plants by a friendly family at the allotments earlier in the year but the snails ate most of them (along with pretty much everything else I planted). Only one plant remained, although I wasn't sure if I had a pumpkin or a squash on my hands.
I have looked after it religiously - watering it, sometimes just looking at it and then lifting the one (very precious) fruit off the soil with a combination of cut grass and a cardboard egg tray. 
It was still not ripe before we went on holiday so I have spent many moments in deepest darkest Yorkshire worrying about our first Pumpkin. Would it rot? Would it get nibbled? Or worse, stolen?
I always try to believe in the power of nature - and here it is, perfect and really fleshy. The cut section is roasting in the oven, the seeds are on the windowsill and the rest will be made into soup tomorrow.
Oh, and the wine is long gone.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A very good cake

I suppose I should be one of those women who love Nigella, but I'm really more of a Nigel fan. Nigel Slater's love of simple food, natural ingredients and eating with the seasons is much more up my street.
So here I share with you just about the nicest cake I have made in ages.

Courgette Cake
Serves 8

200g butter
200g golden caster sugar
2 free range eggs
150g courgettes (about 2 small ones)
A small apple
200g plain flour
A large pinch of salt
Half teaspoon baking powder
Half teaspoon cinnamon
60g walnuts
80g sultanas

Set the oven to 180C / gas mark 4.
Line a loaf tin measuring 20cm x 12cm x 9cm deep.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat the eggs and mix them in, one at a time.
Coarsely grate the courgette and the apple. Wring them out with your fist to remove any excess moisture.
Then add to the mixture.
Gently fold in the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
Stir in the nuts and fruit.
Transfer to the tin and cook for 60-65 minutes.
Allow to cool in the tim before turning out.