Posted by Anna on Sunday, 3 May 2015
A couple of weeks ago, in need of something sticky and sweet,we got waylaid by a display in a shop showing “home bakes” in neat portions. Yum we thought. Just what we need with a cuppa when we get home we thought. After mulling over the various varieties we bought a couple of bits of an iced chocolate traybake. And headed home in anticipation of yumminess. Well it tasted fine. But … But … about half way through the piece (which wasn’t enormous) indegestion struck. And stayed around most of the evening. And I thought “that’s it” … time to re-learn how to bake cakes.
I dredged out an old loaf tin and tried my hand at a small lemon drizzle. It didn’t last long. A Mary Berry baking book was sourced, plus a couple more tins and I am off and away with it. As you can see from the picture. Next came chocolate brownies (oh so rich but luckily they freeze well) and a marmalade cake. Now I should mention that Julie who runs the excellent Straigona B&B had given me a jar of her home made marmalade. Which is not only delicious in its own right, but also makes a wicked marmalade cake.
Next up was a lemon tray bake and an apple and cinammon cake (both those freeze well too which is just as well). And I am having a wonderful time with it. So unless you are very unlucky if you pop round for a coffee or tea, there should be a cake “on the go” as it were. Advice from daughter Vickie on my slightly sunken apple cake is that I used too much baking powder (especially as I used duck eggs) so that will be reduced next time.
Mind you it meant a hurried change of plan for supper last night – as I slid the apple cake into the oven for its 11/4 – 1 1/2 hour baking time I realised that within about half an hour I should be sliding the chicken in to roast. Oops. Never mind I had also bought some beef from the excellent Dounby Butcher, so that went on the hob with onions and mushrooms and rather a lot of red wine so that was OK wasn’t it. Chicken is going to be slid into the oven fairly soon.
On Saturday we went to Brodgar to celebrate the Beltane Festival – it was organised by Orkney Pagan Weddings (no, it’s OK, don’t panic, no weddings in the offing !!) and we really enjoyed it – it’s good to experience something so different, and really felt we were welcoming the spring and summer in an ancient and right manner. It wasn’t very warm, but the sun shone and as we walked through the “flames” – sadly not the bonfires of yore, but simple candles – we felt .. or at least I felt … a connection with nature that was quite unexpected.
A marked change of tack today as we headed for the Dounby Car Boot Sale – a good social occasion, and always nice to have a look through the stalls. Got a nice cookery book and saw Catherine from The Slap who said she was exhausted after delivering four lambs overnight and hand feeding three more every two hours. Also met up with Vicky and Ian and headed over to theirs for a coffee and to admire their gorgeous new sofa.