Tomato

The tiny green tomato was plucked off our tomato plant today. The surrounding ones are large and shop bought and the apple on the top right was a windfall off my sisters tree…

I can grow flowers, but not vegetables or fruit. I spend too much on seeds, and get plants from sales and swaps, but I don’t have good conditions to grow them in… Too much shade. Too many shrubs!

Apple

I used to love apples, crisp and crunchy or sweet and soft in a pie with cream. I wonder why I’ve stopped buying them? Stopped seeing them? I see lots of soft fruit, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas galore, oranges, peaches, even limes, but I don’t see many apples? Perhaps there has been a shortage of them? Maybe there were not many harvested in autumn.

Funny how you only miss things in a sudden feeling that there is something gone from life. I wonder if politics, brexit, not allowing as many foreign workers into our country, has had an effect on it. It feels like the old sayings ‘shooting yourself in the foot’ or ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’? No doubt things will sort themselves out? I hope!

Apple a day

Apple found in our garden in December. I wrote about it in a blog about Wassails. We joined in a virtual Wassail at the weekend and drank too much cider. People posted photos of previous years Wassails when they walked about with flaming torches around the boundaries of the parish. No threats were made but there were so many of us we had to have a police escort and cars were stopped as we wandered down the road to the Penkhull apple tree. A few jolly hours to beat back the cold and the dark. In some places in the past they used to shoot shotguns at the trees to make them flower and bear fruit. There are other traditions where they beat the trunks of Walnut trees to get them to bear fruit. We’ve never had that problem with ours. The squirrels always find enough nuts and then we have to find places far away to plant the saplings, we’ve already got too many!

Surprise Apple

You don’t normally find apples still on trees at this time of year. But this was plucked from the back of an apple tree, that sits amongst lots of bushes, this afternoon. Never found one this late in the year before.

Speaking if late apples, hubby bought home four or five little crab apples from branches overlooking the canal on his walk last weekend. I told him not to bring more home as this will be food for small animals or birds over winter.

Apple and Raspberry cake

A little bit flat, but I cooked this in a flan case.

Ingredients (approx amounts)

8oz self raising flour

4oz butter/ margarine

two tablespoonfuls sweetener (or 4oz sugar)

three eggs

two tablespoons milk

pinch of salt

large cooking apple peeled and cored

packet of raspberries.

I put the self raising flour in a bowl and then put bits of butter in plus the sweetener, then with a metal spoon I broke the fat up more, a pinch of salt, then crumbled the mix between my fingers so that it looked like breadcrumbs.

I made a dip in the mix and added the eggs, slowly stirring it in and trying to keep air in the batter, I added a bit of semi-skimmed milk to soften it more.

I added the apple slices and the raspberries to the cake batter so the fruit was evenly mixed into it. Then I poured the batter into the flan case which I had buttered.

I put the cake in an oven, gas mark 4, for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes.

It came out nice and moist, and it wasn’t completely cooled when we tore into it!

Note I used self raising flour that contains wheat, milk and eggs that can be allergens, butter which may not be in your diet and sweetener that you can cook with because I try to make sugar free cakes.