Tea at the Rabbit Hole Tearoom.

A good memory from a few years ago. Having tea with friends at the Rabbit Hole Tearoom in Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent.

We had been looking for somewhere different to visit and we had a friend coming down from Yorkshire. I had to book in advance but it was worth it. My memory is of a themed Tearoom around the Alice in Wonderland stories, with the white rabbit, mad hatter, dormouse and Queen of Hearts. The tea was lovely, cakes, scones, sandwiches, fruit. A pot of tea each.

It was a family themed Tearoom and it was very full. No social distancing in those pre covid days. I wish I could go back in time. Remembering those days is getting harder. But seeing old photos like this help to reassure me that things might one day be better. One day. When we can I hope this Tearoom will still be open.

Non diabetic food?

What part of this food is safe to eat if you are diabetic?

A large size pizza ( carbs)

Two packets of mini butter stollen cakes (dusted with icing sugar)

Four large potato’s (carbs)

Three tubs of butter

Cheese

A box of mini blueberry muffins,

Two large tubs of fruit flavoured kefir fermented yoghurt,

Two bottles of mayonnaise (garlic and chilli flavours)

Two cheesecakes (one strawberry, the other lemon and marscepone)

A packet of rich tea biscuits.

A box of eggs

Shampoo with honey added!

Why?

The only vegetables were a jar of gherkins….

I don’t normally ask him to go shopping!

Another cake?

I really want to make another apple cake but I keep getting distracted. I have paintings to take to a gallery who are going to try to sell them on line for me. I have to get my cats flea treatments from the vets. I have online lectures to attend. I don’t know how much longer the apples will last. Yesterday I used a large one to make apple sauce. I added cider instead of water and cooked the fruit slowly over a low heat v gradually mashing down the apples. Delicious with cream.

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I have a sarcasm gene

My hubby went shopping today.

I asked him to get savoury food.

So he got:

4 tins of tomatoes, a litre of skimmed milk, some mushrooms, brown bread.

Then, a large Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mint chocolate matchsticks, grapes, iced buns, a chocolate toffee apple, clementines, bananas, two pomegranates, dried cranberries, two jars of honey, a pot of jam. He also got himself four bottles of beer and four cans of sweat cider.

I’m diabetic, so I can’t eat any of these and can’t really drink much alcohol. My sarcasm gene kicked in so I told him he was being ‘sweet’, I said he should get me some honey roasted ham or some duck in orange sauce. After I washed the shopping and put it away I asked him how much he had spent. I guess 90% of what he bought is for him.

Slightly annoyed!

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.

Too much fat in my pear cake

Tasty but a bit too greasy.

I decided to make a pear cake with a couple of large pears off the tree. I didn’t have a recipe to hand so followed the one on the back of my bag of self raising flour.

The ingredients were:

150 grams each of self raising flour, butter and sugar.

Three medium eggs

A small amount of water

This was to make a Victoria sponge. I decided I would add raw sliced pears into the base of my glass flan dish (I don’t have a cake tin or grease proof paper).

Method. It said cream butter and sugar together till its light and fluffy, then add the eggs and a bit of water. Then gently fold the self raising flower in.

Problem. I can’t eat sugar. So I used sweetener that you can bake with. The amounts were questionable. 150 grams when you don’t have scales. So I guessed the amounts and I think I put about 200 grams in. The sweetener said 200 grams was five tablespoons, so I used four instead. Then the eggs? I used three, but they were large. Finally I guessed a mug full of flour would be about right….

I creamed the butter and sweetener together and made it softish and fluffy. Then I slowly added the eggs. The mix started to curdle. I tried adding a bit of flour and it started to look like undercooked scrambled eggs! I got my hand whisk out and tried to beat some of the lumps out. Then I folded in the flour, I made a batter, but still saw flecks of butter in the mix.

So I spooned the mix over the pears in a well greased Pyrex flan dish. I put the cake in the oven on gas mark 4 (medium heat) initially for thirty minutes. When I checked it, there were bubbles of gas coming out of it and it was still pale. So I put it on for another twenty minutes. The bubbles were still happening but the surface felt fim and was golden brown. When I tapped it, it sounded hollow, and when I pricked it with a knife that came out clean.

I eased the cake out of its case. Some of it broke up because it had stuck in the dish. It was greasy, but I cut a section out and it held its shape.

It tasted eggy but nice. The pears had cooked through.

Next time I might start making it with flour, then rubbing the butter into that till its like breadcrumbs, adding sweetener, then making a hole in the flour before adding the eggs. I wish I’d remembered that before I made this cake.

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Apples

Cooking and dessert apples, over the last few days we have collected lots of them.

I have questions. Can you freeze apples if you just cut them up, or do you have to cook them first?

Crumble or pie? Cake or tart? I’m thinking of what to use them in. Do I cook them till they are mush and turned to puree then freeze it. Can I make Cider? I also have lots of pears on the tree, can I make Perry? I might bake them in the oven after removing the cores and then serve them with custard?

What do you think? Any suggestions?