Strawberries and cream on pancakes

I had some strawberries in the fridge but they started to go mouldy so I cut off the bad bits and chopped them up. I made pancakes with two cups of self raising flour, three eggs and milk to make a thickish batter. I let it rest in the fridge and whipped some cream.

If you heat a frying pan with oil in it till its hot you get better pancakes. Pour off any excess oil to reuse after cooking your first pancake. Swirl the batter round the pan to get it level. If you watch, as the batter cooks the top of it will start to bubble and dry out. You can see its setting as it cooks. I use a spatula to turn it over. When cooked add cream and chopped strawberries. I used sweetner rather than sugar and would have used lemon juice if I had any in.

Peony

Our old peonies didn’t flower this spring but a new peony has come into bloom and its a pale creamy pin. Is a bright spot in a very overgrown jungle! Hubby asked if it was a poppy and I thought it would be until he showed it to me. I don’t even remember planting it.

Gardening takes hard work and effort. I wish I had the energy to do more of it. The garden needs a serious hacking back. Bringing light back in and reducing shade… Its actually quite frightening.

How do I make my own blancmange?

This is custard powder made up with milk and sweetner with added chocolate. I love making sugar free trifles. I usually use sugar free jelly and add a bit if fruit (used raspberries today) because trifle sponges are covered in sugar. Then I add blancmange when the jelly is set. I have to let it cool because it can re-melt the jelly. But now I can only get blancmange if my sister posts me some (they still sell strawberry flavour where she lives). The trouble is that most people use custard but I don’t like it’s flavour in trifle. This time I did make custard but added four square pieces of no added sugar chocolate and melted it into the milk. I will use this mix and then add whipped cream on top of the trifle to finish it off. But I just wonder if I can make my own with cornflower and flavourings? That would be a lot easier…

Lick

Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was lick. Tried to get a photo of my cat but it took a while in the end I dabbed a bit of cream off the milk on his nose. I think he quite liked it! I used dark blue felt pen and pale metallic green because all my pens are running out. I still have some maroon colour left. A bit of tippex for the whiskers. Plus a very dried up black felt pen and a black liner pen, also running out. And the photo was a bit blurred. I’m tired.

Guess what we had for tea.

Yes, another trifle. I used sugar free jelly, but I added blueberries. Of course there was fat in it, but I made strawberry blancmange with semiskimmed milk and a sweetener instead of sugar. I used half the amount of whipped cream than I usually do. So I guess it was reasonably healthy, especially compared with other festive treats, such as stollen, mince pies and Christmas pudding (which I sadly indulged in too!).

Port trifle

Trifle time, I always make trifle at this time of year. I used raspberry jelly, trifle sponges and fresh black cherries. I added a bit of port to the jelly liquid (reduced the amount of boiling water by the same amount). Then a layer of strawberry blancmange and whipped cream on top. Blancmange is like flavoured custard. I used to be able to get chocolate, raspberry, vanilla and strawberry blancmange powder made by a company called pierce and duff, but over the last couple of years I’ve only been able to get the strawberry one in a plastic packet. It seems a shame, but I’m obviously an old fashioned cook. Anyway I have just had a portion of this delicious dessert. X

My treat, Irish coffee

Coffee with sweetener, cream and whisky.

I don’t take sugar, which makes it harder to float the cream on top of this drink. The whisky is only a single measure of a blended scotch. The coffee is a decaffeinated instant coffee. If I had some in I would eat a sweet mince pie with it. It makes me feel like Christmas is on the way. I remember when I was first allowed one of these on a family trip to an Indian restaurant.

I sometimes have it without alcohol, it’s not always what I want to drink, but this is a treat. I think as the weather has got colder I’ve started to have more comfort food. I must watch my weight.

Cream

Time for cream to celebrate, on mince pies, trifle and pud. With brandy added or sugar, it’s got to make it good.

On chocolate hot, or a steaming pot of coffee with some whisky. Cream is such a delightful treat, when it’s single, double of whisk-ed.

Add a bit to soups and sauces, give a drop to fruit and berries, savour its flavour in cocktails too. It all depends what you do!

Peters Tavern, Hanley

Goulash

We went to the city centre of Stoke-on-Trent today, its called Hanley. We were recommended to try Peters Tavern which is a Hungarian restaurant. My hubby and I thought we would try goulash. He had Hungarian goulash and I had a pork one with sauerkraut and cream. Both meals came with a very soft white bread (perhaps sourdough?). They were very tasty. I’m afraid I can’t remember what mine was called, but was lovely. Nice friendly atmosphere there too.