Trifle with cherries and blueberries

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Sunday tea. Trifle. Raspberry jelly with cherries and blueberries, raspberry blancmange, whipped double cream.

I made up a pack of sugar free raspberry jelly with half a pint of boiling water. Then I added almost half a pint of cold water (you can substitute a small amount of sherry) and mixed it up. I washed and pitted the cherries and put about a mug full of them into the jelly liquid so they covered the base of an ornate glass bowl I use to make trifles. I added about the same amount of washed blueberries, spreading them out with a spoon to give an even coverage. I put the bowl in the fridge to let the jelly set fully. (there are alternatives that don’t contain gelatin). This afternoon I made up a pint of raspberry blancmange (you could use custard instead). I left it to cool in the pan rather than putting it directly onto the jelly as it’s heat would melt the set jelly. Once the blancmange cooled I spooned it onto the jelly. After a couple of hours in the fridge I whipped up a tub of double cream. I added a bit of sweetener before I whipped it. That goes on top

Serve in a glass bowl if you want to be posh. I just got the breakfast bowls out. In this case the cream slid off the blancmange and the jelly broke up because I’d put too much fruit in. So beware spooning it!

The result was delicious. Yum

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Hubby cooking!?

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For most of his life he’s not been interested in cooking. He doesn’t like me to explain what to do. When he roasted a chicken once he added a whole big bulb of garlic. He can cook poached egg on toast, he does cook bread, he tries to cook bacon by frying it for a minute then microwaving it.

Today he wanted to make a loaf out of self raising flour. With no yeast. I explained that would be more like pastry, and that you use self raising mainly for making cakes. I told him he could use about eight ounces of flour, four ounces of butter, four ounces of sugar, but as we had none he could use a couple of heaped spoons of sweetener. This is a granular one you can cook with. A couple of eggs, and milk, not water, which he was going to use.

I went upstairs on the computer while he went out to get butter.

I was going to explain. He knew about Crumbling flour and butter together, then I told him to add sweetener, then the eggs and milk, then some de-stoned cherries if he wanted to.

I was upstairs, and it was terribly quiet. A friend rang so I came downstairs. Hubby was just about to put the cake in the oven. I looked around, he’d used about twelve ounces of flour (not weighed it out) three quarters of a tub of margarine. Two eggs a bit of milk and a teaspoon! of sweetener. To this mix he’d  added half a bowl of cherries and then kneaded the mix! I tried to explain you need the mix to be more liquid and that you gently stir in the milk to keep the cake light.

Well he tried. The cake is cooking, gas mark 4,initially for 45 minutes in the centre of the oven. I’m worried it will be a bit heavy when it comes out.

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Who’d think, cherries in coleslaw.

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With such a large crop,

bowls full to the top,

I tried-

To decide-

what to do with them?

Each cherry on a stem!

Salad with cherries

fills my belly.

Coleslaw with cabbage

with cherries added.

Now I’ll make jelly

with added cherry,

summer fruit,

so much loot.

Birds are merry

They have cheery

Cherries too!

🍒

 

For the birds

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The blackbirds sing,

The thrushes too

The robins nest,

Their fledglings new.

A magpie there

And pigeons too?

They congregate

And feed on seed.

Blue tits

and house sparrows,

All had their nests.

Feeding them all

Is our happy chore.

Yes eat your fill,

Of cherries ripe.

We’ve had ours now

The rest, enjoy.

 

Home made lunch

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Home made coleslaw (cabbage, carrot, red onion) with reduced calorie mayonnaise. A small piece of brown seeded bread with a bit of pate, a couple of chopped up tomatoes, half an avocado pear and some de-stoned red cherries. Also a few cheese and onion potato crisps. On a Portmeirion plate. Why? Because I liked the colours mainly. I watched a programme about still life last night and the interest that images of food created was fascinating. At one stage still life was seen as the lowest form of art, but the innovations of artists gradually made it more accessible and acceptable. Artists like Paul Cezanne and Pablo Picasso bought new definitions of what still life meant. Art is fascinating. It’s funny the ideas you can get by staring at a plate of food. X

More cherries…

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Used a hoe to pull the branches down and caught all these cherries in a brolly today. It was sunny for a couple of hours and the wind had dropped so we took the chance and dodged the rain showers. Picked loads, but there are loads left on the tree.

Now I’ve got to decide what to do with them. I might add them to some gin. Or I could make cherry pancakes.

This is a glut of cherries. If we were not in lockdown I would be sharing them with friends. It’s the biggest crop we have ever had from the cherry tree. If I could freeze them I would but I think they would spoil.

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Drawing in April

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22.4.20, about a month into lockdown. I wonder what was going through my mind? I don’t think I was as nervous then as I am now. I was thinking about food. Now I’m thinking about not going out, despite the pubs opening up carefully and hairdressers and other non essential shops. Do I feel like going out? No, I think this is too early. Especially where alcohol is involved. I’ve seen groups of four or five men walking past the house, looking like they are off for a ‘good night out’.

What can I say. I understand people need to escape. I feel so tense I’m shaking. How do refugees and people in war torn areas survive? We are lucky. The problem might cause massive problems with wealth but I want people to be safe and survive this. Ah well, maybe I will do another drawing x.

Eggs… Pancakes?

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My hubby keeps buying eggs but we are not using them up. They are getting towards the end of their life so I will be making an omelette for tea or even pancakes with blueberries and lemon juice.

If I’m making pancakes, I will make a batter from eggs, milk, and flour. I tend to use self raising flour because the pancakes puff up. I’m not one of these thin, crepes, type of pancake people. My mom used to make pancakes in February for Shrove Tuesday. She would add snow water to the batter (yes it used to snow in February!)

So if you want to make them I will try and write a recipe.

First get 2 mugs full of flour. Plain or self raising, this is for a few people so reduce amounts in proportion for one. Put in a mixing bowl.

Then add two or three eggs depending on the size of your mug. (Make a little well in the flour and break the eggs into it.)

Mix together and slowly add around a mug of milk. Add it slowly and stir it in. Keep an eye on the consistency, you want it pourable, like double cream, (heavy cream in America I think?)

Once it’s mixed just put it aside to rest in the fridge  (I don’t know why?)

Then get a frying pan, coat the bottom with a small amount of oil, or a spray frying oil or butter. Heat the pan up quite hot and carefully pour the batter in. Tip the pan to spread the batter out till it covers the base of the pan. If there is still wet batter on the top you can pull the pancake away from the edges of the pan with a spatula and let the batter spill into the gap. Turn it over with a spatula when it’s gone golden brown and cook for a few more seconds on the other side. ( You don’t have to toss it).

Sprinkle with sweetener or sugar and lemon juice when it’s on your plate. Add fruit to taste. When you’ve done one heat the pan again. You might not need to add oil as there should still be some left behind.

Continue till you have used all the mix. You can vary the thickness depending on how hungry you are!

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Hedgehog dining.

A shady, spikey creature

Banging bowls together.

Clattering crockery,

Hog food left out for him.

Gobbling and scoffing quickly.

I opened the back door.

A glint in his eye and..

He scuttled off into the dark…

I imagined him saying

“I’ll be back……..”

Strawberries and cream

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First of the season, fresh strawberries and extra thick cream (saves having to whip it). Added a tiny bit of sweetener on to the strawberries. I have one that doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste.

When I was young we used to go and pick our own strawberries. You would spend ages in a field searching under leaves to find the berries. Often they were padded underneath the plants with straw to keep the berries from trailing on the ground. I think that’s where they got their name? Summer days when most of the strawberries missed the punnet and fell into our mouths instead. When music by the beatles played out of little transistor radios.

And when we got home? Strawberries with either single cream and white sugar. Or if we hadn’t got cream in, evapourated milk… Heaven…