Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

More Baking

Yesterday I went into Nottingham and visited the Lakeland shop.  I wanted to buy one of those new silicone tartlet pans that are perforated thus allowing pastry to cook evenly at the base.  Well, I am delighted with the results.  I made Bakewell tarts and individual quiche...
Here you can see the perforations and also notice that I was able to lift one quiche out easily.
The Bakewell tart was made with bought puff pastry and the quiche made with homemade shortcrust.  (They are both the same size, my terrible photography make them look distorted)
Another thing I learned recently was to roll my shortcrust pastry out between cling film, usually I make my pastry rather wet knowing that I will have to use flour to get it to roll out easily.  Using cling film I was able to roll it out at the proper consistency.  This was the best shortcrust pastry I'd ever made.  It just goes to show that even after over forty years of baking there is still something to learn and improve on.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Summer At My House

As everyone else is saying "I can't remember a worse summer than this one!".  It has been weird, rain, rain and more rain.  We have had spells of fairly decent weather so at least we have been able to get outside occasionally.  So far I've been on three holidays, Oban, Ilfracombe and Eastbourne.  We were fairly lucky with these and weren't stopped from getting out and about by the weather.
The garden has suffered, not much has got done at all.  Because of all the rain most things have grown extremely well, in fact our garden has been a bit of a jungle and we are now busy rooting a lot of plants and shrubs out so that we can redesign things.  What we want to do is make it low maintenance and have decided on hybrid tea roses.  The good thing about roses is that you can prune them back each year and start off the season with neat plants.  In between we'll probably plant annuals.  The veg plot is the same jungle and our strawberry bed was a failure.  The few strawberries that we got either rotted, went mouldy or were eaten by slugs.  Mind you, the plants have grown incredibly well, I'll have to dig a lot out before next year.  Even the plants in the polytunnel have suffered.  This was partly down to the slug invasion and partly to lack of sunshine.  A few things are growing so it won't be a total failure.
I haven't done one bit of embroidery for ages, my crafting time has been taken up with making dolls clothes.
One thing I've done quite a bit of is baking.  A friend gave me this book...
...and I made this cake... 
...a lovely sponge cake filled with crushed raspberries and confectioners custard - absolutely delicious!  It was supposed to be covered in whipped cream but that would have been just too much.