Is it time yet?

Can I start writing about all things ‘summer’, ‘sunshine’ and warm?  We’ve had a couple of days of not too bad weather.  My last blog was hopeful of a long summer as you know,  written on a sunny day as it was.  But… ’twas followed by rain… However, today is sunny so I thought ‘why not’. Let’s assume it is going to be a week of sunshine. After all, look outside. That looks like a promise!

The corner of our garden

The corner of our garden

 

The corner of a field

The corner of a field

First – when summer comes and lives up to its name,  the world is a brighter place.  Whilst I have live hens, I do like the one which sits outside our back kitchen door, surrounded by summer flowers.  All very bright. Just in case the weather does not live up to its promise…

Metal hen!

Metal hen!

My book of the month is this one – I had originally intended it to be July’s but somehow the weather…

The Cordon Bleu Series (c) BPC  Publishing Limited 1971

The Cordon Bleu Series (c) BPC Publishing Limited 1971

You can tell – it is one of those ‘retro’ ones with appropriately bright photographs.  AND thankfully very clear instructions. I have a set of these, Miss  Reeve’s of course.  The sort of ‘proper’ cookbooks that she so liked.

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I also went on another course at Denman College. ‘Baking with Vegetables’ – and during the summer, those of us who grown our own veggies always have a glut, don’t we?

The Denman grounds were beautiful as always.

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Cakes,  breads,  snacks,  all things light and summery.  And healthy too.  And the tutor,  Alison Haigh, was marvellous. It’s always the little bits of information, ‘how to’ tips and common sense that makes a cookery course – rather than the recipes which generally can be found in most cook books.  For example, always toast nuts before putting them into a cake – it stops them going soggy.  And generally, if you are wondering what sort of vegetables can go into a cake, if you can grate it, it can go in!

The recipes for chocolate and beetroot loaf cakes,  aubergine and passion fruit cake, carrot and caraway seeded soda bread.. need I go on?… were unusual, easy to use and very tasty.

Courgette, carrot and coconut cake

Courgette, carrot and coconut cake

Chocolate and beetroot loaf cakes - great way to fit in one of the 5 a day!

Chocolate and beetroot loaf cakes – great way to fit in one of the 5 a day!

 

And I invited some neighbours round to share the goodies with me.

5 of us 'took tea' and we still couldn't finish it all.

All I need to do now is eat the one lettuce that survived the hens’ forays into the veg patch, and chop up my tiny but very sweet-tasting peppers that are the first of many to be found on my pepper plants.  A lovely salad awaits.

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So here’s to a bit of sunshine, a bit of warmth, a bit of sun and a lot of lovely food.

And as the chickens chomp away on some summery peaches…

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We say Happy Summer Days everyone.

 

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