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Showing posts from September, 2011

Rhubarb Crumble Cake

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I often bake a cake on Sunday afternoons or Monday mornings for the Oasis Fairtrade Tearoom, open on a Monday from 2.30-4.30pm at Ditton Church Centre.  The tearoom is free and you get pretty bone china teacups and a cake fork, plus a warm welcome and a chance to catch up with friends and make new ones.  It coincides with school pick-up times - and being placed right next to 2 schools, a preschool and an Old People's Home it is wonderfully located.  You can sit outside when the weather's nice and there's a lovely garden for kids to play in.  If you haven't been there yet, go soon!  You can buy Kemp's Kitchen Homemade preserves there too...

Today, amongst other yummy delights, you will find a Rhubarb Crumble Cake - it's currently in the oven downstairs and will be dusted with icing sugar and delivered to the tea-room once it's cold.  Thanks to my neighbour Laura for the Rhubarb - the second generous donation this summer.  In case you don't get a chance t…

Alone but not lonely

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We are studying 'The Prodigal Son' with our 15-21 youth group on Sunday evenings this term. Some of you will have studied the series before - it takes an unusual view on the familiar story, looking at each character in turn through a reflection on Rembrandt's painting on the same theme.

Last week we looked at the father and the nature of his unconditional love for his son.  Rembrandt painted this picture near the end of his life - and it seems he identifies himself with the father in the picture.  This week, however, we were examining the prodigal son himself.  As a young man Rembrandt had apparently followed a similar path - spending money foolishly and ending up penniless and dejected.  So he identifies with both characters.  We pondered on how lonely the son must have felt, feeling of no worth to anyone.  He was not alone - his father loved him unconditionally - but he had to make the brave journey home to experience that love once again.  There was much discussion abou…

Sausages with Boulangere Potatoes and Apples

Sitting in church, whilst (naturally) listening intently to the sermon, an image of meltingly delicious slow roasted pork shoulder with boulangere potatoes kept tantalising me.   I invited Mr Wobbly, our regular Sunday lunch companion, to join us at 5pm.  I had arranged to walk with a friend at 1pm, so planned a quick trip to the supermarket (not, of course that I go shopping on a Sunday as a matter of course...) and to put the joint into roast slowly in a moderate oven whilst we were out.

However, a search for my keys revealed that I had packed them in the neighbour's baby's suitcase when he stayed over last night.  The neighbours were out.. no trip to the supermarket for me.

So instead I searched for inspiration in the freezer.  Boil in the bag cod with Boulangere potatoes?  Perhaps not.  Chicken soup?  2 chops?  But there were 4 of us.  Ah - sausages.  Well, they're pork aren't they?

So here it is - Sausages with Boulangere Potatoes and Apples

In the food processor, …

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup with Red Lentils

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It's a welcome day off and, though I have been up since 6, I have spent the morning in PJs doing things around the house and chatting - to family, to friends on the phone, to the dog - and often to myself!  Over a breakfast chat, the daughter requested soup for supper tonight, so I waved her off at 7 and rummaged through the kitchen cupboards for inspiration.   I happened upon a butternut squash bought for £1 and then forgotten.  I chopped a bit and stirred a bit - and the result was so delicious I had 2 bowls for breakfast and the daughter may be getting sausages for tea instead...

Here is the recipe.  I hope you like it :)

Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup with Red Lentils

Boil the kettle.  Make a cup of tea, and keep the rest of the hot water to add to the soup.  Drink the tea whilst pottering in your kitchen (listening to Radio 4 is optional but recommended).

Melt 1-2 tbsp butter (or dairy-free margerine) in a heavy casserole or saucepan.  Add:
2 onions, chopped2 carrots, chopped…

Special Birth Centre Lemon Drizzle Cake

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Last year I was part of the local birth centre planning group at the invitation of the local consultant midwife.  As chair of the local RCM I wanted to ensure the midwives wishes were being heard and that the new midwife-led service would serve the needs of local women.  As a midwifery lecturer I wanted to ensure it would be a supportive and nuturing environment for students.  As a midwife I wanted to work clinically there.  As a friend, I wanted to support Sarah, the consultant midwife, who felt like she was swimming in treacle trying to move the plans forward in the face of strong opposition.

Several unproductive meetings left us all disheartened - NHS red tape is well renowned.  Another meeting was scheduled and I felt some cake might be welcome.  I made Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Traybake and went along with my Tupperware box, a knife and some napkins.

I had COMPLETELY misjudged the occasion.  Unlike other meetings, this was a formal elite gathering in a remote trust office wi…

Rhubarb and Ginger Chutney

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When we moved into this house, our good friend and neighbour Simon Webley (an elderly statesman of the village) gave us a Rhubarb plant that had been divided from one in his own magnificient kitchen garden.  The rhubarb has flourised in a reasonably sunny spot despite no attention whatsover (though I think the dog has fertilised it from time to time, it being placed relatively near the back door...)

I harvested some Rhubarb in the early summer and ate it lightly stewed with orange zest for breakfast with oats and yogurt.  Yum.  Today I had a pleasing second harvest of over 4lbs, so am cooking up a large batch of Rhubarb and Ginger chutney.

I share the recipe with you (I got it from an allottment website).

Rhubarb and Ginger Chutney

4 lb rhubarb, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
6 large onions, peeled and chopped (I used the processor)
1 head of garlic peeled and chopped with 1 large piece of peeled fresh ginger root (I do these…