Red at night, Shepherds’ Delight.
The old adage proved correct and Saturday night’s wonderful sunset was followed by a marvellous day on Sunday. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the air was warm – more like September than mid-November.
The Little Man and I trotted over the road to revel in the sunshine, all too unusual around here at the moment.
It was early afternoon but there was hardly anybody out except a few fishermen and a little girl learning to ride her bike. Where was everybody?! Was the blue sky not beckoning, the sunlight shining through the windows not calling them out from their homes?
Having been inspired by the lovely breads that Lillian stores in her cupboard I have dusted off the bread machine recently. It has been wonderful having fresh, homemade bread around the place. I love making bread – kneading, shaping, eating – but that is just not going to happen at the moment. The machine is therefore a practical and convenient way to enjoy my own loaves until a window opens for me to indulge in some more hands-on yeasty baking.
As I make small loaves (so that the bread is always fresh and they can fit in hubby’s lunchbox!) we end up having a lot more ends left over. All the more to feed to the ducks then!
The Little Man was fascinated by the geese honking around by his feet and the gulls flying above his head. However it was the blue sky that was capturing my attention.
Just look at that colour.
I could not stop gazing at it.
We walked round to the second lake to find a few more hungry beaks.
There were plenty to be found! The beige cygnets from earlier in the Summer (see here) are now completing the final stages in their transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan.
When we returned hubby took on the responsibility of childcare whilst I set about preparing Sunday dinner for my family. The dessert I chose has become a firm favourite since I discovered it in The National Trust’s Complete Traditional Recipe Book. It can be served warm as a pudding or left to cool and eaten as a cake.
Place 175 g self-raising flour, 1 tsp mixed spice and 225 g sugar in a bowl (I use half caster, half demerara for taste and texture).
Add 225 g chopped butter but do not rub it in.
Peel and slice in 700 g cooking apples and stir in 2 beaten eggs and enough milk to make a stiff batter.
Place in a 23 x 23 cm tin and bake for 1 1/2 hours in a moderate oven (190°C). (The butter melts and caramelises the top so it is important not to take it out too early).
What’s your favourite comfort pudding? xxx