Sunday, 18 March 2012

Here's one I made earlier!

Pear and Ginger Crumble

4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
25ml/1 fl oz apple juice (I used orange)
1--g/4 oz plain flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used chopped preserved ginger)
50g/2 oz butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)

Preheat the oven to 190 deg.C/375 deg.F/Gas mark 5.

Place the pears in a 1.2 litre/2 pint ovenproof serving dish with the apple juice. Sift the flour and ginger into a bowl, then rub in the butter and stir in the sugar. (I just sprinkled the chopped preserved ginger over the fruit and omitted the ginger from the crumble topping). Spoon this mixture over the pears and press down lightly. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar (I didn't, as my OH hasn't got a sweet tooth).

Bake for 45 minutes until golden. Serve hot.

My husband tells me this is scrummy. I believe him. I try not to eat my own baking - I have enough weaknesses for chocolate or peanuts without adding to my woes and my waistline.

We had a busy weekend, with a car boot sale yesterday (very worthwhile). On Saturday I needed to buy seeds for the garden here and to grow on to sell, but as we are scrimping and saving to try and reduce debts, my OH thought that buying seeds was low on the agenda ("spend no more than a couple of quid" !!!) There's a challenge! Right, thought I as I walked through the doors of the garden centre, this won't take long then . . . Actually, it took a while as I had to try and pare down what I thought would maximise my profits. . . Carters do a range of very reasonably-priced seeds (Lidl are even better, but have a limited range) and I ended up buying 3 packets at 79p a packet. Sweet Peas (for me), Coriander and Courgettes.

After a good car boot sale, I returned and bought more sweet peas, a Mother's Day Polyanthus (Blue Zebra - all stripey and I couldn't resist it!), deep purple Basil, Spring Onions, Nicotiana sylvestris (woe is me if all 2,000 seeds germinate like they did last time!) and a little packet of wild flower seeds which is going to be sown on the corner of the herb bed in the paddock.

It was lovely and warm in the afternoon and I pottered in the greenhouse, warm as toast in there, setting up seed trays of my own (saved from last year) pre-soaked runner bean seeds - 7 trays down and still a load to plant up, PLUS 2 whole packets more left over from last year. I could flood the market . . . I've also sown Nasturtiums (seeds saved from last year) - the lovely Strawberries and Cream one I had in with Geraniums in log planters - and a huge tray of Bo Jangles Marigolds (my own seeds again). I need a bale of good compost though, as my No. 1 muck heap is too rich on its own, and the cheap bag of "compost" I bought is OK for planters etc but no good for seeds. I am fast running out of room - have two layers of a seed stack and one cold frame so I may set up the long strawberry tunnel and put the runner beans under there in the veg. plot (though I shall need to remove all the grass tussocks first!)

I just wish I didn't feel so completely hornswoggled from lack of sleep (awake at 5.30 a.m. this morning, my breathing none too good and tummy paining me, so I got up).

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