Tuesday, 1 September 2015

A busy Saturday.

On Saturday (when I had a LOT more energy than I have today!), I made up a batch of Banana Flapjacks so we had an energy bar snack to eat yesterday, and last us through this week.  Here is the bowl just after adding the Craisins (dried Cranberries) which stop them being over-sweet because of the Bananas and Syrup.  I don't add the sugar from the original recipe either.

BANANA FLAPJACKS - my version of a recipe found on the internet

50g butter, melted
2 tblspns golden syrup or honey
250g porridge oats (Lidl do a good version)
1 tspn cinnamon
60g Craisins (dried cranberries)
2 ripe bananas, mashed

6" x 8" baking tray (15cm x 20cm)

Melt the butter in a pan and then add the golden syrup or honey.  If you have a sweet tooth, you can add 60g of brown sugar too).  Stir well.  Mash bananas and add them to the butter mixture.  Mix the oats and craisins in a bowl, and sprinkle on cinnamon and stir again.  Add the banana and butter mixture and mix and spread into a greased and lined baking tray.  Flatten with the back of a spoon and bake at 200 deg. C for 15-20 mins, until slightly brown.  These keep well in an airtight container.

Then I baked a batch of rough-hewn rolls using a mixture of spelt, oat-bran, wholemeal and white flours, with a couple of tablespoons of honey added.

The previous day I had started off a batch of Blueberry Cordial, using a recipe which Dawn, over at Doing It For Ourselves in Wales made last week.  Go to her A Blue Day post of 28th August. (Thanks Dawn). It's very simple to make.  Because of my asthma, I washed the blueberries first in the mix which removes preservatives (one cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon vinegar, scaled up as necessary, and then rinsed off afterwards).  This has made a lovely cordial which will keep in the fridge for up to 6 mths. due to the acidic lemon juice, or you can if you wish, freeze it in an ice cube tray (I did that with some of it too.)  I was going to dehydrate the strained blueberries, until I put the pan containing the muslin straining bag and contents in the washing up water!

Finally, Friday's walnut loaf made in the bread maker, as I just needed a bung-it loaf.  This is made with my husband in mind as he loves Walnut Bread.

Today is more or less a Day Off here as I am still shattered from the lack of sleep on Saturday night .

A little P.S.  I have just given myself half an hour off after we had eaten our evening meal.  I took the lounger out to the south-facing yard and chased the sun around in the lounger whilst I read a book Dawn has loaned me, Ruth Jeanette Buck's "Place of Stones", in which she and her family uproot from the town and buy a small hillfarm up in North Wales.  It's very good reading and if the sun hadn't gone behind the oak trees bordering the top field, I would have stayed out there a bit longer.

What I did notice, with sadness, is that the Swallows have left us.  They were here on Saturday, but must have made the most of yesterday's sunshine HERE (we left it behind us to chase the rain to Malvern!) to head South for the winter.  The yard is so quiet without them and how I miss their chattering as one or more sit on the electricity cable across to the stables or the farm, or their swooping over the house and in through the window above the cart shed or into the hay barn at the back.  There were three nests in there, all empty, although I have a little souvenir in the form of an addled egg which mama Swallow through out with the hatched shell remains whilst housekeeping.

Looking out of the window up in my office, there are half a dozen farm House Martins still about, but I expect they will soon be gone too.  They sometimes have a very late extra brood so perhaps these ones have, or the youngsters are not quite ready to go yet.

Another thing I noticed whilst sitting in the yard was that my barely-ripening Elderberries on one of the two bushes is being stripped by a Wood Pigeon.  The slugs are nobbling my Courgettes before they get big enough to harvest so I must put down more animal-friendly slug bait.  Having lost all my Blackcurrants, Redcurrants and Boysenberries to the Blackbirds (which I don't mind too much), and the entire tree of Rowan berries to something else, and with the Blackbirds/Crows/Jays/Jackdaws all making free with the topmost apples ripening on my apple trees, it's just as well I am not relying on the garden for too much this year.  The Damsons are rotting on the tree before they are ripe enough to pick, and out of 25 tomato plants, I have perhaps 2 lbs of fruit, if that.  At least the garlic harvest was good, and the runner and flat beans are finally doing me proud.  Let's home 2016 brings a better summer, though I have a feeling this winter may be a hard one. . .


  1. Your home made goodies look nice x

  2. Hi SL. They tasted nice too! I do love my baking.

  3. How contrary things are BB - we are so much further North and yet our swallows have not gone yet.
    That baking makes me feel really ashamed, but I never eat cake as I have to keep my weight down (to accommodate my arthritic ankle which is bad to walk on) and to keep the farmer's weight stable I have almost weaned him off cake too. He hates salads, but I spend a lot of what would have been baking time making salads he will eat - he loves hard boiled eggs and we have our own hens, so I can devise a salad using eggs as a basis.

  4. Pat - I have to say, nice though it is, a salad doesn't hit quite the same spot a slice of cake does! I bake and give away, more often than not but I do like a piece of moist low-sugar home baked cake on occasion. I always cut the sugar and substitute fruit instead. The flapjacks I made have natural sugar from the banana and just a little syrup, and the oats are slow to digest so keep you full longer. My OH doesn't have a sweet tooth or like cake, but he does like these.

  5. Your baking, especially the bread and rolls looks so wonderful.
    I am eating my lunch of a salad and I wish I had a slice of the walnut bread right now.

    cheers, parsnip

  6. parsnip - the rolls tasted better than their craggy looks suggested! The Walnut bread is easy to make. I shall put up a recipe and you can try it.

  7. The flapjack looks and sounds good. The berries have gone off my Rowan tree as well. Plums look ripe so must check what state they are in - most are too high up for me to reach so I shall have to wait until they drop and use them for crumbles.

  8. Lovely cooking 'lesson' or at least ideas to try, made a madeira cake yesterday, as there are so many eggs to get through!
    Our swallows are still here, though the workmen came yesterday put up some scaffolding to do the church gutters, where the swallows roost but at least the young must be fully fledged.

  9. Rowan - I doubt I will get a couple of pounds off my Damson tree as the ones I have squeezed aren't quite ripe yet and so many are rotten now. It had a lot of fruit on it too.

    thelma - I can let you have my 6 egg chocolate cake recipe if you like! Enjoy your Swallows while you can. I am missing mine already, though on my walk this afternoon I noticed a few "flying over", on their way back home I think.

  10. I need to make those flapjacks!! They look delicious.

  11. Hi Sharie. Let me know what you think of them.