We were supposed to have another viewing today, but sadly the people had a change of heart. Not the end of the world, as the house was still clean and tidy from last week, when our viewer couldn't get here due to the closure of the Severn Bridge and 6 mile tail-backs.
Anyway, because there was some confusion over whether there was a viewing or not (having received a confirmation email after I'd heard that it was cancelled, I thought I had better bake a cake, just in case. (I always have fresh flowers out in hall and kitchen, and the table laid with a cake and patchwork runner . . .)
This is a Spicy Dorset Apple Cake. As Tam doesn't care for currents or mixed fruit, I made it with the same amount of "Craisins" which are dried Cranberries.
SPICY DORSET APPLE CAKE
4 oz/115 g butter or margarine
4 oz/115 g caster or brown sugar
8 oz/225 g flour, S-R or "adjusted" (whatever THAT is!)
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice (or a mixture to your choice)
1 lb/ .5 Kg cooking apples (a good way of mopping up the fallers)
3 oz/85g dried fruit (currents, sultanas, cranberries etc)
Rub the margarine and the flour together. Add the spices, sugar, and peeled/cored/chopped apples, and the beaten eggs. Put the mixture in a large cake tin (10 inch/25 cm round or 8 inch/20 cm square) and bake at Gas Mark 6/200 deg. C/400 deg. F) for 35 -45 mins. The large amount of apple makes the cake a little fragile, so leave in the tin for 5 minutes or more before removing. If you do not have a large cake tin, use two smaller ones and reduce the cooking time a little.
Here's an extract from a lovely poem from William Barnes (the Dorset poet), dated 1835: "Father Come Home" where it mentions an earlier Dorset apple cake (which just had bits of apple stuck into it):
Your supper's nearly ready. I've a-got
Some teaties here a-doen in the pot;
I wish wi' all my heart I had some meat.
I got a little ceake too, here, a-beaken o'n
Upon the vier. 'Tis done by this time though
He's nice an' moist; vor when I were-a meakin o'n
I stuck some bits ov apple in the dough.
(The a's in the words have an umlaut above them, but damned if I know how to get that there, as I don't have an Option key!!).
Last night Tam fancied a Sausage Casserole. Here's our take on it (sorry no photos).
8 large fat sausages
1 good sized red onion (or brown if you wish)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 good sized leek
1 tin of green lentils, drained
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin spicy mixed beans
Good dash Worcestershire sauce
Good shake (tablespoonful) of BBQ or brown sauce
Soften onions in a little olive oil and remove. Put sausages in pan and cook until coloured a little. Put onions back in, add garlic, chopped leek and fry off gently for 5 minutes or so. Add tinned ingredients, and sauces and stir well. Cook in casserole dish in moderate oven (180 deg. C/350 deg. F/Gas mark 4) for an hour or so, until thoroughly cooked. This is SO good! We're having the other half tonight.