Tuesday, 10 September 2019

A last breath of summer

Sunshine here (and some cloud lurking) but I've hung the washing out, regardless) - the sun can stay and visit as long as it likes - the thought of an Indian Summer to eat into autumn suits me just fine.  I might be able to enjoy the sun a bit then - if it gets really hot in the summer I can't cope, and I have to try and avoid being outside much in the pollen season anyway.

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.


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)
2 eggs

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.


  1. Yum, your cake looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I just have to get the right measuring cups down and I am going to give it a try.

    God bless.

  2. I snuck a little piece at lunchtime (smack wrist!) and it was very nice and not too sweet.

  3. I've sold three houses in my time, and hate, hate, hate this period - of keeping the house ready for viewing, the will-they-won't they turn up/like it/put an offer in. The have-they-got-something-to-sell question. I don't envy you at all.

    1. It's like being in limbo isn't it? I'm NOT keen on housework - and put myself through the wringer when it comes to viewings as I have to have everything PERFECT, inside and out, and beat myself up about it. There are some outside jobs I want my husband to do but he deems them unnecessary and WON'T! Much gnashing of teefs! Some people are incredibly fastidious too, and it's like a slap in the face when you realize they have judged your house harshly (e.g. it's found wanting. Then I blame myself.)

  4. You are having bad luck with viewings. Hope you get some more before winter sets in

    1. Yes, but I can only breath a deep sigh and hope that the London Lady loves it and makes a good offer . . .

  5. Flowers and cake make for a nice setting. Sure hope there is more viewers soon. The recipes sound delicious and will give them a try. Love sausages and well, most meats. Have a good week. Judy

    1. We have one next week Judy- the Lady from London who couldn't get here for last week's viewing because the main route into Wales (Severn Bridge) was closed due to a fatality. Fingers crossed She will be The One!

  6. I do feel for you over the house sale, it must be so frustrating.

  7. So sorry about the showings. Your flowers and cake look lovely.
    Love the cake and sausage casserole recipes. Do you take the casings off of the sausages ?

  8. Thanks parsnip. We left the casings on the sausages, but you could remove them if you wished.

  9. Both of your recipes look delicious and I'm going to try the sausage casserole this weekend! I do hope that you'll have success with the sale of your home, soon! Lynne

  10. Hello Lynne - I hope that you enjoy the casserole. Despite the hot weather I have a turkey leg casserole in the oven - mainly because I'd defrosted them and then the weather Got Hot! but they still needed cooking.

    Watch this space ref. the viewing. I shall say whether it was a positive one or not, but no more.

  11. Sorry to hear about the cancelled viewing. Getting a bit confused but are those who have to cancel because of Severn bridge problems still going to view? If so, I really hope it goes well.

    Cake looks super - Dorset Apple Cake is my son's favourite. I use a BBC good Food recipe normally but will compare with yours and try yours for a change :)

    1. The lady that had to cancel is coming on Thursday - hopefully a trouble-free journey this time. So fingers crossed.

      I think this is the same Dorset apple cake recipe I put up a few weeks ago, but the version I made this week with dried cranberries instead of mixed fruit may be a bit different.