Lemon yoghurt cake

Inspired by my friend Lynn on http://www.lynnscookingblog.com/ I decided to make a cake. This is a recipe from my Mum's handwritten notebook and is in ounces.

Here's the recipe:

4oz butter
6oz caster sugar
3 eggs
finely grated lemon zest
6floz natural yoghurt
8oz sr flour
2oz chopped dried apricots

preheat oven 325F/160C.gas 3
grease a 2 lb loaf tin

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well between each.
Gently fold in the lemon zest, flour and apricots.
Spoon into the tin and bake for about 35 - 40 mins rill golden.
Cool on a wire rack.

This is delicious with a yoghurt topping - mix 1 tbspn natural yoghurt with 3 oz icing sugar. Spread over top of cake when cold and sprinkle with some more grated lemon rind.
I found this icing very thin and it ran down the sides of the cake. Think I'd use more icing sugar next time.

Talking of icing sugar, this is my French icing sugar. I love the container. They make a special container every January for the New Year. This is just the normal one.

Here's the mixture ready to be cooked.

The top of the cake cracked because my oven is useless! I've got a thermometer in it, but even when it's the required temperature things burn!

Now all we have to do is eat it!


Steamed hake with chickpeas

I'm not very imaginative when it comes to cooking fish. I had some hake and wanted a good recipe so tried this one here ; it was very tasty and an ususual blend of flavours.
 I didn't have any broad beans so left them out. Luckily I had some chorizo left over from a pizza. I'm surprised that the parsley in my garden is still growing after the cold winter we've had.

I like Simon Rimmer on 'Something for the Weekend'. but this is the first recipe of his I've tried.


Things I like to do

Over the years I've enjoyed doing embroidery of all sorts. In the UK, my friend and I went to Evening class and we were lucky that our teacher was doing a City and Guilds in Crafts and taught us lots of different types of work such as shadow, drawn thread, Florentine etc. The only snag was that she taught a new skill every few weeks, not enought time to complete the previous one, as I was teaching full time and had 2 children, so little time to catch-up at home.

I saved it all 'for when I retired', but I still don't seem to have enough time to finish those projects!

This is a cushion I made for our bedroom.

I've done lots of birth samplers, one for each grandchild, wedding cushions etc

I made this Kaffe Fassett 'Victorian Cats' cushion for my daughter, supposedly for her 21st birthday, but actually got finished for her 30th! This is the kit before I started. All the shades of the cats were so difficult to see in the evening.

I'm making my son a Celtic design tapestry cushion; hope he'll get it before he's 40!! I'm following a chart this time instead of a printed canvas. He wanted different colours just to add complications an already complicated design; all the red is purple, the orange is another shade of purple and there are various shades of mauve and lilac; we've kept the turquoise and the black!

These cushions will be the family heirlooms!

This is one I'm doing for my French friends. They keep chickens and have a cockerel who is just like this one, strutting his stuff in front of his harem!

My next project but 2 will be this cushion - I love roses so this is a must do!

Now all I have to do is find some time!

Anniversary sampler

We didn't want any presents for our Silver Wedding anniversary, but I wanted to do something as a keepsake, so I've decided to do a sampler.
My favourite flowers are lilies and we received a lovely bouquet of them for our anniversary. So I decided to design a sampler with a lily like this one as a centrepiece. Am in the throes of designing the chart, so will update this as I go along.


Apple crumble cake

When we came to France nearly 7 years ago, we brought 2 Bramley apple trees with us, as the variety isn't known here. They've been prolific and have given us apples for the freezer every year.
I'm always looking for new recipes to use them and found this one in an old exercise book that I used in a cookery evening class in the 70s.

100g soft margarine or butter
100g caster sugar
1 tspn vanilla extract
2 eggs beaten
150g sr flour
milk if needed
350g apples, peeled, cored and sliced [and defrosted if frozen]
75g hard margarine [I used soft]
100g sr flour
75g caster sugar
1 tbspn water
Preheat oven 180C/350F/gas 4
Make the cake first by creaming the fat and sugar till light and fluffy then beating in the vanilla and eggs.
Fold flour into the mixture and if necessary add a little milk to make a stiffish dropping consistency.
Grease a 21cm loose-bottomed tin and line base with parchment.
Put cake mixture into tin and smooth top, then put the apple on top in a layer.
Make topping by rubbing fat into flour and stirring in the sugar and water.
Spoon this over the apple.
Bake for about an hour - check after 45 mins as the top was golden, but the bottom wasn't cooked, so I covered the top in foil and cooked it for another 15 mins.
Serve it hot with cream or ice cream or cold as a cake.
It makes a substantial sized cake!