This is certainly a year of unpredictable weather. Last week, most of Turkey’s airports were snowed to a standstill, we were hardly visible under our many layers of clothing and competing with the cats for space by the stove. This week we’ve felt more like ducks – paddling around in huge puddles and acres of mud, dodging the storms and trying to park our car under cover, where it won’t be hit by the golf-ball-sized hailstones. Eeek. Continue reading “Wickedly sticky pumpkin ginger cake (vegan)”
We rarely eat bread from our local bakeries – I am sure Turkish bread is a novelty if you are a tourist, but it’s basically quite a lot of very sharp crust filled with quite a lot of air. Oh, and the only bits in the middle that aren’t actually air are horrible chemicals which act as yeast accelerators so that the bakers only have to give the dough one rise (very poor behaviour). Continue reading “Crusty cornmeal bread (vegan)”
You can tell by the little flurry of blog posts that today has been rainy, windy and largely unpleasant. The rain has now stopped and we have a bit of weak sunshine, so Robin’s been dispatched to get more wood before it starts again (I can’t get the wood in, I’m far too busy using up oranges that he’s picked for me).
Some friends have just been for coffee, so I made a quick batch of ginger biscuits by way of a treat. As we are trying to follow a vegan diet at the moment, of course these are a vegan version – but the only change I had to make was to swap the butter from my original recipe for vegetable margarine. They turned out surprisingly well – in fact, I am not sure that they are not better than their buttery cousins, which can tend to burn around the edges before the centres are cooked. I may well stick to the margarine version even after the end of January. Continue reading “Extra-gingery ginger fairings (vegan)”
Planting orange trees around here is a tricky business. It is hard to tell with a young tree whether the fruit is going to be sweet or bitter. We planted several trees when we came to live here, thinking they were sweet oranges and a lemon – but they turned out to be the Seville variety. We managed, eventually, to grow a sweet orange and a lemon, but we still have a glut of Seville oranges every year from the original trees.
I make tons of marmalade, to give away to friends and to various charity bake sales, but I am always at a loss to know what to do with the rest. Continue reading “Seville orange drizzle cake”
Day 2 of our vegan adventure and now we are starting to get organised. Supplies of some types of fresh food are not reliable around these parts, particularly in the winter, so it is sometimes difficult to plan ahead.
This morning, when we were out for a walk in the absolutely glorious sunshine we are enjoying at the minute, I popped into the little Migros supermarket in our marina, which often stocks items that aren’t available elsewhere. Triple score. Beansprouts, fresh coriander AND oat milk. I feel a Thai curry coming on.
When we first decided to take part in Veganuary, I had a trawl through some vegan websites to get some ideas of what we might eat (largely because we were going on a trip to Europe, and I thought I might bring a few goodies back with me). Although I did find some good ideas, many of the sites seemed more like a chemistry lesson than somewhere I might find a recipe for something nice I would like to eat. Continue reading “Carrot, banana & apple muffins (vegan)”
When I was raking through the fridge for forgotten and unloved veggies to go into our diet day minestrone, I came across a few courgettes that were looking well past their sell-by date. One went into the soup, but that left two more, so I was trying to think of something slightly different to make with them. (I’m sure you must all think that dinner at our place entirely revolves around using up tired fruit and veg, and that you’re all hoping to goodness you never get invited. Not true, honest Guv, but I just hate throwing things away.) Continue reading “Courgette (zucchini), ginger and lemon muffins”
Our friends have sold their apartment and the deal concludes this coming week, so they are having a farewell dinner for a few of us this evening. My task is to bring the pudding. I had planned to make Heidi’s Tongan coconut tart, which we came across on our recent holiday there (a kind of lovely gooey coconut custard in a crunchy case). Unfortunately, one of the other guests hates coconut, so I’ve had to have a re-think. I WILL do the coconut tart, but you will have to wait a bit longer for that one. Continue reading “A very lemony lemon meringue pie”
You may think I make an awful lot of muffins. You would be right. They are such useful items to take on a walk or to the beach – more robust than slices of cake, which will inevitably break up or get squashed in your backpack or beach bag. They are also much easier to serve and eat when you are out and about – and everyone gets their own individual little bundle of goodness, so no potential for squabbling in the ranks. Continue reading “Cocoa-banana muffins”
It’s official – I am in love with humpback whales, and I think I am hooked for life.
Sorry about the prolonged absence, but we have just returned from the most fantastic holiday, the main focus of which was swimming with humpback whales in the Ha’apai group of islands in Tonga. Continue reading “Having a whale of a time (and spiced apple cake recipe)”
I’ve just spent a fascinating five minutes watching another giant hornet (or it might be the same one – brown head, brown wings, yellow striped jumper, six engines…) trying to take off with a cat biscuit that one of our mob left in their dish outside on the terrace. Our cat biscuits are about the size of a British penny, so that gives you an idea just how big these pesky beasts are. The locals call them donkey bees – not sure why that is – maybe because of their penchant for carrying things around. Anyway, he was having trouble getting enough lift, so he solved this by nibbling all around the edges of the biscuit to make it a bit smaller – hey presto, we have lift off. He’s probably got a very fully tummy though, so I’m not sure whether he’ll make it safely to his destination with his prize. Continue reading “The Sacrifice (and raspberry ripple muffins)”