One of the most pleasing things about being back in the UK is the sheer variety of fruit and vegetables on offer. Fourteen years without summer treats like rhubarb, gooseberries and raspberries have served to remind me how lucky we are in this country to have such an amiable climate – we tried many times to grow rhubarb in Turkey, but once June came along, it literally cooked in the ground. Continue reading “Rhubarb & ginger tray-bake”
Have you ever seen such a forlorn fruit bowl? A couple of pomegranates – fresh from the tree in the garden of Erol’s garage, where our car had its pre-MOT checks this week – alongside the inevitable black bananas (see last week’s post) and a lonely as-yet-unripe avocado.
Last week’s banana drizzle cake had an undignified ending. Having no Tupperware box the right size or shape, I put half in the freezer and wrapped the rest in clingfilm and put it inside the cold oven, where I thought it would be safe from the attentions of Annie Cat (the four-legged midnight stealth shopper). It had companions in the form of a half loaf of soda bread and some leftover simits. I am sure you can guess where this is going – the following day when I turned on the oven, I only remembered they were there when I smelled the plastic melting. The banana bread was totally shrink-wrapped in a coffin of melted clingfilm. Its friends were similarly entombed and also had to be jettisoned. Ooops. Continue reading “Fruity banana muffins – egg-free, dairy-free, vegan”
The summer in Cornwall appears to be over. Falmouth Week has passed, the tourists are all in a very long line on the A39, heading ‘back to England’, and the hedgerows are absolutely groaning with blackberries after basking in glorious sunshine for what seems like months.
Last week we braved the two-carriage train to Falmouth to watch the Red Arrows display over the bay. Last year 45,000 people went into town to see it, which is more than twice the usual population, and a similar number was expected this year, so it makes things a little squashy. Luckily, Robin and I have had many years of advanced London Underground training, so we managed to sneak into a little gap while nobody was paying attention. Continue reading “Blackberry & apple jam”
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)”
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”
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)”
We are off to New Zealand to visit Robin’s son and daughter-in-law in two weeks time. It will be just coming in to spring there and I can’t wait for cooler weather, so that I don’t have to have crazy hair all the time. We had some chores to do in town this morning (involving two trips to the local municipality and one to the tax office – opposite ends of town and it’s market day, so no possibility of driving between the two and finding a parking space). When I left home, I looked like a relatively normal person (as normal as you can be when you step out into a swamp that is over 40 centigrade and 70% humidity, that is). When we arrived at the municipality offices for the second time, having crossed town on foot twice now, I caught a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror window and wondered how I’d managed to get past security without being detained for my own safety. Continue reading “Sticky fig & orange muffins”
We finally arrived back in Turkey at the weekend after what seemed a mammoth journey. As our less-than-favourite airline, Thomas Cook, once again cancelled our flight back from the UK, we decided to go off-piste and treat ourselves to a few days in France on the way back. This may sound simple, but it involves a convoluted route back here, as the French don’t come to Turkey for their holidays – they have other places to go (no doubt all with better wine), so the only flights are with the big carriers into Istanbul. And that’s very expensive indeed, plus it is a place I don’t feel comfortable hanging around in at the moment. Continue reading “Home sweet home (and summer plum cake recipe)”
We are in blackberry heaven at the moment. There are wild brambles growing along the canal towpath and at the sides of all of the footpaths around here. A neighbour also has the most prolifically-fruiting blackberry bramble, which handily hangs over the fence behind our house, at perfect picking height.
Robin has been out picking blackberries today while I went across to what we used to call the ‘bottle bank’ but now seems to be known by the euphemism ‘mixed recycling’. I’m confused about this new term. There’s never anything very mixed about our recycling apart from the fact that the beer bottles are mixed up with the wine bottles and occasionally there’s the excitement of a stray mini Prosecco bottle – does that count or do we have to have cardboard and stuff as well? I keep expecting some kind of recycling official to come over and tut about the lack of variety in my offerings. Continue reading “Summer fruit crumble”