Thursday, 2 April 2020

Weetabix Fruit Loaf Cake

For those of you who were curious about the Weetabix cake I made. There are various recipes available online, but this is one which was passed to me years ago and that I have always used for making mine.
It's really delicious and so very simple to make, you don't even need to weigh out any of the ingredients.

You will need:

2 Weetabix
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of sultanas
1 cup of milk
1 cup of self raising flour
1 egg
1 cup = 250mls. I use a little less than a full cupful of sugar and don't notice any difference to the taste.

Place the Weetabix, sugar, sultanas and milk into a large mixing bowl and mix together. Cover and leave for at least an hour or overnight. Next stir in the egg and flour and mix well. Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake at 150°C for around 45 - 50 minutes.

I enjoy mine thickly sliced and spread with butter.

J. X

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Staying Home

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my previous post. More than ever I appreciate the connection with everyone in this wonderful blogging community. Long may it continue.
With work and the usual school day on hold for the time being, life has taken a very different turn. I have been trying to keep to some sort of a routine, although this isn't always adhered to when I don't have any time constraints. It's a very strange feeling.

Most mornings we've completed around two hours of school work. This includes spelling practice, reading, writing and maths, followed by some topic work. It's surprising how much can be covered in a short space of time and it leaves our afternoons free to play in the garden and to go for a walk.

Now that the weather has improved, the garden is looking so much better. The grass has had it's first proper cut of the year and the soil has been dug over. Unfortunately, there's only so much work I can do until I can get to a garden centre, but Lily and I have managed to sow some sweet peas, spinach, tomatoes and sunflowers. There is still carrot and beetroot to go in, but this really should wait until I can get hold of some more netting to keep any cats off. I've also weeded and swept the driveway, no longer having the excuse of not having enough time. Until this last week I never knew how much I would come to value this outdoor space and, although it's lacking in colour at the moment, I'm just so grateful that Lily is able to play out, enjoy her swing and even ride her bike along the driveway.

The supermarket now appears to have most things in stock and on my last visit I was able to get everything we needed, even flour! The staff there are doing an amazing job and manage to keep smiling, even while working in very difficult circumstances, so I'm very grateful for  them. It's been a great comfort to me being able to bake once again and even more comfort in being able to eat the results. I've made Weetabix cake and some bread so far. 😁 There's a new cake recipe I want to have a try at baking this week but I need some oranges which I don't have in at the moment, so it will just have to wait until my next shop. I'm taking care to be more organised with my shopping lists and I know to add an extra carton of milk to the list in future, so that I can avoid having to go any more often than is absolutely necessary.

Most afternoons we've enjoyed a walk along the riverbank and not surprisingly it's a little busier than usual down there. Still, there is plenty of space for people to pass each other at a safe distance, although, with Lily often waving a stick around, we're usually given a wide berth anyway.
Stay well.
J. X

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Before Staying Home

I wasn't sure how I should open this post. Nothing that I can say seems appropriate at the moment but I hope you are well and are finding a way through these troubling times. Life has changed for all of us, for some in the worst possible way, and so to those still working and providing vital services I cannot find the words to explain just how much it is appreciated. Thank you.

As expected, school closed last Friday for the foreseeable future, so for the moment we are learning at home. School had already prepared for this outcome, so we have learning packs and online resources at our disposal and for now, at least, I have a willing pupil. How long this will last, however, I'm not so sure. Zumba classes in the living room have become a thing and, no, they have nothing to do with me - Lily likes to freestyle! Fortunately, she appears unconcerned by recent events and I hope that continues to be so. Her only disappointment right now is not being able to go swimming.

On my last visit to the supermarket I was reassured to see most of the shelves had returned to having almost normal stock levels. The panic buying of the previous two weeks seems to have calmed down now, although I still haven't been able to buy flour, not even from the farm shop. I'm missing being able to bake (not a real problem, I know) and although I have a small amount remaining in the kitchen cupboard, I am going to keep it for a real baking emergency. Thank goodness Lily loves flapjack.

Before the official lockdown, we went for a walk up Steel Fell. I had been wanting to walk it since climbing the nearby Helm Crag earlier in the year but the weather hadn't co-operated. Again, I wasn't sure, even on the morning we set off. There had been conflicting social distancing advice and I would never put myself or anyone else at unnecessary risk, but with the possibility of a week at work ahead of me and the knowledge that Steel Fell is one of the quietest fells in the Lakes, we set off. And what a glorious day for it. Fresh air and the most beautiful blue sky. We could see for miles and, if it was even possible, under our present circumstances I appreciated it all the more.

Life is undoubtedly different for us all right now but in amongst the uncertainty I have been heartened by acts of kindness and people reaching out to one another. The words social distancing are in daily use but I don't know about you, thanks to the wonder of technology I have been in touch with friends more than ever and I hope it continues to be this way once we are over the worst.

Conversations will not be cancelled.
Relationships will not be cancelled.
Love will not be cancelled.
Songs will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Hope will not be cancelled.
May we lean into the good stuff that remains.
– Jamie Tworkowski

Stay well.
J. X