Wednesday 11 September 2019

Saying Farewell to Summer

It's that time of the year. Waking up to a chill in the air and yet by mid morning I've needed to discard my sweater having got so warm. The long, hot days of summer are gone, the paddling pool has been packed away for another year and some mornings I have woken to find condensation on the inside of the windows.
The seasons are changing and I am saying a reluctant goodbye to summer.
I've had a busy couple of weeks which began with the end of our summer break and ended with Lily starting back at school.
For the last week of the holiday, the weather here wasn't so great but we kept ourselves busy. Lily enjoyed baking cupcakes and I was happy to ice and eat them. I wrote out the recipe and she loved weighing the ingredients. We've been swimming - a lot! And, of course, we enjoyed some short walks close to home when we had the chance.
At the beginning of summer we booked ourselves a night away which, as well as something to look forward to, would allow us to visit two places we've wanted to see for a while now. So at the beginning of last week, we went to Monkey Forest in Trentham and to The National Space Centre in Leicester. We had such a great time and it was a perfect way to end our summer break.

I've switched the bedding over to brushed cotton and, although it seems quite early for this, as I'm someone who feels the cold easily it has made such a difference.
In the garden, the sunflowers are almost all out now. I think there is just one left waiting to open up. They have kept us waiting this year but have been worth it.
The vegetables in the raised bed have all been eaten (by ourselves or by the caterpillars!) and I need to turn the soil soon, in readiness for the winter months. When it has been dry enough I've been trying to keep on top of cutting the grass and I expect that sometime soon it will be for the last time this year.

With a certain baking programme back on the television, I'm finding it's almost impossible to watch without craving cake and yet cake is something I don't bake very often. Always one to give in to temptation 😊 I fortunately remembered this simple, yet delicious, recipe for plum cake and dragged my cake tin out from the darkest depths of the kitchen cupboard.

150g caster sugar
115g butter
140g plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon sugar

Make the sponge by creaming together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, gradually mixing in the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into a greased and lined 26cm tin, then top with the halved plums, cut side up. I used five for my cake.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar and bake at 150° for around 45 minutes.

School finally started back in the middle of last week. Lily has settled in well and is, so far, enjoying what this new term has to offer and I'm enjoying our daily walks through the village once more. I'm currently finding my feet in a different routine but there is a feeling of calm as the seasons start to shift and I acknowledge the new rhythm to my days.

J. X