Remember I said ....
If I have a shower without that cat it would be a miracle?
Yesterday we buried her.
And at this time of year nearly every field is full to bursting point with lambs - this little school of lambs were definitely playing 'king of the castle' and although I did not manage to capture them - there were so many little bouncing lambs experimenting with the 'springs in their legs' as they leapt up and down with obvious enjoyment.
linking with Astrid's Scavenger Photo Hunt - do pop over and see what the others have done. Right, I'm off out, despite the overnight snow, we're going to head for those hills again. I'll catch up with blogs later once I am home - enjoy the rest of your weekend xxxx
If you look at the original recipe, you will notice that I have made alterations both handwritten and on today's typed version and true to my cooking style, I do it differently again!
I use butter not margarine as the original recipe calls for - I think it was due to sanctions and restrictions that butter was deemed a luxury and school cooking classes thought margarine was an acceptable alternative.
I melt the butter in the microwave, stir in the sugar - who wants to beat butter to a pliable consistency when a gentle stirring in of the sugar to a softened yellow gloop is so much easier.
The added cocoa - if you do the 2 tsps as I have written - you get a pale slightly hot chocolate flavoured cake - however if you want a cake that screams chocolate! 2 tablespoons of the heaped variety is more your scene. And I never add salt - butter has salt in it. Full stop.
So, there you have it - a simple and reliable cake recipe, one I have used for xxxxx number of decades!
Right, need to go and 'parcel up' Youngest's cake, they are packing the car and I want to make sure it goes with them.
Firstly thank you❤ for your lovely comments, I do appreciate them greatly🤗. I was asked if I knew a good sponge cake recipe - yes I do, I will share it with you soon I promise (just need to take some decent photos). The chocolate one I made for the Sunday picnic-in-the-garden was scoffed before I remembered to take a picture!
Not sure what the weather is like where you are but spring has teased us with a couple of warm days then immediately invited winter back in complete with brittle cold winds and snows. Shame on you spring - this is not funny.
We attempted a walk yesterday and cut it short. Despite being wrapped up, it was just not enough, so we sheltered on a sunny bank and shivered whilst we decided that we would take the next path across to the other side of the valley and return back to the van. The valley had a fast little stream flowing through the centre of it so we needed a permissible path across with a bridge before we could return. Once back at the van, we used it's bulk to hide from the strong breeze and put the kettle on - it was such a blessed relief to be able to have a hot brew before heading back home. The photograph above was taken on the way out - you would never guess it was such a bitterly cold day!
Today we tried again, this time a local walk. Although there was a threat of snow showers, the bright blue skies and softer breeze called to us so we took the hint and booted up and set off.
It was still cold but nothing like yesterday so we persisted. Eventually we arrived at a little woodland which has a 'secret path' around the far edge with a couple of little benches sited with lovely views. We stopped at one and watched as a snow-shower drifted through the valley. You can see the start of it behind the tree on the left side.
We watched the view reappear with a dusty white coating.
When it stopped, we left the shelter of the woodland and dropped down into the valley, following the river until we reached another young woodland. Here the sun broke through the clouds and it was beautiful. Buds and new leaves just shone out with such positivity and hope.
Moss seemed impervious to the cold and threw herself into the stream at every opportunity with such a happy face and silly grin. (Idiot dog!)
Now we are home, she is fast asleep on her bed, her feet twitching as she dreams while we hold mugs of tea and appreciate we managed to get out today. We are lucky.
A savoury pasta sauce is quietly bubbling away in the kitchen - one I have made before (52newrecipes) and the scent has just reached us. I attempted a post yesterday, written several paragraphs, included photos, however was not happy with the underlying tone I'd managed to weave through. My blog is not a place for me to rant, it is a place where I share things that have warmed my heart, made me smile, made me feel positive - things and people I love. So yesterday's wafflings felt jarring and ugly and quite petty - so everything was deleted. There is enough discordance around for me not to add my rather sour tuppence worth. And breathe ....
The temperature said 9 deg c but it certainly felt cooler, the sharp breeze definitely saw to that. We celebrated Sunday with our first family get together for what feels like years. We sat in the garden, appropriately distanced whilst swathed in blankets, coats and hats, hugging hot water bottles and mugs of tea as we ate chocolate cake and nattered.
We did a 'practice run' yesterday, following the sun, watching where the breeze was slipping in and it was a warm and sunny day. Today was so not that - it was bracing, it was fresh but it was with family 😊 so the warmth was of a very different kind - one we have missed for what feels for so long.
Friday was a lovely day - a rare blue sky, one so big and so deep that it reached from horizon to horizon and filled my eyes and my heart.
We packed the van with a packed lunch, flasks, dog towel and nibbles, camera, coats and boots and we found ourselves a quiet back water path. We knew that the first bit would probably have a number of folk and there was - so we stepped around them and soon left the well trod path for a lesser quieter one. I have been asked if we are afraid of folk due to the pandemic - No, definitely not afraid - even now, we just dislike crowds and have always avoided them if possible. Today was no different.
Himself and I stopped on the crest of a small hill and looked back over the view we'd just walked through. The colours of the valley are turning a delightful spring-like green. Trees are still bare but the grass and the hedges are developing hints of a delicious fresh growth.
We drank tea and ate lemon drizzle cake while we listened to the warbling trilling songs from the skylarks. It is only the males that sing, defending their territory and advertising their availability to the lady larks - it is a wonderful melodic saga which fills the sky and heralds spring.
Mugs drained, crumbs brushed away we start our walk again, dropping down off the crest into a moorland field full of rushes and wild grasses. We could smell the 'green' of the sap filled leaves and stems as our boots bruised the grasses along the path.
In places the hillside oozed spring water and cows had made muddy quagmire patches. Himself and I carefully hopped across while Moss took this as the perfect opportunity to top up her mud levels.....
Ahead of us a stoically square farm house sat solidly on the valley bottom, surrounded by nursery fields full of lambs and ewes basking in the sublime spring sunshine. Moss had to go back on her lead, which she cheerfully did as soon as she realised that there were woolly monsters which lived in the field we were just about to enter.
This is my first Friday off from work (and the Photo Scavenger Hunt) for a little while and it feels soooo good.
To celebrate that Friday feeling, Himself and I are going to pack ourselves a quiet little picnic, boots, camera and dog lead and find a backwater route for a walk. We are avoiding like the plague (sic) any where which may be popular and making sure we choose the path very much less trod.
But before we go - here is my first photo for Astrid's Scavenger Photo hunt - do pop over and visit, you'll find all the regulars and hopefully some new faces/blogs too.
Tomorrow I am baking - I have family coming over to join us for a 'socially distanced in the garden afternoon tea' on Sunday. The first one for many months. Of course the cake has to be .......
A chocolate Victoria sponge with little bunnies bouncing around!
Have a lovely Friday and a good weekend xx