Nutty Plum Crumble

This recipe is courtesy of  “The Best of Mrs Beeton’s Christmas” ISBN 978-1-898-80176-4

Serves 4-6

Ingredients :

  • 675g Plums, halved and stoned
  • 50g Sugar

Topping :

  • 175g Plain Flour
  • 75g Butter or margarine
  • 25g Demorara Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 75g Chopped Hazelnuts, toasted

Set the oven at 180 degrees C / 350 Degrees F / Gas Mark 4   Place the plums in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with sugar

Make the topping.   Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and hazelnuts.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the plums, pressing it down very lightly.   Bake the crumble for about 45 mins, until the topping is golden brown and the plums are cooked.   Serve with custard, cream or vanilla ice cream.

Picked our first tomatoes today


I have no idea what type these tomatoes are, I got the plants from my mother in law, and I think she mentioned that they were Sungold, but they came out a different shape from what I was expecting, I grew sungold last year and they were round lol.

Happy Easter

Wishing you all a very happy Easter 


 My Rowan tree in the far corner of the garden,  buds just starting to open out… I bought this tree as a pencil sized stick from my daughters school when she was 5, she is now 17 … we have watched this tree grow and flourish with my daughter 🙂


My Pink Champagne Rhubarb… I’m planning to cut some later this afternoon and make a rhubarb crumble with it 🙂


Finally Gloria, one of our black pekin bantams, clearing the weeds from my 3rd raised bed.  Gloria is top of the pecking order within our pekin family, she has a really cheeky strong character 🙂

Mango Tea Bread


I picked up a Mango at the reduced counter at my local supermarket for 20p,  looked through my cookery books and found this recipe… tastes lovely with butter and homemade jam 🙂

Mango Bread

Makes 1 x 2lb loaf


  • 10 oz (285g) Plain Flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • half a teaspoon of salt
  • 4oz (115g) Margarine, at room temperature
  • 3 Eggs, at room temperature
  • 10 1/2 oz (300g) Sugar
  • 4fl oz (125ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled and chopped
  • 3 1/4 oz (90g) desicated coconut
  • 2 1/2 oz (70g) raisins

Method :

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C / Gas 4 and Line the bottom and sides of a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt.. Set aside
  3. With an elextric mixer, cream the margarine until soft
  4. Beat in the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.   Beat in the oil.
  5. Fold in the dry ingredients into the creamed ingredients in 3 batches.
  6. Fold in the mangie, two thirds of the coconut and the raisins
  7. Spoon the batter into the loaf tin.
  8. Sprinkle over the remaining coconut,   Bake until a skewer inserted in the centre  comes out clean, after 50-60 minutes.   Let it stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.

Just wanted to add a wee warning….. I checked my loaf after 50 minutes because it was smelling like it was ready, when I did it was still gooey in the centre, so I closed the oven door and gave it another 10 minutes.

After 10 mins I went to get it out, and found that centre of the loaf  had sunk, because I skewered it…   Don’t skewer test it until after 60 mins 🙂


Recipe courtesy of “Muffins and Quickbreads” by Linda Fraser – ISBN 1-84309-585-8

Fresh Fruit Salad

We’re all having fresh fruit salad for after our tea this evening… my mouth was watering just making this today 🙂


  • 1 Red Gala Apple, Diced
  • Half a Galia Melon, Diced
  • A tub of Strawberries (we visited a pick your own shop)
  • A tub of Raspberies      ”               ”            ”              “
  • 4 Small Donut Nectarines
  • 1 small Pineapple, cubed
  • 1 small glass of fresh orange juice (to stop the apples discolouring)

Mix together, cling wrap and chill in the fridge until required.

We Picked Our Own Today…

Pick Your Own

Originally uploaded by T o w n i e

Today the kids and I went off to Craigies Farm Shop to pick our own Raspberries.

The plan is to freeze half and make jam with the other…

I love to make trifles and fruity jellies in the winter months, it kinda makes you reflect back to the summer and think about the day you picked them 🙂

So tomorrow morning will see me in the kitchen slaving away over a big shiney jam pan 🙂


I have one blackcurrant bush in my garden, and when I was out cutting the grass tonight I noticed the little purple berries peeking from beneath the leaves…

I popped into the kitchen to get a container, and 5 mins later I had half a tub of gorgeous juicy blackcurants, I weighed them …. 290g! not bad from one bush 🙂

I’ve just got to make some blackcurrant jam with them, you just cant beat some hot buttered toast spread thick with blackcurrant jam… (my mouth is watering here lol).

Raisin Bread

Raisin Bread.

“This is really just a large, shiny currant bun.   The syrupy glaze that you brush on the loaf after it comes out of the oven makes it look quite extraordinary – it’s as if someone has suddenly switched a spotlight on it”

To make one loaf :

  • Strong White Flour 500g, plus extra for dusting the work surface
  • Salt, 2 teaspoons
  • Easy-blend (fast action) yeast, a sachet or 2 teaspoons
  • Raisins, 150g
  • Milk, 125ml
  • Warm Water, 125ml
  • A large free-range egg
  • Orange marmalade, 2 good tablespoons
  • Lard or vegetable oil for greasing the tin.

For the glaze:

  • Granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Water, 2 tablespoons


  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Teaspoon
  • Measuring Jug
  • Tablespoon
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Cling Film or tea towel
  • Large loaf tin approximately 13 x 23 x 7cm, or a large round cake tin,
  • small saucepan
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Pastry Brush
  1. Put the flour in the mixing bowl with the salt, yeast and raisins
  2. Measure the milk and water into the jug.   Break in the egg and whisk everything together with the fork.   Pour the eggy liquid into the bowl of flour.   Spoon in the marmalade.
  3. Mix the flour and liquids together, either with your hands or with the wooden spoon.   When it becomes difficult to stir the dough, turn it out on to floured work surface,   Knead he dough, adding more flour a handful at a time if it is really sticky.   The dough will become smoother and smoother.
  4. When you feel that your arms are ready to drop off, poke a fingertip into the dough – if the dent you made bounces back and leaves just a little mark, then you’ve kneaded enough.   Shape the dough into a neat ball, out it in the bowl and cover the bowl with cling film or a damp tea towel.
  5. Leavethe bowl of dough in a warm (but not hot) place, away from open doors and windows, for 1 and a half to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  6. Grease the bread or cake tin with a scrape of lard or a drop of vegetable oil.
  7. When your dough has risen to a great big puffy, ballooned mass, twice its original size, flatten it with your fist.   Now pull it out of the bowl and knead it gently for a few seconds on the work surface.
  8. Flatten the dough out a little into a round disc, then roll it up roughly like a carpet so that you get a puffy sausage shape.   Place the dough sausage in the tin loaf – it should come about half way up the sides (if your using a round cake tin, then shape the dough into a ball and tuck the sides of the dough underneath  to make the ball pillow up, then put into the tin).   Cover with cling film or the tea towel again and leave to rise for 20-25 mins.   Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/Gas Mark 7 and place a shelf in the centre.
  9. Oven gloves in.   Place the tin gently in the oven and set the timer for about 12 mins.   Then turn the oven down to 190 degrees C/Gas Mark 5 for another 10 mins.   Oven gloves on.   Take the tin out of the oven.   Turn the bread out of the tin and tap the base to see if it sounds hollow.   If not, put the loaf directly on the hot oven shelf for 10 mins to colour the sides and bottom.
  10. Meanwhile, make the glaze.   Put the granulated sugar into a small saucepan with the water.   Place on the hob, switch on the heat to medium and stir with the wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved to make a syrup,   Let it simmer for a minute, then switch off the heat.
  11. Switch off the oven, take the bread out and let it cool on a wire rack.   Now brush the top and sides of the bread with the warm syrup.   It will shine beautifully.

How to eat your Raisin Bread

This loaf is probably at its best when slightly warm.   Spread thick slices of it with butter and eat, licking your sugary fingers.   If you’ve got any left the next day, eat it toasted and dripping with butter.


If you fancy a spicier bun, you can add a teaspoon of ground mixed spice to the flour in the bowl.   And you can shape the mixture into little buns rather than one big loaf if you prefer.   Bake the buns on a large greased baking sheet for about 15 mins at a slightly lower temperature, 200 degrees C/Gas Mark 6

Recipe courtesy of :

The River Cottage Family Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall & Fizz Carr

ISBN : 0-340-82636-3


Frugal Summer Fruit’s Trifle

Frugal Summer Fruit’s Trifle

On a visit the supermarket the other day I walked past the “reduced” counter.. a couple of things caught my eye…

  • Organic Double Cream  … 20p
  • Ready made Sweet Custard … 40p

Remembering that I had some frozen summer fruits in the freezer and a strawberry jelly that just cost 7p, and a small tub of sprinkles, I had the makings of a gorgeous trifle…

Trifle is a big favourite with with the kids and my O/Half, so to be able to make one at a fraction of the cost of buying one from the cold counter in the supermarket… It was an absolute bargin..

Cost : £0.67!