I was so pleased to get positive feedback on my last tea party, that I’m going to continue to post once a month — mid-week, mid-month probably — at least for the rest of 2020.
If you’d like to contribute a post of your own — that would be great.
Maybe a shot of your cuppa and/or whatever you’re having with it, A recipe. A few words about what you’re doing/reading/making. What’s making you happy or pissing you off? I’ll update each of my posts with a ping-back to everyone’s in the same way as I do with The Changing Seasons.
#virtualteaparty2020 for anyone on Instagram who wants to post images (or video?)
I’d love to be part of a global rolling tea party. Hopefully a few of you would too.
Stop by here first if you’d like to go over as a group, want to visit my fabric stash, or just to natter a bit.
If you’re early, maybe you ‘d help with sandwiches. I’m not sure about that cookie cutter. 😉
If you feel a pressing need, bring cake or whatever you’d like.
I’m planning on traditional bread and butter sandwiches, hot buttered toast, and maybe a few raspberry jam sandwiches, using my bread machine’s whole meal bread.
For afters I’m also bringing a fresh Raisin Spice cake . (Recipe is here.)
Firstly, here’s the recipe for making your own version of Monday’s photo —
War, Raisin Spice, or Depression Cake
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (I always use dark brown as it has more flavour)
1 cup seedless raisins
1-1/4 cups water
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use whatever spices I like and am apt to double them.)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Place all of the above in a pot, bring to a boil, and boil gently whilst stirring, for 5 minutes.
Make sure your pot is large enough to add the flour, and you’ve saved a bit of washing up. 😉
When above wet mixture is thoroughly cool it will slightly resemble glue. That’s a good thing.
SIFT and measure out 2 cups of flour.
Mix in 1 teaspoon EACH of baking powder AND baking soda.
Thoroughly incorporate these into your 2 cups of SIFTED flour.
Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and thoroughly mix together.
Turn out this still slightly gluey mixture into a thoroughly greased loaf pan approx. 9x5x3.
Bake about 60 minutes at 350 degrees F., until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. A crack along the top of the cake is normal.
Cool in the pan, then turn out onto a plate, slice, and enjoy.
If you have to have icing, go for it. Your choice. My family didn’t.
Hope you enjoy it!
On to some sewing!
Oddly, speaking about food, I’ve another quick project in mind involving rather a large amount of rice. I’ve done some preliminary tests and know the project needs to be larger than first assumed, and I dug up some cotton to recycle for the project. More in a few days. 😉 (No, it not a door stop, although I should be making one.)
I also have an old, very solid cotton twill shower curtain that’s about to get chopped up and made into 2 curtains, whenever I can get to the store for another curtain rod and more of those sets of clips I can never remember the name of. You know–the ones that clip to the top of the fabric with a ring attached that then goes onto the curtain rod.
That fabric is from Chicago days, and was slightly dyed to offset the bright white background. If I can locate that post . . . Well, here’s one with a nice photo, and showing some additional fabric. Wonder where it is . . . .
Aren’t we glad fabric lasts and lasts and lasts?
🤣 😂 🤣
As part of my holiday prezzies, I ordered the three new D. E. Stevenson books reprinted by Furrowed Middlebrow, VittoriaCottage, MusicintheHills, and WinterandRoughWeather, and have finished them.
Together they comprise the lives of several members of a single family. The variety of characters and situations are interesting to me, being set in Scotland’s Lowlands just as World War II is over.
Next on my To Be Read list is another from F.M., a rare early book from Miss Read, Fresh from the Country. I downloaded the preview the other night, and it sounds like a great story for any Miss Read fan.
If anybody knows what these things are, please let me know. It will ease my curiosity. 😉
Have only seen them in this one protected corner that doesn’t get full sun. There’s even a little furled bud down sort of in the bottom right corner.
It’s still cool enough to get a bit of baking done before the heat and humidity starts. Am chomping down the latest – Wacky Cake, or Chocolate Depression Cake. A cake with chocolate must be tried, don’cha think?
This recipe has quite a history, but here’s the version I used. (My modifications are in parentheses.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift these ingredients into an 8 inch ungreased pan.
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar (used less than 1/2 cup dark brown sugar)
3 tablespoons cocoa (used heaping tablespoons!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put each of these into a separate dent in the dry mix.
1 teaspoon vanilla (I never add vanilla to anything chocolate!)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
5 tablespoons melted butter or marge
(there is not supposed to be a dot here, just a blank space… 😠)
Add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup coffee to the pan and mix everything together in the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
Ice or dust with powdered sugar or eat without icing!
Still slow sewing up these flannel trousers. One of the seams is going to have an interesting design detail… the side where a swatch got cut out. 🥰 Lol!
Guaranteed to brighten your day is this quick & easy recipe from Corinna Chapman, the Melbourne (Australia) bread baker-cum sleuth of Kerry Greenwood’s Corinna Chapman series.
Here’s a direct link to the recipe (see p. 25), and below are her and my versions.
i use a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup
ready to serve!
“MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE CAKE
“This is from Peter Russel Clarke, a great pioneer of Australian cooking, though his laugh reminds me far too closely of Kerry O’Keefe’s. Which is not his fault, poor man. This, despite my extreme scepticism, actually works and will produce a hot puddingy cake in 3 minutes cooking. For the midnight munchies. Or the three-in-the-morning horrors.
“4 tablespoons self-raising flour
4 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons light vegetable oil
a few drops of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
“Mix all the dry ingredients, stir in the wet. You can add a handful of choc chips or cut up chocolate bar (i.e., a Bounty bar, a Mars Bar) if you like. Or honeycomb. This was supposed to be made in a coffee mug but I used a plastic microwave dish and it rose very well. Cook in the microwave for three minutes on high, or 100 per cent. Leave it sit for a moment. Turn it out while hot. You can then make a chocolate sauce with equal quantities of chocolate and cream in the microwave to decorate it. Yummy. If you keep to the proportions you can make instant fruit cake and all manner of unusual items. Nice if you want to experiment and don’t want to waste too much food. If you leave out the cocoa you need to replace it with 2 or more tablespoons of flour. The mix will bear about half a cup of additions. It does not brown, so ice it. Or just eat it at once.”
here’s my dark chocolate-lover version:
4 tablespoons self-raising flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons light vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup 60% dark chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli – the darkest available that I can afford!)
Bake as above. I don’t ice mine. Its already brown.
I should try a ginger spice version… but right now I need chocolate.
“Some people can putter quite naturally, but others simply cannot,” explained butler Smythe to Cinderella man Smith in The Platinum Blonde (1931), with Jean Harlow, Loretta Young, and Robert Williams (unfamiliar to me, he’s acting up a storm just now).
Costume design: Edward Stevenson, who later designed for Lucille Ball when she was doing telly.
Direction by Frank Capra, so you know it’s gonna be good.
I’m puttering. Er… sewing on buttons and trouser hooks and wondering whether I should get into shortening them tonight, or wait.
Meanwhile, here’s a clip ~
Umm . . . one button still to go . . . . . the movie’s finished, so what to listen to? Missing a bit of Paul Hollywood for cooking inspiration. Ah, here’s his cheat’s puff pastry chicken & leek pie. Yummy!
Sorry, it’s not on YouTube, but Waitrose’s site here. Hope you enjoy that other judge!