Well, it's the 30th September and the last day of the September grocery challenge that I've been doing. I set a somewhat hopeful target figure at the beginning of the month and am delighted to have come pretty close, only a couple of pounds over in fact. It's the first time I have taken part and found it such a useful exercise in both self-control at the supermarket and ingenuity with my larder contents.
I normally have a baking session most weeks to fill the cake tins with morsels of happy sustenance for DH when he takes a break from his labours with the spade, but since last week poor Mr Second Wind had tried the cake tin several times only to be sadly disappointed each time and me apologetically offering a digestive biscuit in recompense mumbling 'I just haven't had time what with the all-consuming garden project'.He deserves home-made cake, particularly since he has worked soooooo hard in the garden. So this afternoon I felt a great urge to bake, but what was left in the larder to bake with? Not a great deal it appeared, so I pulled out some very old recipe books that I used to use in my younger days when funds always seemed extremely limited.
I spent a long time just reacquainting myself with the cake -mix -splattered pages, odd scraps of hastily written recipes along with torn out pages from magazines like Family Circle and Woman's Weekly which I used to love and would never part with.
It was a challenge deciding what I could bake, but I started with two sorts of rock buns from this book.
It was written to accompany a TV series of the same name back in the early 70's presented by Dorothy Sleightholme. I remember watching it avidly then, as my cooking skills were in their infancy at that time. I would turn to it if MIL was due to visit!
Rock buns are one of hubby's favourites. She suggests making various additions which suited very well as I could scour the shelves and see what additions might be possible. The first batch had mixed fruit and mixed spice and for a second batch I used wholemeal flour, chopped up dried apricots, sultanas and cinnamon.
I then toyed with the idea of Vinegar Loaf which was, if my memory serves me well , a perfectly acceptable cake though I can hear you saying .......Eeeew. If anyone fancies making it I'll gladly give you the recipe. I'll revisit that one another day.Then a tiny scrap of yellow stained and faded paper fell out from the book entitled Cornish Heavy Cake. Oh , how often had I made this for the childrens' school lunch boxes. They loved it. It uses lard as the fat component and doesn't use eggs ( I only have one left!) and I have a packet of Trex in the fridge which needs using by November. So, ideal, decision made.
Then I spotted a half used pack of porridge oats lurking so my final choice was a tray of flapjack with a handful of sunflower seeds thrown in for good measure. I seem to have bought a bumper sized pack of these, no doubt a special offer at the time. I'm a sucker for a bargain! On with the cooking and fill the oven. In no time I had a selection of farmhouse cakes ready
As if by magic, as the kitchen filled with that wonderful aroma of baking cakes, Mr Second Wind appeared from the rainy garden expecting yet another digestive with his cup of tea..........Oh what a happy man was he!
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