Category Archives: Food

Scone Chronicles XXI

It’s a bit late, but if we go back a while I can pull in a very nice afternoon snack and re-use some Puffin pictures.

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Puffin at Bempton – Sad-Faced Clown Contemplating a Life Devoid of Eccles Cakes

At the end of our second trip of the year to Bempton Cliffs we decided to see if there was room at the cafe. It had been quite crowded on the first visit but was slightly better this time, despite the presence of two coaches in the Car Park.

I just suggested a cup of tea, and asked a lady if we could share her table. As a result, my conscience is clear. It was Julia’s idea to buy the Eccles Cakes, and all the damage done to my weight control plan is a direct result of her dietary delinquency.

 

I like Eccles Cakes. They are available in supermarkets all over the country and they are crammed with dried fruit, sugar and fat. As they have dried fruit they must be full of fibre and vitamins too. What’s not to like?

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Puffins at Bempton – eyeing Up my Eccles Cakes

My all time favourite is the Sad Cake. My grandmothers made Sad Cakes. They are like Chorley cakes but more pastry and less fruit. The Chorley cake link includes information on Sad Cakes. I used to make them when we visited. I also used to make Rock Buns. I was quite handy in those days. I really must start baking again.

Eccles cakes are probably more palatable but sometimes it’s the association rather than the actual food that makes things a favourite.

There are many variations on the fruit, flour and fat theme. These include Welsh Cakes, Shrewsbury Cakes and Blackburn Cakes. To be honest, despite having lived in Blackburn I’d not heard of that one until this evening. It was a footnote on one of the links and is, it seems, stewed apple in a pastry case. Sounds like a pasty to me.

Anyway, the tea was good, the Eccles cakes were good, the company was good, the clifftop sea breeze was good and the Tree Sparrows and Jackdaws were fun to watch. A Jackdaw can fit a lot of bread in its beak. Five big pieces torn of the edges of sandwiches by the kids on the neighbouring table.

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Jackdaw at Bempton Cliffs

 

Scone Chronicles XIX

Sorry, I decided it didn’t matter if I missed a day posting and, six days later I’m only just getting back to blogging.

I have plenty of things to write about, but no enthusiasm for the work.

However, I will give it a go, as scones have recently reappeared in my life. On that subject, I may dispense with Roman numbering after the next one. That’s what they did with Spitfires in WW2. They got to Mk XIX and the next one was the Mk 20.

I suppose it’s all part of the dumbing down of the world. First we stop using Latin numerals, then, under pressure from Microsoft, we adopt American spelling.

We’re on the verge of electing a buffoon, and have a fine choice, with both Johnson and Farage, so we’re following America in so many ways.

I’m going to fail to post before midnight, but I’m not rushing. It’s a bit late to worry about my posting record.

On Wednesday we went to meet Julia’s brother and sister-in-law who were visiting family in Radcliffe-on-Trent, a large village just outside Nottingham (which I thought was a town, until I checked when adding the link). The Atrium is a converted bank, and is very pleasant, though the name had led me into expecting more glass and plants.

The staff were efficient, cheerful, and very patient, which was good as they had a lot of kids running about. One of the kids was my great nephew, who is just over a year old now. He’s not quite walking but he’s on the verge, and manages to get about well enough.

The scones were large, and light in texture, though a bit sweet and slightly deficient in fruit. It doesn’t make them bad scones, but it does stop me talking of them in glowing terms. I’d happily go back for scones if I was in Radcliffe-on-Trent again, but I wouldn’t necessarily drive all the way from Nottingham for them. Julia had Bakewell Tart. It was a bit lurid compared to last week’s Bakewell Pudding.

Still having difficulty posting using the ancient netbook, so I’ll call a halt there. It’s amazing really, a few years ago I thought this machine was brilliant, but after using a laptop for the last three years it’s like torture.

 

 

Scone Chronicles XVIII – Bakewell Pudding

The header picture is Julia sitting outside the Bakewell Pudding Parlour. Last time she was left to her own devices here she ended up buying macaroons. I’d forgotten all about that, and, once again, failed to supervise her in an appropriate manner. She emerged with teas, bakewell puddings and cheese pasties. She keeps feeding me despite my diet. When I say pasties, by the way, they were monstrous. They were big enough to use as hats. It seemed rude not to eat it, even though it contains a possibly lethal dose of fat and calories.

 

However, I’m not going to talk about pasties, because this is a chronicle of scones. So I’m going to talk about Bakewell Puddings. There’s only so much you can say about scones, and I’m short of ideas for places to visit at the moment. My brain seems to be working rather slowly at the moment. I swear I’ve declined in intelligence over the last few months. Much more of this and I’ll have no option but to embark on a political career.

The Bakewell Pudding, as made in Bakewell, is not the same as the shop bought Bakewell Tart, which is generally an iced cake in a pastry case.  I’ve not made a Bakewell of any type myself, though I have made frangipanes with Cape Gooseberries (physalis, inca berries, ground cherries – it has so many names).

Today’s puddings were great – flaky pastry cases full of sticky deliciousness. Julia didn’t care for them, preferring something less sticky. It’s an ill wind that blows no good, or, in other words, I ate hers too.

In truth, they will never replace scones, but they are a pleasant change and it seems silly to go all the way to Bakewell to eat scones.

 

I also bought a few books, so it was a good day.

Catching Up on Scones – Scone Chronicles XVI

Having been kept at home this morning by various jobs, we popped out to do a bit of shopping this afternoon. It was raining a bit so we went to TESCO in Bulwell because it has a car park under the shop and you can walk from car to shop under cover.

I’m in such a state these days that if I get wet I’ll probably need a going over with WD-40.

We are currently on diets as the kids are cooking and trying to make us lose weight, so we decided to sneak a scone while we were out. It was a mistake.

The cutlery was dirty, the tea was OK but the scones were dry and tasteless. We did have cheese scones to be fair, so there was a lack of jam to help things along. We were trying to avoid excessive amounts of fat and sugar. Honestly.

Definitely not moreish.

Must do better TESCO.

Below, I have put the links for the first 15 parts of this series – I had to do that as I couldn’t remember if I’d covered TESCO before. I hadn’t.

 

Tearoom Tour – Number 1 – Thoresby Park

More on Scones

The Scone Chronicles – Number 3

The Scone Chronicles – Number 4

The Scone Chronicles – Number 5

The Scone Chronicles – the 6th visit (the one with No Scones)

The Scone Chronicles – Number 7 – Done as a Haibun

Not Quite Scones – but I’m calling it Number 8 in the series

The Scone Chronicles – Number Nine

The Scone Chronicles – Number Ten – Bettys II

The Scone Chronicles XI

Scone Chronicles XII

The Scone Chronicles XIII

Scone Chronicles XIV

The Scone Chronicles – XV

 

Mustn’t Grumble…

I really am being spoiled this weekend, with another yet another relaxing day.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing – it never is though, is it?

My arthritis flared up a few days ago. I now have it in three fingers, two on the right hand and one on the left. After a couple of days aching it was so bad yesterday that I could barely use my hands. Typing was OK and I could handle a knife and fork (carefully) but writing, for instance, was nearly impossible and the aches were spreading up my arms. Finally I gave in took paracetemol, and when that did nothing, tried ibruprofen. I’m not supposed to have that but I’m not sure why.

It didn’t seem to cause any problems, but then it didn’t do much to kill the pain either. This morning the pain was still bad and dressing was difficult. Then, as the morning advanced, the pain disappeared. It’s now disappeared entirely, leaving just a couple of stiff knuckles.

I’ve been racking my brains for any clue as to what could have set it off. I’ve done nothing strenuous with my hands, not changed my diet and haven’t a clue what could have set it off.

Anyway, not to grumble.

I’m going to have to do some research on this because if it comes back I’ve decided to go to the doctor. It was that bad…

The only thing I’ve had that I don’t generally have kefir, and that’s supposed to be good for you. It’s even good for arthritis according to this article. I’m mystified.

To be honest, I spend most of my life mystified so that’s no surprise.

A Very Relaxing Day

I had my lie-in this morning and lay in bed reflecting on a pleasant evening with family the night before. Then I reflected on how much better my stomach was feeling since I’d had a couple of bottles of kefir and filled myself with several billion gut-friendly bacteria.

It seems cheap and simple to make your own. I may have a go, as it’s not cheap to buy ready made.

Then, as usual on a Saturday, I realised I was going to be late. Julia made me a jam sandwich for breakfast, which is nutritionally poor, but very pleasant despite that. I felt the need for strawberry jam  two weeks ago, and have been feeling much happier as a result.

I managed to get to the shop (several minutes late) but despite this was still the first to get his computer into action.

We had customers most of the day and plenty of parcels to send. Unfortunately, though we did our bit, the Post Office was unable to do theirs.  The closest one was closed for the day and the next one was staffed by a woman who claimed she didn’t know how to process pre-stamped parcels. She said she “didn’t unserstand all these stamps”.

I’d like to be in charge of staff training for the Post Office.

I’d also like a cattle prod. According to Google it’s legal to own a cattle prod in the UK.

We had supermarket pizza with extra vegetables, coleslaw, cous cous and Aspall’s cider for tea. Cheap, easy, lazy and very pleasant.

It’s not the sort of food that you’d want to admit to, but it was very enjoyable.

If this was a food blog I’d tell you it was artisan pizza with mixed salads and craft cider. And I’d have remembered to take a photo.

 

 

Surprise, surprise!

Earlier this week we had a telephone call. For once it wasn’t about “rare coins”, it was about rare baknotes. Proper, rare, banknotes.

White £5 notes are reasonably common, particularly from the 1930s to 1950s. From the 1890s they are quite rare, and the caller had discovered several in a tin when sorting through the effects of a deceased relative. They had left him several white Bank of England fivers and another from the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Banking Company.

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£5 note – Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Bank 1897

Obviously, the tin had rusted a little over the last 122 years, and was too small to fit a banknote in without scrunching it up. Hopefully, with a little work and gentle pressing, they will look a bit better next time you see them. No matter how much work we do on them, we won’t be able to close up the holes, but that’s so often the way – rare notes but poor condition.

It was an interesting end to the day.

Earlier, I’d dropped Julia off at the garden and taken some mint to work. My stomach hasn’t really recovered from the events of last week, but several cups of mint tea seem to have produced a positive result.

 

My co-worker is troubled by the use of the words “mint tea” to describe boiling water poured on mint leaves. I know this because he brought the subject up several times. I actually checked it up. If you look up “tea” the internet tells you it’s a brewed drink using the leaves of Camellia sinensis. Look up “mint tea” and it tells you it’s a drink made from pouring boiling water on mint leaves. You can, of course, also call it a herb tea or a tisane.

Or you can get a life.