Thursday, 18 June 2009

Late summer sun

Looking towards the wendy house and the lavender

Yesterday was one of those gorgeous still, sunny autumn days. We took the girls to the allotment to see what was left to harvest of this year's crops.

The dahlias are finally slowing down. In some ways I am sorry to see them end. The house has been full of flowers all summer. No-one in the plots nearby particularly wants any more of them, although we have managed to repay a few of our gifts by giving them away. I hope it's the thought that counts, because we don't really have a surplus of anything else worth giving away!

I read a couple of weeks ago that Northern parts of the country should start taking up their carrots, so decided to pull ours out before the risk of any frost. Much to my surprise and in contrast to the ones I had impatiently plucked out back in July, we got a fairly decent crop. Admittedly the carrots resembled something grown in the aftermath of Chernobyl, with their multi-forked mutilated roots, but I suppose they will taste the same. With our stony soil and my rather disastrous use of supposedly 'degradable' peat pots to plant them in, I was just pleased to get a result at all.
Months of anticipation resulted in...

Carrot cake! That's what I will do with them because they don't really look that appetising. The girls have been begging me to make cake for ages. Back later.

Fern is determined she won't eat carrots, but the same recipe will do for carrot and banana cakes, and luckily there are 3 bananas going brown on the kitchen windowsill.

Carrot / Banana Cake

450g self raising flour
450g light brown muscovado sugar (although various store-cupboard cakes have included white sugar, golden syrup and honey - which does tend to dominate the flavour somewhat unless it is a very mild version like acacia)
350ml sunflower oil
450g grated carrot or 6 mashed bananas (or in this case half of each)
2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
2 pinches of salt
6 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients. Then mix the two together, place in tins and put in the oven at 180 degrees C. Leave for approx 50 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Carrot in the round tin, banana in the loaf tin

As you can see, the banana cake didn't even last long enough for me to take a photo of the finished article:

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