Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Scones ... not the Paul Hollywood way!

My name is Victoria Plum ... and I am a baking addict.

I KNOW ... Baby Plum is asleep ... so I should be SLEEPING! Everyone tells me this

"are you sleeping when your baby is asleep?"


I'm a morning person. I always have been. Once I am up, showered and dressed - I want to get on with stuff! Once Baby Plum is washed, dressed and fed ... she is quite happy sitting in her rocking chair which I move into the kitchen if I am pottering around. She is now having a well earned snooze in her chair!

This evening I have got a friend popping round after work. This is a treat! I don't often get people popping in ... one of the downsides (one of the many!!) of living in London, I suppose. All my friends are spread out all over the place so to meet up with them takes weeks of organisation, cancellations, reorganisations ... you get the picture!

So, I thought we could have "high tea" ... so have baked two batches of scones (fruit and cheese) and thought we could have these with bagels, sandwiches and fruit cake. And tea of course.

After making the Sugar Crusted Fruit Scones from The Pink Whisk - I have to say that I didn't really like the sugar crust....so I thought I would have a look at Paul Hollywood's Scone Recipe ... I have never seen such a lengthy and detailed scone recipe! Scones are supposed to be a simple tea time treat ... you shouldn't have to read an essay of a recipe to make them!! So, I went back to my trusted scone recipe. Yum Yum!

The recipe for my cheese scones can be found here

Talking of tea ... did you hear today's "A History of the World in 100 Objects" it was very interesting and I recommend catching it on the iplayer while it is on there. The history of that quintessentially English past time of drinking tea ... with tea from China and India, sugar from the West Indies ... the only "English" element was the milk!

Have a listen now!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Veggies ...


Wasn't today glorious?

After a walk down to the supermarket, Baby Plum and I headed into the garden to pick the final veggies and have a bit of a tidy up.

The last courgette...these have done really well this year!

The last two cucumbers ... not 100% sure whether these are edible!

Arghhhhhh!! More green tomatoes!

Peppers ... I neglected these, so didn't get as many as I do normally....oh well, this summer I was busy growing a baby rather than growing my veg!!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

52 MMMC Week Five: My Best Ever Cup Of Tea Cake!

Here it is ... perfectly risen - no sunken middle or peak this time! Made for friends who had trekked all the way down from Hull with their (gorgeous) 2 year old to visit us and Baby Plum.

You can find the recipe here

Friday, 8 October 2010

The Knitting and Stitching Show!

Well ... some may call me brave, some may call me just plain stupid! But ... off I trekked with Baby Plum in a papoose up to Alexandra Palace for the Knitting and Stitching Show!!

So many wonderful bits and pieces to look at and buy ... unfortunately taking a 7 week old to a show like this was a little bit stressful - and I couldn't really concentrate as much as I would have liked to on purchasing lovely crafty bits!

I had gone to the show armed with a list of wool I needed for my latest projects from The Knitted Nursery ... but, could not find the wool I wanted...it seemed to be mainly very luxurious cashmere yarns, stripy sock yarns or very exotic and strange yarns. The show did seem to be more about "stitching" too (or did I miss something?). I will be going back next year with a couple of stitchy projects in mind ...

We had booked in for afternoon tea (very exciting!!) which unfortunately clashed with Baby Plum's grizzly time ... I tried to feed her before we went in for tea - but I think that she was overwhelmed by the whole experience of being around so many people and wouldn't feed. This meant that as soon as we sat at our table (which we were sharing with two other ladies) Baby Plum decided to exercise her right to scream. It was very stressful - so I ran off to feed her somewhere nice and quiet and she calmed down. When I got back into the tea room, my friend had been chatting to the ladies who said that I should have just fed her at the table (I do have a pashmina to hide us both with) ... but you hear such negative things about women feeding in public - I just don't feel confident doing that yet, and am always worried that someone will make a comment ... anyway, when Baby Plum woke again wanting seconds, I did feed her at the table.

So, if anyone reading this blog was in the tea room at Alexandra Palace yesterday afternoon - apologies for my crying baby!!

Oops! I should have taken a picture before we scoffed the lot!!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

52 MMMC Week Four: Knitted Teddy

I started knitting this teddy back in August when I had nothing else to do except sit and wait for my baby to arrive! I managed to finish the actual knitting quite quickly ... it was the sewing together which took me a while. So, this morning while Baby Plum slumbers in her bouncy chair, I finished sewing and placed her teddy next to her. I have added a lavender sachet inside the teddy's tum which I thought would be a nice soothing addition to Baby Plum's cot!

Monday, 4 October 2010

I have officially given up growing tomatoes ...

About five years or so ago I first tried growing my own veg ... I didn't have a garden at the time, just a very small patio area. I had one large plant pot, a tomato plant, a courgette plant, a pepper plant, an aubergine and some basil. All in the one pot. My mum had seen an article in The Times called the "one pot garden" or something like that ... and I gave it a try. I had a whole summer of beautiful ripe tomatoes and other veg ....

In 2007 me and Mr Plum bought our flat with a garden! Yes ... A GARDEN! In 2008 Mr Plum bought me a greenhouse for my birthday ... and the growing began!

But .... I have not had a very successful time with my tomatoes .... here is most of this year's crop ... I still have a few more to pick.

If you look closely you will see three ripe tomatoes ...woopie!

Green tomato chutney, again, anyone?

No ... I couldn't face it again, either! I still have a fridge full of jars from last year! So I have chopped them up and stuck them in the freezer. I don't think that I will bother growing tomatoes next year!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

52 MMMC Week 3: Sugar Crusted Fruit Scones

Having watched The Great British Bake Off I was intrigued by the "Sugar Crusted Scones" ... I LOVE scones, but don't think in all of my many afternoon teas that I have ever had a sugar crusted one ... and my fail safe recipe does not include this crust either ...

So, off I went to The Pink Whisk and tried out Ruth's recipe ... my first mistake was to assume that the recipe made 9 scones (the recipe I always use does ...) so the scones turned out a little small (the recipe should make 6). And, to be honest, I'm just not sure about the sugar crust ....

With crust, or without crust - what kind of scone do you prefer?