Thursday 1 September 2011

Ending August.

Uh oh, September already and I haven't finished August yet!

The weather is cooling, a good excuse to don one of my shawls. The first one I ever made can be seen here peeking out between my jacket and cardigan.

This is the only photo in this post actually from September - what follows is an August catch-up as I try to keep my online diary reasonably up to date...

Some more fascinating tractor action occurs when the recently cut grass is collected.

Last year's bramble jelly is now finished. The brambles growing hereabouts are not yet ripe enough for picking but I'm looking forward to when they are.

Now onto the subject of baking. Have you been watching the Great British Bake Off? I keep forgetting it's on and only catching the last 20 minutes or so and wishing I'd seen the whole program (yes, I'll need to watch it on bbc iplayer). Sadly, my baking's not quite up to that standard. I'm trying to cut down on the amount of sugar I eat but still love to bake so have been selecting recipes where the amount of sugar used is less than half the amount of flour. So far this seems to mean lots of muffins and scones...

Strawberry & dark choc muffins.

Sultana scones.

Nectarine and dark choc muffins.

Banana loaf, my usual recipe but reducing the sugar content by 1/3. No noticeable difference in taste.

Banana and honey muffins.

Seeded scones.

Not shown - double choc muffins where I completely forgot to add any sugar at all, only noticing when N wasn't too keen on licking the bowl. By this time the mixture was all in the muffin cases so I hastily added a teaspoon of suger per muffin. They tasted OK but didn't look great.

Apple tart. This was a complete patchwork job as I used some wholemeal flour in the pastry. I now use half and half wholemeal to plain as standard for all my baking, seems healthier somehow, but this is probably not a good idea for pastry as it doesn't stick together so well. I just pressed it all back together in the tin and it turned out fine.

As Julia Child said "Remember, you're all alone in the kitchen and no one can see you." Not like on the Bake Off program, I'm sure Mary Berry wouldn't have been impressed but hubby was, and that's more important.

Raspberry and dark choc muffins. Rather flat as I had to turn down the oven and collect A from school while they were baking.

A noticeable theme of dark choc is appearing in the muffins. I think it makes them much more flavoursome and if chocolate with a high cocoa content is used then the amount of sugar added is small.

Now to some August garden pics...

The window boxes at their peak.


Lots pf peacock butterfly sightings. Only one red admiral and no small tortoiseshells spotted this year so far.

The lupins are well past their best now but the leaves are still pretty when it rains.

The garden as seen from the back of the house.

From the top.

Geranium leaves, always early to colour.

And to finish...
A beautiful sunset as seen from a friend's BBQ evening.

A bit of a splurge I'm afraid as I squash what should really be several posts into one. The reason... I've started yet another crochet blanket and I'm at that stage where it's got a hold on me and all I want to do is add more pretty patterns of colour to it.

I have been keeping up to date with reading all my favourite blogs, but must apologise for not having been very good at commenting recently. All will be back to normal soon I'm sure (once I've crocheted a few more squares for the new blanket...)


Mereknits said...

Lovely photos,

Clicky Needles said...

Mmmmm....looks yummy.
Nothing wrong with some tractor action.

topchelseagirl said...

Your baking looks fab to me! Especially the strawberry and choc muffins, could you please post the recipe?

Simone said...

Food and flowers - among my favourite things. I love watching the 'Great British Bake Off' and feel really inspired to bake after watching it. I look forward to seeing your latest crochet project.

VintageVicki said...

Lovely photos - all that baking is making me hungry. Watching the Bake Off does that too.

Lynne said...

Great post! Two of my favorite things, baking and gardening. And eating the baking. Ok. Three of my favorite things. Have a great weekend!

Sarah said...

Wow, you have been busy - love the sound of the nectarine muffins. The bake off programme is great - I'm hooked!

Apples and Pears said...

What a gorgeous post! So many scrummy things xx

Stacey @ bakercourt said...

Wow, look at all of those delicious treats! You've had a busy month :) x

Mrs. Micawber said...

I always cut back on the sugar in recipes - (except for serious cakes where ratios are so important) - the amount called for is usually quite ridiculously high! I like to use a flour blend as well - enough whole wheat to salve my dietary conscience without ruining the texture.

Love all those muffin and scone shots!

And that fuschia ... and the butterfly ... in fact all of them.

Have fun crocheting the new blanket.

Michelle said...

Your garden photos are lovely, especially those lupin leaves - they look like they've been dipped in diamonds around the edges!

Claire said...

Wow, you certainly have been baking up a storm Anne. All those pics look sooooo yummy.............
Lovely flower photos too.
I hope Autumn is providing you with some sunny weather before you descend into Winter.

Claire :}


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