Banshees, coffee cake, heart trees, shining stars, onions and hyacinths – phew!

Feb 15, 2014 | 3 comments


Banshees, coffee cake, heart trees, shining stars, onions and hyacinths – phew!

imageWell how did your Valentine’s Day go?  There was a terrific storm over and around the house last night. The wind was howling down the woodburner chimney like a banshee. So much so that we had to put it out as the wind was pushing smoke back into the room. Things were banging against the walls and the rain was battering the windows. Glad I didn’t have to go anywhere.

The house is stuffed with food after all the demo’s etc, so rather than buying anything else for last night, we decided to roast one of the chickens from the freezer and had that with mustardy roasted carrots, onions, parsnips and potatoes.

To follow there was a lemon cheesecake, a variation of the muscovado version. Ate rather too much of that, I have rather a sweet tooth that I am reining in, but last night it had a bit of an outing.

I am simmering the leftover roasted vegetables, the roasting juices from the chicken and some red lentils as we speak, for soup at lunchtime. The house is smelling lovely

imageI found a suitable twiggy branch and ‘planted’ it in some sand in a pot that had had a Christmas poinsettia in it a few years ago. Then I cut out some hearts from ordinary paper, punched a hole in the top and threaded some wool through the hole. I wrote some lovey dovey words on some and tied them on, and yesterday, right at the last minute, DP did some too. And he came up trumps with some lovely ones  that really touched me. I don’t think it is crossing a boundary to show you my favourite one – you are my shining star – aww, he is a bit of a gruff blokes bloke and doesn’t go in for sentiment, so this is pretty special.

imageDD2 asked me to do a coffee and walnut cake in a heart shape for her best beloved, and it came out rather well if I say so myself.

If you want to do a coffee and walnut cake, it is a variation of the chocolate fudge one. Leave out the chocolate in the cake mix and add in 3 tsps of instant coffee powder, imagedissolved in a tblsp water, whilst creaming. It needs to be dissolved or it takes about 3 hours to dissolve in the creamed mix – ask me how I know that 🙂 When you do the fudge icing, dissolve another 3 tsps coffee in a tblps water and add to the butter and icing sugar, and again leave out the cocoa. Use 50g chopped walnuts in the middle, and 25g on the top.

To get the heart shape, I put one half of the cooled cake on a serving plate, and gently pressed the tip of a dinner knife in the top to make the indentation of the top of a heart, then tapered it down the sides into the point at the bottom. It seemed to be about the right shape, so I cut the excess away. Then put the 2nd half of the cake underneath the first, now heart shaped, half, and cut round it to match. Then iced it in the usual way

imageI mentioned this on Facebook. I had to go to Tunbridge Wells recently and popped in the Indian shop that was near where I was. They sell onions in several different sized bags and I got this one for £3.50. I weighed it when I got home on the bethroom scales and it was 9.2 kg, so they work out to 38p a kg – billy bargain! I use at least 1 or 2 onions most days, I shall roast them as a side veg, probably with carrots, make onion tart, caramelise some to add to hoummous, oh there are endless things to do with an onion!

imageI shall finish off this rather disjointed post with a picture of a pot of hyacinths blooming their little hearts out on the table. They smell completely gorgeous. I bought some bulbs from a local garden centre back in the autumn, put them in some pate pots that a supermarket had given me for free and left them in the greenhouse. Several have gone for gifts, and imagethere are several more just showing their buds in the greenhouse. So I will be able to make them last weeks yet.  Wish you could smell them.



  1. Lesley

    erm, I’m a bit baffled by knegdelwo!

  2. Tyson

    Knocked my socks off with knegdelwo!

  3. sarah

    Thanks for this lovely post, the disjointedness made it more like a conversation going off on tangents but all around the central theme of being loved and demonstrating your love for your family & home.

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