07.08

Cider-with-Rosie-summer-vegetable-recipes-7

If there’s any one vegetable you can always count on to be plentiful when growing your own, it’s the courgette. Last year I had three plants growing in the tiny garden of our old house, and such a bountiful supply I promised myself that in 2018 I’d cut back to just two plants.

But in reality? I’ve somehow managed to end up with five, yes, FIVE plants of differing varieties, and we’re picking an average of two courgettes a day. Last weekend we picked NINE. It’s madness, madness I tell you!

So what to do with them all? Well, we’re cramming them into just about every savoury recipe going (from risottos and pastas, to fritters and salads), I’ve made batches of pickles and chutneys, but my current favourite way to use these sweet summer squashes up is to bake them into a loaf cake.

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The cake itself is the simplest thing to knock up (even with the help, or hindrance, of a toddler), and is absolutely delicious too.

It doesn’t taste exactly of courgettes, in the way that carrot cake doesn’t taste exactly of carrots, but it does have a certain undefinably ‘green’ flavour that works so well alongside the freshness of berries or some citrus zest. I’ve been topping it off a simple lemon glaze more often than not, but this time, thanks to a distinct lack of lemons available in the house, I had to get creative with a few of the first blackberries of the season instead.

Simply warmed through, crushed, and then mixed with a small mound of icing sugar, it made the most delicious topping for the cake. And oh so seasonal, too!

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The recipe is one I’ve adapted from BBC Good Food, though minimally it must be said. Mainly through laziness (I didn’t have self raising flour first time I made it and so replaced with plain flour and just doubled up the baking powder), and also I’ve removed the sultanas because does anyone really want sultanas in a sponge cake? I think not.

Makes one loaf cake.

Ingredients:
350g courgettes
250g light brown sugar
125ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon
300g plain flour
2tsps baking powder

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, and grease and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.

- Grate the courgettes, then put them all into a tea towel and wring out as much of the moisture as you can.

- Add the courgettes to a large bowl, and add in the sugar, oil, eggs, lemon zest (if using), and vanilla extract. Mix together. Tip in the flour and baking powder, mix thoroughly, and then pour the batter into the lined cake tin.

- Bake for 50minutes-1 hour, and then allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.

- A simple and delicious glaze can be made by mixing icing sugar into fruit juice (lemon, orange, grapefruit, mashed berries…) until a smooth runny consistency is achieved. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.

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If you have a go and make it yourself, do tag me in a photo on Instagram! I’d love to know how you get on!

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Posted in CAKE, COUNTRYSIDE LIFE, EATING SEASONALLY, FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, KITCHEN GARDEN, RECIPE, SUMMER

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03.08

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1. That magical moment when Ottie falls asleep in the car, and I get to switch over from The Gruffalo audiobook to a podcast! Current favourites are At Home With by Lily and Anna, and Giovanna Fletcher’s ‘Happy Mum Happy Baby’!

2. Pickling, jamming, and jarring! Getting a bit obsessed over here with seeing my cupboards slowly fill with homegrown, freshly preserved produce for the winter months. Pickled beetroot was my latest venture, and next up I’m planning some courgette chutney!

3. Rain! Sweet, sweet rain! I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a storm roll in and the heavens open. Blessed relief for this overheated pregnant Mama!

4. Wednesday playdates with my sister in law and my niece and nephew! Ottilie is obsessed with her cousins, they children play so nicely together (mostly, we only have to wade in and referee the girls every 15 minutes or so ;), and two adults to three children makes everything a million times easier! A couple of weeks ago we put them all in the car, drove around until they all fell asleep, then went to a McDonalds drive through for fries and milkshakes. It was totally amazing…

5. Five sweet, ripe raspberries eaten straight from the canes in the garden. I planted them in the most stupid spot this year and am in the process of putting together new raspberry beds ready for next summer, but the few we’ve had are just delicious! Already excited for next summer’s (hopefully!!) bountiful crop!

6. Being kicked in the ribs, and feeling little tiny fingers tickling behind my hip bones. So weird, so wonderful.

7. Putting together a little stash of lovely gifts ready for Ottilie’s birthday! Can you believe she’ll be 2 in a month’s time?! I’m sure it was only a couple of months ago I was planning her first birthday! I’ve been a bit obsessive about getting everything organised ultra early this year since her birthday is less than a month before my due date, so now I’m done getting sorted for her birthday I’m moving on to Christmas. Not even kidding..

8. Seeing little baby butternut squashes growing on the vines down in the vegetable patch. So very exciting!

9. Beginning our online hypnobirthing course! We’re using The Positive Birth Company’s digital pack, and loving it so far. SO amazing to be able to follow along with it at our own pace, in the comfort of our own living room where I’m hoping to give birth come October.

10. Ottilie-isms: ‘Peel my toast Mummy’ (she wanted the crusts taken off…), ‘I love purple/dinosaurs/chocolate cake/Elsie/(literally anything!), dat my favourite!’, and her current obsession with playing ‘midmife’ and measuring my bump with a tape measure <3

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Posted in 10 THINGS

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