7 Jun 2009

Winter Baking, Wool and Sounds

The first week of June has felt cool and wintry. It has been perfect for baking, warm pots of tea and snuggling up in blankets and crocheting woolen things to dark, folky, lively, jazzy sounds.
Three sweet things to bake:
1. Teacake. I made an ordinary apple teacake but added a layer of stewed rhubarb and quince in the middle. The result was moist and delicious, and that hint of tart quince and rhubarb is just lovely. A few weeks ago I thrifted a gorgeous little cook book (seen above) thats full of cake recipes. I really want to try the Cardamon Cake and the Lemon Bread - perfect for unexpected guests, and well, late night treats; warm and fresh from the oven.

2. Muffins. Far superior to their cutsie-cupcake sisters. Muffins can be sweet or savory, big or small; perfect for morning tea (or "second breakfast" as I like to call it). The ones above are date, spice and apple - but I'm wanting to try rhubarb and banana, and chocolate and beetroot this week...

3. Great grandma Glasgow's Butterscotch Brownies. I really don't think there is a greater brownie.
1/4 cup butter (60 g)
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup sifted flour (self-raising)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 cup chopped

Preheat moderate oven (180'c). Melt butter gently in a saucepan. Stir into bowl with sugar. Add egg. Sift flour and salt into mixture. Add vanilla add walnuts. Spread in well-greased square pan (lining it with baking paper is good too). Bake for 25 minutes - do not over bake!
Cut into squares in tin while warm and let cool.

Three things to make from wool:
1. Crochet or knit or felt some House Shoes. There are some marvellous patterns out there - and they are soft and perfect for sliding around the house. Hollanddesigns patterns on etsy are really good.

2. Fingerless Mitts. Ah, the fingerless mitten, or glove or wrist warmer. Perfect for when its not too cold but you want a little extra warmth on those wrists; and having your fingers free makes it much easier to draw, sweep, play piano...

3. A cloche hat. I've been wanting to crochet one of these for a while. In a rosy red - it looks pink in the photo above but its much redder than that. I got the pattern from here - but there are plenty of free patterns online.

Three things to listen to:
1. For warming up: Wonderlust - When in Rome. An absolute beauty of a record. The jazz ensemble features an Oud-master and pianist Alister Spence - whose records are ALWAYS fabulous. It fuses Latin sounds with the middle eastern oud; you will not sit still for long - it always makes me tap my toes and want to twirl and dance.

2. For being still and thoughtful: Woven Hand - 10 Stones - the reincarnation of dark folk band 16-Horsepower. A mix of gritty vocals, deep professions of faith, dark imagery, melodic guitars, banjo, accordion - that I find effortlessly beautiful. The words of the first track still echo in my ears:
"Joy has come
It rises with the son

he the highest on the horizon

Joy has come
In the mind that I see

Beautiful the axe that flies at me"

3. For something new and really good: The Middle East - EP - On Saturday night I was terribly excited to see (and hear) the young Australian 7-piece band "The Middle East" - thank you Eric for putting me onto them - they were by far and away the best thing I've heard in a while; such talent - listen, listen, listen (I love "The Darkest Side" and "Fool's Gold")

Shall we sit down to some cake and folk music,
with a fresh cup of tea from the willow pot?
We'll churn out a few pairs of shoes and mittens -
laugh at the cloud-soaked sky.
You're all welcome you know,
morning, noon, or night.


  1. 'Shall we sit down to some cake and folk music,
    with a fresh cup of tea from the willow pot?
    We'll churn out a few pairs of shoes and mittens -
    laugh at the cloud-soaked sky.'

    oh goodness, YES PLEASE!!!!

    just as i commented on your last post, you made a new one, and now im hungry.
    Those treats are just eyepoppingly delicious looking, i can almost smell them.
    That first C.d sounds like one i would love to listen too, hmmm might check it out.

    I really wish i could come to your house :(

  2. Oh! I love your half crocheted little hat! I started a scarf (well, I started two, actually . . .) I probably should pick it up again. :)

  3. You are gorgeous ... and I love these mitts !
    And ... OH MY ! I need to make this brownie ... It's looks awesome !
    x x x

  4. Ooh little mitts & little slippers!
    So sweet!

  5. I want those slippers, and ALL the food, and those pretty plates, oh and your perfect skin!

  6. Oh why dost thee tempt me so? If I couldst, I wouldst surely sup with you!


  7. Wonderful! ...and I recognise that little thrifted recipe book! I want to come back and thrift with you again.

  8. Ah, the Middle East! Spread the word! You can read the lyrics of "Blood" on my now defunct blog.

    Wovenhand sound interesting to me.


Thank you for reading! I do so love and appreciate every one of your comments even if I don't get a chance to reply.