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Monday, July 09, 2007

Afternoon tea

This weekend (Saturday 7 July) I welcomed TCA (Worzel and Strudles - my elder son and partner) to Maalie Court. Arriving mid-afternoon, the first ritual was that of afternoon tea. In order to celebrate this, I made a loaf of beer damper, modified slightly from the recipe supplied by Ju's Little Sister here.

The recipe is simple: throw some self-raising flour into a mixing bowl (three cups is recommended, but I emptied what was left in the packet). Add some sugar (2 tablespoons recommended) and salt (one teaspoon recommended). Open a can of beer and pour slowly into the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until it looks right - the individuality of your own loaf is imparted by what you decide "looks right". My mixture was runnier than bread dough but thicker than batter. Any remaining beer is consumed by the chef. As a variations to J'sLS's version I stirred in a handful of currents, to make it look a little like the Welsh bara brith (literally, "spotty bread", but the chapel-going Welsh use tea rather than beer).

The mixture is spooned into a greased bread tin and put in the oven until it "looks right", in my case a light golden brown. When ready the loaf is put on a grid to cool and served sliced and buttered.

Fresh from the oven

The tea is brewing

Worzel and Strudles enjoy afternoon tea

After tea, it was down to Askam beach for TCA to partake of an alternative pursuit to cycling, namely power-kite flying.

TCA flying a Flexifoil Proteam 8 double kite rig

A sudden gust lifts him into the air

On Sunday we went for a steamer cruise along the 12 mile length of Windermere, the largest of the Lake District's lakes.

Leaning on the taff-rail searching distant horizons

View down Windermere


Blogger lorenzothellama said...

What a lovely time. I will certainly try the beer damper thing. I was going to ask whether you could put currents and things in it, but you answered before I could ask! I like you method of cooking and measuring. It's a bit like the way I cook. I get ticked off from Wren because I adapt things and don't follow the recipe.
Your tea tray look very inviting. Notice you had some cherries. Did Stru. have any?
TCA's kite looked great fun. If you put a skinny shrimpy thing like Fairtrader in it, I wonder if she would actually take off and have a fly.

10:23 am  
Blogger Penless Thoughts said...

I am very impressed with your tea service and bread.

Drop over to hear about our hot-air balloon adventures.

3:12 pm  
Anonymous Ellee said...

I bet everyone had seconds, and doesn't Wurzel look like you! It sounds like you rounded the weekend off perfectly with your boat trip.

3:26 pm  
Blogger Tina said...

Yes, the tea service and bread look lovely!! What a wonderful host. :)

4:05 pm  
Anonymous May said...

Doesn't the word "partner" sound weird to your ears?
As a foreigner, I would have used "girlfriend" or "fiancée". The first time you mentioned it, I assumed it was a couple of men.

6:26 pm  
Blogger Tortoiseshell said...

Not many Welsh go to chapels these days, I'm afraid.

TCA does invite comparison with Tigger from the Winnie the Pooh stories - he's bouncy!.....boiiiiing!

8:55 pm  
Blogger Ju's little sister said...

I'm glad you've taken the 'rough enough is good enough' attitude Maalie. You've embraced the spirit of the ANZACs. Especially with regard to the beer, methinks!

Plumpy is very upset. He went to the cat doctor today and will not be pleased when he hears he has to go back next week :-(

I'll let him post about it.

3:15 am  
Blogger simon said...

Does Strudles really like the beer bread....?

I mean, anyone would think she was "expecting" ahaha

7:26 am  
Blogger lorenzothellama said...

You are on the shortlist of wordimperfect's winners. Obviously I voted for you. Rally all your friends to do likewise!

9:32 am  
Anonymous Ellee said...

I think Maalie Court sounds a very fine establishment and it certainly serves excellent cuisine.

9:44 pm  
Blogger TCA said...

hey, nice kite! can you attach that to your bike Maalie?

I like the Beer bread, that would not look out of place on the premier cooking show in NZ. none other than Kiwi Kitchen.


9:12 am  
Anonymous Ellee said...

I'm just going to make a cuppa, wish I had some of that lovely bread to go with it.

3:23 pm  
Blogger Ju's little sister said...

It's very easy and hassle-free to mke ellee ;-)

2:48 am  
Anonymous Ellee said...

It sounds easy, though I am not a beer drinker, I must admit it sounds tasty. My son likes cooking and I encourage him to do so. Time for a cuppa, just back from an appointment with a business that wants to promote REACH. Does anyone know what this EU legislation is? It will affect everyone and all businesses have to be compliant by the end of next year.

3:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I be a horrible stickler for accuracy and ask for an oven temperature, or at least whether a hot/medium/low oven is needed?

By the way, made the Chinese butter for some friends the other day, which went down very well.


12:44 pm  

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