Summer things

on

IMG_5802

I wore a summer dress and no tights for my flight to Birmingham, knowing that the sky would probably be heavy with rain clouds when I arrived but it always feels good to find cooler days, even if it means slipping on a cardigan in the evenings. Yet in a strange twist, there was a week of pure English sunshine while a rainy autumn descended upon Berlin. I rediscovered the pleasures of early mornings with the patterns of the sunlight dancing on the kitchen floor and the cats getting up to all kinds of nonsense. The garden smells so fresh walking barefoot over the lawn covered in clover. There were a few lazy afternoons watching Wimbledon, cheering on Federer and Nadal, even if it didn't do much good and walks along winding country lanes where you might find fresh berries if you're lucky.

In a week's time, I'll turn my back on them once more to fly back over the roofs of the German capital, picking out the sights in miniature, wishing someone was there to meet me at the airport to make the transition just a little easier.


summer 2011 002


summer 2011 034

Mingus

summer 2011 047

Jasper

summer 2011 049

Jacob

summer 2011 062
Do you hear what I hear Oscar?

summer 2011 095

IMG_5443

Lunch at the bottle kiln

IMG_5445

IMG_5446

IMG_5459

IMG_5463

IMG_5476

In the Japanese garden

IMG_5478

IMG_5485

IMG_5491

IMG_5495

IMG_5497

IMG_5499

IMG_5502

IMG_5504

IMG_5506

IMG_5512

IMG_5536

A walk around the reservoir


IMG_5537

IMG_5542

IMG_5551

IMG_5554

IMG_5593

Returning to Hardwick Hall on a perfect summer's day

IMG_5594

IMG_5597

A wedding was held in the old Hall

IMG_5619

IMG_5644

The father of the bride can't watch

IMG_5667

IMG_5677

IMG_5696

IMG_5701

IMG_5766

IMG_5767

IMG_5772

IMG_5777

IMG_5789

A Derbyshire cream tea in the cafe later on


IMG_5790

Julie from Booktravellers asked me for more strawberry recipes last time. This was the first cake I made here, simple and very British, all the lightness of a classic victoria sponge with a delicate nuttiness.

summer 2011 027

Strawberry and almond sponge

For the sponge

125g soft butter
100g caster sugar
3 large eggs
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
2-3 tablespoons milk

To decorate

250ml double or heavy cream
some strawberries, halved
1 teaspoon sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract followed by the ground almonds.
2. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder and gently add to the wet ingredients, alternating with the milk until you have a smooth mixture that's neither too dry nor too runny.
3. Divide the mixture in between two 9 inch greased and lined sandwich tins and bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes. Remove and leave the cakes a little in their tins before turning them out onto a cooling rack.
4. When the cakes are completely cool, whip the cream until it starts to become frothy then add the teaspoon of sugar and continue whipping until the cream starts to become very thick but before it turns stiff.
5. Sandwich the cakes together with the cream and some halved strawberries. Repeat for the top layer. The cake is best eaten on the day it's made but you can store it in the fridge if you cover it to stop the it drying out and cream setting too much.

0 comments:

Post a Comment