It's been so good to have some unhurried time in the kitchen over these last few days. It's not something I get during term time and I am really appreciating all the time there is to linger over breakfast, to make myself a really nice lunch (I miss this so much when I am working), to cook something for tea which takes a little longer or a little more planning, to bake cakes and cookies. I'm enjoying hanging out in my kitchen.
The fruit bushes in the garden have been yielding so much fruit, it's just wonderful. I have done nothing to these bushes, not even watered them, yet I have been picking handfuls of the berries every few days over the last three weeks, adding them to the bags in the freezer which contain around 400 grams of redcurrants and 700 grams of blackcurrants. The redcurrants are over now but I still have blackcurrants ready to ripen.
In my haste to beat the birds to the crop, I think I've picked some slightly underripe blackcurrants there, but I don't think that matters much, they'll just be a little sharper, but since I will sweeten them slightly anyway I am not bothered.
I recently tried these meringues, which call for a quick blackcurrant compote to be made which is then swirled through the meringue mixture before baking.
I like compote - less faff than jam, but still delicious. I think I will make it more. These meringues were good (and so pretty!) and you could taste the currants through the egg white mixture. We ate them with whipped cream and some of the compote poured over the top.
There was a lot of the blackcurrant compote left over and it was delicious drizzled over porridge for breakfast.
My other breakfast obsession is nutella on toast topped with sliced strawberries. Don't mock it till you've tried it. You need a substantial bread, something like sourdough, that doesn't go soggy under the weight of all that topping.
Greek yogurt with cherries, toasted almonds and a drizzle of honey, thrown together after lunch one day and it all worked really well. Cherries with almonds, you can't go wrong.
I have rediscovered a love of oatmeal and raisin cookies lately and have been baking them regularly. These are probably my favourite kind and I would choose them over chocolate chip any day.
The recipe is from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and if you look online you will find many published versions of this recipe. (Incidentally, this is a really good baking book, one of my most used, and I've never had a recipe fail from this one.)
Victoria sandwich cake. This always seems like a summer cake to me, and I've baked two this week already.
It's not all breakfasts, puddings and cakes, we are eating actual proper food here as well. John made a rather good kedgeree a few days ago.
Recipe from here.
I feel like I should be having a panic about going on holiday and squeezing into my swimsuit in a couple of weeks, but I don't really care. I'll just carry on enjoying what I cook and eat, and have a nice time on holiday. That sounds like a good plan.