Saturday, 23 April 2022

Saturday 23rd April - the best laid plans....

 gang aft agley....

We'd planned to meet up with son and daughter this morning, at the usual outdoor cafe midway between their town and hours.

But - a not entirely negative LFT result for one of them has meant that we've postponed it. Sensible, but still disappointing. Ah well. It would have been chilly this morning - this afternoon was much warmer although the wind was, shall we say, bracing? And Fresh?

I spent this afternoon, with quite a lot of assistance from Himself finishing off the next bit of mulching that has been ongoing for a couple of weeks. Vicky, a friend who is now our gardener, has been working her way along the borders in the back garden weeding, watering and then mulching with spent mushroom compost, and yesterday made a start on the front garden. She'd done the weeding and sorting out, and we watered it ready for her to finish off today. However, she wasn't well, and we were at home, so we got stuck in. With the pair of us it didn't take too long, and it was very pleasant being in the sun and out of the wind. It is the time of year when I wage my annual war on goose grass, and I was trying to explain to Himself  exactly which plant needed dragging out of the borders 'oh, you mean robin-run-the-hedge?' and the confusion was cleared up. I've also heard it called 'cleavers'. Anyway, we've removed nearly all of it. There's always a bit left, somewhere.

I've also earthed up the potatoes that are growing in containers. All four pots had shoots about 2 inches tall showing through the top of the earth, so, as instructed by The Book (Huw Richards, Veg in One Bed) I covered them up with another two inches of earth. There's just about enough room left in the pot to repeat this process one more time, before leaving them in peace.

I've been baking;

Hebridean Baker Custard Creams

I made 12 with this recipe, which means 24 little biscuits sandwiched in pairs.


  • 170g butter
  • 55g icing sugar
  • 170g SR flour
  • 55g custard powder
  • 50g butter
  • 20g custard powder
  • 80g icing sugar

I reduced the icing sugar in both recipes as my friend suggested - they are still very (deliciously!) sweet.

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease a baking tray

In a large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar, add flour and custard powder to form a dough.

Roll tablespoons of this into balls, place on the tray allowing room for them to spread a little, and press each one lightly with a fork.

Bake for 12-14 minutes and allow to cool.

Mix together the filling ingredients to make a buttercream and spread thickly on half the biscuits (which are very fragile at this stage) and sandwich with remaining biscuits.

I found that these are incredibly crumbly the first day, and much better the second day which the cream and the biscuits had firmed up. Next time around I shall make them a little smaller... they are very rich. 

These will ruin you for bought custard creams. You have been warned!

I've kept the drawings going - here is a selection; (I don't know if I have posted any before)   

I'm enjoying doing them, barely more than a doodle, but just enough for me to think 'Oh Yes, I remember that!'. 

What is really weird is that they remind me of the scribbly illustrations my grandmother used to add to her letters - in a very similar style. The one of her black poodle puppy when he managed to tie himself to the pedals of the piano with a ball of red wool that she was knitting with has stuck in my memory aftr over fifty years!


  1. I too am earthing up my spuds. Your drawing of the Ukrainian stamp does not do justice to the exquisite completed stitching. But it's still a better drawing than I could do. For ages I kept a cutting from a magazine with a "foolproof custard cream recipe" but never made any, then decluttered it before the move. Maybe I should try yours. The tip about letting them firm up for a day is useful. My border in the back garden is a neglected mess, as I've been concentrating on the front and the raised bed. But this sunny weather is lovely!

  2. My potatoes are about the same, one more cover and then I'll let them do their own thing!