Staggering: the value of vulgarly ostentatious cars littering the streets in the capital. Totally alien for we country mice.
Here we are: moving sluggishly towards better environmental living while some are still strutting their stuff: ridiculous personalised number plates; boorishly huge cars; speed capacities that can never be legal on UK roads. It probably seems a bit sexist to guess that most of the drivers/owners are men but who else needs to constantly primp and preen their alleged prowess with something as culturally obsolete as a big fast car? Though there were some women who flaunted names on their plates. Too many with too little self-confidence.
Amazing what was on show during 12 hours in London and on the road. Some of them seem an alien race.
Back in the simplicity of home, the preserving goes on: more dried plums, tomatoes and apples; more grape juice; experimental grape jelly; outstanding homemade Christmas mincemeat with our own apples and honey.
The high spot has been making Karen’s Mum’s marmalade cake with a jar of homemade from Liz and then, of course, changing it a bit. This is a very unusual mix with water, not much butter and the marmalade. On the other hand, I made the whole thing in a saucepan and cooked it in a silicone loaf mould so not much washing up!
220g sultanas (previously soaked in some alcohol if possible)
220g orange marmalade.
3 eggs, beaten until fluffy.
300g self-raising flour.
Put the water, sultanas, butter and marmalade into a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar and leave to cool.
Mix in the eggs and then fold in the flour and salt.
Place in a silicone loaf mould and cook in a preheated oven 180C, Gas 4 for 45 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 165C, Gas 3, cover with a double layer of foil and cook for up to a further 60 minutes.
Check that the cake has reached about 95C or a skewer comes out clean before removing from oven to cool and turn out.
This cake was still moist a week later and had a subtle orange flavour – the sultanas sank a bit but nothing’s perfect!