My first blog: kettle is on and cakes are cooling

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Hello there. I’m Litty. Welcome to my first blog post. The kettle is on and the cakes are just out of the oven.

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I am a passionate self-taught home cook, a former environmental scientist. When I am not ‘working’ part time cooking wholesome healthy food for the local nursery kids, I am hanging out with my 2 kids and husband, and cooking and eating when I can! I love cooking from scratch, eating seasonal and local, and organic when possible, and let’s not forget foraging! I get excited about finding new ingredients, quality small scale producers and amazing places to eat. I love sifting through my cookery book collection and reading other food blogs for recipes, reviews and inspiration, and combining all this with reminiscing about my past food experiences, i.e., daydreaming, to see what meals, food ideas, and recipes I can come up with. I love trying all foods; anything from foraged food to fine dining and everything inbetween. I particularly love beetroot and communal dining but not keen on stem ginger. Unfortunately watermelon and prawns don’t like me since I have had my kids!

Wherever I have lived, that’s quite a few places within the UK (22 houses and counting?!), I have made it a personal mission to hunt out foods available in that area and using them somehow in my food adventure. On one of our foraging trips in Aberdeenshire, we found an amazing golden raspberry bush. The berries from the bush didn’t make it in to the tupperware; what an unexpected and glorious find they were! However, the wild goosegogs we found on the same trip went straight into a crumble as soon as we got through the cottage door! I now live in East Lothian in Scotland with my husband and 2 little ones. Living where we do is amazing as there are so many fantastic eateries, local producers, food events and food lovers. If this wasn’t enough, then there are all these things too only a stones throw away in Edinburgh, as well as the surrounding areas. So much fuel for my food adventures!

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I have always loved cooking and baking, especially for family and friends. There is something innate about providing and sharing food with folk on special occasions, in times of need and even daily at mealtimes, or over tea and cake. Would you like a hot drink of something and a little currant cake now?

We went to the local fruit farm, Belhaven Fruit Farm which is just outside Dunbar, last weekend and as soon as I saw the blackcurrants and redcurrants were ripe, I knew exactly what I was going to make with them; the little currant cakes from Nigel Slater’s book Tender II. They are just so perfect; buttery and comforting but with that hit of fruit that gently makes your tabs laugh. I first made these glorious buns when we rented a cottage in the Aberdeenshire countryside. The cottage had an abundance of blackcurrants, redcurrants and whitecurrants round the side of the house and once the fruit had come to fruition, we gorged ourselves on them in various ways until we could eat no more, and then froze them for some later dates.

I have put the recipe and method for the little currant cakes below, as I made them, which is adapted from the book Tender II by Nigel Slater, if you fancy making them too. The quantities are the same as in the book, but have added a few extra notes which I found helpful to me as a reminder of what to do when making them.

Makes 12 delicious little cakes

Recipe:

125g butter

125g golden caster sugar (golden gives it, well a beautiful golden colour, combined with the butter)

125g self raising flour

2 large eggs, beaten

2-3tbsp milk

150g blackcurrants and redcurrants mixed, washed gently and stalks removed.

Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a bun tray with paper cases. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and combined. Then add the beaten eggs a little at a time, adding a spoonful of flour into the mixture if it starts to curdle. Next add the milk until you get a lovely dropping consistency, I used 2 and a half tbsps. Finally add the washed currants and give them a gentle mix through. Put a spoonful of the mixture into each paper case and bake in the top third of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the cakes spring back when gently pressed.

Cool and enjoy!

OK, so that’s quite enough about me! Have I got the job? Can I bribe, sorry, offer you another cake…

Lovely to meet you, thanks very much for taking time out to read my first blog. And if you like, let me know what you think. See you next week if you are free?

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