Alstromeria, bought on Wednesday, now fully open two days later
I was up early this morning. Not bright-and-early, just early. Around 5.30 am. It was light, the sun was ‘up’, and while husband was fast asleep I made myself coffee and wandered around the quiet house. I love early mornings. I don’t need to do anything in particular, I just enjoy the early morning light.
Our house faces due south, with the main bay window of our sitting room also facing due south, and so in the early morning the sunlight enters the dining room end of our sitting room, the only time of the day when it does enter this part of the room, from the east-facing window.
The brilliant light causes the walls, which are a pale lime-yellow, to glow ..
What a difference between the dining end of the room and the sitting part at this hour of the day. It almost looks as if the room has been painted in two distinctly different shades of paint. Sadly, this colour – Gervase Yellow – has been discontinued by Farrow and Ball, but I understand that paints that they archive can be mixed to order. I love this colour as it’s neither lime nor yellow and changes dramatically with the variations of natural light in the room during the day and also looks really lovely at night when the lamps are on.
Yesterday evening, I decided the hall table needed some flowers, so picked these three You’re Beautiful roses …
I really will have to start ‘weeding’ my books! I need to go through each and every shelf as there are now some books stacked under a console table in the sitting room and they really need to be on shelves …
These are just some of my interiors/décor books …
Before you ask, the two plates are Spode Imperial, two of four that my late mother had. I parted with two of them and now I rather wish I hadn’t. Strangely enough, I didn’t much care for them when my mother bought them. She had them as plaques on her kitchen wall. However, when we decorated our sitting/dining room in 2002, I brought them out and placed them on this table and liked them so much against the wall colour that, with the Oriental prints above, there they have remained ever since. (The table actually opens out to reveal a green baize surface for card games (not that we’ve ever used it thus.)
The morning seemed to disappear in a flash, and as I wasn’t actually doing any cooking for lunch but simply reheating a cottage pie from the freezer, to serve with peas and extra gravy, for lunch for three – husband, myself, and our younger son …
I decided to make a Victoria sponge. I’d not made one in ages. I’d made fruit cakes and banana bread and rock buns, but nothing as simple nor as lovely as a plain Victoria sandwich. And rather than filling it with butter cream, or turning it into a coffee and walnut sponge as I sometimes do, or a chocolate sponge with melted dark chocolate on top which sets as ‘icing’, I simply added a little lemon zest to the mixture and then sandwiched the two halves together with delicious lemon curd. If you haven’t made your own lemon curd, it pays to have a good quality one for this cake.
I am now going to make a pot of tea and cut us each a slice of cake.
The recipe is a very simple one and there are just four ingredients: weigh 4 large eggs and then using that as your guide (my four large eggs weighed 266grms) weigh the same in caster sugar, margarine, and self-raising flour. Set the oven to 160C (this is for my fan oven). Prepare two sandwich tins by greasing them and then lining the bottoms with baking paper ‘circles’. All ingredients should be at room temperature – don’t use them straight from the fridge.
Now ‘cream’ together the sugar and the margarine. Add the beaten eggs gradually, with just a little of the flour, and continue to beat the mixture until all the eggs are combined with the sugar and margarine. Now sift the remaining flour and fold it in, taking care not to beat the mixture – you want to retain the air you have beaten into it, not knock it all out again.
Now divide the mixture between the two prepared tins. Give them a little shake so that the mixture evens out – I even weigh the two tins with the mixture in to make sure they contain more or less the same amount of mixture.
Now pop them on the centre shelf of your hot oven and bake for 25 minutes, but check them after 20 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, leave for a minute or two before turning out onto a cooling grid. When completely cold sandwich with jam, lemon curd, or butter cream. If you make a lemon sponge as I have done today, add some lemon zest to the creamed butter and sugar.
Before serving, sprinkle the top with caster sugar or, as I have done, icing sugar.
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, have a lovely weekend.
Until next time.