Wednesday, 9 September 2009

a country mouse and friends

Country Mouse and Little R had an absolutely lovely afternoon today. Poor Daddy Mouse is at work all day and misses all the fun. He gets to read about it later on the blog though, and eat the leftover cake, so that's ok isn't it?

We started the afternoon by baking an apple cake with the last of the apples we got from Granny and Grandado's tree. Country Mouse has made this cake before and will be doing so again as it is very easy and seems to turn out well. Surprise, surprise, it's a Fay Ripley recipe. You cream 150g of butter with 150g golden caster sugar. Whisk 3 large eggs and 1 tsp vanilla essence and add gradually to the butter/sugar until absorbed. Separately measure out 120g plain flour, 1 and a half tsp baking powder and 80g ground almonds then gradually combine that into the butter/sugar/egg mixture without over-stirring. Slice apples and arrange on top. Bake fan 160deg for about 45mins.

Below, one of the Pampered Chef gadgets I bought at the Pampered Chef/Jamie Oliver party a couple of weeks ago. It is very very very very sharp. These Granny and Grandado apples go a beautiful rosy pink when peeled but here I think they are bleeding.
The leftover apples worked in perfectly, with the very last slice of the last apple (after Little R and I had scoffed a few) fitting in just right.
45 minutes later it looked like this. Perhaps 40 minutes would have been sufficient.

When our friends arrived we went for a walk and a toddle round the village and to the new swing park. Little R and her friend had lots of fun climbing, running, throwing sticks in the river and putting stones up their jumpers and saying they were their babies. Country Mouse and her friend had a relaxing time talking about our current obsessions, which are charity shop bargains, blogging, baking and our babies. Some might say we need to get a life but hey, we're happy. Below, a pawfull of conkers.

The clouds have cleared at last after weeks of constant rain and a few days of absolute deluge, so it was especially nice to get out and about without being soaked. Below is a blurry photo of a freshly hatched conker beside a daisy. This was an attempt so show summer ending and autumn beginning in one neat little image but I think I need to look out the instruction book for my camera.

Below, a tree that fairies live in, according to Little R and her friend:

Below, a picturesque nibbled and faded mushroom photographed by my clever friend, who then gave me a quick and much-needed photography lesson. Fiddlesticks, it was me and not the camera all along.And on the way home, some beautifully rusty wrought iron. The roundels look like wee shortbread biscuits. Or perhaps they are basketballs about to be bounced behind the backs of a pair of slightly aggressive fish.

Then time for the apple cake, served on the 89p plates.

The leftover cake was too big for the tupperware storage box so Country Mouse and her friend had to have another slice to make it fit. We're very good that way.


  1. Welcome to the blog world. You are already high on my list to follow. We picked the same dotted template. Too cool. The apple cake is pure delish in my books. We are about 3 weeks behind on picking the best around here. So I'm saving up all these recipes to give a try.

    Have a lot of fun with this. It's a great place to see how others day is going.

    Blogging Hugs,

    The Garden Bell - Kate

  2. I like the conker and daisy photo, nice idea.

    Scrumptious cake!

  3. Thanks very much! It's lovely to find a comment from someone who has stumbled across the blog in cyberspace. At first I only gave the address to a few kind friends plus immediate family but now I feel ready to spread my wings. I know mice don't have wings but you know what I mean!

  4. hi louise,
    your cake looks very nice! thank you for your message on my blog.
    welcome to blog-world!