Platefuls of love – and scones

I’m pooped, can’t keep my eyes open.  I’ve had such a fabulous day at my mum’s coffee morning raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.  I didn’t get much food but I had platefuls of love.  I love visitors, from the loud bark I give them on arrival to the cuddles and adoration they lavish on me.  I think they were impressed with my neckerchief fashioned from one of my mum’s scarves.  Hope she lets me keep it on.

My mum has worked her socks off over the last few days to make lots of cakes and savouries.  I hoped I might get a sausage roll but they disappeared in a flash (she spreads fruity chutney on the pastry before rolling up).  I did manage to wheedle a cheese scone but I couldn’t have one of her fruity scones as dried fruit isn’t good for dogs.  Despite that, she says I have to include her recipe because they were delicious served with cream and home made bramble and apple jam.  Foraged fruit too – blackberries from a dog walk and apples from our next door neighbour.

Spiced fruit scones

Preheat oven to 220c.

Ingredients: 500gr SR flour, 2 teasp cream of tartar, 1 tablesp sugar, 3 teasp mixed spice, 125gr softened butter, 125gr mixed dried fruit (with peel), 1 egg, 250ml milk plus small amount to brush over tops.  1 tablesp sugar to make a syrup glaze.

Method: mix flour, cream of tartar and mixed spice, blend in butter; add fruit then egg and milk to mix to a soft dough.  Turn out onto a floured board and roll out until 1 inch thick. Brush top with milk then cut out your scones in your preferred shape.  Pat offcuts together and roll out again until all dough is finished.  This amount will yield up to 25 scones, depending on size of cutter.  

Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.  

While hot, brush with a sugar syrup made from 1 tablesp of sugar and 1 teasp water (heat in microwave until sugar is dissolved.)  Split and serve with jam &, cream or butter, preferably while still warm.  These freeze very well.

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I am treated to cheese scone!

fullsizeoutput_650eTreat after this morning’s walk as we visit another favoured cafe, OMNI, and I am allowed to share my mum’s cheese scone.

My mum says I am very lucky boy to get anything because I was naughty earlier, pressing her up against the wall in excitement trying to get my lead as we prepared to go out.

THEN losing my Chuck It ball as we approached the cafe.  She had to backtrack to find it, leaving me tied up to a lamp post.  Nix, no ball.  Oops, I’d dropped it in the cafe and it had run under a table…

I have to say, however, the scone was nowhere near as good as the cheese scones she makes herself – not enough cheese by half.   My mum’s are FULL of cheese.

My mum’s cheese scones

Rub 75gr butter into 500gr SR flour; add 1/2 teasp mustard powder and 250gr grated strong cheese (eg Cheddar, Red Leicester); bind with 300ml milk.  Roll out on floured surface until one inch thick.  Brush with milk, sprinkle with more cheese then cut into shapes and bake for 15 minutes at 220c (200c fan).   Cool slightly, split and slather with butter.

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Looks like she’s chopped sundried tomatoes into these ones.  You can add bacon, olives, chives, ooh, all sorts of savoury bits.  DROOL!

So much for Easter…

Well that was a poor weekend.  Easter they said, so I had dreams of eggs, bunnies and chocolate but did any of these appear in my dish – NONE, nothing, nix.  Not even a morsel of chicken with creamy wild mushroom sauce* which the family had for their Easter Sunday lunch.

IMG_4870Scraped their plates clean, they did, used spoons to ladle up the sauce made lovingly by my mum with garlic, white wine and these funny looking posh mushrooms handpicked by a friend: fairy ring champignons they’re called.  Didn’t even get a walk with him while he was out foraging.  I like a good forage.

I did get a lick of lemon and cream swiss roll but only because the sprog couldn’t finish her seconds.  I was very hard done by.

At least they didn’t dress me in bunny ears…

 

* My mum says I have to include her recipe.  Huh, how good am I – even without Easter treats?

For four: 4 skinless chicken breasts;  1 medium onion, sliced lengthways; 1 teasp crushed garlic; 2 tablesp butter or olive oil; 200gr wild mushrooms* (or sliced button/chestnut mushrooms if you don’t have a friendly forager); 100ml white wine; 100ml chicken stock; 100ml fresh cream (or 1/2 fat creme fraiche); salt and black pepper to taste; chopped parsley to finish.

Method: Melt butter/oil in a large frying pan and brown both sides of the chicken.  Move them to the edges before adding the sliced onions.  Cook until the onions are translucent then mix in the mushrooms, making sure they are covered with butter/oil before adding the wine and stock.  Bring to boil, add lid, turn down and simmer for 20 minutes until chicken is completely cooked through.  You may have to adjust the timing dependent on the size of the chicken pieces.  Once the chicken is cooked, add the cream, bring to a bubbling heat then season before serving with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

* You can use dried mushrooms, in which case reconstitute the mushrooms in boiling water (overnight) and use the liquor in place of the chicken stock.

 

 

We go blackberrying…recipe included!

If there’s one thing I love it’s foraging.  For me that’s sniffing out all the lovely aromas in the roots of trees, making my own marks and helping my mum pick blackberries.  We can’t do it often because they P1070431are only ripe in the early autumn.  But there are lots of bushes along the waggonway which is one of my favourite walks cos it’s got lots of trees and interesting smells.

Mum says poo bags come in very handy in blackberry season as they’re dual purpose – not that she collects poo and brambles in the same bag! – so if you have a bundle in your pocket you can use one or two for collecting fruit.  She’s bagged pounds of berries this way.

IMG_0372While she’s picking I have a good explore and will occasionally drop my ball at her feet, just so she remembers I’m there, ah hem, supervising as it were.

When we get home she washes them to get the dust and spiders out then makes delicious things.  I’m not keen on jam but I will force down a bit of pie, crumble or cake if there’s any on the go.

My mum’s blackberry custard tart – multo delicioso!!

 

Whiz dry ingredients and butter in food processor then add enough water to make a soft, pliable dough. Press, thickly, into a 20cm flan dish.