What a fantastic weekend it has been! Sunny, very hot and full of good cheer. This was mainly because we visited the Tynedale Beer Festival in Corbridge. One of my dearest friends had a special birthday this year and to celebrate, a large group of us gathered at the rugby club in the beautiful town of Corbridge to taste beer and cider in the sunshine. We’ve not been to this festival before, but I’m sure we’ll be back. As well as beer and cider there was gin and a good choice of food and the entertainment included Morris Dancing, a brass band, an AC/DC tribute band and a rugby Sevens tournament. What more could you want? Judicious use of a large hat and sunscreen meant that I escaped sunburn, but judging by the colour of some folk by the end of the day, there will have been a few people waking up with more than a sore head this morning….
Although I do like a beer, it felt more appropriate to drink cider in the sunshine, especially since one of my friends had organised for us to ‘sponsor’ one of the ciders – Slack Alice. This cider comes from Celtic Marches in Herefordshire in the West Country, one of the two main areas in the UK where cider is made – the other being eastern Kent/East Anglia. Wikipedia tells me that West Country ciders like Slack Alice are made using a high percentage of true cider apples and so are rich in tannins and sharp in flavour. Anyway, Slack Alice is a ‘well-rounded medium cider.. still mellow, with a very slight tart finish’. It’s delicious, do try it if you see it.
As it was a birthday celebration, there were many cakes. Our strawberries are fantastic this year with plenty for us and the slugs, so I made a strawberry cake to take. The original recipe calls for 225g sugar, but I used 60g and it was all eaten very quickly so I think you’ll like it! I’ve measured the difference in sugar cubes here:
Here’s the recipe, you can also download the pdf here: Strawberry Cake
225g self-raising flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
60g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g unsalted butter, melted
350g strawberries, sliced
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking parchment
- Place flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl. In another bowl beat the eggs and vanilla extract together. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix in, together with the melted butter. Mix thoroughly.
- Put half the mixture in the tin and spread the strawberry slices on the top. Add the rest of the mixture and spread evenly
- Bake for 50 mins-1 hour until the cake is golden brown and firm. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out to cool completely.
The joys of the weekend didn’t stop there, today we have eaten the first of our broad beans, mange tout peas and courgettes. Served with chorizo and giant couscous. Followed by more strawberries and some ice-cream. Wonderful! And there is still an episode of Poldark to watch tonight….