And so, we find ourselves in 2018 – I am not quite sure where 2017 went – or 2016 if I’m honest – but another Christmas and New Year have come and gone. Mr McGregor and I spent a peaceful Christmas on the Northumberland coast, where we had (mostly) good weather and managed lots of walking, eating and even a Christmas morning dip in the sea (well, at least I did – and yes, it was quite cold).
I’m quite partial to making a New Year’s resolution or two (doing more exercise, eating healthier food, only checking email twice a day etc….). I rarely keep them for long, but this year is a special one so I am going to try and make some resolutions I will keep. It’s special (and a little frightening) as I will be 50 in the spring and I’m really not sure how THAT happened. I still like to think I’m only 27, but I am clearly a little more achey and careworn than I was then. Or perhaps a lot….
I was chatting about what I might do to celebrate this significant birthday while out for a walk with my lovely friend Lynne (I’ve mentioned Lynne before – she is a Professional Coach, with a focus on supporting women – check out her website here). She suggested that rather than just doing one thing to celebrate, I could make time to do 50 nice things over the year. And so that is what I am going to do. These won’t necessarily be new, big or expensive – but will be things that I enjoy that I don’t normally find time to do. I’m delighted to report that I have achieved the first on my list – an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland on Scotland’s Early Silver, which explores the impact of silver in Scotland during the first millennium. It was, as promised, stunning. This is the sort of thing I normally see advertised, say to myself ‘that would be nice’ and then never get around to doing. Here’s to the next 49…. I will post about some more of them on here.
I’ve since discovered that ’50 in 50′ is actually a bit of a thing with quite a few people setting themselves the challenge of doing 50 new things and documenting them on line. I really like this blog in which a ‘LADY OF A CERTAIN AGE EMBRACES THE BIG 50 WITH A BLOG ABOUT THE 50 AT 50 CHALLENGE AND OTHER TRIBULATIONS OF MIDDLE AGE’. Do have a look – even if you are not a ‘lady of a certain age’….
Baking is not on my list of things to do since I’ll be baking anyway. Last weekend’s recipe was this Raspberry and almond cake – I didn’t want to brave the shops so I put this together using our own raspberries which I’d frozen this autumn and some stuff I had in the store cupboard. You can find the pdf here Raspberry and almond cake.
Raspberry and almond cake
140g softened butter
60g caster sugar
140g self raising flour
140g ground almonds
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g raspberries (at least, I tend to just bung in whatever I have in a bag!)
Flaked almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180/gas 4
- Grease and line a 20cm round spring form tin
- In a mixer, blitz butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, eggs and vanilla extract
- Spread half the mixture over the base of the tin and top with the raspberries
- Finish with the rest of the mixture
- Sprinkle with flaked almonds if you like
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until firm and golden