Friday 14 August 2015

Five on Friday - A Miscellany!

There is no link up for Five on Friday this month but I thought I would do it anyway... it's such a neat and convenient way to tie in several random topics that have nothing much to do with each other. Separate topics, that in past times when I was managing to write a blog post more than once a week would have probably warranted a blog post each of their own. But for various reasons I don't seem to get here more than once a week at most so here are five snippets from the past week or so...
1. Walking
I'm still trying to keep up with regular walks and last week Gill and I had a faulous walk around the village of Much Hadham, followed by a wonderful lunch... and cake, at Hopleys garden centre. This was my birthday present from Gill and I have to say I do rather approve of spreading birthdays out over several months, especially when they are lovely treats like this! The walk was over miles of beautiful countryside but we were both mesmersied by this fabulous meadow of wild flowers. The photo doesn't do it justice!
2. Lunching
I'm now realising there are tenuous links between my five things (or at least between the first two) because I enjoyed my lunch with Gill so much that I decided to recreate it at home. I couldn't find any links to suitable recipes on line so made it up as I went along. All butter puff pastry (bought, not home made I might add) topped with red onions that had been slowly cooked until soft and caramelised. On top of this was a sliced pear, a scattering of walnuts, topped with crumbled stilton... and then it was baked in a hot oven until the pastry was brown and crispy. Delicious served with a variety of salads and it was just as good warmed up the next day too!
3. Baking
There is never a week goes by without some sort of baking in my house and this week there was a bit of an experiment that came to me in the middle of the night... and I wonder why I don't sleep! Of course having thought it up in the middle of the night I had to try it the next day. A Battenberg cake with a twist... a combination of a lemon drizzle cake with an almond sponge, sandwiched with lemon buttercream and wrapped in a layer of almond paste. It got the thumbs up all round so will be added to my ever growing folder of cake recipes.
4. A Commission
After two weeks of avoiding my sewing machine and studio I ventured in to complete a long over due commission. I had been asked to make this hellibore brooch a year ago, although in my defence I was told it wasn't required for another 18 months. Of course, I promply forgot all about it until Terry turned up at my Open Studio this year and I had to come clean! I put a big sign on my studio notice board so I wouldn't forget about it again, and this week I finally got around to finishing it. Always a mistake to tell me something is not required for ages as I work much better to a deadline (as regular readers will know), so I was feeling rather pleased that this was finished in plenty of time after all!
5. Sewing
And while I was in the mood for sewing this week I made some tea cosies. I sold all that I had left at my open studios, so thought I would build up some stock before the end of the year... before people start looking for presents for you know what. I'm like a boy scout me... totally prepared!
Have a lovely weekend.


  1. Your Battenberg looks delicious, much nicer than the pink and yellow version. I bet it tasted amazing. Wildflower meadows are notoriously difficult to photograph but your memory is sure to keep a picture. Have a great weekend. x

  2. A lovely round-up of a busy time. I am drooling at your lemon battenburg. Lemon drizzle and battenburg, pure heaven! Wonderful to see such a glorious meadow too.

  3. Love your Friday Five! I fancied a little wild flower patch in the garden here, prepared the soil, scattered the seeds, waited and.....nothing. Not a single plant. All of your makes look gorgeous, as always.

  4. I can't manage a post a week these days and it stretches to 3 or 4 weeks sometimes. I love the wild flower meadow - such a beautiful sight. The cake and little flans look delicious and it's always good to see some stitchery too. If I wasn't so lazy and made tea in the mug I would want one of those tea cosies.

  5. What a lovely brooch :)I think I might have to adopt 'five on Friday' as I always seem to be struggling to tie in lots of topics to one blog post!

  6. All five are lovely Gina!!
    I do love a wildflower meadow and that little pastry treat sounds wonderful. What a great idea for a battenburg, I have to admit I have never made one and I don't buy any now because as a veggie they are made with cochineal or at least I haven't found any that aren't.
    Beautiful always!
    happy weekend,
    V x

  7. What a great idea for a Battenberg cake and it looks amazing!Love your other makes too.

  8. Gina, you've shared a very fine quintet with us this week. To take a walk through a wildflower meadow with a friend, and then have a delicious lunch...must have been a grand treat.

    Thank you so much for figuring out the lunch dish and sharing your recipe with us. I can imagine all those flavors complementing each other. The tarts look mighty good, too!

    That cake really is a dream come true. Almond and lemon...perhfect together. I've never made any sort of Battenburg cake, though I have sampled them. Your version really appeals to me...I think you've started a trend here.

    The brouch is a beauty...the texture and color and embellishment...perfect.

    And I am not surprised that you tea cosies sold out at your recent Open Studio. You've chosen a great selection of fabrics for the one in the photo.

    As always, I admire all your energy and the wonderful results of your varied creativity. Bravo!


  9. Five lots of loveliness!!!! All such good things but that cake!!!! Well, it looks gorgeous! I made a madeira cake today, but now I wish that I had been brave enough to try a cake like yours! Hope that you are having a good - and delicious eating! - weekend! xx

  10. Hi Gina,

    A lovely post! Such pretty poppies in the field. I loved the lunch recipe. I don't usually cook with puff pastry, but no reason not to try it! Your Battenberg cake looks amazing! Your brooch is so pretty! Love the tea cosy. I stitched one by hand a couple of years ago, one Christmas when Christmas was cancelled due to hubbie being ill, and of course I've now stopped using a tea pot, typical!

    Hope you are having a super weekend and that the weather has been as good there as it has here!

    Best wishes, Barbara xx

  11. Mmmm, those onion, pear and cheese puff thingies look delicious.

    Loved reading your 5 on Friday!

  12. That alternative Battenberg sounds (and looks) great!

  13. Your Battenburg sounds wonderful!

  14. Lovely - a whole post full of deliciousness, and I recognised the meadow instantly! xx

  15. What a lovely birthday treat day you had, it sounds lovely! I rather like your cakes too. :) I don't bake these days but i love to watch others do it. Are you watching the Great British Bake-off? We're addicted to it!
    Jess x

  16. I agree about spreading birthdays out over time, spreads the happiness out! Your battenburg cake looks stunning. x

  17. Oh your lemon battenburg cake has just had me salivating and feeling envious as I am gluten free and nothing seems to work baking wise any more (sob) It looks truly delicious!

  18. What a lovely five on Friday. I am deeply impressed by your Battenburg cake. I have made Battenburg once only, and found it very hard from a geometric point of view, Your flavours sound very delicate . The helibore brooch is stunning. What a very talented person you are! X


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