Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Jam roly poly on a wet and windy weekend

My cousin Iain popped round on Friday night because our Aunty Amy was over from Northern Ireland for a few days.  He's doing a 3 year guitar making course and played us some African guitar music.  His girlfriend works at a garden centre and she sent us a huge bag of free Thompson and Morgan seeds.  There'd be enough seeds to supply a few allotments!  Shame I've already got so many seeds in my stash, but I'll make sure I share them out so they don't go to waste.

On Saturday morning I went to our allotment with my Aunty Amy and my Mum.  Amy had bought some flowers for my Dad's memorial garden so we went and dropped these off.

The weather's been cold so I've started to finish off the second leg warmer knitted with Noro Kureyon wool.

We watched the film '127 hours', it was alright, but I think it's been overhyped.  I also watched 'Scott Pilgrim' which I did enjoy, and I thought it was pretty funny and original.  (Wow, I actually enjoyed a film, that makes a refreshing change!)  Still saving Leaves of Grass and hoping for a UK cinema release.

I've got some yoga videos to watch as an attempt at doing some exercise.  I've never done yoga before but after quickly watching one of the videos I think I'll enjoy it.  I need to get more flexible somehow or other.

I dragged myself out of bed on Sunday morning and went to the flea market.   Chris has been finding some bargains recently, almost as though the Cosmos is getting things ready for him to buy when he gets there.  This week he got two 5 litre tubs of liquid latex for £3.  We've been paying £10 for 1 litre off eBay!  I got a greetings cards with an otter on the front for 25p. 

We nipped to Brookside garden centre and I bought some Bordeaux mix to treat the peach leaf curl and some ericaceous compost to repot Chris's blueberries.

I thought some kids had stuffed a Halloween wig up my car's exhaust pipe as there was black hair trailing out of it.  I pulled the hair but it kept coming and coming, so I rang my mechanic to check if exhausts are meant to have hair inside them!  My mechanic said it was part of the exhaust and it was OK to pull it all out.  Weird!

The weather has been very windy and wet, and I called off the visit to the allotment on Sunday afternoon.  I wanted to spray the peach with the Bordeaux mixture and plant the garlic, but I didn't think a greenhouse was a safe place to be in high winds, just in case something like a branch broke through one of the panes.  I love the sound of the wind.  I like dramatic weather in general, but especially the sound of strong wind.  It makes me want to go outside and lie down and let it blast over me.  When it was windy when I was little we tied plastic carrier bags to string and flew them. 

So I stayed home and made a delicious jam roly poly.  I found a steam free jam roly poly recipe, which surprised me, because I always thought you had to steam a roly poly, which I don't like the idea of as it fills the house with condensation.  Jam roly poly is a suet based pudding which is deliciously stodgy and filling and perfect served hot with custard on a cold wintry day.  We used to have it a lot for school dinners.  This recipe was very easy to make and much better than the pre-made roly polys you can buy in the supermarkets.  Give it a go.

Steam free jam roly poly recipe


·         250g/8oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

·         pinch salt

·         125g/4oz shredded vegetable suet (e.g. Atora vegetable suet)

·         4 tbsp raspberry jam, warmed

·         milk, for glazing

·         1 free-range egg, beaten

·         caster sugar to glaze

Preparation method

1.        Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2.        Sift the flour into a bowl with the salt. Add the suet and sufficient water to create a soft, but not sticky, dough.

3.        Turn the dough out onto a floured board and roll out to a rectangle about 20x30cm/8x12in.

4.        Brush the pastry with the warmed jam, leaving a 1cm/½in border all round.

5.        Fold in this border and brush with milk. With the short side towards you, roll up the pastry loosely and seal the ends well.

6.        Place on a greased baking sheet, with the sealed edge underneath. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with caster sugar.

7.        Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.

8.        Remove from the oven, sprinkle on a little more sugar and serve hot with home-made English custard.

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