Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eating the pantry

Is it just me, or does everyone have a supply of perfectly-good-but-not-used items littering their pantry?  There are foods that we eat seasonally, even though they are not seasonal foods.  Like dried apricots.  I was digging around in the fruit and nut section this morning, looking for something to cobble together as a snack for lunchboxes, when I came across a substantial quantity of dried apricots.  We eat them a fair bit during summer, as part of grazing plates when the weather is too hot to eat a proper meal.  But come winter, and we to forget all about them.  So those packets bought towards the end of summer are languishing in the dark recesses of the pantry.  When I rediscovered them this morning, my mind immediately went to cake.

Apricot & Carrot Loaf

110g (2/3 cup) chopped dried apricots
150g (1 cup) self raising flour
115 g (3/4 cup) plain flour
1 tspn mixed spice
200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
250g carrots, grated
65g (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts
125g butter, melted
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 170 deg Celsius.

Grease and line the base of a 10.5 x 21 cm loaf pan.

Place the apricots in a medium heat resistant bowl and cover with boiling water.  Stand for 10 minutes, then drain well.

Sift together the flours and spice into a bowl.  Stir in the apricots, brown sugar, carrots and walnuts.  Add the butter and eggs and use a large metal spoon to combine.

Spoon into the prepared pan and bake in a pre-heated oven for 1 hour* or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.  Stand in the pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

*I find this loaf takes up to another fifteen minutes cooking time.  I check every five minutes once the hour is up.

It's rather moist and heavy and is supposed to keep for four days in an airtight container.  Cake doesn't last that long in this house.  Oh dear.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

To market, to market...

Last week I reconnected with my sewing mojo and whipped myself into a frenzy of making and finishing off for The Design Exchange in Ballarat.  It was a great day (thank you Ballarat!) and now I'm regrouping for the gorgeous Yarraville Markets this Saturday.  Setting up shop in the quaint Masonic Hall with what is left of my new stock, plus a few things I'll be working on this week.  So there's lots of fresh new goodness on offer. 

 Doily rugs
Doily rug, as modelled by one of our new kitties

Neck warmer cowls