We moved house eight weeks ago and after three weeks abandoned ship and went to France to continue our house hunting adventures there. Consequently we are not as far forward as we would have been if we had stayed here and continued diligently working our way through the mountain of cardboard boxes.
The kitchen is brand new and, although beautiful to look at, its size is a proving to be a challenge. We have moved stuff from cupboard to cupboard over and again in order to find the sensible places to store things in a way that makes best use of the space.
I like my new larder unit but added a couple of extra shelves to get all my baking stuff in it. The new dining set arrived this week, which makes mealtimes much more comfortable than the old garden chairs. The “dining area” is simply a space at the end of the kitchen next to the fridge, but it has a nice view over the garden.
The open view at the back of the house is one of the main reasons that we bought it. Being able to sit outside and look at the view has been a real joy during the stressful process of downsizing and moving – which is exhausting, mentally, emotionally and physically. Sitting outside with a glass of something nicely chilled at the end of the day has been great therapy!
We are not very thrilled with the new oven. In fact Nick absolutely hates it, and the hob. Although brand new they are both very basic models and we have promised ourselves that once the dust settles, if there is enough left in the kitty, we will have new ones of our own choosing.
Anyway, I had been itching to bake a cake, new oven or not. I had successfully made several crumbles and a rather delicious blackberry and apple sponge – a version of Eve’s pudding made using dessert apples and blackberry jam – so I thought it was time to bite the bullet and just do it.
Nick chose the recipe. It’s called “preserved ginger cake” and he found it in my copy of “Delia’s Cakes”. That in itself was another challenge. Most of my cookbooks were still in cardboard boxes until a few days ago. We couldn’t empty the boxes until we built some flatpack Ikea furniture to house other stuff that was in other boxes on top of the boxes they were in. If you see what I mean.
Another challenge was getting all the ingredients ready. It took me over half an hour to find all the bits and pieces and the right tin, but I have to say it was a tremendous success. The cake was moist and light with an even crumb and a good ginger flavour. I am very chuffed to have made my very first cake in my brand new kitchen in my new house.
You can see the recipe here. I decided not to put any icing on it as we were to be taking slabs of it as part of a packed lunch for a day out. It’s a great picnic cake, tasty and easy to pick up and eat. For that reason I am entering it into this month’s Teatime Treats, organised by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Jane of The Hedgecombers. Karen is in charge this month, which is all about picnic food, and you can see the details here.