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I’m real late on this smoothie bowl trend. I blame pinterest. Seeing something over and over and over and over… I find it so off putting.

Smoothie;

  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup frozen mago
  • 4 tbsp oats
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 2 tbsp diced drie date

Toppings;

  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp each pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, and raisins
  • drizzle of honey and sprinkle of chia seeds

 

Strawberry season is one of my absolute favourites. I try my best to shop and eat food in season, and try to source as much as my food as locally as possible. At the moment we’re coming up to the end of British Strawberry season and I’ve been averaging a punnet(sometimes two) a day.

Decided to do a little photo shoot because these berries were as beautiful as they were tasty. Taken on my kitchen table with some cute vintage coffee mugs from my local charity shops.

Trying to stick to my ‘Bake once a Week’ resolution. I missed last week, had too much on my plate and bad brain* got took up all my down time.

This week I wanted fruit to be the star of the show(since last bake was chocolate chip cookies). I also wanted to use an ingredient that was in season. Had to go with rhubarb.

Rhubarb is super nostalgic for me, my maternal grandfather grew a large patch in his back garden. His partner Beverly would make jams and pies and crisps and crumbles to feed the grandchildren and the neighbours.

I’ve been homesick lately. Summer in the city always gets me down. I’m an island girl and I miss the sea and the wilds most this time of year. I’ve also been reflecting on mortality, family relations, and legacy. So this bake was reflective of that.

I had never had a CRUMBLE until I moved to the UK. It was one of the first desserts I remember being served by my inlaws. I grew up on CRISPS which are essentially the same but with an crispy oat topping instead rather than the crumbly crumble topping.

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Recipe:

COMPOTE/FRUIT FILLING

  • 85g golden caster sugar
  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
  • 450g strawberries
  • 450g rhubarb
  1. Preheat oven to 75F / 190C / Gas Mark 5
  2. Cut your fruit into chunks, I like mine big and rustic, and place in a bowl.
  3. Remember the fruit will soften and disintegrate when you cook it so bigger pieces make for better mouthfeel and be more substantial.
  4. Add lemon juice, sugar, black pepper, and cornflower to fruit and toss gently.
  5. Place fruit into a saucepan and heat on medium-low until fruit softens and sauce thickens.
  6. Pour compote into baking tray.

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CRUMBLE:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g unsalted butter or margarine at room temperature, cut into pieces
  1. Throw everything into a bowl and using a fork mash it all together until you get that lovely crumble.
  2. Scoop crumb topping onto the compote.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crumble is golden brown.

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Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or custard.

 

 

 

No Gods, Only Pancakes.

I don’t believe in a God, but I do believe in pancakes.

Growing up in a small town on the eastern coast of Canada God was omnipresent. To say I grew up in a time warp would be an understatement. We were still expected to recite The Lords Prayer along with the National anthem every morning in school… I refused to do either, four years old and already suspect of both god and country.

In the 4th grade a friend took me as a ‘guest’ to their bible study day camp and when asked what church I belonged to I replied without shame or apprehension that I was in fact an unbaptised bastard and that ‘my parents raised me without religion because they want me to find one that is right for me when I was old enough to understand what religion means’. I still remember the look of horror on the Sunday school teachers face and the astounded whispers of the other children sat campfire style in a circle as the teacher hurried from the room. I was awarded CAMPER OF THE DAY before I left, they took my picture with a polaroid camera, taped it to a xerox award certificate and handed me a bag of skittles. They tried to convert me with skittles and at the tender of age of 8 years old I remember climbing into my moms car at the end of the day and cackling with her about how ridiculous it was that they thought they could buy my soul with candy.

There was a picture of beautiful white Jesus in my middle school, which in the 7th grade I circulated a petition to have removed, positing that it excluded and othered those students who did not in fact believe in white Jesus… or any Jesus for that matter. My petition failed and I’d bet you a dollar if I went back to SMJH it was still hanging in the stairwell even more sun bleached and irrelevant as it was 18 years ago.

I went to a high school attached to a convent, where at the age of 16 we tried to summon satan with a copy of the Necronomicon found at a local used book store. Not only did we fail, but not a single Sister came shrieking down the hallway nun-senses tingling.

God was always present in my childhood, like a friends weird uncle, always lingering at the fringes of the party with candies in his pockets. All the other kids love to sit on his lap and be fed candy… but my gut always told me NO! RUN!

Every single year, every school I attended, from the age of 4 until I was 17 celebrated Shrove Tuesday by cooking a massive pancake feast. It wasn’t until I was in highschool(attached to the convent) that I actually realised that PANCAKE DAY was in fact a religious holiday! I had been duped! I had, in naivety and dreams for a secular school system, thought it was just a regular part of ‘Winter Carnival’, which was celebrated at the same time each year. Carnival included events like ‘Pyjama Day’ and trips to the local ice rink for an afternoon of skating, so pancakes didn’t seem out of place. When I finally did discover the truth I felt betrayed and swore off pancakes for a time.

I have since come to terms with this great deception and have accepted Pancakes once again into my heart, Maple Syrup as my Lord and Saviour.

The problem now is that my partner and I disagree on what is and is not a PANCAKE. They would have us eating crêpes today! BLASPHEMY! Pancake day is for PANCAKES not crêpes.

I’ve included my favourite Pancake recipe, may your pancakes be fluffy and your Maple Syrup be Grade A Dark from Nova Scotia(the best)!

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Ingrediants:

  • 2 eggs
  •  1 3/4 cup milk
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  •  2 cups flour
  •  1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together in a bowl.

In another bowl sift flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.

Make a well in the centre. Add milk mixture. Whisk until just combined. Don’t over whisk! You’re pancakes will come out chewy.

Let stand for 2-3 minutes, this is a step most people miss but it is so important! This resting gives the baking soda time to work its magic and make lovely bubbles in your batter and will mean your pancakes and extra fluffy!

Using a ladle or small measuring cup GENTLY(you don’t want to lose those lovely bubbles!) scoop batter into a medium-hot greased pan.

When you start to see bubbles rising and popping on your pancakes it’s time to flip them! Remember to be gentle as you don’t want to lose those bubbles!

Serve with Nova Scotian Maple Syrup for best results.

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