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Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Thought I’d share with you all what I consider to be an essential piece of Vicarage equipment: my sugar shaker. I know that it’s another year until you can add this to your Christmas list again, but at £3.05, I reckon you could sneak this in with a cup of coffee and an almond croissant at the Ikea cafe and not notice the strain on your purse.

This great piece of kit allows me to serve endless cups of tea and coffee for Vicarage callers without the added faff of pouring sugar into a bowl. And without people putting their wet stirring spoons back into the sugar and making coffee sugar clumps (yuck). Each shake delivers a teaspoonful of sugar – easy peasy.

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What will you be serving at your festive services this Christmas? I have just taken delivery of a bulk purchase for our church – ten 2 litre vacuum jugs. This is so we can serve Spiced Cranapple, a non-boozy mulled wine, after our carol service and after the Christmas Cracker service on Christmas Eve.  With the jugs I’ll be able to mull the spices into the drink at home first and then take the hot beverage over to the church next door. We will also be providing mince pies, of course. And tea and coffee and biscuits too, for those not so keen on the festive delights. For the school carol service this morning I have two large choccie cakes with star sprinkles and some festive iced biscuits made with mixed spice.

What about you. Do you serve alcohol or not? With alcoholism and its attendant evils an ever-present problem in our parish, serving alcohol in church is something we tend to avoid. Do you mass cater with Asda mince pies or ask folk to bring their own, whether homemade or not? Time for a bit of sharing. I’ll close this poll at the weekend – I think we should all have our catering plans fixed by then.

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As anyone who follows me on Twitter (or is a friend on Facebook) knows, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. My kitchen time is especially intense on Wednesdays, which is my baking day in preparation for the weekly coffee morning I organise which  is mainly attended by school gate mums.

Every week I bake at least two cakes or biscuity or bready type things. Others often bring toast or crumpets, and we eat together and talk about how to solve the problems of the week. This morning it was improving working memory in dyslexic and ADHD affected kids.

This morning’s Cake & Chat delicacies from the Vicarage Kitchen were malt loaf, apple turnovers and lemonies. When I mentioned the lemonies on Facebook, my friend Snap asked for the recipe. Neatnik at Cake and Chat was also very keen on them, so this recipe is also for her.

I’ve decided that the only way to blog recipes is to give up the exalted aim of photographing step-by-step cooking, but to be content with a finished product pic. My photography skills are just not up to those of the Pioneer Woman, whose recipes always look so easy as she shows the whole procedure from cast of ingredients through to half-eaten plateful.

 

Just the finished product, I'm afraid. Delicious though.

 

The original recipe book name for lemonies is Bahama meltaways. I renamed them lemonies, as they are like a lemon brownie, with a shortbread base.  Also I have no idea what the Bahamas have to do with a traybake. The topping is sweet and chewy like a brownie, but with a great lemon kick. The recipe was originally in a Royal Scottish Country Dance Society cookbook given to me by my most excellent mother-in-law, who knows a thing or two about baking.

Lemonies

Shortbread: 3oz butter, 5oz plain flour, 2oz icing sugar

Topping: 8oz granulated sugar, 2 eggs, 2tbspns lemon juice, 2 tbspns plain flour, 1/2 tspn baking powder

I make this the quick way, using my food processor to blitz the flour and butter for the shortbread base before pulsing in the icing sugar. But if you don’t have a processor, just rub the butter into the flour until you have a fine sandy mixture. Then mix in the icing sugar.

Scatter the mixture in a tin (9×11″/23x28cm) which you have lined with baking paper or greased well. I have reusable liners cut to fit the tin, which saves lots of hassle when baking but is a bit of a faff for washing up. Flatten the mix down with your hand and put it to bake at 180ºC (Gas 4, Fan 170ºC) for 15 minutes.

Then mix all the topping ingredients together in a medium bowl or a jug, and then, when the 15 minutes are up, pour over the partly cooked base. Return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden and set.

Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes and then cut into squares. These are quite sweet, but have a wonderful crisp and chewy texture.

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