|Poppy is also waiting...|
In the meantime, I've pottered round the house, tackled those bigger jobs I've been meaning to deal with for months, like laying the new bathroom floor (not a happy experience, but at least it's done) and finally had the weather to sow all those lovely veg we're hoping for this summer.
As Mark felt unwell in the night to Sunday, we weren't about to have ourselves any experimental cuisine, but it did give me the opportunity to finally use up all the odds and ends of currants and 4 different kinds of raisins I had left from the Christmas cake and bake him a nice Welsh Bara Brith.
Bara Brith means "mottled bread". It is a simple loaf made with tea-soaked fruits and not much else. In fact, Mary Berrys recipe seemed so simple that I had to look it up online to make sure there wasn't a typo in the book!
(it may seem like cheating to use Mary Berry for a traditional welsh cake - I did check my Welsh cookbooks but they all called for lard or wholemeal flour or other such gruesome things! Also, I haven't failed at a Berry recipe yet, so I'm just going to stick with those.)
Since Mark was busy scoffing hot buttered cake for his dinner, I took the opportunity to crack open the rosehip soup someone kindly brought back for me from Sweden last year. This may sound like a complete oddity, especially as its sister dish is blueberry soup, but this is what we were fed up and down the country on cold winter days when I was little. Schools served it, scout camps served it, blueberry soup is even the official drink of the Vasa cross-country ski race every year.
I'm always amazed at how evocative smells are - I had barely opened the packet when I immediately recognised the smell as that of cold winter afternoon, and of my after-school club. I even had a bag of the little miniature macaroons to scatter on top.
Only one thing I think might have changed in the last 20 or so years: I think some E-numbers got banned along the way, I remember it as a rather more vivid red colour. But the taste is definately the same!