Way back (well, not really that far back) at the start of July I put together the beginnings of a ‘Summer Bucket List’ and now that we’re heading towards the middle of August and the end of summer it occurred to me that I better check up on my progress as time is running out.
The results are in…
Start using the skipping rope I bought on a whim about a month ago.Well, I did this once following the production of this list, so technically…
Have a barbecue at the beach.Yes! I even swam in the loch.
Finish the band t-shirt patchwork quilt I started a year ago – probably more a winter task but it’s been sitting under my bed for so long I can’t take it any more, and there will be rainy summer days to fill. Seriously, who was I kidding??
So last week we had homemade jam, which was totally delicious but even I can’t eat jam straight from the jar. What we need is some kind of vehicle to get the jam into our tummys…oh, bread! Duh.
So I made some tasty homemade bread to go with the homemade jam, and it’s healthy bread too so you can eat lots of it. I bought rye flour about two months ago and have never quite gotten around to making bread with it. I had looked at a few recipes but the thought of a pure rye loaf seemed a bit intense. Then I stumbled across a Nigel Slater recipe which sounded like a good balance of white and wholemeal bread flours.
This loaf is quite dense in texture but it has a lovely deep, nutty flavour that works especially well with the slightly tart gooseberry jam. I preferred this loaf toasted, especially after the first day or two , with the melting butter mixing with the jam.
It also tastes amazing with the chocolate peanut butter spread that I found in a deli in Perth (it can also be found in Wholefoods Glasgow). That’s right, chocolate and peanut butter together in a spread! It saves me mixing the Nutella and PB myself…
When I came across this recipe for coconut loaf it was like a revelation. I mean, coconut…in loaf form. What could be better? Possibly nothing but that didn’t stop me tampering with the recipe a little bit.
Coconut and lime. These two flavours really do spell summer, don’t they? As we are slap bang in the middle of summer I can think of no reason not to make this recipe. My favourite way to enjoy this loaf is toasted, topped with a little butter and raspberry jam. The smell of it toasting, lovely.
This loaf is quite dense, and not as moist as a banana loaf, which is why I think it benefits from being toasted. It takes a good hour to cook, so I would recommend covering it with tin foil after about 40 minutes to make sure the top doesn’t get too overdone. The crust will be quite substantial though, but its contrasting texture is one of the best qualities.
Now I couldn’t have a strawberry week (and a half) without including a strawberry and banana recipe. Bananas seem to be turning into a bit of a thing for me, this is my third banana recipe in less than three months (others can be found here and here)! Banana bread is an absolute classic though, definitely one of my favourite snacks. I like to pretend it’s healthy because of all the fruit, kinda like carrot cake (no-one needs to worry about all the butter and sugar that’s in there too).
Luckily for me I have a flatmate who likes to buy bananas, but doesn’t like to eat them so much, so we are always left with a collection of very sad looking bananas in the fruit bowl. The only thing that can be done is bake with them, because I can only eat bananas when they are still tinged with green, which is weird and probably bad for me.
This bread smells divine. I know this for a fact because a shared a car with a still warm half portion of it for a 3 hour car journey. Fresh bread fragranced car air freshener, could that be a thing? Maybe not, but it definitely works in your house and kitchen. It will take all your restraint to stop slicing yourself a piece the second it leaves the oven.
Making this soda bread is so easy it’s ridiculous; five ingredients are all you need! I hadn’t planned making this bread at the weekend but I found a bag of this seed and grain bread flour in my parents cupboard and when the recipe on the back seemed so simple, I thought I should give it a try. I’m not normally a fan of soda bread, I find that it has a slightly sweet taste that I just don’t enjoy very much, but because this flour gave the bread a lovely nutty flavour that was perfect with butter and jam.