granny's seed cake for Halloween ...
I have lots of memories of my Granny, one of them being her Seed Cake. Why I've waited so long to make one I don't know. I waited in anticipation, and once cool enough to slice, it tasted just as I remembered. It uses Caraway seeds, and Caraway seeds to me are an acquired taste, and not particularly a taste a kid would like. Did I eat it out of kindness, or did I screw my face up with the first bite? I don't remember.
I don't know what became of Granny's cookbook. The recipe I used for my Seed Cake came out of The Best of Good Housekeeping, 1973 edition. This book belonged to my Mum, and I remember this being the only cookery book she would ever use.
40z butter or hard margarine
8oz SR flour
a pinch of salt
4oz caster sugar
2 beaten large eggs
approx 4 tbsps milk
1oz of caraway seeds - once weighed, 1oz seemed a lot, I decided on 2 tsps
Rub the fat into the flour to resemble fine breadcrumbs, add salt. Stir in sugar and caraway seeds. Mix the egg into the dry ingredients and gradually add enough milk to make a dropping consistency.
My Granny used a round tin, I used a 2lb loaf tin, setting the oven temperature at 160c and baking until golden brown and springy to the touch.
With money I had for my birthday, I treated myself to the lovely green mixing bowl in Cargo Homeshop in Chichester. It's big and heavy, and only cost £10! I was so annoyed with myself recently as I allowed my trusty, vintage, worth a pretty penny, TG Green Easimix mixing bowl, with a pale blue inside, to fall out the cupboard and smash to pieces!
Whilst piling through recipes on the internet, I discovered that in one small corner of the Midlands region of the UK, Seed Cake was the traditional food to be eaten on October 31st.
The article also states varying recipes, something I discovered too. Hannah Glasse, in The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy, published in 1805, uses yeast. Mrs Beeton, in the Book of Household Management, published in 1861, uses eggs and butter. The recipe I used has the quality of a Madeira cake. Somes recipes include ground almonds, this would have made my cake more moist. Candied peel can be added too.
Caraway Seeds are often partnered with rich foods that are not easy to digest. My cake, turning out a little dry around the edges, was a tad difficult to digest, with the caraway seeds getting stuck between my teeth!
I remember my Mum was always baking. Her, The Best of Good Housekeeping compiled by the Good Housekeeping Institute, shows all the signs. Grease marks and cake mix on The Family Cakes/Biscuits and Cookies pages!
colours of the moment ...
I know that indoor Pot Mums aren't everyones cup of tea, but they do last for ages, and the one above comes in just the colour for any up and coming Halloween celebrations.
You could grow some of these lovely little fat dumpling squashes for next year.
You can find varieties in most seed catalogues, for the price of under or just over £2 a packet.
Depending on where you live, don't forget to set your clocks an hour back before you go to bed!
a moss heartfelt thanks ...
It's been a week since I came out of hospital after having a gynaecological laparoscopy. My stitches came out on Monday which has made me feel a little better in myself. Feeling like I've been kicked repeatedly, I'm still taking the tablets!
Hallelujah for the laptop! Now I'm off work indisposed, and banned from the garden, there's time to spend on my blog, and yours. Good news! It's no secret over the past months I've allowed my job to completely cloud my mind, with early starts and later finishes, having little time to spend on doing the things which actually make me happy. By not visiting and commenting on blogs as regularly as I did, I've really missed the blog banter which comes a yo-yoing back. This is why I'm sending a mossy heartfeltedly thank you to everyone who regularly comes back to my blog and keeps in touch, and for your get well wishes too.
Earlier in the year I noticed this moss and stony bits had formed into a heartshape, amazing, and in my garden too!
Ginny over at Sweet Myrtle has had the great idea of sharing the things she is noticing. Click on the link on my sidebar to find out how you can get noticing in October!