About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

'tis the season of mists and warming puddings

After our brief summer (five days of sunshine and I was in meetings for two of them!) the weather now feels properly autumnal* rather than just a continuation of a rubbish summer. This is the time of year for hearty stews and proper puddings, both of which tend to take a bit of forward thinking. We don't usually have dessert, but this evening as we finished our stew (including four different vegetables, all from the garden), we both fancied something more. Ingredients in the house were limited, but did include flour, butter, sugar, and one egg, which suggested sponge pudding to me.

A quick google found plenty of recipes - Delia's included three eggs (though that did serve four to six) and required steaming for two hours, so that was no good. Then I spotted this microwave recipe, which called for only one egg - bingo! I'm not generally a fan of the microwave - it doesn't feel like proper cooking - but sponge pudding in fifteen minutes? It had to be tried. The recipe even had the advantage of being easy to remember; two of everything apart from the egg, though I doubt an extra egg would hurt it.

At the third time of making this, I persuaded Ian to take a photo before eating it.

Sponge pudding in fifteen minutes? That's practically convenience food!


* What's the American equivalent of this adjective? Fallen?


  1. Still waiting for news on the chickens....what are you waiting for??!

  2. Chickens? You're getting chickens??! Woo hoo!!! I was wondering why you were lacking in chickens :D

  3. We use autumnal as well! And now I've got to ask the husband what sponge pudding is.

  4. oops....think I started a rumour. Still, it's a good one.

  5. The thing that sticks with me most about my family getting a microwave in the late 1980s is the switch from once-in-a-blue-moon steamed syrup or chocolate puddings, to having them every week after our Sunday roast. It was like Christmas & birthdays rolled into one. Even now, it doesn't seem like cheating it me, it just seems like delicious magic :)

  6. I haven't really changed my position on the chicken question since I wrote about it in February: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blogspot.com/2011/02/chickens.html
    I do enjoy reading about your chickens though, Rachy... and yours too, Louisa, come to that :-)

    Demandra, I'm glad to hear that 'autumnal' survives the loss of 'autumn' - it's such a lovely word! Be warned, an introduction to sponge pudding could be dangerous...

    Louisa, I'm with you on the microwaved puddings. In fact, I could yet learn to love my microwave (which, btw, is the same machine that my dad bought in about 1990, and used mainly for 'baked' potatoes, as far as I remember. Maybe this is why I've never had a very good impression of them!)

  7. I'll consider myself told. I wasn't reading your blog then, so I didn't know. So sorry for wasting your time.

  8. Sorry Secret Sheep, I didn't mean to be sharp. It's just that, as you've now seen from the previous post, I do get a bit sick of people telling me I should keep chickens.

    Comments here are never a waste of time, please don't stop talking to me...

  9. Mmmm .. this looks GOOD! I wonder if there's a vegan version ... I'll have to search for that! We're like you ... we don't usually want a desert but there's something about cooler temperatures that just beg for a sweet. :-)

    BTW ... your suggestion is going to be used tomorrow (Wed) on Change The World Wednesday ... hope to see you then! :-)

  10. Hmm, a vegan version... replace butter with (less) oil and replace the egg and milk with... syrup? I'm not sure - do you think it would work? Let me know if you try it.

    Thanks for dropping by, and it's nice to know you're using my suggestion. Right now I'm super busy, so I'm not sure I'll have time to actually do anything, particularly not anything that involves a trip into town, but I will try to find time to come and write something vaguely interesting in your blog comments.

  11. A vegan version from the Animal Aid website:
    "Microwaved steamed sponge pudding
    110g self-raising flour
    50g sugar
    1 flat tsp baking powder
    100ml water
    60ml vegetable oil
    1 tbsp golden syrup
    In an 18cm Pyrex bowl put the first three ingredients. Stir in the water and oil. Mix thoroughly. Pour the syrup in the middle of the mixture (it will sink to the bottom). Cover bowl with microwave- proof cling-film. Microwave on high for approx 4 mins.
    Leave to stand for a few mins. Turn out onto a plate and serve with soya cream or custard.
    Try with jam or marmalade instead of golden syrup. You can also add a few chopped up dates or raisins to the batter.
    It is also useful as a sponge base. Just microwave batter mix without added syrup or jam, allow to get cold and use sponge for trifles, etc. "

    I've not tried it yet, but I will!

  12. Hi Rachel!

    Check this out; http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/

    Hook a fishpond up to a gravel vegetable garden bed, pump the pooey fish water through the vegetable patch which feeds your plants and they clean the water. You can grow your own fish to eat!

    The only problem is the electric water pump and buying fish food...

  13. Thanks for the recipe, cj :-)

    Cheers, Bec, that's an interesting idea. I have trouble with killing slugs, so I can't see myself coping with killing fish for food. Pebble, on the other hand, would have no such worries!


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