Oh my goodness, it’s been a busy few days here at Bustle & Sew HQ finishing off the April Magazine and Spring Blooms Supplement. I’d like to welcome all the new subscribers, and thank everyone who sent such lovely comments about this month’s issue. The image above is taken from the contents page and gives an idea about some of the content in addition to the six monthly patterns. Inside there are nature notes, recipes, articles related to stitching (and sometimes some that aren’t!), poetry corner, a monthly almanac and much more besides.
The Bustle & Sew Magazine really is a taste of life here in the English countryside with sewing and embroidery very much at its heart of course, and I’m not aware of any other magazine quite like it! I feel immensely privileged to have been able to produce it for over twelve years now, thanks to all my lovely readers, and hope to continue for a long time to come!
Meanwhile, changing the subject completely, it’s time for an update on Station House’s newest residents ….
The chickens are settling into their new home nicely, though the weather has been extremely wet and windy. Here (from left to right) Primrose, Poppy, Katie and Clover are investigating their dust bath – or sadly as the wind has blown the rainwater beneath their roof – what is currently a mud wallow instead. Once the weather dries up a bit I will empty the tray and refill it with sand and the ashes from my wood burner that I’ve been diligently saving all winter. I do only burn wood, even the firelighters are natural ones, so the ashes are perfectly safe for them.
What might not be perfectly safe however, would be letting their wannabe new friends in to play with them….
Here you can see the terrible trio waiting for me the other side of the Kitchen Garden gate, poised to try to dash through as I open it. If they succeed they are likely to form a circle around the Hen Pen and stare very hard at the occupants. This of course totally unnerves the chickens so that they make a speedy retreat to the safety of their coop.
We haven’t had any eggs yet (though it’s very early days, they only arrived last week), so I’ve been using shop bought eggs to make the recipe I wanted to share with you today. It’s an old one, from my mum’s book, and it’s been a family favourite for years….
Yes, it’s Bakewell Tart! Not the mass produced kind that’s over sweet (in my opinion anyway) with a solid layer of thick white icing on the top, but the homemade kind with just a sprinkling of sugar and topping of flaked almonds which I think is much nicer. This recipe serves six…
Roll out around 350g sweet shortcrust pastry (you can sometimes find this ready-made, if not make your own or use ordinary shortcrust – I just happen to think the sweet kind is nicer here). Roll it out thinly to a round large enough to line a deep sided 20cm (8″) flan tin. Prick the base.
Now place 90g soft butter or margarine, 90g caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 60g ground almonds, 60g self-raising flour and a few drops of almond essence in a mixing bowl and beat until well mixed.
Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Spread three tablespoons of raspberry jam over the base of the pastry case, then spread with the filling mixture. Sprinkle some flaked almonds on the top to decorate.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes until cooked. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, accompanied by custard or cream. Yummy!