Darn, another cunning plan someone has beaten me to…

The last couple of years I’ve been swamped with more apples than I know what to do with in my garden. Not bad considering the size of the garden, apple tree, and how much of the tree I keep chopping off. Anyway, most of the apples end up in the compost which has always seemed a bit of a waste, so I’ve been pondering some way to put my unwanted apples in touch with people who want to make pies. A fruit reunited if you will. I even had a name in mind for this splendid web 2.0 site: “Windfall”

I’ve been thinking about it a bit more recently, since growing your own food at home seems to be in fashion (along with home brew strangely). Getting the quantity and timing right for harvesting seems to be a bit hit and miss, so swapping my unwanted apples for some other veg in return seemed like it could really work. Well, I’ve no idea if it does actually work, but it looks like has beaten me to it! Still, they only seem to do the US so far…

(As it happens, it doesn’t look like I’ll have many apples this year anyway; only half the tree had blossom on for some reason. Maybe I chopped off one branch too many.)


Microwaves- the greatest invention ever!

Microwaves are great! No waiting around for an oudated oven to heat up; just bung stuff stuff in, hit a few buttons and that’s it. It even turns off and pings when the food’s ready, instead of quietly staying very hot and burning everything to a crisp if you forget about it. Magic.

I think my aunt was the first person we knew to get a microwave. Now I know I was a lot younger so things might have seemed bigger than they were, but this thing was huge! It probably cost a small fortune too. Before microwave meals, people tried to use proper recipes for microwaves, and there were charts to work out how long to cook different weights of various ingredients. Crazy. Category D, 60 seconds on the side of a syrup sponge pudding is more my level!

Mmm, food

My first microwave was at the same time more advanced, and much simpler than the early models, and much much cheaper. Instead of dials (probably the work of the same person who designed shower taps and toaster dials) it had a proper timer, but it also rotates the food on a wobbly plate, specially calibrated to ensure that handles aways end up pointing away from the door, instead of using some fancy hidden rotating microwave deflecting contraption. Unfortunately this microwave is nearing the end of its long and faithful service. Countless microwave pizzas have passed through its little door since 1990s but a small flooding incident early in its life has finally caused some rusting inside. Things were built to last in the old days.

Is there any invention that can even come close to the greatness of the humble microwave oven?

Strictly pancake cooking- live!

This may turn out to be a complete disaster but I’m going to attempt live twittering as I make pancakes in a Gordon Ramsey style cookalong live!

I’ll update this post with the results later but to follow events in real time, follow me on twitter!

Updated: still very full of pancake! Here’s how it went…

Hope to have some photos of the event up at some point too- Jo got a good action shot!

Flapjack peach crumble


  • 3 oz. butter
  • 1 oz. castor sugar (~1 rounded tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup (or 3, or….)
  • 6 oz. rolled oats (~3/4 mug)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium-sized can of sliced peaches

To prepare:

  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Add syrup and cream a few minutes longer
  3. Gradually work in oats and salt until mixture is well blended
  4. Place drained sliced peaches in greased pie dish
  5. Spread flapjack mixture on top
  6. Bake on the middle shelf of a moderate oven for 35 minutes