Easter weekend baking

Since I got back from Oxford I seem to have spent as close to every waking hour in the garden as possible.  Yesterday was another glorious, hot, sunny day, a day for suncream and gardening (a la Sarah Raven) not in jeans and boots but in an old skirt and flip flops. 

But today has been grey and cool, oddly pleasantly so.  I have been moving ground cover plants down to the native tree walk, things that get out of hand anywhere that you want to cultivate intensively but are gently green and satisfying on bare soil - tellima grandiflora, alchemilla, self sown forget me nots.  They have been wilting and sighing in the heat but today they settled back softly in the grey green light, last night's watering still keeping them green and full throughout the day.

I went seed sowing in the greenhouse again.  Ian has a big birthday coming up in the summer and I have become obsessed with having a celebratory garden.  I think this needs a blog to itself, or more, I could bore you rigid with it for weeks now that I see the potential!  I wonder if I have left it too late to make a glorious splash with annuals at the beginning of July?  What do you think?

And I also went baking.  We bake all our own bread, not through domestic god or goddessness but through greed,  so every week the small scale production line swings into action.

These, having their second rising in the tin, become these:

Five go into the freezer and become warm bread in the morning for the sake of two minutes in the microwave.

And one is normally eaten still warm with, if you are me, lots of salty Welsh butter.  "Have some bread with your butter, Mum" is a long-standing and reliable joke in our house.

But today I got carried away by Easterness and made these:

which meant that there was just no room for warm bread too.  Ian is away for a couple of days and should be back tomorrow.  I have eaten so many hot cross buns I need him to come back and save me from myself.  Along with all the other husbandly contributions to life of course.


  1. I am recovering from gum graft surgery and lounging around the house feeling a little sorry for myself, so a post about Spring gardens and Hot Cross Buns was a treat! Happy Easter!

  2. What a busy lady! It's nearly 11:30 in the evening, my bedtime, but your bread looks so good, I am glad it is too late to start baking now. Maybe tomorrow morning.

    I don't think any blog could be boring, I would be interested to know how you are getting on with your celebratory garden.


  3. A celebratory garden sounds interesting. Achievable? Yes, why not? Things sown or planted now will steam ahead - providing we don't enter an ice age. If planting fails there is always bunting and judiciously placed pots of summer bedding. Look forward to hearing more.

  4. I can't wait to see more pictures later of what you have planted now. It sounds wonderful. You are a true garden goddess.

    Your bread looks lovely and made me hungry for some. Those buns would not last long here, especially not with salted butter. Are you a kitchen goddess as well?

    You are the woman I was meant to be.

  5. Your bread looks and sounds yummy, and I think a celebratory garden is a wonderful idea!

    We had our first warm, sunny day of the season today, it has been wonderful, but it sounds as though you have summer starting up!

  6. Domestic Godess you are!

    Lady M has been instructed to bring several packs of hot cross buns back from England on Tuesday. I suppose I could have made some, but I'm certain they wouldn't have been nearly as good as yours; or even M & S's.

  7. Wonderful bread.
    Love the sound of the salty welsh butter!!
    Nice sunny day here in Tasmania. We had lunch in the garden.
    Happy Easter

  8. Love the idea of making a special garden for Ian's big birthday. I would think you would be fine to sow annuals now? They are mostly half hardy anyway, so you wouldnt want to do it much earlier for fear of frosts?

    Know just how good that bread tastes, could just fancy a slice with a fresh egg!

    Look forward to reading more about the garden plans xx

  9. I wish I could say the same for my tellima - I struggle to keep one plant, although it grows in the shade. I love it and keep telling it so.

  10. I'm sure there's time for cheerful annuals to grow. Indeed, they might even be glad of a later start if the heat drops down for a little.

    The bread looks wonderful. Ditto the buns.

    Thanks for the lovely comment you left today on my blog.

    Happy Easter.


  11. MsCaroline - ow, sounds painful! sending you a nice soft virtual hot cross bun.
    Ronnie - I will blog about the celebratory garden as soon as I get my head around it a bit more.

  12. Mountainear - if the planting fails there is always bunting is a truly great line!
    Nora - now please don't think I am a garden or kitchen goddess! I never photograph my dandelions or tell you about the cakes with holes in them!

  13. Dimple - the contrast between the seasons is so wonderful isn't it? I think I need a temperate climate like ours.
    Cro - hot cross buns are not hard to make. A bit late to send you a recipe now!

  14. I could just about smell the bread! It took me back to the days when I used to make my own, for lack of finding anything adequately healthy in French bakeries.
    And hot cross buns! Nearly bought some today, but didn't out of fear I'd do exactly what you did with them.

  15. Wonderful looking loaves - and Hot Cross Buns. Love the celebratory garden idea, I'm sure its not too late to sow annuals for colour in eaarly July. Cosmos, Dahlia 'Bishop's Children', Zinnias, poppies, should be plentu of scope for lots of colour, and there are probably plug plant bargains to be had too. My first experience of growing flowers from seed was on Anglesey, so similar climate, and by mid June the cutting garden was full of colour. Good luck with it, and I look forward to reading more about it!

  16. Such industry! I felt virtuous after making one loaf at the weekend! I did make a deconstructed birthday cake and some muffins but you put me to shame, as always...

  17. Wow they look absolutely delicious and so wish I had that enthusiasm. Love the garden idea too. Found your blog via Tots100 and love having new ones to catch up on so will be following.
    Tracy x
    and twitter @muminmeltdown

  18. You and I share a love for deeply politically incorrect full saturated fat butter it seems (though I prefer the white, unsalted butter). And you put bread machine me to shame. But somehow the bread never seems to rise properly in the oven. We buy French flour from a farm shop and mix it with grains in the Panasonic machine. Most excellent. Satisfyingly Heath Robinson, though one feels the bread paddles ought to be driven by steam.

  19. I used to bake all our bread by hand, but as the boys grew up and we started consuming 2 loaves a day I just could not keep up - so now we have a bread machine! There is nothing like the taste of hand-baked, though.

    Pomona x

  20. Chris - I love fresh bread. One of the reasons against making it is how hopeless I am at resisting it!
    Zoe - I have a lot of things sown in the greenhouse, mainly the things I was intending for my cutting garden anyway followed by a huge flush of stuff over the weekend. Will blog!
    Weaver - how odd! Tellima here is one of those plants that self sows and could easily take over in certain parts of the garden. One man's thug is another man's precious rarity!

  21. Esther - I have been researching annuals and finding that the Sarah Raven site has some helpful details as to how long it is from sowing to flowering so am keeping my fingers crossed!
    Deborah - well at least I am not the only one who is weak willed!

  22. Oh your bread looks amazing! i take the lazy person's way out ... I have a breadmaker - one of my favourite possessions. The hot cross buns look great. I might try my hand at some of them :-D

  23. As someone who is currently supporting her husband's new diabetic regimen by joining in the diet (no bread) you have NO IDEA how delicious those pictures are to me. I can taste them right through the computer screen! More butter, please.

  24. Janet - ooh thanks for all the lovely flower suggestions! I have things in hand.
    GC - I find the idea of my putting anyone to shame very unlikely indeed! And what is a deconstructed birthday cake?
    mim - hi and welcome. I think we call it greed here, although enthusiasm is kinder!

  25. Fennie - love the idea of steam driven bread paddles, somehow going down the Mississippi don't you think?
    Pomona - that is the trouble. Once you have had a home baked loaf you are very easily addicted. I am anyway.
    Croila - it isn't hard to do at all I promise!
    Marcheline - now that is one very wifely thing to do. I'm not sure I could bring myself to follow suit!

  26. wow!!! nice celebration.. I've celebrated with lot of happiness. Thanks for this nice blog.


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