Friday, 16 October 2009

Apple Turnovers....

Whoopee! I've found another way to use up some of the many apples scattered across my lawn.

I've had to, as I can't fit another jar of jelly or jam in my shop and I'm sick of the sight of my jelly bag.The spilt sugar on my kitchen floor is also a bit irritating - the way it collects on my bare feet and then disperses itself onto the carpet in the sitting room.

I do sweep - honest!
It's just that sugar seems to find a way to hide then leap out and attach itself to my toes just when I least expect it. Along with the odd shard of glass that I thought I'd cleared up last month and the earing that dropped off a couple of weeks before.
There's a place where these things exist - another dimension where odd socks, postal rubber bands, old cracker toys, keys and nail files go and then appear yards away from where you swore you'd left them. Sugar is in there somewhere...

So... my yummy Apple Turnovers.
You won't use much apple, but you will feel better for using it in a different way. It's very simple. You poach them gently, flavour and cool them. Roll out some puff pastry and wrap the apple up in a cosy way.
Deep fry and then toss in cinnamon sugar.

Eat hot and eat more than one - I insist you do.

It's Lotte's law.

225g/8oz eating apples - peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoons of water
25g/1oz soft brown sugar
1 cloves
Grated zest of 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp of caraway seeds
1/2 tsp of rosewater
225g/8oz puff pastry
Sunflower oil for frying
Caster sugar for sprinkling
1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1. Put the apples into a pan with the water, sugar, cloves, zest and caraway seeds.
2. Simmer very gently for about 10-15 minutes or until the apples are just cooked.
2. Leave to cool and then remove the cloves. Stir in the rosewater.
3. Roll out the pastry and divide into 12, 7.5cm/3inch squares.
4. Divide the apple mixture over the pastry squares, moisten the edges of the pastry with some water, and then fold over the corners to form a triangle.
5. It is really important to seal the edges well with a fork to prevent the apple escaping. Chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
6. Fill a large, deep saucepan 1/3 full of oil and heat. Test the heat by popping a crust of bread in the oil; it should sizzle quite quickly when the oil is up to heat.
7. Fry the pies a couple at a time until crisp and golden on both sides.
8. Drain well, sprinkle with caster sugar and cinnamon.

Monday, 5 October 2009

The Mad Robin Redbreast....

My office is in the pink room. A room all my friends claim as their own when they come to stay.

'Am I sleeping in MY pink room Lotte?'

'Of course, where else but your very OWN room in my cottage.'

I don't have the heart to confess to them all that the room isn't just THEIRS, I don't want to crush their dreams.

For some reason people sleep so very well in the pink room. Friends who have been losing sleep through worry or other various reasons, spend a night in the pink room and sleep like babies. Some don't come out for hours. One friend woke up after we had served lunch. I didn't like to disturb her, she was shattered from work. I'm kind, so I saved her a chicken leg!

I work from the pink room and my desk is by the old window. Through the window, I see the garden change as the seasons draw on.

I watch the cherry tree bud, it's dark pink flowers blossom and fade, the bulbs spring to life, the herbaceous do their thing over the summer and the lilac deliver their stunning flowers and perfume. I like nothing better than smelling the lilac as I go to bed on a warm spring night. It makes me feel all secure and lovely that another summer is on it's way.

I know it's autumn now, the signs are there.
The air has a nip, there's a fat pigeon eating my crab apples, the leaves are scattered around the fallen apples and.... the Mad Robin Redbreast is back.
He really is a bit loopy. He spends all day attacking his reflection in the old window by my desk. Tapping at his own head, fluttering in a more than aggressive manner at his own wings. He's really very stupid.

Robin's are very territorial - this one is bonkers.
Every time he goes in for the kill, he hits glass (not hard, so don't worry), he hasn't yet learnt, that there isn't another robin - it's him!

I do love his tenacity though, and I do love his song. The robin will sing all through the winter, especially if he is near a street light. If you hear bird song in the middle of the night, in the winter, it'll probably be a robin.