Homegrown tea

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My food growing is not going well, the weather for a second year is not helping but I think the fact that I am a pretty awful gardener is a bigger factor 😉 Anyway, my salad bed (rocket and mizuna) out on my back patio (I’ve given up growing that at the allotment, it either gets eaten by rabbits or flea beetle and it’s a drag to walk up there just when I fancy a bit of fresh rocket for my cheese sandwich), after a slow start has bloomed into life, literally in the case of the mizuna, it’s been trying to flower ever since I got the seedlings, I’ve been pinching out the flower heads with tedious regularity for weeks but gave up on that recently. And my gooseberry bush up at the allotment has recently rewarded me with a very small crop of gooseberries. So tea tonight was in part homegrown, which is always a pleasure when that happens. There was a chicken salad adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe and that was followed by a gooseberry Victoria sponge, which was one of the variations of the Victoria sponge recipe in Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. The salad, as usual was lovely (the chicken, very briefly marinated in olive oil, chilli, garlic, ginger, lemon, sugar and mixed spice, is currently my favourite way to cook chicken) and the cake was amazing. I don’t make Victoria sponges that much, I’ve been under the impression for a while that I’m a bit rubbish at them but maybe that’s just the recipes I’ve been using, I can’t believe it’s been this long for me to try the recipe in Domestic Goddess but now I have, I am deviating no more! It was incredibly easy and quick to make and the result was a lovely, light, fluffy sponge, with a really nice rise. Not much filling mind you but that was the gooseberry bush’s fault, not Nigella’s, I only had half the amount of gooseberries needed, so I reduced the filling by half, I know I could have just added more cream but I wanted to taste the gooseberries at least a little!

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