Day 4 of No Spend

So I’ve stayed true to my word so far; but let’s face it we’re only 4 days in and my amazon basket keeps sending me notifications.

I have resisted so far. Go me! Keeping busy and removing those ever so tempting “get it in the next 20 min” apps from my phone to keep me on the straight and narrow has helped.

My car already had fuel in, so we felt no guilt in taking a little trip to the Dales at the weekend to blow away the cobwebs. And my goodness those cobwebs were certainly blown away. We set off in brilliant sunshine, one small dark cloud looming in the distant. We saw rainbows. And I mean multiple rainbows, so vivid too. Then that dark cloud continued to double in size and kept growing till the rain made an appearance along side the wind just as we parked up in Burnsall.

Burnsall sign posted.

We walked up to the church and tried to find my great grandmother’s grave to no avail, and Hubs and I took turns using my new camera. Got to admit, he’s got a decent eye for a good landscape where as I prefer portraits so far. But I am very much still learning. As you can tell from my failed attempts at a Robin, could not get a focus on it. But, hello bench right!

Delilah got too cold despite being layered up and complained the entire time we were there. She is literally the coldest little person ever, two pairs of tights that girl had on under lined wellies as well as the rest, and she was still too cold. Then she got home ans was inevitably too warm to striped off and watched about 7 minutes of a movie in her knickers before getting bored again. Arh, the life of a 4 and a half year old.

I wasn’t going to, but hubs took a really arty shot of what he thought to be a post box. Turns out on closer inspection, flicking back over the photos it’s actually a dog poo bin. Couldn’t help but have a giggle at that one. Here it is, in all its Yorkshire Dales glory, the poop bin!

Anyway, totally off topic there… my initial plan for this update was to share my meal plan and a recipe, but I’ve actually not decided on how to share my meal plan; in the sence of what format. Because I literally just take a pen and scribble it on a bit of A4. It’s not very pretty, but it serves me well and I write my shopping list from it too. And I totally forgot to take pictures of the meal I wanted to recipe for you, so while I ponder out that one for the next post, I thought I’d share something else.

Since the new year, and in the spirit of self improvement I’ve been looking into gratitude and manifestation. Starting with being extra grateful for what our lives are currently blessed with, and so far I can tell you I love the way this makes me feel. For no other reason, other than chasing that inner excitement, please give it a go. I’m pretty sure I’ve barely scratched the surface with what I’ve read and watched so far, but anything that makes you feel relaxed and happier in the moment I’m all for. Ill keep on keeping om with it qnd see how it goes. Loving the idea of a New Year full of self improvement. Or just in fact any self improvement; and I’m feeling its about time I find myself again after being a hermit and using the pandemic as a good excuse to hide away.

Time to find my best self I think. Anyone else feeling all good about ’22 yet? I’m feeling ’22 because it’s a bloody good number – my birth date too, must be lucky.

Thank you for sticking it out this far, its great to have you here.
L, xox

An Easy Tea Loaf

I’ve been baking again. No surprise there if you know anything about me. Tried this beaut out today because I’m in short supply of icing sugar. I’ve even had to turn down customers because I just couldnt guarantee that I’d have my usual basic ingredients.

This recipe requires no icing sugar or butter and only uses 1 egg. It’s an amazing recipe for using up dried fruit you may have stuffed in your cupboard. I used raisins in my loaf cake but it will work with any dried fruit you have. I’ll be trying dried apricots and glace cherries when I have them in next, but with out further a do (knowing how frustrating it is to scroll through a life story before the recipe reveals itself) here is the recipe!

Ingredients

175g Dried Fruit (use any you like- I used raisins)

110g Caster Sugar

150ml Hot Strong Tea (again, use your preferred but I used normal black tea in this one)

150g Self Raising Flour (alternatively the same weight of plain with 1tsp of baking powder)

Zest of 1 lemon (or orange)

1 Egg (beaten)

Method

Make some hot strong tea (I used two bags) and soak your fruit along with the sugar, preferably overnight but if you’re in a hurry to create this beauty 2 hours will do. My baking for my family is always a little off the cuff and unplanned so 2 hours did suffice in my case.

Tea bags stewing, give it at least 5 mins.
150ml black tea. Next time I’ll be trying earl grey.
175g dried fruit
110g caster sugar

Once the fruit has had at least 2 hours, preheat the oven to a low temp, around 150 degrees. This is a low and slow cake. Line the tin with baking parchment, these measurements are suited to a 1lb loaf tin, just double the recipe if you have a 2lb tin. If you dont have a loaf tin, use what you have, but do line it regardless of the shape or size.

Line the tin well, will save sticking cake and scrubbing the pan later.

To the tea soaked fruit add the flour, beaten egg and Zest and mix well. That’s practically it. Tip it into your lined tin and bake for around 40 mins (double the time if your doubling the mixture) or until golden and when a skewer comes out of the loaf clean.

Tea soak fruit and the rest
Mixture snug in the loaf tin
The tip drip on my mason and cash bowl

Cool for 10 mins before tipping out on to a cooling rack. Once cool, slice and serve with or without butter. If your a fruit cake and cheese kinda person, then I’m pretty sure that a slice of this with a tiny wedge of Wensleydale cheese would hit the spot.

Share with your household of course, then leave some with neighbours so you cant eat the lot.

Sliced tea loaf

I’m still playing with this recipe, and may do a marmalade take on it too; but I really hope you enjoy it. Dee scoffed a slice after her dinner and it got the cheesy grin of approval so happy days.

Stay well and stay safe,

Love

L, xox