Monday, 5 April 2010

Eat, drink, sleep flowers.

My new house is a typical Victorian terrace. Seemed only fitting to kit it out with antique crockery and vintage furniture. Any excuse for a good rummage around car boots and charity shops!

With a proper brown teapot and a mismatch of old fashioned cups and saucers I love having people drop in for a cuppa on my days off. This Easter weekend was particularly successful with an unbroken stream of visitors popping in today.

It is finally spring and I am thoroughly relieved to see the emergence of Daffodils by the roadsides, blossom on the trees and tulips on sale at the greengrocer. I bought a bunch of red and white tulips and a dramatic branch of cherry blossom to liven up the place but the floral enthusiasm has now spread to the kitchen.

I attacked the struggling hydrangea at the front a couple of weeks ago, now it has a little more incentive I cant wait for summer to find out what colour the blooms will be. In the mean time (and as a pleasant surprise) I have discovered a carpet of violets under the hydrangea. Naturally my first thought was culinary; not a completely new thought, I bought some Violet tea when I was in Norwich last with a view to using it to flavour cakes. I have found it pretty impossible to find violet essence so tea was the nearest I could get.

Today I made violet cupcakes, using a basic sponge cake recipe - 175g flour, 175g sugar, 175g margarine and 3 eggs I then added a few tablespoons of violet tea and baked them in little cake cases until the sponge was firm but springy and golden brown. The fun bit was the icing. I made a thick icing mix with icing sugar and the brewed violet tea. Then mixed in a couple of knobs of butter at room temperature and gave it a good whisking adding some violent violet food colouring.

I picked some of the little violets from the garden to stick on top of the icing swirls, the flowers sit like tiny resting butterflies, very girly, very spring!

I drank chamomile tea, caught up with old friends and passed around the cupcakes, a bloomin' lovely afternoon!

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