Hey peeps- how are we all doing?
Just back from a walk to the allotment- the strawberry plants are loaded and I picked a big handful of ripe ones today- they smell wonderful.
On Saturday I mentioned I was off skiing- not on holiday, just a lesson!
When I was younger there was a dry ski slope in Hemel (near where we lived) and so I had lessons, and my family had a few skiing holidays in France. I was always very nervous and I liked to find an easy slope and go up and down it all day, whereas my Dad, sister and brother would go on all the slopes and ski to all different places. Once, they convinced me to come with them, and we skied from France into Italy on nice easy slopes (the ski pass included lots of different places) and then it turned out the only way back was a red run (green= easy, blue= OK, red= hard, black= plummet vertically to your death )- after being stuck on several runs my poor Dad had to walk home with me while we carried our skis! Anyway, the last time I went skiing was a good ten years ago, but last year Andy got some skiing lessons as a birthday present and really enjoyed them. The dry slope has now turned into a Snow Dome, and a Groupon popped up for a double lesson, so we booked it.
I was super nervous before, but I ended up loving it. It was a beginners lesson which turned out to be a bit easy, but I wasn’t sure what I would remember from all those years ago. We got there about half an hour early to give us time to get boots, skis and helmets, and then spent an hour and a half walking up and skiing down. There were only 6 of us in the lesson and the instructor was really good- he kept giving us challenges, so in the end I had to ski down the slope, turning around certain poles while doing “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”! I was hoping we would get to use the lifts, but not this time. We think we will book one more lesson at a higher level, and then just go for fun.
We ended up being really busy over the weekend but I did manage to spend a bit of time baking. I made Cherry and Marzipan Tray-bake.
I based it on a cherry cake recipe from the Great British Book of Baking, as I could not find a recipe that fitted what I wanted.
I preheated the oven to 170C, and lined my brownie pan with paper.
Then I creamed together 175g pure spread and 170g caster sugar. I added 3 eggs, and a tsp almond extract (I used Dr Oetker). Then I stirred in 200g plain flour, 3 packets of baking powder (I have these little packets which I think are the equivalent of a tbs each), and 50g ground almonds. Finally I chopped up a tub (200g) of glace cherries, and mixed them in.
I poured this mixture into the pan, and then topped it with 50g chopped white marzipan.
I baked it for 35 minutes- it is hard to tell when it is cooked as the marzipan will be liquid at oven temperatures, so will leave residue on the cake tester.
I find they slice much better when they are cold, so I left it on the wire rack for a while.
I had a piece on Saturday afternoon to give me some energy for skiing (as our session wasn’t going to finish until 8pm)- delish! I love the combination of cherries and marzipan. I took most of it to work on Monday and wasn’t sure how it would go down as I know marzipan is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it was all gone by lunchtime!
Once we were home I was quite chilly, so I had a hot chocolate to warm up with too- I love that Montezuma’s stuff.
I had Sunday as a rest day (we went out for breakfast to Bill’s, then watched some of the children from school in a parade in town, then spent the afternoon visiting our parents) so Monday after work I went out on a run. It was much warmer than I had expected. I headed for the fields as I didn’t fancy running near to traffic, and was enjoying listening to podcasts I went a bit further than I had planned- 5 miles in 50 minutes. Tomorrow we are doing the long fields run which was tough last week- not sure I am quite looking forward to it- I’m just hoping it won’t be as humid as it was last week as that is what makes it really tough.
Have you ever been skiing? Or would you be tempted by it?