Posted by: Anne | 21/12/2009

The Shortest Day

It seems such a long time ago that we were enjoying light evenings sat in the garden with a glass of wine.  Back then Christmas seemed ages away.

But hasn’t this year flown by?  Here we are with the big day only a heart beat away and dark nights that seem to last forever.

I hope we haven’t peaked too soon with the snow.  Will it last until Friday to wake up to a magical morning and look out on a snowy garden?

With lots of presents wrapped and delivered, I am starting to think about what to cook that’s easy but effective.

My friend Sadie showed me how she cooks the most fabulous ‘Irish’ roast potatoes.  All you do is peel your spuds, place them in a deep baking dish.  A knob of butter was added to a pint of boiling water with one or two tea spoons of instant gravy granules.  It’s very runny and I know you are wondering if I know what I’m doing right now don’t you?  Pour the watery gravy over the potatoes and grind some black pepper on them and a little salt.  Place in the oven and let them cook slowly.  The potatoes will cook, the water reduces and you are left with a lovely roast potato that tastes wonderful, with a gravy pool in the bottom of the dish.   I have also chopped an onion finely and sat the potatoes on the onion.  Let me know what you think.

Now this is a recipe I have wanted for a long time and plucked up the courage to ask for it earlier this year.  I have a friend who made this cake for me last Christmas. I wanted an alternative to the traditional fruit cake and decided this was a Rudolph cake instead.  He delivered it to me on Christmas Eve with caramel spikes sticking out of it and real glazed carrots on the top! Fabulous.  He has moved house but kindly gave me the recipe.  Thank you Simon. X

Carrot Cake

This will make a 15cm 6 “ cake.

3 medium eggs

200g – 70z light brown sugar

250 ml – 8 fl oz ground nut oil

200g – 7 oz self raising flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch salt

250g – 8oz carrots

100g 3 ½ oz sultanas

100g – 3 ½ oz chopped mixed nuts

Cooking time 1 ½ – 1 ¾ hours 150 C – 300 F


Butter and line a cake tin.  Beat together the eggs, sugar and oil for about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Add the carrots, sultanas and nuts and fold into the egg mixture.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook for the time and temp indicated above.  It’s ready when firm to the touch and well risen.  Leave the cake to cool before removing from the tin.

It is simply delicious like this, or you could cover with a tub of cream cheese with some icing sugar mixed into it for your own sweetness.


  1. a garden blog how cool! I live in the tropics and come next year ill be starting tomatoes. Im looking forward to it, did it before so i learned some things. Thanks for the recipe. Have a great Xmas!

  2. Tropics sound nice from here! I was glad to have the mini greenhouse covering some of my plants with the blanket of snow e’ve had. I do look forward to the shortest day, with the prospect of longer ones to come. My frame is protecting, but just out of reach of the sun for about two weeks this time of year!
    Feeling hungry after reading the recipe! Sounds lovely!

  3. It’s fantastic to hear from you from the tropics! Please keep in touch with us here and we can share ideas.

    Have a great Christmas. Thanks for taking the time to write.

  4. nice idea..thank for share happy new year..

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