Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Visit from a local group & recipe for Swedish tea bread

Our welcoming tea spread by the flag 

On Sunday we welcomed a group from Trumpington who want to develop a community garden. We decided it was a good idea to have tea and cake. WE LOVE CAKE!!! Any excuse to have a food feast, that's how we roll.... Scroll down to see one of the cakes and get the recipe.... Grateful thanks to the bakers and those who manned the giant kettle.

Volunteers were spurred to prepare the garden to look its best prior to the visit. There was a massive seed sowing session. The new beds were given a final weed, more manure was carted in... 

The garden, as you can see in the above picture, looked really lush considering it's not spring yet. Lovely lettuce heads are bobbing up in the polytunnel... pretty spring flowers surround the oak, it's just lovely even on a grey day.

Toilet base completed!

The garden is very child friendly - there are kid size tools for digging and weeding, a mighty oak to climb and a swing in our small but perfectly formed woodland area.

As the picture shows, our toilet compartment will hold at least four people - enough for a mini disco!

Back to the garden, we have been offered some pictorial meadow seed for the flower patch. They may do better than last year's standard meadow mix given our nutrient and weed rich soil. We are also trying out Jerusalem artichokes (from the sunflower family) and many people have come up with wonderful ideas.... As coordinator Charlotte explained in the garden tour, we are a happy bunch, there has been no quarrel nor dispute so far. Our green utopia is growing in harmony!

On a final sweet note, here is a photo of Mary's Swedish tea bread cakes. We also had yummy carrot and fruit cakes, if the bakers want to send recipes, we will post them.

Swedish Tea Bread Ring - recipe makes two! 

Main ingredients
3/4 cup scalded milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages dry yeast
1 egg
4 cups bread flour

Garnishes & glaze
Icing sugar
Iced cherries or almonds

Combine milk, sugar, salt and butter and stir till butter is melted. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add to milk mixture. Add egg and half of flour and beat till smooth. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover tightly and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Punch down the dough, divide in half and turn out one piece onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle approx. 12x24 inches. Spread with softened butter and sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Roll the dough into a long roll and press the seam closed. With the seam turned downward, seal the two ends together to make a ring. Place the ring on a lightly greased cookie pan. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, make cuts every inch or so along the ring, cutting only three quarters of the way through. Twist each piece the same direction. Repeat with the second portion of dough. Raise in warm place for 45 minutes. Bake at 180 degrees for l5-20 minutes.

When finished baking, glaze with a mixture of icing sugar, a bit of milk and vanilla extract. Decorate with sliced almonds and/or cherries.

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