It’s summertime here and very pleasant, lazing on a sunny afternoon over a quiet little lunch. Just me and Mr T and a whole lot of berries. With three kilo picked this morning, and more to go, the berry plague can be quite demanding. We began with six raspberry plants three years ago, and now have two large patches, producing around 500 grams a day, along with two kilo of boysenberries/youngberries a day and a few strawberries. Bird netting, along with some good rain, has made all the difference in the world.
Today’s summery recipe is based on my recipe from one year ago. My Apricot Almond Cake with Amaretto, Easy Frangipane is the most popular recipe on my blog. I don’t know why- perhaps because it’s so easy. I hope you enjoy this version. It’s festive but light. It would easily convert to a gluten free version too.
Raspberry Almond Cake with Brandy, Easy Frangipane
125 g softened unsalted butter
150 g of castor sugar
50 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
375 g almond meal
2 Tablespoons Brandy
300 g ripe raspberries
25 g flaked almonds
Preheat oven to 180c. Grease a 25 cm loose bottom tin. Line base and sides with paper.
Place butter and sugar and eggs in a mixer bowl and beat for 5 minutes until thick and pale.
Stir in the flour mixed with the baking powder, then fold in the almond meal, followed by the brandy. Place half the batter in the prepared tin, cover with the raspberries, then add the remaining batter, using a knife to smooth the top.
Scatter the top with the flaked almonds.
Bake for 50 minutes. Check with a knife or skewer to check if cooked through. Often this needs a further ten minutes especially with juicy berries.
A Garden Monthly diary is a beautiful thing. It’s handy to be able to scroll back to last month’s post to see if anything got ticked off the list. And I am happy to report, YES, we did achieve most of our goals.
We keep two kinds of lists here:
The Daily List, a list of things that need doing, the demanding list, and
Eric’s List. Eric’s list is more of a concept list. Named after a wonderful Swedish man we met when wandering through Laos, Eric’s list is more about desirable things to do- there is no need to mark anything off with a big black line. Once you have written the list, you have achieved your goal. Drawings and colouring in are acceptable too. Arches, designs, fantasies, as if we had all the time in the world. We keep a special book for this list- Eric’s book. Sometimes things get upgraded from Eric to Demanding Daily.
But back to the garden. We finally installed the shade cloth and bird netting over all our berry beds and the results speak for themselves. We have an unbelievable berry crop. I am picking a kilo a day. We cut some metal reo into manageable lengths and with poly- piping, made hoops over the beds, then covered these with bird netting. When the season becomes even hotter, we will add some shade cloth. I have a few lads in the building game keeping an eye out for discarded reo. I love the stuff.
The cucurbits and lettuces will need shading too and maybe by February, the tomatoes. The season is predicted to be hot, dry and windy. I am not looking forward to those days.
Below is the largest tomato bush I have ever grown. Talk about a Triffid. It is already a metre wide and a metre tall. It bears miniature yellow pear-shaped fruit. If the crop is as good as the bush, I might open a market stall. I gave it some manure ‘tea’ when it was little and it went berserk. Next month, I hope to be able to report on the crop. It is out of control. I don’t usually prune laterals as our fruit needs as much shade as it can get. We have already eaten a few miniature tomatoes. This has never happened before Christmas.
The zucchini have started their long march into the season. The early ones are always most welcome. I try not to buy zucchini between the months of April and November. Six months of zucchini and six months of no zucchini seems about right. These will make some little Greek fritters this week.
Further tasks this month.
build more hoops over other beds
collect more manure to balance the compost.
collect and preserve more berries
harvest garlic and dry out, then clean and braid.
water more often as the season is predicted to be nasty
fix fencing in the front paddock.
This post is linked to Lizzie’s Garden Share Collective. Check it out here.