The past two weeks have been spent camping in the wilds and kayaking down the River Wye, hence the lack of blogs. I don't have internet on my mobile phone and there was absolutely no question of taking my laptop on the kayak, so I have been free from any contact with the outside world, apart from the odd newspaper....I like that!
Here's some pics of the Wye trip. Huge salmon jumping around us (unfortunately not into the boat!), otters, herons, buzzards etc, heaps of blackberries and delicious field mushrooms to forage. Campfires every night. Happy, contented children. And it only rained for one morning. Paradise really, although quite hard work.
Better pics to follow once my 73 year-old mother-in-law, Sylvia a.k.a. extreme grannie, has worked out how to email them to me.
I hope I can get back into running fitness for the Bristol Half Marathon on 6th September and the Inverness Monster Duathlon the following weekend as the canoeing was very good for the upper body strength, but not so good for the legs! We managed to get out for a few early morning runs, but went no further than about 6 miles.
We've returned to a bumper crop of apples in our garden so I've been hard at work picking, peeling, coring and storing the things. It's a great excuse to delay other houshold chores like the dreaded washing that makes coming home from a camping holiday such hell! I know there are countless exciting ways of using apples (and we have a range of varieties from bramley cookers to eater such as cox's orange pippin) but what we and the kids really enjoy is a good old apple crumble or apple and almond bake. Here's my recipe for a delicious (and very simple) apple and almond bake. It's not just a treat for the kids, it also makes for a tasty, filling and healthy dessert for athletes. The almonds provide good, cholesterol-reducing monounsaturated fats and also contain significant amounts of the antioxidant vitamin E, plus magnesium and potassium and of course the apples are packed with low G.I. carbohydrate, dietary fibre and anti-oxidants, plus vitamin C.
Here's the recipe:
Apple and Almond Bake
- Bramley cooking apples (about 4-5 medium sized)
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- 175g ground almonds
- 1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
- 175g caster sugar
- 175g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 3 medium free range eggs
- zest of half a lemon
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Peel, core and chop the apples.
- Place the apples in a saucepan, cover, and then heat gently with the cinnamon, a tbsp water, a tbsp honey and a tbsp sugar until purreed.
- Pour into an ovenproof dish (about 20cm diameter, but don't worry if it is a bit smaller or larger).
- Beat the sugar, lemon zest and butter together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is well incorporated.
- Gently fold in the baking powder and almonds.
- Pour mixture onto the apples and spread it evenly so that all the apples are covered.
- Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until golden and risen.