Miss Windsor and I have come to the end of our summer garden party collaboration, and hope you’ve very much enjoyed it as much as we have. We’re taking a bit of a break now but will be back before too long with a special quartet of recipes inspired by our respective Italian travels earlier in the year.
Until then, we leave you with Miss Windsor’s sparking summer beverages: a fabulous fizzy lemonade which she also uses to make a gorgeous summery cocktail with Pimm’s number 6 cup, a special edition one with elderflower and blackberry. It sounds so nice I can’t wait to try it. I really must get out more as I’d never even heard of this Pimm’s until Miss Windsor told me about it!
And, finally, from me a classic Victoria sponge. Every garden party needs a nice simple Victoria sponge so here you are; complete with tips and a brief cake history.
(You may be wondering why our garden party has suddenly morphed into a bit of a Teddy Bear's Picnic as well, but all will become clear as you read on.)
I excitedly present Miss Windsor’s Blackberry & Elderberry Breakfast Muffins – based on an original Fannie Merritt Farmer recipe. Therefore, these simple, subtlety sweet, and rather healthful bundles of fruitiness – are created with very little sugar; and naturally sweetened by British foraged fruits.
Oh, and funnily enough, one mustn’t forget to add that these rather toothsome darlings feel remarkably soft – just like a stroke of an alpaca’s furry mane – Ok, I admit that’s a slight exaggeration, but I’m sure you catch my drift!
Mini quiches are always a great savoury favourite for parties and picnics and a must for garden parties. Add some cooked diced bacon or lardons if you prefer but the simple cheese and onion flavour is delicious and also suitable for non-meat eaters.
Easy to make and assemble: particularly if you whiz up your pastry in the food processor and make an all in one filling rather than faffing about adding cheese and onions and what have you separately, plus, unlike full size quiches, you don’t have to bake the pastry cases blind first either.
Please join Miss Windsor for a jolly good go at recreating this refreshingly zingy beverage of Mrs Beeton’s Quick-Fire Fizz Lemonade - it's ‘easy peasy lemon squeezy’!
Oh, and it’s just what the doctor ordered to reduce one’s body temperature whilst enduring such an unusual spell of sweltering hot weather. And I dare say, it’s definitely a one-off for Great Britain that’s notoriously known for its mediocre summers – My word, wonders never cease!
Anyone for tennis? Oh dearie me, the last hurrah of The Championships Wimbledon was on Sunday 15th of July 2018 (this year's season ended on the 14th July 2019). But not to worry my dears, as Miss Windsor’s here to console you with a sup or two of her frightfully fruity Pimm’s cocktail - just the tonic to soothe one’s post-tennis blues.
Or why not join Mrs Simkins (my culinary collaborator) and I for a jolly good quaff of the good stuff at our summer garden party- here's the LINK: Mrs Simkins & Miss Windsor’s Summer Garden Party!
So, move over Mr Original Gin Sling, and make way for Miss Windsor’s intensely vibrant vodka-based tipple, which oozes a luxurious touch of Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur.
Miss Windsor and I love a cream tea and are in complete accord when it comes to three pressing matters of scone etiquette.
First of all, do you say scone to rhyme with ‘gone’ or ‘phone’?
‘Gone’. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
Secondly, do you pull your scone apart gently at its ‘waist’ or cut it? Miss Windsor and I prefer to pull ours apart and happily; this is the correct scone etiquette!
Thirdly, should you spread your jam on first followed by a spoonful of cream or the other way round?
I hereby present my delightful sweet offering to Mrs Simkins and Miss Windsor’s summer garden party – my Seriously Scrumptious Lemon & Coconut Cake. I say what an adorable addition to your very own garden party, or afternoon tea pageantry of exquisite cakes and bakes. Oh, yes, and please do enjoy a slice or two with a cup of your favourite brew!
Darlings, just as it says on the tin – it’s seriously scrumptious, very lemony, with a saucy taste of paradise. Oh, dearie me! I fear I’m sounding off like an advert for a Bounty chocolate bar! But nevertheless, I’m certain my glorious cake will send you into a hedonistic state of "coconutty" heaven – How spiffing!
Lovely as cakes are, you can’t have a tea party without a savoury element to begin with, including some delicate little sandwiches: “Sandwiches before cake,” as my mum used to say and I know Miss Windsor agrees wholeheartedly with this sentiment!
Here are some sandwich suggestions to start you off: several based around cucumber (essential for keeping your cool in summer) and some tips for the perfect egg mayonnaise filling.
Don’t forget to cut the crusts off all your sandwiches and cut into dainty fingers or triangles.
They are called finger sandwiches, by the way, as you eat them with your fingers.
Miss Windsor and I can scarcely believe our Queen has now been on the throne for 65 years. It’s a whole lifetime! She is our longest reigning monarch, Queen Victoria ruled for 63 years, seven months and two days, in case you are wondering!
The Queen loves afternoon tea and there are several cakes she particularly enjoys: Dundee cake, ginger cake, sponge cake filled with jam and maybe cream, possibly Battenberg, but her favourite cake of all is chocolate biscuit cake.
Miss Windsor and I send our very best wishes to newly married royals Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. And what a fabulous wedding they had, so very moving and full of wonderful and lovely surprises.
Well, I say, hip hip hooray - ‘summertide’ is surely on its merry way! And upon its arrival, will offer a glorious, palate quenching cocktail, concocted using the very best Somerset produce, plus a smattering of Indian fizz – How spiffing!
So, if you’re caught in a ‘fuddle’ or just gagging for a tipple, then please do try my delectable summertime bounty - Miss Windsor’s recipe for Mr Miles Gin Berry Cocktail.
Darlings, I excitedly present Fannie Merritt Farmer’s recipe for GENUINE Sponge Cake – a flavour from the ‘old school’ - well, in this case, The Boston Cooking-School, Massachusetts, USA!
I say, Miss Merritt Farmer is an American culinary goddess from yesteryear, known as an advocate of ‘scientific’ cookery and household management. Thus, following her graduation in 1889 from The Boston Cooking-School, she served as assistant director and teacher; becoming school principal during the 1890's.
I say, fancy joining me for an nostalgic trip down memory lane, where you'll learn how to re-create one of my favourite, British, summertime or anytime desserts? Well, darlings, how could one resist a nibble on Miss Windsor's Blackberry & Apple Crumble - Oh, I say!
You'll be pleased to know that it's completely gluten-free and vegan - "OMG!" I hear you shriek with sheer utter delight! Oh, and it's so devilishly delicious that even the health-conscious community are rather baffled how I achieved such culinary excellence - despite the reputation that gluten-free food is notoriously bland!
Following an unfortunate spell of blustery showers and cool evenings, One finds it hard to believe that we’re slap-bang in the middle of British ‘summertide’! However, during those occasional sunny moments, I wish to nourish my palate with a slightly piquant, yet sweet dessert!
I'm 'tickled pink' - Oh, I say! to present this vibrant summertide dessert - Miss Windsor's Pink & Spicy Gooseberry Raspberry Fool - created with Grandmother Josie's favourite summer fruits - gorgeous gooseberries and ravishing raspberries.
Oh, and you'll be pleased to know that I prepared this delicious summery classic following traditional methods - which involved an old-fashioned pudding basin and potato masher - How thrilling!
This utterly indulgent Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake has recently sparked a ‘titbit’ of attention on Instagram – Oh, how spiffing! You see, I received a request from a follower who kindly asked me to share this recipe - and so here it is!
Following Miss Windsor's impeccable instruction, you'll learn how to create the most crispiest and fluffy fleshed roast potatoes ever – Oh, how spiffing!
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