Monday, 12 July 2010

More cake and goodbye gooseberries

Last week was my mother-in-law's birthday and so on Friday we went through to spend the night with my in-laws. They stay about an hours drive away from us. I drove through with the boys in the afternoon and my hubby got the train through after work.

On the way, the boys and I stopped off at the David Livingstone Centre. I recently joined the National Trust so all these kinds of places are free for us to enter now. The National Trust also have a great event on over the summer for kids called 'Gnashional Treasure Hunt'. At some of their properties you need to hunt out the Gnashers and if you find them you get a stamp on your 'Gnashport'. Collect the stamps for goodies like water bottles, bags, t-shirts. My boys are big Dennis the Menace and Gnasher fans so this has been a big hit in our house!

Anyway, I digress. As well as looking for the Gnashers, the boys really enjoyed looking round the Centre. I knew that Africa was huge but didn't realise quite how big until we walked into the first room and saw the map below, showing the United Kingdom to scale beside it. You can kind of see the green lights on the map, these show Livingstone's journeys.

This was the one room the family lived and slept in, six children and two parents. Looking at those irons on the range makes me very thankful that I have my steam-generator iron for the mound of ironing waiting for me just now!
Outside the Centre was a lovely Explorers Garden, complete with wobbly bridge.

The boys, being boys, were most fascinated by the story of when Livingstone was attacked and bitten by a lion. We are now all reading together a childrens book about the life of Livingstone - quite an adventure story!

Then it was on to granny and grandad's house, where we had a lovely Chinese dinner followed by birthday cake.
My lovely husband is very excited about my new blog and so said, 'You must get a photo of your cake for the blog!' By this point it was already sliced up so here is my slice.

It was a wheat and dairy free Victoria Sponge, a future Recipe of the Week no doubt!
Lastly, and by no means leastly, the goosberries. After searching online for some ideas of what to do with them, I did what I always do when seeking cooking inspiration - I consulted the original Domestic Goddess. That's right, those who know me will know who I am talking about. Nigella.
I found a recipe for Gooseberry Cream Crumble in 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' and tried it out for pudding yesterday. I am happy to say that it was a success. Hubby and I both agreed that the goosberries tasted very similar to rhubarb. Of course I took a photo for the blog, although a crumble isn't really the prettiest of puddings, but I couldn't leave it out!


  1. I'm drooling over the pancakes!
    Have to say, you've put me in the notion to do some studying of David Livingstone's life with the kids once we get back to some schoolwork here. Africa gives endless possibilities for digression....and I do love to digress!
    As do you, apparently!
    Love, Anne x

  2. Ditto what Homeschool on the Croft said! :)

    Your cake looks gorgeous! And I am going to dream about your gooseberry pudding! Rhubarb is a favorite in this home ;D

    I was wondering as I was reading your post about the pancakes if you liked Nigella! And then sure enough you mentioned her here! I love her!

  3. Yes David Livingstone's life was the ultimate adventure story! You could use it to study, Geography, History, Natural History, Medicine and on and on!

    Elizabeth, good to 'meet' a fellow Nigella fan!


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