Dancing Daffodils and Hot Cross Bun Chocolates!
I do hope everybody had a good Easter weekend although the weather could have been kinder to us...
The garden though, is slowly beginning to awaken from the long, cold and frankly rather wet Winter slumber...
In-between visitors over the holiday weekend, I have been busy toiling outside digging and weeding and sowing numerous seeds...
Whilst my plants may be reticent to grow, no such luck with the brambles and weeds! The wood that edges the property, continuously sends out tendrils of brambles which advances like scouts from an invading army.
You ignore them at your peril! Once entrenched, it takes copious efforts to remove them and to stop them gaining a foothold...
The moss is more subtle...stealthily it creeps insidiously over any moist area-which given the frequent rainfall-is most of the garden...
Given all of that, it is wonderful indeed to see the cheery daffodils raising their heads above it all.
Like bright yellow sentinels they proudly look around and almost seem to shout with happiness and cheer.
This year has seen one of the best displays for many a year in my garden for daffodils. Most years the pesky squirrels have either dug up the bulbs and eaten and killed them or in the Spring chewed off the flower heads leaving just miserable lone green headless stalks...
Not so this year! Last Autumn I planted yet more daffodils which I purchased from a small British producer of miniature bulbs.
I have bought bulbs from them in the past and have to say they are a wonderful and reliable small British company producing top class bulbs.
Unfortunately the local squirrel population also thought so and I have lost many to them in the past...
Not so this time...
Battle commenced last year and let us just say there are 28 less squirrels feasting off my garden...
Now before anybody thinks I do battle with anything in my garden, I do love the beneficial insects that visit...
Like the little ladybirds,
Another green visitor,
I love daffodils as their bobbing heads nod gently in the breeze.
They come now in so many forms from the yellow double
To the orange and white double
To some almost looking like a fried egg...
So, so lovely...
And finally, for those of you that requested,
Lemon Balm Cheesecake
For the base:
5 Digestive biscuits
10 Ginger Nut biscuits
75 g butter
1 TBSP Welsh Heather Honey
For the topping:
500g cream cheese/mascarpone cheese
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
25g Lemon Balm (leaves only and very finely chopped)
175g Icing sugar
Sprig of Lemon Balm as the final garnish
Line a loose bottomed 8inch cake tin with parchment foil and grease with a smear of butter.
Place the Ginger Nut and Digestive biscuits in a plastic bag and whack with a rolling pin until crushed.
Meanwhile put the butter and honey in a large bowl and briefly melt in the microwave for a few seconds. Add the crushed biscuits and mix thoroughly. Press firmly into the base of the lined tin and place in the freezer to set.
Meanwhile in another large bowl gently combine the cream cheese and mascarpone together with the icing sugar, finely chopped Lemon Balm, lemon zest and the lemon juice. Take care with the lemon juice. Sometime the mascarpone and cream cheese can be quite runny-in which case do not add so much/if any lemon juice. Don’t overwork as the mixture will split.
You may also want to add the icing sugar gradually as the mixture may be too sweet for you if you add it all at once.
In other words you may need to play around with getting the right combination!!
Spoon on top of the chilled base and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours-preferably overnight.
If you have any mixture left over, it makes a lovely Lemon Fool or Syllabub!
When ready to serve run a warm cloth around the outside to loosen the mixture and very gently remove from the tin and lined paper.
If you do get any cracks then dust with some extra icing sugar before added the final garnish of a spring of Lemon Balm.
Delicious when served together with a spoonful of Clotted Cream!
And finally, finally,
Those Hot Cross Bun Chocolates-delicious! From Hotel Chocolate-very very yummy indeed...
Happy Easter again everybody!