At my allotment this weekend, I planted some winter lettuces, winter hardy spring onions, corn salad and mizuna in my polytunnel. I’m hoping to use some of these during the winter in salads and again in the spring.
It’s still warm in my polytunnel in the day, so I’m hoping they will have a growth spurt before winter.
My husband helped me to bring home my daughter’s rather large pumpkin and the butternut squashes I have grown this year.
The pumpkin weighed 55 lbs, so unfortunately we didn’t beat our record of 76 lbs.
I have put the squashes in our greenhouse at home, so they can continue to ‘cure’ in the sun, so they will store into the winter time.
A week of Dairy Free / Egg Free Recipes:
Firstly… My daughter’s dairy intolerance:
Gradually over two years, my daughter had more and more episodes of feeling sick, tummy aches and generally feeling ill.
We visited the doctors several times and each time we were told it was something different, including indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome and even puberty that was causing it.
In August 2011, thanks to my sister, we finally put two and two together and realised it was dairy products causing the problem. My daughter was referred to hospital and it was found she was severely lactose intolerant. Since then we have also found she can only tolerate a small amount of dairy products with the lactose taken out of them.
As with all people who have allergies and intolerances, I visited the ‘Free From’ aisles at the supermarkets and was taken aback by how expensive these items are. After trying some of these items, I was also taken back by how awful some of these are.
As an example, Tesco’s own ‘Free From’ jam tarts are £2.00 for a box of six jam tarts:
I bought these a few weeks ago as my daughter had some friends for tea unexpectedly.
Below is a jam tart from the box I bought:
As you can see, I think there must have been a jam shortage on the day they made these at the factory.
I learnt my lesson, as surprise surprise, they didn’t get eaten.
A year after she was diagnosed, thankfully I have realised that I can actually make nearly everything she used to enjoy to eat, from scratch and things I make do actually taste normal, using the following ingredients:
A couple of months ago we had our fascia’s and guttering replaced by a company called ‘J P Property Improvements’. They did a wonderful job and were really nice chaps. I made them some biscuits for them to have on their tea break and we got talking about my daughters dairy intolerance and it turns out that the boss’s daughter also has a dairy intolerance and an egg allergy.
He went on to say his daughter would love a proper birthday cake but they know this is impossible, as all the recipes they have tried for an egg free cake haven’t been very good.
As you have probably realised by now, I like a challenge and I have now made a dairy free / egg free cake that I think their daughter would love.
We are very lucky in Leicester as there is a shop that I regularly use, that sells dairy free, gluten free, wheat free etc. You can visit her website here. Rosi managed to get me an egg replacement to use in my cake:
All I had to do, was mix one teaspoon of the egg replacement powder with one tablespoon of water per egg required.
I did find that the cakes do not rise as well with the egg replacement, so I added an extra teaspoon of baking powder and I actually made extra mix to make a third layer.
I used the same recipe I used for my husbands birthday cake. You can find the recipe here.
I used the Pure dairy free margarine and I replaced the eggs with the egg replacement. I also used soya milk to get the dropping consistancy.
For the chocolate sponge layer, I added one tablespoon of cocoa powder to the mix and I didn’t use the vanilla extract.
I think the cake is more crumbly than a normal cake but it does taste the same.
I sandwiched the layers together with jam:
I then covered the cake with a dairy free chocolate frosting, which again was the same one I used on my husbands birthday cake, here. I used the Pure dairy free margarine instead of normal margarine.
I decorated the cake using grated dairy free chocolate and dairy free chocolate buttons:
Both the dairy free chocolate and buttons can easily be bought from supermarkets.
The cake is still fairly cheap to make, even with all the alternative ingredients and it tastes really nice too.
I’m hoping his daughter was really pleased with it:
Thank you for reading my blog today.