Hello July!

I'm sorry to be a bit rude to you June, but it seems to me that this year you brought more rain than was really necessary and therefore it is with open arms that we, at fenland lottie, are welcoming July in the hope that she can restore our faith in the British summer.

In this little corner of the land, where rainfall is traditionally low, we are just not used to days of unending rain!
And it's not just me who has been sulking, the strawberries in particular have resented the amount of rain and lack of sun and have responded by turning powdery and rotten before even ripening. The above photo shows a few that didn't succumb to mildew. This year, our strawberry harvest is even more precious than usual.

But there is always a silver lining and it seems that maybe the gooseberries have preferred the cooler temperatures and copious rainfall.

Last week I picked a big bowlful of fat juicy berries, with more to come and the promise of a bumper crop of red Hinnonmaki  berries in a few weeks.

Over on Instagram, I posted a pic of the gooseberries I had gathered with a question; 'what to make with them?'
Lots of people replied with suggestions of cake, jam, gooseberry fool and jelly.
In the end I went for cake. Always a good move I think!
In particular, it was a recipe from Diana Henry that caught my eye. A recipe combining ground almonds, lemon thyme and gooseberries which sounded both unusual yet comfortably familiar.
You can find the recipe here. 

On an aside, have you ever tried lemon thyme?
 I am familiar with ordinary thyme as a flavoursome addition to many a dish, but I seem to have managed many decades of cooking and preparing food without realising the beauty of lemon thyme.
The aromas as I chopped the sprigs for this recipe were just gorgeous; a burst of fresh lemonyness (I don't think there is such a word, but there ought to be!) with complex savoury overtones.
I'm going to have to buy a lemon thyme plant for the garden or lottie so that I can indulge my new found obsession.

Anyway, I can really recommend this recipe if you want to bake a cake that is moist, squidgy and tastes of summer - lovely as a pud or with a cup of tea on the lawn should the sun come out.

And speaking of sun, it is just peeking out here,so fingers crossed.
Hope it is shining on you too.

annjenny x


  1. So wet here the dog's rusted! Here's to a less soggy July. I love fruit in cakes and yours looks and sounds so delicious.

  2. It's just stopped raining here, one of those heavy showers that fill the gutters and soak you through in 3 minutes. The soil on our plot has developed a concrete like crust from the downpours. However, our strawberries were fab, and we picked a few pounds of them, kept them in the fridge and two weeks later have only just finished them off. Alas, no gooseberries, or delicious looking cake.

    I read last week (Guardian?) that you can also get orange thyme which is also delicious, but haven't found any yet. Will report back when I do.

    1. The rain has just about kept off here. I'm glad your strawberries are good.I'm hoping for better things next year! Orange thyme sounds interesting. I will keep a look out for it too.

  3. Mmm, that cake looks absolutely delicious. Loads of gooseberries here too, and strawberries also suffering slightly from the rain, although mostly from the mice. I shall make a note of that cake recipe and also keep an eye out for lemon thyme. Hope you have a good Sunday. CJ xx

  4. I'm not too impressed with July temperatures so far even if the rain has (mostly) held off. I'm also a fan of lemon thyme which is lovely in a lemon drizzle cake. Your cake looks delicious.

  5. Summer has certainly been a washout so far, but what a wonderful looking cake to cheer us all up.

  6. We seem to have a bumper crop of gooseberries and lots of green strawberries. The cake is certainly a temptation.


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