Ten Signs it is time to say Goodbye to the the Summer:
1. The shops are full of 'Back to School' paraphernalia, styled in a funky manner to make the kidz feel
sc hool as they shop for shoes, calculators and pencil cases.
2. The X Factor is back on the telly, soon to be followed by Strictly Come Dancing. Bye Bye social life on a Saturday, hello sofa.
3. You have a yearning for apple crumbles and plum cobblers, merrily drowning in lashings of warm sweet custard.
4. Chunky knits and woolly scarfs begin to appear a very welcome alternative to that flippy, floral sundress you bought in June with such hope it would be a sunny, hot British summer.
5. It becomes increasingly obvious that those still looking tanned have not acquired their tan from 'you know, lounging around in the garden and stuff'. It has been raining solidly for three weeks afterall.
6. The arguments about whose turn it is to clean the BBQ before it is shunted to the back of the garage begin in earnest ('Isn't it funny how it appears to be my turn every [insert chosen expletive] year?')
7. You no longer have to pretend to enjoy playing Frisbee (see Kate's Cakes and Bakes Rules of Picnics)
8. There is an eleven month reprieve before summer holiday snaps become the focus of dinner parties once again.
9. Mutterings about 'ohhh, isn't it getting dark so much earlier now?' and vague plans for Christmas start getting made
10. You hurriedly make the most of the last of the summery fruits to bake dishes such as this one:
Baked Strawberry Cheesecake
(adapted from BBC Good Food)
8 digestive biscuits
50g melted butter
600g full fat cream cheese
2 tbsp plain flour
175g caster sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
142ml sour cream
300g strawberries, washed and hulled
1 tbsp icing sugar
1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4
2. Pop the biscuits into a food bag and using a rolling pin crush the biscuits into fine crumbs (this bit is well fun)
3. Remove from the bag and mix with the butter in a small bowl
4. Press into a 20cm springform round tin and bake for 5 minutes, then set aside to cool
5. Beat the cream cheese, flour, sugar, vanilla essence, eggs, yolk and soured cream until light and fluffy
6. Stir in half the strawberries and pour into the tin
7. Bake for 40 minutes
8. Leave to cool
9. Keeping a few strawberries aside to decorate the top, put the rest in a pan with 1 tbsp of icing sugar and heat until juicy. Squash with a fork and push through the sieve to form a sauce
10. When ready to eat decorate the top of the cheesecake with the leftover strawberries and serve with the strawberry sauce
- It was a bit squidgy this cheesecake, perhaps I didn't leave it in the oven long enough? The instructions in the recipe stated it should be set but slightly wobbly in the centre. I think mine was possibly wobbly all over.
- I actually LOVE the Autumn. Really, properly do. I can't wait to snuggle down with the two words Autumnal baking brings to mind: Comfort Bakes.