Great British Drama: the other night, I broke my parents’ kettle by boiling it with no water in it. The button clicked up and down, no lights came on. Heat was notably absent. So I boiled water in a pan, made them a cup of tea, then I confessed the news. They took it pretty well, all things considered.
“Oh, that’s nothing,” said my Aunty Jen. “Helen has one of those kettles that looks like a whistling kettle that goes on the hob, but actually, it’s an electric one. I wasn’t paying attention one day, and I put it on the stove. The next thing I knew, it was on fire, and there was plastic melting all over everywhere.
So I grabbed it and I’m panicking thinking, how do I put this out, I can’t plunge it in water because it’s electrical … oh, but that won’t matter now, will it … and then, but the time I thought that, the flames went out. So I went out and bought them another kettle – an upright one this time. Lesson learned.”
Fruited Tea Cake1 cup diced or grated apple (if grated, wring out in a clean tea towel) 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 3/4 cup mixed dried fruit (or a mixture of sultanas, rasins and currents, and maybe a few diced apricots) 1/4 cup strong tea Zest of one orange 1 cup flour plus 1 tbsp 3/4 cup sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp baking soda 2 large eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
- Preheat the oven to 350f and butter and flour a loaf pan (9 by 5ish)
- Pour the tea over the dried fruits, add half the orange zest and let them soak up the liquid of half an hour.
- In a jug, mix the eggs, yogurt and oil
- In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda
- Stir the walnuts and the dried fruit (shaking off excess tea) into the flour mixture, add the apples, and the rest of the orange zest, then pour in the wet ingredients. Stir to combine
- Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 55 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean (you may need to cover the top with foil to prevent it burning, so check after 4o mins or so)
- Cool in the pan for 20 mins, then cool on a rack until at room temperature