Month of Storms and Gorgeous Blue

Blue July, bright July, 
Honey flapjacks
Month of storms and gorgeous blue; 
Violet lightnings o'er thy sky, 
Heavy falls of drenching dew; ...

So wrote George Meredith. 

I certainly saw some lightning in July but not here in Ireland. The spouse, the younger offspring and I were on the continent. Despite the time away from my own hob and oven, I still managed to get some baking done. 

Pecan toffee shortbread: a favourite

My first offering consisted of honey flapjacks from a recipe in the Irish Times. You'll see that the basic recipe can be varied: butter can be replaced by coconut oil and honey by maple syrup. Four days later I made pecan toffee shortbread - a personal favourite. 

Prize-winners: apple crumble cake and plum and amaretti tray-bake
Shortly afterwards I entered the local baking competition, making plum and amaretti cake for the tray-bake section and apple crumble cake for the miscellaneous section. Much to my delight, I came second in the tray-bake section and first in the miscellaneous section. In fact, the apple crumble cake won an award for the best bake in the show! 

Lemon and lavender madeira cake
I made use of the lavender in my garden, making a lemon and lavender madeira cake for my book group. 

On my return from my summer holiday, I got my first commission. I made bitter chocolate cherry tortes, bitter cherry raspberry tortes and crusty lemon bake for a christening party. The commissioning hostess told me there wasn't a crumb left. 

So that was July. I'm planning to take it easy in August ... but it's a wicked month. 

Bye for now. 



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