Summer is drifting away, almost a memory now, giving way to golden tones of autumn leaves and shiny new school uniforms. And with the end of summer, it is goodbye to the all the fetes, fairs and village cricket matches that bring the English villages into glorious, vibrant colour. I love the change of seasons, and in this part of the world, the seasons really are quite distinct. A good thing – it makes up a bit for those many days of rain and grey skies! Before it is a truly distant memory, I thought I would post some of the images from this summer’s fete in our village. The fete is a wonderful event, and really brings the whole community together. There are lots of stalls and games, pints and pims, the barbecue, music, and of course, the all important cake and tea tent. Something for everyone!
The theme of our fete this year was – you guessed it – Garden Gnomes! The children got their costumes together and transformed into such adorable cheeky gnomes. So did quite a few grown ups too.
I usually end up making quite few cakes over the summer for fetes and other events. (Being married to a cricketer, I do my share of the cricket teas too!) My favourite summer cake is a traditional Victoria Sponge -it really captures the essence of summer – filled with sweet berry jam and fresh buttery cream.
Victoria Sponge Cake
250g butter, softened
250g golden caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
3 T milk
1 t vanilla extract
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the flour without over mixing. Then finish by adding the milk and vanilla. Divide the mix into two lined (or buttered and floured) 20cm cake tins. Bake in the oven (preheated to 180c. fan oven 160c) for 25-30 minutes.
When the cakes are completely cool, you can sandwich them with berry jam – strawberry, raspberry, whichever is your favourite – and thick fresh whipped cream or buttercream.