Thursday, June 19, 2014

Tornado, Ascot.

Tornado AngusWe were lucky with the storm on Tuesday, but further north of us, in Angus, were not. They did get hit with a tornado which I gather did a lot of damage. Can you imagine that thing heading towards you and your home. I would be absolutely terrified and I am sure they were too. IMHOP much worse than a hurricane, at least you know those are on theTornado ONir way. Even so, I don’t think the devastation has been nearly as bad as it has been in the States lately. If I lived in Tornado Alley, I would move. Mind you that applies to a lot of places as far as I am concerned. I would not live in California because one of these days that fault is going to go, nor would I live on the side of a volcano as many people do in Sicily and other places, Iceland comes to mind. I have learned not to live on flood planes either. We do get bad weather conditions or quakes here of course, but the two or three quakes I have experienced in Ontario were just a tremble. Hopefully they will never amount to more otherwise I will have to eat my words. And so far, knock on wood and crossing my fingers (superstition, see!) a tornado has never visited my neck of the woods.

One of the top horseAscot Hat races in the UK is the Gold Cup which takes place at Ascot, however, it is traditional for ladies to wear exotic hats for the occasion (My Fair Lady) and some of them are really exotic, if you are interested, you can see pictures here.  I don’t know who this is, but I loved the hat. The Queen has a horse entered again this year, I think she won last year. Yes, the horse Estimate which she bred in conjunction with the Aga Khan. Never did make it to Ascot although I went to the Derby a few times. Pronounced Darby in the UK.

This is such a very English recipe so I thought I would share it with you. These kinds of puddings are delicious.

Individual summer puddings

Cooking time

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 8 mins plus 4 hrs chilling


Serves 2
A traditional, low-fat dessert with strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blueberries and blackberries set in mini basin moulds

350 g fruit fresh or frozen (we used raspberries, blackberries, redcurrants, blueberries and strawberries)
2 tbsp golden caster sugar (just use regular sugar)
zest 1 lemon
sunflower oil, for greasing
3-4 slices slightly stale white bread, crusts removed
To serve
2 tbsp extra-thick double cream
2 tsp icing sugar, sifted



  1. Tip all the berries, apart from the strawberries, into a saucepan. Sprinkle over the sugar and stir. Set over a low heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has started to release its juices. Increase the heat, bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer for 2 mins until the fruit is soft and you have lots of deep red juices. Quarter the strawberries and stir into the berries, along with the lemon zest. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the fruit through a sieve, reserving the juices. Meanwhile, lightly oil 2 x 175ml dariole moulds (or 2 large teacups) and line with cling film. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out 2 small circles of bread to fit in the base of each mould. Dip one side into the reserved juices while still hot, and place, juice-side down, into the bottom of the lined mould. Cut another 2 larger circles from the bread, and slice the remainder into 2.5cm-wide strips that are the same height as the mould. Dip the strips into the juices and use to line the sides of the moulds in the same way, pressing each piece in place and overlapping slightly.
  2. Pack the strained fruit into the bread-lined moulds, reserving some fruit and juices for serving. Fold over any strips of bread that protrude from the mould, then dip the final 2 circles of bread in the juices and top the puddings to seal. Cover with cling film and push down firmly with the palm of your hand. Pop in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hrs, preferably overnight.
  3. When ready to serve, whip together the cream and icing sugar. Turn the puddings out onto plates, top with the reserved fruit and juices, and serve with the sugared cream.
Have a great day


  1. Feeling worried for the damage caused by the storm.
    Beautiful hat! Dessert is also good!

    1. I am so grateful it didn't visit us. As you say, a lot of damage.

      There really are some fantastic hats.

  2. It's tragic when the storms wreak havoc. Hopefully, some of them will blow over soon.

    What a lovely hat! The summer pudding looks quite refreshing!


    1. Bad reports this morning in the States again. Twin tornadoes once more.


  3. I've been to Ladies Day at Royal Ascot with a group of friends. We hired a minibus and driver so nobody had to worry about enjoying too much champagne. Your picture is from newspaper coverage of last year's race .... I'll add the link here as there are some fantastic outfits shown (and some truly awful ones)

    You might also find the dress code amusing - but you can understand why they publish it after seeing some of the inappropriate outfits - it is meant to be a 'classy' event after all.

    1. Never did make it there. Those hats are something else. I found that hat on Google. Will check your links.

  4. That's a scary sight. I've lived in Tornado Alley and yes, I saw a tornado live. Not fun.
    Chuckled over your comment about California.

    1. I spent a few days in San Francisco in 88 and that was one of the times they were extra certain it was going to happen, I was certain it would as I was there. Cousin lives in the area, says he's been thrown out of bed by quakes. Not for me thanks.

      Glad you don't live in Tornado Alley these days. At least hurricanes warn you they are on the way.

  5. What surprises me about tornado alley is that more people don't have storm cellars. I wouldn't want to live there either. I did spend over 20 years on the west coast and I have had my fill of natural disasters. I had only been living in San Francisco for 2 months when the 1989 Loma Prieta quake struck. Everyone expected me to pack up and move back here but I stayed. Been thru lots of minor quakes and then another huge one in Washington in 2001. Also powerful windstorms in WA. Oh and can't forget fire season in CA; I was at a 49ers game the day the Oakland Hills burned to the ground in 91....I used to call my answering machine every day to make sure it picked up, that way I knew my house hadn't burned down. Then of course living in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, which is only sleeping and could wake up like Mount St. Helens did.

    1. You're right JoJo, I would certainly have one if I lived there. At least you never had any real problem, you should be relatively safe where you are. I guess nowhere is totally safe. I was staggered when I learnt about earthquakes in the UK a year or two back, I had no idea even though I was born there.