The weather forecast on BBC Breakfast came from Dorset Road Allotments this morning. Carol Kirkwood and her team did a live broadcast.
Carol also interviewed our Chair, Linda Phillips about the increase in demand for allotments (our waiting list has doubled). She met some of our early bird allotmenteers.
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, aka The Black Farmer, was interviewed as part of his campaign for landowners to create allotments for people to grow their own fruit and veg. He once worked on his father’s allotment in Birmingham.
If you want to try something a bit different, below is my favourite courgette loaf cake recipe.
Courgette cake (cuts into 10-12 slices).
60g raisins (or pecans/walnuts)
180g golden caster sugar
185ml light olive oil
280g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
380g courgettes coarsely grated
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Gas 4). Butter a 12 x 4 inch loaf tin.
Beat the sugar with the oil and vanilla until smooth and then add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Keep on beating until you have a thick, yet light and fluffy batter. Sift in the flower, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a pinch of salt and the courgettes, several good grinds of black pepper and the lemon zest and fold together well. Gently stir the raisins into the the batter.
Scrape the batter into the tin and bake for 55-60 mins (it took me 75 mins) until a skewer poked into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Leave the tin on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before turning the loaf out onto the rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature, buttered if you like. Well wrapped up, this stays moist and soft for days and it toasts well even after it’s lost its moistness.
Note: If using walnuts or pecans toast them in the oven first by spreading them on a baking tray and heating them in the oven until they are just crisp and lightly roasted then remove them and allow to cool. Then coarsely chop them before stirring into the batter.