Thursday 19 July 2012


I've lost count of the number of times I've gone out in the garden to do a quick tidy up, only to come haring back in after about five minutes as the heavens open. Breathless, I stand bedraggled and dripping on the door mat, while the cats gazing at me sleepily from their resting places, yawn, stretch and roll over - too lost in the warm fuzz of sleep to even wonder what their "housekeeper" is doing.
The weather is so changeable just now; one minute blue skies and warm summer sun only to suddenly be replaced by cool rain falling in straight darts from a steely grey sky. I know everyone else is complaining about the weather, and while I would like to have some sun, I find that I also enjoy the moodiness of these sudden changes. There's something very relaxing about being inside and hearing the rhythmic tapping against the window pane as the rain falls from the sky.

With all the time I've been spending inside, it's a good thing that we choose this time of the year to update our cooker! Up until this point we had been making do with the cooker that we inherited from the previous owners of our cottage and it was very small. So small that if I did a roast dinner with crispy roast potatoes and creamy Yorkshire puddings I had to do it in relays! First the joint of beef goes in, then comes out and gets wrapped in acres of tin foil to keep it warm while the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings go in as I hop about next the oven impatiently waiting for them to cook and hoping that the beef doesn't get too cold. But no more! We have a shiny new and slightly larger oven (the beautiful Aga of my dreams will have to wait as we would need to build a new kitchen to accommodate it here!) But we did manage to get a range style cooker in a smaller size which I am very pleased with, although I do feel a few Hyacinth Bouquet moments coming on when I show my new appliance to my friends and they say "Oh, very nice - is the colour cream?" My right eyebrow raises and I manage to disdainfully utter, "No, it's Champagne".
Oh dear, never mind domestic goddess; all this indoor time has changed me into a domestic demon!


  1. I know exactly how you feel! Both about the small cooker and this rain. I work from a tiny studio at the back of our garden, and I am soaked, been running in and out for the last few weeks. That cake looks very inviting! And I love your cat, we have one very similar. So pretty.

  2. hello.Your cottage looks adorable,LOVE the moggies and their names.Yummy cake.x

  3. You are so right about the weather, it's the skies/clouds that get me...just amazing! Drooling at the cake! x

  4. Hi, I'm a new reader from the US. I have that color for my appliances and it is called almond! Funny. I would love some rain and cool weather. It was 103 F degrees here today and has been in the 90s forever.

  5. A lovely post Charlotte, we are also putting a new stove in our kitchen, a cream (!) Rayburn, but need some kitchen adjustments to be made. Your new stove is so beautiful, I love it! I am sure you will now be able to cook many delicious roast dinners in this oven. Do you have a simple recipe for Yorkshire puddings that you could share? Your sponge looks delectable!

    1. Hi Ann,

      The Rayburn sounds lovely! I use this recipe: if you make it one large tin you get a softer moist Yorkshire pudding or if you make individual 'pop-over' style puddings they are much more crispy.


  6. So that makes two of us wanting a beautiful AGA in the 'next house'...I'm sure we will one day!
    In the meantime, keep baking, that cake looks so tasty...
    Julie x

  7. What is it about range style cookers that gets us SO excited? I could spend hours flicking through glossy AGA and Rayburn catalogues and dreaming about shiny new ranges, and it's the kitchen work stations that I always "Ooooh" and "Ahhhh" at when a new magazine hits the shelves. Considering that I used to work for a fashion magazine, shoes and bags just don't 'do it' for me anymore - give me an image of a gorgeous cream range (such as yours) in a country kitchen and I'm salivating all over the page - add a picture of a freshly baked Victoria sponge 9such as yours) next to 'said' range and I'm completely tipped over the edge!
    Paula xxx
    p.s. I like it when the sky goes black, the clouds start swirling and there's the rumble of thunder - it makes me feel like I'm in a hybrid version of Wuthering Heights crossed with the film Flash Gordon - SO dramatic and exciting - lol!

  8. Congratulations on your new cooker! Can't keep saying one more time that your cats are adorable!

  9. I don't have a range cooker and even if I needed a new one, which I don't, I don't think I'd choose one for one simple reason. I don't want to have to get down on all fours to lift a heavy casserole out of the oven. Wall ovens mightn't be as fashionaable now - and this cooker looks very smart, I admit - but wall ovens are so much easier, especially if you have iffy knees or a bad back (and if you have to stoop low to get things out of a standard oven/Aga/range won't do much even for a good back.) So, something along the style of this, but wall mounted would be the thing for me. I have a Neff Circotherm double oven (a grill in each oven, standard oven at the top, fan oven or conventional oven below) and it's been great, now in it's 12th year. This is our 3rd Neff Circotherm, had the first one in 1977, then the next one when we moved house in 1985, and now this one.
    Love your adorable cat!
    Margaret P (I normally post comments as Galant, but this is easier as sometimes Google won't allow me to post for some reason!)

  10. Lovely champagne cooker, my favourite colour! ;-) Cake looks very yummy too. Jay

  11. Bonjour Charlotte!!
    Votre chat est tres jolie!!! :O) J`adore les chat!!! ET votre gateau est tres jolie ausie j`esspere que il etai tres bon!!! :O) vos fotos sont vrement tres jolie!!!:O) J`adore lire votre blog il est toujou tres jolie et tres interesent!!!
    With love from Moscow!!!
    xxx Maria xxx

  12. lovely your blog and your cat:)

  13. What a blissful photo of Ivy (or is it Holly .. oooh I'm not sure now!) Anyhow she's gorgeous.

    Nice cooker Charlotte. I dream of an Aga too - maybe one day - when I win the lottery AND have a larger kitchen!


  14. Nothing is cuter then that picture of your cute sleeping.