Rain, sun and cider

It’s been an odd sort of week in many ways, partly due to both good and bad news from different parts of the globe, and partly as I have more of less finished my contract, and am in a sort of limbo between work and holiday. Weather wise it has also been mixed in that we have had both lots of rain and lots of hot sunshine.  I stayed at home on Wednesday when it was pouring down with rain, writing and making orange polenta biscuits (see below).  On Friday by contrast, the weather was fantastic, after a very misty start which was bad enough to cause flights to be cancelled.  Spring is such a changeable season.


Friday afternoon sun

On a different note, living here, we have the opportunity to try out lots of new food products, from the wide variety of very good fish, to artisan cheeses and of course, beers and ciders.  Cider is one of those tricky drinks, which can be very good, dry and tasting of apples, or absolutely disgusting like Carlsberg’s Sommersby, probably the worst cider ever.  I have found some quite nice ones here, and was tempted the other day by these ciders because of the labels.


Wild Side Cider Kiwi Fruit and Mandarin


Wild Side Cider Strawberry and Lime

I’m not really a bit fan of fruity ciders as they are usually too sweet, but I was drawn to these because of the labels, not always a good reason to buy of course!  The kiwi fruit and mandarin was all right, and I have yet to try the other one, which sounds more like a sorbet than a cider.

And so to another sweet thing, the biscuits I made.  Having a large bag of polenta in the cupboard, I decided to try out this recipe for biscuits.  They were nice and crunchy but to my mind too sweet, so next time I would cut back on the sugar.  Actually, I always say that, so I don’t really know why I don’t automatically just do that.  The quantity below is from the original recipe.


Crunchy orange and polenta biscuits

Preheat the oven to 180C, grease an oven tray and line with baking paper.  Beat 125g butter, 2 teaspoons of orange rind and 110g icing sugar with an electric mixer.  It is really important to make sure they are properly combined and the mixture is smooth.  Stir in 55g polenta and 150g sifted plain flour.  Shape mixture into a rectangular log and cut into 1cm slices.  Place these on the trays 2cm apart and bake for around 15 minutes.  Let them rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.  They go very well with a cup of tea.


  1. Hi Barbara. Loved your comment about Carlsberg’s Sommersby being “probably” the worst cider ever -a witty nod to their advertising slogan! X


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