One of the films we just love to watch here at Oak Cottage during the winter months, and especially at Christmas, is Little Women. I just love the period costumes and the story. It bewitches me completely, and weaves a magic spell around my heart. When I was a little girl I loved the book, and, I read it over and over again. One of my favourite scenes in the film is the scene where Meg, Jo and Amy are walking and Amy trips, dropping her school slate into the snow.
Shelooks up at Meg and says, " I'm so degradetated, I owe at least a dozen limes." to which Meg replies, " Are limes the fashion now?"
Feeling a bit sorry for her after this, Meg gives Amy the money she has saved from selling rags so that she can purchase some limes to take to school, thereby enabling her to save face with the other girls. (As the story continues, the limes are taken away from Amy and she is struck by her teacher, causing her to be removed from the school by their mother. But . . . we won't think about that right now . . . )
Sometimes I like to sit and imagine what it would have been like to live in a society where the accumulation of limes would be a status thing amongst school girls . . . and I wonder . . . would I have been able to afford to buy limes? Or would I be permanently left on the side lines . . . wanting limes and envying those who had them.
And then my imaginations take me even further . . .
If I had limes, and lots of them . . . would I be content to just carry them around, and boast about how many I had to my friends, showing off to all and sundry . . .
or would the creative cook that resides deep inside me be tempted to sacrifice just a few of them to the creation of something delicious and ludicrously tasty . . .
and then . . . were I rich enough to have oodles of limes . . .
perhaps I would be rich enough to be able to purchase another exotic ingredient as well . . . preserved stem ginger . . .
and . . . lets face it . . . were I wealthy enough to buy the ginger . . . it's a dead shoe in that I would also be able to afford candied glace cherries and lucious dried sultanas . . .
Why then I expect . . . I'd be in full possession of all the ingredients needed to create a delicious cake!!!
Mmmm . . . just think about it . . . a tasty and moist loaf cake, absolutely stogged full of glace cherries and sultanas, the zest of limes and preserved ginger . . . and slathered in a luciously sweet, yet tart lime frosting. Oh, how lovely that would be . . .
I dare say the other girls would want to be my friends even more than if I just had some old limes. It sounds good to me anyways . . .
This is a cake for cosying up with next to the fire . . . a woolen blanket thrown over your knees, and a warming mug of spiced apple tea on the side. MMMM . . . Moreishly scrummy . . .
But don't just take my word for it! Bake it for yourself, then sit back and enjoy . . .
*Cherry and Sultana Loaf with Fresh Lime and Ginger*
Makes 2 (1 lb) loaves
A refreshingly light cake with a tasty lime icing. Chock full of glace cherries, sultanas, preserved stem ginger and lime. Delicious! Make one to eat now and one to stick in the freezer to enjoy at a later date. (Don't ice if you are putting it into the freezer. Save that for the day you want to serve it.)
6 ounce self raising flour
4 ounces butter, softened
4 ounces caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
2 ounces raisins
2 ounces glace cherries, quartered, washed and dried
5 ounces sultanas
4 bulbs preserved stem ginger, finely chopped
the finely grated zest of two limes
For the icing:
4 ounces icing sugar, sifted
2 TBs lime juice
1 bulb of preserves stem ginger, chopped
the finely grated zest of one lime
Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/325*F. Butter and line two (1lb) loaf tins with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place all the cake ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well together on low speed of a mixer to start with, and then medium speed until well mixted together and smooth. Divide evenly between the two loaf tins and smooth the tops.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean and the top should spring back when lightly touched.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tins. Once completely cold, remove and ice.
To make the icing mix together the icing sugar, lime zest and lime juice until smooth. Spread over top of the cakes. Sprinkle with the chopped stem ginger. Cut in slices to serve.
PS - For those of you who asked yesterday, a Swede is a rutabaga. They call it a Swede over here. (It's like a large turnip which is orangy coloured)