There are Fairies at the Bottom of Our Garden

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Or at least there might be once they have seen the highly desirable fairy residence that has been constructed there.



Rustic pathway, moss carpets and floral air fresheners are among some of the innovations to be found within this unique dwelling.


Striking and original roof detail.


Hand-crafted table complete with flower and shell centrepiece.


The architect at work.

Inspired by this book



What fabulous weather we have had this weekend. 
I have spent most of it in the garden reading cookery books but I squeezed in a bit of actual cooking too.



Lemon Tart.
This is my adaptation of a recipe from Rose Prince's Kitchenella. I felt her recipe, although delicious, was a bit stingy with the filling. I doubled the filling ingredients. She used ready-made shortcrust, I've never seen the point of paying someone else to make something so simple and so cheap (puff pastry is a different matter) and the way I do it means no rolling out.

First make the pastry
Rub together 8 oz plain flour and 4 oz butter
Add cold water a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed, 3-4 should do it.
Form it into a fat disc and press it with your knuckles directly into a loose bottomed 8-9 inch tart tin. Work the pastry up the sides of the tin.

Melt 6 oz butter
Whisk together 10 oz caster sugar, 2 eggs and the zest of 4 lemons plus the juice of 2.
Whisk in the butter.
Pour into the pastry case.

Bake at 200°c/180°c fan oven for 25mins.
The filling should be set but wobbly.
Lovely served warm with thick cream.


I also roasted a piece of pork shoulder


I made a paste of rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic, sea salt and black peppercorns


which I pressed into the skin,



45 mins in a very hot oven and then 3 hours at a much lower temperature and the pork was perfect.



I certainly didn't expect to be starting up the ice lolly factory this early in the year.

19 comments:

  1. i wish i was a fairy i would be there like a shot! so very sweet.
    I am very inspired to make the lovely lemon tart, i love the tartness of lemon, so refreshing.
    In fact i must tell you, it is my daughters birthday next weekend and i am going to have a go at the rainbow cake, yours looked amazing
    thank you for your wondeful and inspiring blog
    j x

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  2. That's JUST the sort of thing I like playing at when I was little :) Lovely photographs x

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  3. We have that fairy book too, and love it to bits - an endless source of inspiration.

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  4. I adore the faerie castle, we have an old maple tree which has passed on to the next level and has big chunks of bark coming off, great idea for me to save some and let the grandkids make a house like this near our waterfall and pond!

    Enjoy your sun, we have liquid sunshine here. bleh

    Hugs from Oregon, USA -- Teresa :-)

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  5. Stunning photos today Sue. We might be up for some fairy architecture here too.

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  6. What a wonderful delight for a fairy to find in your garden, and the scrummy goodness that you rustled up in the kitchen makes my mouth water.

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  7. I'm going to try your lemon tart recipe, thanks. Love the fairy house!

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  8. Very pretty fairy house.
    Lemon Tart yummy my favourite
    Julie xxxxxxxxx

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  9. I wish there were fairies at the bottom of my garden - who would help me cook like you do - is that your secret?

    By the way top marks for the fairy house, so pretty.

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  10. Pati from London9:43 am BST

    Sue, that fairy house looks so cute. It reminds me of the film Tinkerbell and the great fairy rescue that I was watching with my little girls last Friday... I love fairies.
    On Saturday we had friends over for dinner and cooked them a yummy Jamie Oliver Tomato soup, followed by an Oxtail stew with mash that was delish and a lemon tart with ice cream to finish, but I cheated with the dessert and bought one in the shop..... I wish I had read your lemon tart recipe earlier as it looks easy and delicious... Will try it next time. The weather's been glorious here in London too. x Pati

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  11. That looks like a book that we really need.

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  12. Can I please come for lunch, and eat with the fairies at the bottom of the garden?

    Lovely lovely post, it made me smile, and my tummy rumble!

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  13. I'll have to show our middlest one this post - she is all things fairy mad at the moment and has even set up a stage for them!

    Enjoy the sunshine,

    Nina xxx

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  14. Am I too old to build a cute fairy house like that? It looks great fun

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  15. Great little house fit for any self respecting fairy or even pixie, and the fud...Yum!

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  16. Anonymous9:49 pm BST

    After reading this post I ordered the fairy house book. It arrived yesterday and it has entranced my granddaughters. They are busy collecting things so they can begin to build.
    The chocolate lollies were a big hit especially with my husband!!

    Thank you very much for the wonderful ideas.

    Topnan x.

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  17. what a lovely job your daughter has done on the fairy house! I hope that they spend many a cheerful spring evenings there.

    I am really enjoying your posts, and thought I'd come out of lurking to say so. thank you for writing!

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  18. I wanted to say 'a big Thank You' for this post. Having read it I ordered the book and gave it to my little girl this morning for her Birthday. She's off school with a raging temperature but we've already had a look through and she is delighted, planning a few houses for the summer. Thank you Judith x

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