Because you asked so nicely
We use napkins every day. We each have our own silver napkin ring with which to identify our napkin. The napkin rings have all been gathered over time, each a little battered, all found one by one in junk shops and car boot sales. There are lots of napkins, all soft and worn with laundering. Ecru linen, cheerful checks and vintage white linens and damasks. And yes Karen, I do iron them.
And now, because so many of you asked, the Apple Cake recipe is listed below. I was given this recipe by my friend and neighbour Lydia. I first ate it whilst living in a beautiful Rutland village, we were sitting on her back step in the afternoon sunshine and watching our children play. It must have been 10 years ago or more and yet I remember the taste, the moment, the blue sky above. She was given the recipe by her friend and she wrote it out for me, I still have that hand-written piece of paper, now laminated, I keep it with my favourite recipes and rather like the fact that it is not metric.
Lydia's Apple Cake
2 lg eggs
8oz caster sugar
1 tsp almond extract
8oz self raising flour and 11/2 tsp baking powder
11/2 lb cooking apples (un-peeled weight) - peeled and roughly sliced
Oven 375 F, 190 C, Gas 5
10" loose bottom tin
Melt the butter until just runny and pour into a large bowl. Add eggs, sugar, almond extract and beat well.
Fold in the flour and baking powder. Spread 2/3 of mixture into tin, pile apples on top and dot remaining batter over the apples. It will be nigh impossible to evenly spread, no matter, this cake is one of those magical ones that makes it all OK in the oven.
Bake for 50-75 minutes, depending on your oven. It takes an hour in my current oven, in my previous oven it took almost 11/2 hours but I had to cover with tinfoil to prevent burning. I would advise checking it at 50 minutes and if it is almost done then check again in seven minutes, and so forth.
As previously mentioned, it will not be a beauty prize winner but dust with icing sugar if you please and make a cup of tea. Also, jolly good with cream for pudding.