Old-Fashioned Pleasures

I’ve been re-reading some of my favourite books recently – the Anne of Green Gables series. It has been so lovely to laze around in the heat with a good book, dreaming about pretty Prince Edward Island, muslin dresses and of course “kindred spirits”. Inspired by this faux nostalgia (I’m happy I live in the modern day really – as idyllic as parts of Anne’s life are, I’m rather fond of things like modern medicine and feminism) I’ve been trying to live a bit more like Anne. Appreciating the all the good in the world, using my skills, and being proactive all seem like good aims when it comes to improving my outlook on life.

So, I’ve been encouraging myself to get out and look after the garden, create beautiful crafts and most of all appreciate what I’ve got and try not to waste it.

With that in mind, I looked at the over-ripe fruit that was languishing on the island unit and tried to come up with a way of using it so it wouldn’t go to waste. I thought about Marilla’s famous plum preserves, and inspiration struck!

I stewed the fruit with a little ground ginger, mixed spice, sugar, and a splash of green ginger wine (given to me by my lovely friend Abi), then paired it with a baked rice pudding. Rice pudding is one of my favourites, and so easy to make!


Baked Rice Pudding

100g pudding rice (any short grain rice should work if it isn’t available)

100g caster sugar

1 litre whole milk (I always use Jersey milk – this is a treat!! If you can’t find it, just dot 1-2 tbsp butter around the dish instead)

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.  Put all the ingredients into an oven-proof dish that is big enough to hold all the milk and give a gentle stir to distribute everything evenly. If the dish is very full, put it on top of a baking tray in case it bubbles over.  Bake for 2-3 hours until the rice is cooked through, the milk has been absorbed, and the top is golden and bubbly. If it browns too quickly, simply cover with some foil until the rice is cooked.


This is definitely something I’ll make again in the autumn, if we have any fruit left – the garden drama this week was the sudden and confusing disappearance of all of our pears! I’m quite sad about it, the pears are my favourite fruit from the garden.



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