This weekend, me and R went to Scotland for the first time. Previously, the furthest north I’ve ever been was Kings Lynn in Norfolk, not very north at all.
We went up to meet our friend Rach whom we haven’t seen in quite a while. She’s lived in Edinburgh for over two years but we haven’t had time to visit as I’ve had tons of things to do with university and R with work.
When I finished all of my assignments in may, we decided it was time to do all the things we now have time for and started looking for cheap train tickets. Luckily, R found tickets for £18 each for this weekend and we booked it quickly before they were all snatched up.

The weekend was supposed to rain, according to the internet, but amazingly we never got rained on once.(At one print, it did rain but we were inside, enjoying food and a Futurama film)

So, what did we see during our Scottish weekend? Well, we walked to the castle, walked around town, ate lots of nice food, went to the cinema (inception – quite interesting!) and just enjoyed being away from the hustle and bustle of London. And of course, spent a whole weekend with Rach, whom we haven’t seen since our birthdays in January!

I must say I really enjoyed Scotland and wouldn’t mind going back some time!

I am engaged! As we celebrated our anniversary with a picnic in front of the old castle in the town where R grew up, he whipped out the ring we had looked at the month before in one of the vintage jewellery shops in Brighton and proposed.  It is a lovely 1930s diamond ring in white gold and platinum and although I never wear rings – I’m sure I’ll soon get used to it!

Excuse the bad picture, it was taken with my phone in order to show my sister.

I love fruit trees and would love to have more in our garden. At the moment, we have plenty of raspberry bushes (more like small trees at the moment), lots of herb bushes but only one plum tree. Last year there were five small dark purple plums that came out of that tree, but this year we’ve got at least fifteen! At this rate, we might have enough for a plum cake in about five years time…

Our neighbours on the other hand, have got plenty of trees in the same space as us, and they all fit in nicely. It always surprises me how their garden looks so much bigger even though they’ve got double the amount of plants and trees! Their cherry tree is right by our fence which means when the cherries ripen, we all help out to pick them before all the birds devour them.

Melissa who lives in our house is crazy about cherries and has eaten  about a kilo or two by herself since the end of June when they started getting edible. I, on the other hand, wanted to bake with them.

Come forth my gluten free cherry pie!

Cherry Pie

Unspecific number of cherries (what you’ve got really – I had tons)

Base

almond flour
Doves gluten free white flour
approx 125g butter, room temperature
a couple of squeezes of honey
water

left over marzipan (the blue stuff)

Top

Gluten free oats
150 g butter
a couple of squeezes of honey depending on the sweetness

Start with the base as it takes the longest. Cut up the room tempered butter in cubes and put in a bowl. Mix the almond flour with the gluten free flour and add in a pinch of salt. Pour over the butter cubes and start pinching it all together. Once it is starting to look like crumble, squeeze in (or dollop, if you’ve got a jar of it) a bit of honey, mix in well until you’re satisfied with the sweetness. This is best tried by licking the crumble off your fingers, or if you’re well mannered (not me…) with a spoon. Once you’re satisfied, add in a couple of tablespoons of water and mix, until you end up with a lump of dough. Leave it to rest in the fridge for about 30 min and then press it out in a pie shape.

As I had some marzipan left in the fridge (I had coloured it blue for a birthday wii-cake a couple of days previously) I made small flat nuggets of them and put them on top of the dough.

I had already pitted all the cherries and put them in a bowl (a small warning – they stain hands pretty bad so watch out with fabrics!) and so now I just mixed them with tons of cinnamon as (pretty much) anything with cinnamon makes my soul sing. Or at least my stomach growl…

Anyways, put the butter in a pot (or micro if you’re not a fan of the hob) and squeeze in a couple of dollops of honey. I don’t really like my desserts that sweet so have a small squeeze but it’s all up to you. Once the butter is melted, pour in the oats, bit by bit and stir it well. It should start to soak up the butter; if it’s getting dry you are done, if there is still a lot of butter- keep pouring on the oats!
Once that is done, pour it all on top of the cherries, and put it in the middle of the oven until the top is golden and smells divine. For me it took about 25 min on 175degrees (Celsius) but it usually varies on the oven.

I served it with amazing vanilla ice cream (Taste the difference) on the first day and cold custard on the second (and third) day. It was heaven!

NY in 2006

Me and R have been talking about making a visit to the States for quite some time now, ever since the first time we went (together) in 2006. He has got friends in San Francisco and New York which is handy when it comes down to visiting. I have never been a good tourist in the way of finding out via websites what needs to been seen, driven past and eaten whilst I’m on holiday but I would rather have a native showing me the best little gems in a town.

As I finished my degree in June, we decided to go travelling this summer and as Bridget and Gareth’s wedding is due to take place in the beginning of September, we thought it would be amazing to be able to attend. At the moment, it would be great to visit everyone we know so the plan is to go to San Francisco, Boston, New York and Baltimore – but it depends on budget and when all our friends will be there. I’m so excited!