Recipes to pass on, here is the worlds easiest and quickest Jammy Swiss Roll


It occurred to me the other day whilst I was making a Strawberry Swiss Roll in an attempt to coax both Flit and Bean to eat something after they had been poorly, that despite the fact that I have a large collection a staggering 67 I have just counted them of cookery books, I tend to use the same recipes that are now committed to memory in rotation. I have fail safe ideas for quick meals that the children will eat before we have to dash out of the door for riding or swimming, fool-proof dinner party staples which require me to be pouring and drinking wine and not reducing sauces in a kitchen bathed in a cloud of steam and irritation and cake and biscuit recipes so straightforward that they could I suspect be made on the side of a mountain.

I am frequently given recipe books on Birthdays and Christmas despite me preferring diamonds or riding boots and will spend many an enjoyable and self-indulgent hour or two pouring over the interesting looking recipes. As a rule I will probably try three or four of the recipes and then to my eternal shame the book goes to live with the other colourful and eclectic but sadly neglected cookery books in the kitchen and will if they are lucky be referred to once in a blue moon. I love any book with variety in but start to come out in hives at the 101 exciting and innovative ideas with mince, anything requiring fennel or being required to do more intricate manoeuvres than a quick stir. My attention level wanes easily and that is when burning and spoiling becomes inevitable.

Given that I am a child of the 70’s and it was at the time I believe the law; that during the long summer holidays children tended to be packed off by their parents for the day to yomp around fields with homemade lemonade which was really just sugar syrup with a dash of lemon juice and a box of shortbread type biscuits with the instruction to be back before dark. Thus whilst I will happily demolish a good steak so long as it has not been cooked for more than 30 seconds my preference is definitely for sweet things and sugar curses through my veins. I speak as the woman who had four desserts on her wedding day rather than the wedding breakfast.

So today dear readers here is my Jammy Swiss Roll recipe to pass on. It will never let you down, can be whipped up in about 15 minutes from the crack of the first egg until it is on a plate and ready to eat and will provide much-needed comfort on soggy days. It might not soothe the troubled economy but it is raining here today and it will lift your spirits at the very least. Oh and there is not any butter or fat in it so it is practically a health food in my opinion.

You will need the following:

4 eggs, 4 ozs of caster sugar and 4ozs of plain flour.

Turn your oven on to approximately 150. I can’t be more precise as my oven is at least 20 years old and the temperature is temperamental at best, but a medium warm oven. Take 4 eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. Using a hand whisk, whisk the whites until they are stiff enough for a bowl to be held over your head and the contents not to flop onto you. Add half of the sugar and give a quick whisk. Whisk the yolks until they go a creamy colour and add the remainder of the sugar. Mix both white and yoke mixtures into the flour and pour into a lined swiss roll tin and put into the oven and bake until light brown. Turn out onto a sugared tray or chopping board, spread jam, strawberry is the favourite here and roll into….er…a roll shape. Eat immediately or wait until cool and serve with lashings of warm custard. Or leave a day and slice up for a packed lunch treat.



Well you can stop fretting for yes, the mystery of the missing eggs is finally solved……hurrah!

Here at the Barbour residence we could be described as having a somewhat fundamentalist approach to our chickens. Some 18 months ago whilst I was driving my oldest child home from a party on a Saturday evening, conscious that my wild and boozy child free days were very much a dim and distant memory I popped into a friends’ house to buy some of her eggs and have a cheeky glass of dry white and so the madness began. Chicken keeping is in my opinion more addictive than crack cocaine. We started with four chickens, Celia, Meadow, Daisy and Megan; 3 hybrids and a Dutch Bantam. Today we have 16 and counting, there is a Fur and Feather Mart next weekend so the numbers will inevitably rise. To date our ever-expanding flock has decimated an entire, well established vegetable patch, cost me more than I will admit in coops, layer pellets and poultry tonic and means that I am to be found of an evening poo-picking, far less glamorous than it sounds and involving me in rubber gloves removing chicken poo from the garden. The girls now have two very comfortable coops which on days when the children are driving me insane I seriously consider sitting in just to get a few moments without somebody needing a backside wiped, plaster applied or an argument settled.

So when I looked at the laying chart stuck up on the kitchen wall last Monday and noticed that numbers were down I began to worry. A laying chart perhaps suggests I have some sort of control freak tendencies to my personality and run a very tight ship here, alas nothing could be further from the truth. We lurch from one lost riding boot to the next missing gum shield and I frequently dream of the day when order descends upon us. Instead the idea came from one of the ancient farmers I always seem to get talking to at the local Fur and Feather Mart which we go to with alarming regularity. My husband finds it all very amusing however these old farmers clearly feel my muddy wellies, battered Barbour and my gaggle of ruddy cheeked children give me the air of somebody who knows what she was talking about. If only they knew, it is for the most part seat of your pants stuff which happily seems to be working since we have only had one fatality in the last 18 months which was due to old age.

Anyway I digress, the egg numbers were down; the girls were eating all the kitchen scraps and layer pellets as usual, the sun was shining and they were all in rude health. So yesterday morning eldest son and myself were sat in the garden enjoying the sun and chatting about all things chickens when one of his chickens – Megan, excitedly announced that an egg had been laid. After a thorough examination of the coop revealed nothing we tailed Megan down to the bottom of the garden, through all the tress and then there was an excited yelp from oldest son. Pass me a bucket Mummy came the slightly alarming request accompanied by lots of mutterings. Son emerged with much shrubbery in his hair and 15 eggs in their many differing colours in a bucket!

So I seems that Megan may have ‘gone broody’ and given that there were different coloured eggs in the nest in the trees may well have encouraged two or three of her feathered chums to do the same……I shall be having words with them all and will, of course keep you posted as to progress.