This week was all about slugs, and lemon drizzle muffins.
After watching an entire very exotic broad-leafed plant in our garden disappear last summer, I decided I was going to be all over it this year and get the upper hand, quickly. But first I had to identify the culprit (or a similar word, used liberally when I discovered they were already at it again, mid-March). So late one night (by late I actually mean about 9.30pm, which once upon a time in Edinburgh student days was still too early to head out, and was prime pre-loading time, but is now the dead time between finishing supper and waiting to dream-feed the Baby), I marched out into the darkness, torch in hand, to catch whoever it was in the act. Weirdly I felt the need the need to tiptoe up to the plant in question...on reflection I'm not sure any garden pests are renowned for their hearing, or speedy escapes. And there were the slugs. Pellets were not going to be a safe option with the Bear around, who happily eats anything he can find on the floor (but weirdly very little from his plate), so the Bee and I made a beer trap the next day. I was sceptical Sussex slugs would go for cheap Tesco lager, and also slightly concerned any nosy neighbours might think I was disappearing to the bottom of the garden with a can in hand, to hide behind the shed and quaff it mid-afternoon. But the next morning I fished 29 slugs and 1 snail out! And so started what seems to have become an obsession rather quickly - I've never spent so much time in the garden after dark with a torch. And I have discovered you don't actually need beer at all - warm water, flour, sugar and yeast mixed up together has the same effect. And in case you were wondering whether this has anything at all to do with baking, the plastic pots paper muffin cases come in make excellent traps.
I also managed to photograph my new and improved lemon drizzle muffins to update the web-site. The originals were great, but I always felt they could do with more drizzle and more lemon. So now they have lots of both. For any home bakers out there yet to invest in silicone moulds, I can heartily recommend them. Nothing sticks, not even large amounts of drizzly lemon, and so you can leave the muffins soaking in it for ten minutes or so while still warm, and then flip them out to cool properly.
And finally, my Mother's Day giveaway has roughly 24 hours still to run, and all you have to do is like the relevant post (pinned to the top of my FB page), and tag a friend. Once they like the post they are entered as well. The winner will (literally) be picked out of a hat tomorrow night.