Monday, 17 September 2012

marrow and honey tea loaf

... there is a very sweet family that live in a tumbledown farmhouse at the bottom of the village, I say they are sweet but they are also a little scary in a 'local' kind of way... it's actually quite a sad story really as both brother and sister, now into their 60's are what remains of a throwback to a system of neglect, lack of education and rough treatment from the local authorities... you wouldn't have thought people like this really existed any more but I fear there are many people in a similar culture of poverty and i'm sure it's not just here in the UK but all over the so-called first world... the sister, who cooks and cleans for her two brothers was the first person to come and say hello to us when we moved into the village... and they both take it on themselves to 'look after us' which can be both rather lovely and a little sinister at the same time... she is what used to be known as simple but I guess just un-educated is what you would call it today as I don't think she has any real medical condition... she is delightful but if you didn't know her you'd probably be quite frightened of her abruptness and child-like questioning... in fact a few friends who've stayed here alone will tell you of the scary knock on the door in the middle of the night to check who the strangers were staying at our house...

... the younger brother may also be a little pixilated but what he doesn't know about growing vegetables isn't worth knowing and of course we are often the recipients of some very earthy articles... this week it was marrow, which you will know is not my most favourite of vegetables...

marrow and honey tea loaf 
well if it works for carrots it should work for this humble vegetable and it does... just remember that simple is best here, don't mess with it too much and keep it bare, with no icing it makes a wonderful tea loaf...

this recipe makes to regular sized loaves or one large cake:
225g grated marrow
3 eggs
100g caster sugar
100g soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
250ml groundnut oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
375g self-raising flour

- pre-heat the oven to 170C and prepare two loaf tins with butter and parchment paper

- in a large bow whisk the eggs till light and fluffy then add the sugar, vanilla and honey and whisk vigorously again, then add the oil and whisk again - all this can be done in an electric mixer if you fancy

- add the flour in stages and mix in well, then add the grated marrow and fold in until combined

- divide equally between the two tins and bake for 45minutes or until you can't bear the glorious smell any more!

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. A very interesting insight into village life in
    Lincolnshire... I'd love to know what the neighbours think of me!

  2. I can't believe it, a vegetable I haven't met! I'll have to look into it and definitely make this humble and earthy cake. I love your story, and your obvious kind heartedness towards your neighbors, no matter their social status. Sounds like the nub of an idea for one of those great British 'dramedies' we love so much here in the States!

  3. OOh them and their country ways. Makes me feel so urban living in Surrey. Now I know what it feels like living int countryside! I think the marrow has found it"s place with this lovely recipe xx

  4. Marrows! The nightmare in the garden! You seem to have discovered the perfect solution, what a delicious loaf.
    Have a lovely weekend in Kent, it all sounds frightfully glamorous, and Happy Birthday to you and The Viking :-)

    Love Jude xx

  5. It sounds a bit like something out of Cold Comfort sweet. and what a great way to use marrows...

  6. Actually, I think I'm beginning to like marrows. My neglected courgettes developed into something close to marrows at times this year. I think the marrow and honey combination sounds perfect. Marrow and ginger jam is a bit of a treat too. I'm with Laura on this one, you're making Surrey sound urban in comparison. There are some very unusual people round here - although most of them have 4x4s, personal trainers and people who walk their dogs for them.

  7. This is why I want to live in a wee village, local knowledge and friendships. I do think you are very adventurous with your veggie/cake mixes ... I'm still trying to pluck up the courage to make a beetroot chocolate cake lol.

  8. Village life sounds interesting! The marrow cake is a great idea! I love marrow, it is such a great and humble veg that lends itself to so much. I made a big batch of marrow jam already and the cake is a great idea, thanks for sharing :)

  9. I can almost picture your neighbours! We used to live in a small village, I miss it so much!
    The marrow cake looks so good. Courgette works wonderfully in a cake, so why not marrow.

  10. Every small town has a few eccentrics that are dearly loved and if not that, tolerated and watched over. Those passing through will cast a curious glance and look away and those who live there will stop and chat or send over a loaf when the bumper crop of zucchini (or marrow) come in ... you've blended in well with village life, dearie! That looks like a good way to use a garden oddity. Marrow? What is it? I'm off to Google!

  11. I think it's the other way around here in Cornwall, plenty of "ecentrics" and not so many "normal" types. No surprise really as Cornwall is the poorest county in England and pretty far flung to boot.

    Your cake looks delicious and is one up on a courgette cake I reckon.

  12. I am a firm believer that everyone will love everything if made in a way they will enjoy. Marrow in a loaf is the perfect solution to sweeten up the day.

  13. I've never had anything with marrow, but your cake looks delish x

  14. now can we get some shots of your kitchen
    it would be nice to see and "assess" lol
    I dare you, lets see a 360!

  15. Marrow in a cake? I know I shouldn't be surprised as courgette cake is something I've heard of lots. The texture looks perfect!

  16. Tea Cake - you can't beat that / marrow or carrot. Looks perfect.

  17. I LOVE marrow in cakes, mum used to make one that had marrow in it! Yours however, looks amazing Dom! I love the idea of honey in it too! Karen

  18. hi..first time here. Your tea cake looks lovely. Your neighbor sounds quite scary to me..:)

  19. Great recipe! I put in 50ml less oil. Still lovely and moist.


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