Cakes & Bakes: Cheese soda bread

November 27th, 2014

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loaf of home made cheese soda bread | @hisforhome

Sometimes you want a lovely fresh loaf of home-made bread but you don’t always have the time for all the kneading and proving it can involve. On days like that I make a soda bread round. Bish, bash, bosh – it’s mixed, baked and ready to eat in just over half an hour.

cheese soda bread dry ingredients

I’ve not made a cheese soda bread loaf before – or even found a recipe for one anywhere – but you just know it’s one of those things that’s going to be a success!

flour with buttermilk

It’s definitely one to try!

unbaked cheese soda bread loaf

It’s lovely fresh out of the oven with a generous spread of butter. Good with pâté too – and cheese of course.

poached eggs on sliced & toasted cheese soda bread

It also makes great toast and the bread’s flavour combines very well with all kinds of breakfast ingredients – bacon, sausages, beans, mushrooms. Or one of our favourites – a simple poached egg.

Cheese soda bread
Yields 1
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 200g/7oz plain flour
  2. 150g/5oz wholemeal flour
  3. 50g/2oz wheatgerm
  4. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  5. 1tsp salt
  6. 30g/1oz butter, cubed
  7. 300g/10½oz buttermilk
  8. 100g/3½oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
  9. cheese soda bread ingredients
  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/430ºF/Gas mark 7
  2. Grease a large baking tray and set aside
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients well
  4. Rub the butter into the flour mix before making a well in the centre
  5. Pour the buttermilk into the well and begin bringing the flour from the edge of the bowl towards the centre using a spatula or dough scraper
  6. Add the grated cheddar and knead the dough into a ball, trying not overwork
  7. Put the dough on to the baking tray, make a deep cross on the top using the dough scraper or large sharp knife
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the top
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving
  1. The buttermilk we buy in the supermarket only comes in 250g containers. We just top up the recipe amount with 50g plain yoghurt
H is for Home Harbinger

Creative Collections: Wooden spoons

November 25th, 2014

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Collection of wooden spoons on an antique wooden spoon rack

Last week’s ceramic Creative Collections post featured modern design & graphics – this one is altogether more antique & rustic in nature.

5 vintage wooden spoons

We just love old wooden spoons!! All the different shapes, sizes & patinas.

pair of vintage wooden spoons

There are endless gadgets that you can fill your kitchen with (and we do); but when it comes down to it, if you’ve got a couple of good knives and some wooden spoons, you can get most jobs done.

detail of a vintage wooden spoon

You can get very attached to certain spoons. In addition to some exquisite antique examples that we now just display, we must have about 20 spoons available for use in a pot next to the cooker – we both gravitate to our favourite 2 or 3. They just feel right in the hand!

Collection of wooden spoons on an antique wooden spoon rack

And then there’s the spin off collection – obviously you then have to find perfect racks & containers in which to keep them!!

Etsy List: Vintage 1967

November 24th, 2014

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Vintage 1967 Etsy List curated by H is for HomeIt’s my birthday today! :-) I share the day with, amongst others, Billy Connolly, Stephen Merchant, Ian Botham and Zeinab Badawi.

I’ve been looking at notable events that took place the year I was born and this Vintage 1967 Etsy List celebrates and commemorates some of them. 1967 saw the summer of love, the unveiling of Concorde, the world’s first cash-point machine installed in London, the World Expo toook place in Montreal during its centenary year and it was the 50th anniversary of Finland’s independence and of the Russian Revolution.

It was also the year that the Beatles released their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album and The Prisoner hit the small screen. Paddy’s Wigwam in Liverpool was consecrated and the UK even won the Eurovison Song Contest.

It was a vintage year!

Vintage 1967
Curated by H is for Home

What makes a space a home?

November 23rd, 2014

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pair of vintage leather club chair in front of a woodburner

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a one-room bedsit or a Downton Abbey-sized mansion – everyone deserves to have a place they can call home.

However, there is something indefinable about the term as it could just as easily apply to new build homes in Harlow or period properties in Penzance.

One thing is for sure; a home definitely means more than having a collection of personal possessions or a few carefully chosen items of furniture. In fact, sometimes a residence that is full of brand new items can feel soulless and lacking in character.

So what is it exactly that makes a space a home?

bookeshelves, armchair and chest of drawers in our bedroom


One of the most important things about a home is having ‘roots’ there. Knowing you are going to be happy there for a long period of time is a lot more comforting than simply being aware you will only be passing through.

The whole idea of settling in somewhere and putting down roots lies at the heart of the place we call home.

It’s also somewhere that we can feel safe, protected and retreat from the stresses and strains of everyday life and therefore, relax. For some, this can mean being surrounded by family or house-mates, for others the ideal might be to have somewhere totally to themselves.

shelves with books and collectables in our sitting room 


Another part of a home is the history that comes with it. Sometimes this can mean living in a building that you or your family have occupied for a long time and other times it can simply mean creating an environment that reflects your personality.

This sense of personality within your home can be created by making use of vintage items and styles which can be a great way to invent your own feeling of connection with the past.

 Adelle's vintage handbag collection on a wall in our bedroom


By having your own sense of style means that using vintage items can be applied into your home in many different ways.

Whether it’s a specialist personal interest or hobby, or a more general sense of adopting an interior design theme or decoration, creating your own mix can be one of the most satisfying ways to have a home that is truly your own.


Charity Vintage: Cantilever sewing box

November 22nd, 2014

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vintage cantilever sewing box for sale by & in support of Isabel Hospice
(ends 26 Nov, 2014 20:13:12 GMT)

This vintage wooden cantilever sewing box (with a collection of threads and other haberdashery bits) is being sold by & in support of one of the charities we feature quite a lot here, Isabel Hospice*.

We’ve had quite a few of these pass through our shop over the years. Sewing has had something of a major renaissance in the past few years. Lots of talented people are even making an indie career out of it, selling on sites such as  Etsy, Folksy and Dawanda.

*Isabel Hospice is a charity needing to raise nearly £4 million per annum to provide their free services to the people of eastern Hertfordshire. Their ethos is that they treat the whole person, not simply the illness. They offer a complete hospice service through their team of Community Nurse Specialists, a 16-bed, in-patient hospice, a day hospice, outreach day hospices, hospice at home and a family support and bereavement service.