Gimme Five! Dog rucksacks

June 26th, 2015

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selection of 5 dog rucksacks

Going on a long walk with a dog can be like taking a child; they need a lot of stuff! Water, bowl, food, poo bags, treats, ball… All that kit can be heavy, bulky and tiring when you’re walking in the hills. The least Fudge can do is help to carry some of the load – in the most stylish way possible of course!

  1. EZYDog Summit backpack: £42.99, Wayfair
  2. Ruffwear Approach dog pack: £89.95, PetsPyjamas
  3. Lalawow durable canvas dog backpack: £15.99, Amazon
  4. RuffWear Palisades dog pack: £99.99, Petmeds
  5. Outward Hound dog quick release backpack: £29, eBay

Cakes & Bakes: Black bread

June 25th, 2015

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Sliced & buttered home-made black bread with a mug of tea

We recently bought a box of mixed ephemera at auction.

Vintage Esso wall calendar from 1958

There were quite a few vintage calendars in the box including this charming Esso calendar dating from 1958. Each month is represented by a traditional activity for the time of year…

Black bread recipe on a wall calendar from 1958

…and on the reverse is a recipe from a different county of the UK. I liked the sound of the black bread from Buckinghamshire so decided to test it out for this week’s Cakes & Bakes.

Black bread ingredients

I’m not sure whether it actually hails from Buckinghamshire or not, I couldn’t find any mention of a ‘Buckinghamshire black bread’ on the internet anywhere. Have you ever heard of it?

Adding treacle to the other black bread ingredients

From its list of ingredients, I presumed it would be a sweet bread, perfect for having with an afternoon cup of tea.

Black bread dough before putting it into the oven

It was really easy to rustle up, I already had everything in the store cupboard. It was quick too, no waiting for the dough to rise; just mix, into a tin and in the oven – job done!

Home-made black bread loaf

I’ve changed the original cooking temperature and duration. The top began to look a little too ‘black’ and it was definitely fully cooked after an hour.

Sliced & buttered home-made black bread loaf

It’s reminiscent of malt loaf but less sticky and more… treacley! We had a few slices with a healthy layering of butter – divine!

If you fancy giving this recipe a try you can pin it from here for later!

Black bread
Yields 1
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
  1. 450g/1lb wholemeal flour
  2. 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  3. pinch of salt
  4. 300ml/½pt milk
  5. 1 egg
  6. 300ml/½pt black treacle
  7. 225g/8oz dried fruit (I used sultanas)
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 1kg/2lb loaf tin
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the salt and bicarbonate with the flour
  4. Mix in the milk, egg and treacle before adding the dried fruit
  5. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake for about an hour. If the top begins to look too dark, cover with tin foil
  6. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool
  1. The original recipe says that this bread is best left for a month before cutting & consuming. We couldn't wait that long!
H is for Home Harbinger

Tempting tea set

June 24th, 2015

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Vintage stainless steel & teak tea set

And the nominations for our favourite purchase of the week are… *dramatic pause*… it’s like the Oscars… well, not quite. Anyway, our choice for favourite purchase of the week is this fabulous 1960s tea set.

Vintage stainless steel & teak tea set

We see so many drab, average-looking stainless steel tea sets from this period that we don’t normally look twice. Just occasionally, one stands out from the crowd!

Vintage stainless steel & teak tea pot

This one’s quite sculptural – we love the angular ‘hollow’ handles and circular teak finials. It has a really clean, modernist look. We’ve no idea of the designer or manufacturer. The only markings indicate it was made in Hong Kong which was quite common during this period as many companies based production there.

Base stamp of a vintage stainless steel tea pot

Whoever is responsible, there’s no doubting that it’s a great looking piece. Just the thing to accompany a plateful of modernist triangular sandwiches (crusts removed, of course) – or sports biscuits with their 1972 Munich Olympics vibe (the original versions at least). Alternatively, the set could just sit on open mid century modern shelving looking fabulous. Let us know if you do happen to know a possible designer for it – or if you’d like to own it of course!