26 September 2018


Hope you had a lovely summer and did not completely melt in the heatwave. I thought I would appraise you all with what our ladies have been up to during the August break.

On the last day of July, we went on our annual summer outing – this year we visited Sissinghurst Castle gardens. The weather was a little ropey to begin with, but the sun eventually came out and we had a pleasant day visiting the gardens and some of us braved the long climb up the tower. Sissinghurst was the residence of writer, poet and diarist Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson, the family to this day still stay at Sissinghurst. It was a fascinating place to visit and to learn about this extraordinary woman and the unconventional marriage that she and her husband had. Vita Sackville-West was truly a woman ahead of her time and truly lived the life she chose, with very little compromise. The gardens at Sissinghurst was one of the true loves of her life and it was with a heavy heart that she signed over the property to the National Trust,but was done out of love and necessity to save the historic grounds and tower. Today the house, tower and gardens are visited and enjoyed by thousands of visitors a year. A truly peaceful place, nestled heartland of the beautiful Kent countryside. The area received very little phone signal, though this may be of frustration for the local residents, it was a breath of fresh air to get away from the distractions of modern day life. A truly inspirational day out had by all.


Our ladies are back from the summer break and got straight into an evening of bakes. September brings us the delights of mushroom and ham muffins and a cottage cheese, celery, and walnut loaf. Let us start with the muffins, the smell of the finished bake aroused their senses and the look of the well-formed muffin met with their approval. Now the taste comes with the caveat that it is a weight watched recipe, therefore this is the low calorie and healthy option … such a flavour was somewhat underwhelming for our ladies with rich tastes and felt that the muffin experience would be much improved with the addition of cheese. Not quite in the spirit of weight watchers I may add.

Next came the lengthy named cottage cheese, celery, and walnut loaf. As they presented their bake from the oven that were filled the satisfaction of a well baked and should I say handsome loaf. As per the muffins another Weight Watchers addition to the evening, the ladies felt that the recipe would be vastly improved with a large “dollop” of butter.

So, in short, Horley Evening WI baking group’s top tip to any Weight Watchers recipe is a good serving of cheese and butter! Please note such opinions are not held by all members of Horley Evening WI or The National Federation of the Women’s Institute. If you are watching your weight then these are a great treat, if you would like the naughty version please follow the baking groups top tip and reach for the cheese and butter.

If you want to have a go at these recipes click here