Thursday, 9 November 2017


Good Morning to you,

Have you ever had a conversation with your mother, which is not as straight forward as you thought it would be. When the conversation begins, you think you know what your mother is talking about, but as the conversation progresses you become a little confused. 

The trick to conversations with my mother Phyllis, is to pick up little clues along the way, which hopefully will point me in the right direction.  And with a little luck I finally reach the point, where I am in tune with Phyllis and I know exactly what she is talking about.

.... and I had one such conversation with Phyllis on Sunday morning.

We talked about how she was feeling and what she had been up to during the weekend.

She mentioned that she had met her friend Jean and they had decided to go out for lunch.  During lunch, Jean told Phyllis about a new taxi company which had arrived in their area

.... and this is where the funny story begins.

Phyllis:  Jean was telling me that there is a new taxi company starting up here in town. You'll never guess its name. The company is called Hoover Taxis.

Daphne:  Oh said I, that is a strange name for a taxi company.  Are you sure the name is Hoover.

Phyllis:  Oh yes, said Phyllis.  I remember it because it made me think of my hoover (vacuum cleaner).

Daphne:  Funny you should say that, because that is exactly what I was thinking.   The name certainly doesn't make me think of a taxi service. 

I then said with a smile on my face, maybe the name implies that they hope to 'suck up' all the competition in the local area. At this we both laughed.  I then asked Phyllis, how do you spell the name?

Phyllis:  The same way you spell Hoover.

Daphne:  Or maybe it's spelt with a 'u' instead of double 'o'.... Huver.  Even so, I can't say that I've ever heard of the company.

Phyllis:  Maybe it hasn't arrived in Newcastle.  Maybe they will be in your area sometime next year. 

Phyllis went on to say. I think it is disgraceful that Hoover employ people on zero hours contracts.  How on earth are people able to support themselves and their families when they don't know how much they will earn from week to week.  No wonder so many people are struggling financially.

Daphne:  Then the penny dropped, I don't know if Phyllis was correct about zero hours contracts, because I thought the drivers were self employed, but I suddenly realised,  Phyllis was saying Hoover, when she must mean Uber.  So I said 'Oh I know which taxi company you are talking about.... the name is Uber mum, not Hoover.

Phyllis:  Yes, that's what I said, Hoover.

Daphne:  No mum, the taxi company is called Uber and I spelt the name out for her.... U.B.E.R.

Phyllis:  I'm sure Jean said Hoover.  Anyway that is a silly name for a taxi company.  I can easily remember Hoover, but Uber just doesn't sound right.  I feel sure there should be an 'H' in front of the 'U'.

Daphne:  That maybe so, but mum, the company is still called Uber.

Phyllis:  Well they didn't think that through, did they? If they had asked me, I would have told them that Hoover is  a much easier name to remember.

At this point I felt the conversation was rapidly going down hill and I really wasn't making any headway with Phyllis, so I decided to leave well alone and not correct Phyllis when she called the taxi company Hoover instead of Uber.

.... after all, it really makes no odds to Phyllis, as she will not be using the Uber taxi service anytime soon.

So after all the confusion with the pronunciation of Uber, or is it Hoover.... there is no confusion about today's cake, because we are baking,

an Apple cake with a difference, we are adding grated apple along with dates and walnuts.... and it is divine.

But first, if you have been reading Ivy, Phyllis and Me! for a while, then you will know how much I love listening to music.  I do not have a favourite style, I am open to all types of music, but the music I am listening to today, for me, is timeless,

The Good Life sung by the fabulous Tony Bennett.  I love this song, but it also reminds me of my recent visit to see Phyllis.  

In the evening we would settle down to watch an episode of the 1970s comedy series 'The Good Life' and I remember George and I watching this series, when it was originally aired by the BBC in the 1970s. Back then, it was such a popular series and do you know something, it still made us smile the second time around.

So it's on with the pinnie and time to gather my ingredients.


225g self raising wholemeal flour
5ml baking powder
10ml ground mixed spice
175g chopped dates
75g dark brown sugar
120ml apple juice
2 large eggs 
90ml sunflower oil
2 eating apples


15ml chopped walnuts


1 kg loaf tin
1 teaspoon of butter
piece of parchment paper

Pre-heat oven 180C/160C Fan


Butter and line the loaf tin with parchment paper.

Using a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and mixed spices.

Add the dark brown sugar and chopped dates. 
Using the side of a fork, break up any dates which clump together.
Set aside for the moment.

Using a small bowl, beat the eggs,
add the apple juice
and mix together.

Core and grate the apples.
add to the wet ingredients.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients
stir well to incorporate all the ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin
sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.

Bake for 55-60 minutes. Test using a cake skewer.  I find this is the easiest way to check that a cake is baked.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes on a cake rack

Remove the cake from the loaf tin and leave to completely cool on the cake rack.

Actually, this cake is nice eaten warm.

Then find yourself a cake plate, cut yourself a slice of cake

You will find that this is not an ultra sweet cake, but when you bite into one of the chopped dates, you will have a lovely sweet explosion in your mouth.

Also I do not bother to peel the apples, I did once and found it did not make any difference to the texture of the cake.

.... and George, my taste tester,  what did he think of the cake.  

When I asked him, a lovely smile spread across his face and he carried on eating. 

I took it to mean, he enjoyed the cake.

Oh and by the way, today's featured recipe is a Dorset Apple Cake which I wrote in June 2012.... My goodness, I have just noticed how much I have learnt since my early posts.  Hence the photograph of Ivy's cooker appearing first, instead of the photograph of the Dorset Apple Cake. I am still very proud of what I achieved back then, because I really knew absolutely nothing about blogging, but as they say, 'It's onwards and upwards'.

Take care and I will catch up with you next Thursday.

As Always,

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Best wishes to you.


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