A really fun, busy week this week meeting some great people.
Hi folks! Can’t believe it’s been a week already, this one has gone by so fast I barely even noticed it! Last week I made a Pudsey Bear Swiss Roll for BBC Good Food’s Bake Sale. My recipe is available for just £2, with all money going to Children In Need. A few people have already sent me pictures on Twitter of their versions, which has been so nice to receive. I love it when people let me know they’ve made my recipes – it’s a real thrill. I think the recipe of mine that people have made the most since Bake Off has been my Pesto Pinwheel – not surprising really as it’s probably the thing I’ve made the most at home too – I’d really recommend it. I’m so glad that my Swiss Roll recipe has helped to raise money for such a good cause. Over £32m has been donated so far for Children In Need, which is amazing!
On Friday night, Martha and I went to BBC Broadcasting House to help two teams of kids ice cupcakes during the BBC London segments of Children In Need. I got to bring my wife Sarah and our eldest daughter, Wonder Woman (pictured with me above), who was very excited to meet Pudsey Bear. I am always so excited myself to get to go to Broadcasting House. It’s the place where nearly everything I watch and listen to is made. My typical daily routine is Radio 4 at work all day, then home to cook and eat dinner with BBC News, BBC London News and The One Show in the background on the telly, then the radio back on in the evening while I bake. All of that takes place at Broadcasting House. I’m such a news geek so it’s been brilliant meeting so many of my favourite presenters, including the lovely Wendy Hurrell (pictured above). It was such a good atmosphere and a lot of fun. I didn’t think this time last year that doing the conga with Tony Blackburn would just be a standard Friday night activity!!
A surprise this week was this lovely, personalised chopping board I got through the post. It was from a company called Wood You?, who I’ve since found out is run by 4 sixth form students – Rob, George, Vivek & Will – as part of the Young Enterprise scheme. I don’t know if Young Enterprise was around when I was young but it’s such a great idea and would have been so useful for me to learn more about business at school as I’m self-employed. I think the lads have got a great business model here – woodwork and food – two of my favourite things! Get your orders for Christmas presents in fast!
I’ve teamed up with the Chef & Brewer pub chain to launch their ‘Proof Is In The Pudding‘ competition. They’re looking for people to suggest their favourite (or new) pudding ideas and I’ll be helping them to judge the winner. The winner gets a Kitchen Aid mixer and their pudding will go on Chef & Brewer menus around the country next year. Send your entries in quick, as the closing date is Sunday 23 November 2014. My local Chef & Brewer pub is the Battle Axes in Elstree, which is right by Aldenham Country Park. We spend quite a lot of time at Aldenham (see picture above), either walking Leia around the lake or taking the kids to the farm there. One of the things I like most about where I live (Mill Hill) is that in half an hour I can be in central London but half an hour in the opposite direction and I’m in the countryside. Best of both worlds really.
Apart from baking, my absolute favourite hobby is fishing. I’m mainly a fly-fisherman but I also go sea-fishing a lot. Last summer, I booked a fishing trip with my Dad every weekend, assuming each week I’d be kicked off the Bake Off so I would have something to look forward to. As I made it all the way to the final, I missed out on my fishing trips and every sea fishing trip this autumn has been cancelled due to the weather. I finally got to go yesterday and it was ace! I only got about three hours sleep after Children In Need on Friday so I slept all the way in the car, assuming I was going sea-fishing off Hastings. It wasn’t until the end of the day when our boat came back in that I realised I was actually in Weymouth – doh! I caught a 20lb blonde ray (pictured above), which is currently in my Mum’s freezer as they need to be frozen before they can be skinned. I’ve been browsing the BBC Food website for what to do with it tomorrow and I’m pretty tempted by Rick Stein’s recipe as I think he’s probably my favourite chef.
I spent today at the BBC Good Food Show at Olympia. Before we had kids, Sarah and I used to go to so many food and home shows and expos so it was great to go together today – like old times. We met up with Martha again and had a really good day as we actually got to spend a bit more time visiting the different stands and exhibits, including the World Cheese Awards – mmmm! James Martin made some monkey bread in his food demo today, which I haven’t been able to stop thinking about since! I’m going to have to come up with a recipe of my own for it this week. I’m hoping to make it to the BBC Good Food Winter Show in Birmingham later this month too.
Even though it was a food show, I seem to have arrived home with more drink than food. We picked up some mead, some cassis, and some rhubarb liqueur so I’m pretty excited to find out how I can build a few puddings around them. I’ve already had my recipe notebook out scribbling down some ideas!
Anyway, another busy week ahead. No rest for the wicked. See you next week…!