I can’t believe we’re nearly a quarter of the way through the year but this week I’ve managed to catch-up with a bit of normality and spend some much needed quality time with the kids. I’m pretty lucky that my hobbies are things they can get involved in and that they’re both enthusiastic about them, so we tried to make the most of it!
One of my birthday presents this year was a subscription to BBC Good Food magazine, and April’s edition dropped through the front door this weekend. I think it hits the shops at the start of April, but it features a few recipes I put together – mini pizzas, cranberry and orange hot cross buns, jammy dodger flowers – that are easy to cook with the kids. We shot this feature earlier in the year and my girls absolutely loved it. We cook together a lot so they really got into this shoot and were totally over the moon to see themselves in the magazine yesterday. Our eldest daughter particularly couldn’t believe it and can’t wait to bring the mag into school. It topped off a brilliant week for her, as she got her green belt in karate and went on her first Rainbow camp too (I’m pretty proud). I also went along to her school on Thursday this week to judge a cake competition so it’s really fun getting to do things like that for her and the school. The photos from the Good Food shoot are probably the nicest pictures we’ve ever had of the girls together so I’m hoping to get some copies to frame from the photographer, David Munns.
Last year, I really neglected my vegetable garden as I spent most of the spring and summer filming Bake Off. This year, I’m determined to get it back to its best. I stumbled upon a website called Jungle Seeds this week and went a bit bonkers buying different veggies. I sat down with my kids to browse the site and they got so excited by the idea of purple carrots, pink celery, yellow cauliflower, red sweetcorn, black tomatoes and white pumpkins that we impulse bought a whole load of seeds. I’m already full of ideas for recipes to use them in to make the most of the crazy colours.
The seeds arrived pretty quickly so we’ve been busy in the vegetable patch, getting rid of brambles and turning over the soil. We’ve also been trying to clear up the garden, as I’m a bit guilty of using it as storage for all my building gear. We’ve got a whole load of seed trays so the girls are looking forward to planting their multi-coloured vegetables. I’ll probably give each of them a few to be responsible for and see how we get along. I’ve also got some cress seeds as the kids can get a bit impatient planting seeds and cress will give them something a bit faster-growing to focus on.
I’m still really taken aback by the number of people who have been making my recipes. My Mother’s Day cake went down pretty well but I also received loads of pictures of people’s soda breads this week. The picture above was sent to me by Chris Terry, the photographer on my book (B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself) who’d made my biscotti recipe (from B.I.Y.) with his kids for Mother’s Day. I can’t wait to see which of the recipes from the book are the ones people get most excited about making themselves. We were sorting out my paperwork for the book this week and from the food receipts, we worked out I’d gone through the following during the book shoot:
- Over 130 large eggs
- Over 7 litres of double cream
- Over 7 kilos of unsalted butter
- Over 12 kilos of strong white bread flour
- Over 10 kilos of plain flour
- Over 8 kilos of caster sugar
- Over 1.5 kilos of dark chocolate
I never claimed it was a diet book!!
I’ve been back at work on site this week but that hasn’t kept me away from baking for too long. I got a fantastic gift from Nordicware this week (above) so I can’t wait to give it a go later. Rather dangerously/cleverly, they also enclosed the catalogue…! All these things I didn’t realise I wanted! I’ve also got a few recipe ideas in mind for Easter that I might post next week so keep an eye on the blog. Anyway, we’re off to get our big girl from Rainbow camp so I’ll see you next week.