I’m away for the bank holiday weekend enjoying some down-time with the family but there’s still time to wish you all a very Happy Easter.
If your household is anything like ours at the moment, you’re probably slumped on the sofa in a chocolate coma! Since the kids were born, we’ve spent every Easter with my in-laws so this year we’re up in Lavenham in Suffolk staying with my mother-in-law Fran at her new place. The kids have had loads of fun making Easter bonnets this week and having endless egg-hunts. Fran’s dad is also visiting so the kids have had a brilliant time hanging out with their Great-Grandad Joe all weekend too. Joe’s a bit of a celebrity in his own right, having featured in much of the D-Day 70 commemorations and he’s been invited to the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations this year too. He was a cook in the army and his parents used to own an Italian cafe in London for about 30 years from the 1920s onwards so he knows his stuff when it comes to food. He and I have been in charge of catering today and did a cracking roast lamb. I’m looking forward to making lamb koftas with the leftovers tomorrow.
My Simnel cake (pictured above) didn’t last until Easter Sunday – we polished it off as soon as I brought it up on Good Friday! The recipe for this is in my book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself and it’s very simple to follow. A year has passed since I last made it, but I’m reminded that I really shouldn’t just wait until Easter for this one – it’s off the hook! Simnel cake is lighter than a traditional fruit cake and baked with a layer of marzipan inside. This cake is definitely one to get in the good books with if you’re visiting friends or family over the Easter break. I’m not religious but the origins of Simnel cakes are, which you can read about here.
Lavenham is a lovely part of the world to visit and often called England’s finest medieval village. It was used as the backdrop for ‘Godric’s Hollow’ (where Harry Potter was born) in the Harry Potter films. We spent yesterday doing a treasure hunt around the village, including outside Harry Potter’s house in the picture at the top of this post. My mother-in-law (pictured with me above) volunteers at the medieval Guildhall so the kids got to do another treasure hunt for Easter eggs there this afternoon. If you’re ever visiting East Anglia, try and stop off here for a visit and drop in at Kentwell Hall too.
If you’re still in the mood for some Easter baking, my cranberry and orange Hot Cross Bun recipe is on the BBC Good Food website here and they’re really easy. I like to toast them with cheese myself, but appreciate that’s an acquired taste! We’re off to Wiltshire and Wales for the Easter Holidays next week, including a return visit to Caerphilly Castle for their Great Medieval Bake Off on 5 April. Come along if you’re in the area – it’ll be a right laugh. Until then, enjoy the Bank Holiday however you’re spending it and I’ll see you next week. Happy Baking!