I do a lot of food demos all over the country but one this week got me thinking much more than usual and sparked off a bit of an early spring clean for me.
So according to Twitter, today is Yorkshire Pudding Day. To be honest, I’d be happy with Yorkshire Pudding Day being every Sunday as I find myself looking forward to a Sunday roast all week. Today we had friends round for a huge leg of lamb from our local butchers, which is going to do for tomorrow and Tuesday night’s dinners as well. If you’re ever stuck for what to do with your leftovers, don’t forget to check out the Love Food Hate Waste website ideas here.
It was our friend’s birthday so I made one of my simplest cakes this morning – the lemon and poppyseed cake (his favourite – pictured above) from my book, B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself. I noticed that my book is down to only £8.94 on Amazon at the moment so catch it before the price goes back up. It’s a great Valentine’s Day gift as you give my book and in return, your loved one becomes amazing at baking so you get cake back! I still cook from my book all the time. Saturday night was pizza night in our house so I made the recipe from my book. I had a go on the new Cadac pizza stone I got last weekend and they turned out perfectly – really crisp – I’d recommend getting one if you make a lot of pizzas.
This week I earned tons of son-in-law brownie points by going up to Suffolk for the evening to do a demo and book signing for my mother-in-law (pictured with me above), Fran’s, W.I. group. They’d opened the event up to non-members so there was a big turn out and Fran had also asked me to put together a PowerPoint for the demo. Now there’s not much call for PowerPoint presentations in my usual line of work so I wasn’t quite sure what to show, but my wife Sarah made me a photo slide show of everything I’d done since applying to be on the Great British Bake Off three years ago until now. It gave us a real chance to step back and take it all in, and it gave the people at my demo lots of opportunities to ask questions and find out more about my experiences.
When I applied to be on the Bake Off three years ago, I was pretty shy. One of the things I’m most grateful for is that it’s given me much more confidence and I don’t think there are many other experiences that would throw you in at the deep end so much. I’ve been so lucky to have undertaken so many extracurricular, interesting things when I still mainly work in my day job as a builder. Going through the photos of the past three years, it really hit home how much I’ve done (and why I’m always so knackered too!) I’m so glad I’ve written the blog each week as my weekly prattling-on has been like a diary and it will be great to share it with our kids one day.
Prompted by this week’s baking demo and the many enquiries I got from attendees at the event about what else I can do, I decided to give my website a bit of a revamp yesterday. I’ve added a whole new section under ‘What I Do’, that showcases all of my different experiences and how you can get in touch with me about them. With over 200 blog posts on my website since I launched it, my recipe section had got a little bit hard to navigate so I’ve also edited all of that, with subsections for cakes, breads, sweet bakes and savoury food. It’s been interesting watching my website statistics since I made these changes, as people seem to be more interested in my building work than anything else apart from cakes! I suppose when you’re known for being a builder who makes cakes, this is inevitable, but I’m actually really glad to see so much interest in my day job. Coupled with the D.I.Y. feedback I’ve had over the past few weeks, this is an area I can give more attention to in 2017.
Next on my spring cleaning list is to edit my Pinterest account, as now that I have all my recipes in one place on my website, I can upload them all to Pinterest. I’ve changed my Pinterest handle to @richardpburr to match my Twitter and Instagram and make it easier for people to find me so follow me and I promise I’ll keep it in good nick! I’d really welcome any feedback on the changes I’ve made to my website so let me know what you’d like to see more or less of. Until next week, Happy Baking!