Sunday, 23 November 2014

Buche de Noel- chocolate log to you and me...

I know it's Stir Up Sunday but as the only one in the house who likes Christmas pudding, the tradition has never quite taken off here. Not one to be deterred though, I was determined to bake something today that got us preparing forthe coming season. Inspired by our walk through Dalby Forest yesterday,  the minis and me opted for a chocolate log...

We went for the Buche de Noel from Nigellas Christmas - although we agreed that it couldn't be a Christmas log yet - it is still November! 
A quick round up of the kitchen cupboards gave us everything we needed. The recipe calls for the eggs to be separated and the whites mixed like a meringue - we got a bit distracted and put them in whole at first - oops! Not ones to waste ingredients we worked them into a batch of brownies but that's a whole other post! After that mishap SG was on serious supervision watch - although she did ask why the recipe called for it to be mousey - when I explained 'moussey' she looked extremely relieved! 

The egg whites were whisked into peaks with sugar, the cocoa and egg yolks folded in and baked for 20 minutes. After cooling we turned it out onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and made a rich chocolate buttercream to spread all over before rolling up. SG got busy with the spatula and voila...
Le Buche...

notice how we're sticking with pine cones for now though!... resisting the urge to get festive just yet!

Friday, 21 November 2014

My new project...Field and Forage!

At last I can reveal my secret project - Field and Forage. theres been lots of planning and developing and meetings going on but finally I can share it!

About three years ago I met Charlotte, who like me is mad about delicious food, local and seasonal produce, be it from the harvest or the hedgerow. Unlike me, Charlotte has a beef herd that she and her lovely husband and children have been working hard to ensure is the best that it can be. Manor Farm Beef was born and they run a very successful beef business, not surprisingly as the beef they rear is delicious (apologies to my veggie and vegan friends!)

Char and her family produce biltong and for a quite a while now have been selling mouthwateringly amazing hot pulled beef sandwiches - that's where I come in...

together we are developing the catering business, catering events, private parties etc. I've been bursting to blog about the business in development but it didn't feel right to till now.

So many exciting things have been happening over the past few weeks - we've met with a brand and logo designer, we've launched on twitter, registered a web domain and facebook page - all getting ready to launch. We've met with an events company and...

we have our first event in the diary!

Driffield Christmas lights switch on (4-8pm) 4th December, will see Field and Forage on their first official outing. We have some promo materials to hand out on the night but our official logo and materials won't be unveiled till just before Christmas.

You can follow our progress on twitter as Field and Forage and I can write about our adventures here now too - my secret love's no secret any more!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Dad's Army bring Hollywood to Yorkshire...

So this week we all got to use the best excuse ever for being the filming of the Dad's Army movie has taken over our local town. The old town in Bridlington is a beautiful old street where the shops and houses have all retained their original character and so it has made the perfect choice for recreating Walmington on Sea!

 Catherine Zeta Jones, Bill Nighy, Jaime Winstone, Bill Patterson, Sarah Lancashire - the list of actors spotted around town goes on and on - every local Ive spoken to has a story to tell of who they've bumped into or whose been staying at their hotel -there's a great buzz and its lovely to see Bridlington getting attention for all the right reasons.

On Saturday they filmed a big parade and crowds turned out to watch - my mum was on hospital duty and had to pick up from the pharmacy in the middle of the street so whe was ushered beyond the tape and suddenly realised the parade was marching towards her - she was quickly directed inside before panic totally set in!

A Facebook campaign called Bridlington Dads Army has been started to keep some of the storefronts the same after filming is finished - I hope they do as it would make a great tourist attraction. Page Dads Army is such a classic - even my seven year old  has been known to shout 'Don't tell them your name Pike! I think they ll be there for a bit longer so its definitely worth a visit for fans of the show  - You never know Jonesy the butcher might even be there to greet you!


Monday, 10 November 2014

Taking Stock - November...

Today I'm taking inspiration from one of my favourite bloggers - the fabulous Pip Lincolne at meet me at mikes - every month she writes a list called Taking Stock - I think she's putting it in her book too. I like it because it gives a snapshot of what's going on, how she's feeling and what inspires her but also because doing its just a really nice way of focussing on the things that we enjoy and that make us smile...

this is how it goes

this November I am

Making: my hitchikers scarf and two superhero capes for Friday's Children in Need Day
Cooking: Jerusalem Artichokes any which way we can
Drinking: coffee - too much and yet never enough
Reading: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chinamanda NGozi Adichie
Wanting: to finish the hallway decoration already.
Looking: at autumn leaves and berries - relishing the last bursts of colour
Playing: David Sedaris Audio books - laughing my way through SAD
Wishing: autumnal cinnamon bakes were fat free
Enjoying: the kids new found rapping skills
Loving: my new project - I cant wait to share it
Smelling: the last of my Jo Malone Red Roses - Do you hear that Santa?
Wearing: black skinny jeans that I can fit into again - hurray
Anticipating: Christmas party nights out - bring on the bling
Buying: as little as possible other than Christmas gifts
Disliking: mud being trailed into the house
Eating:bananas - im like a minion for bananas right now
Planting: as many tulip and allium bulbs as time will allow - roll on Spring
marvelling; at how cool my girl is, how unfazed she is by her school assessment day
wondering: if i'll ever be organised in time for Christmas
feeling: happy

How is your November going?
Hope its a good one x


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Invasion of the Artichokes...

Spot what's wrong with this picture - okay don't dwell too long on the weeds or the wobbly paths...Spot the great big clump of Jerusalem Artichokes that some Doofus (namely me) planted in the wrong place, right at the front of the plot! I didn't believe they would grown to two metres - I laughed at the idea they would take over, and now I admit it...I was wrong - so very wrong! My mission this Autumn is to dig them all out and re site them - do I think Ill succeed? Not likely!
But the first dig started today and to paraphrase Miss Celie from The Color Purple - 'they sure is ugly'! the kids think they look like Grubs or great big maggots - lovely!
I'd usually hide them in a soup but as we're sworn off butter and cream and all things that make artichoke soup lovely another way had to be found. I can't overwhelm the house menu with them as their nickname 'fartichokes' is well deserved, so we're going for little and often and thoroughly well cooked.
Tonight we had them mashed, seasoned and stacked with baby vegetables. Delicious and as far as the side effects far, so good!