The thing about living in paradise is…it’s freaking amazing.
We live really close to the beach, our house overlooks a beautiful river and we get parrots flying within milimetres of our deck. It’s really stunning and we are loving it here…if only we have some furniture already! But there is internet connection so I can’t grumble too much.
When we have furniture, I’ll be able to do some more blogging. At the moment, I have nothing.
No cake pans. No mixing spoons. No Kenwood (and that’s the saddest of them all, I’ll have you know!)
I’ve also taken up yoga…ok I went to one class. But I have the mat now and I’m sure I’ll get into it…when I have the time.
We have an extra room so I might be able to do some yoga there or on the deck. We’ve only been here a week so I’ll just have to see how it goes.
In the meantime, I thought I’d just post some photos of our new area. Y’know…just so you can all be extra jealous of our new home!
I have a confession to make.
I absolutely love lifestyle blogs. I browse them and favourite pages that I’m sure I’ll use in the future but never do. They’re my guilty pleasure and whenever I stumble upon a new blog that has some nifty ideas, I favourite it ASAP and revisit it again and again. It almost makes me angry when these people that I rely on for handy ideas don’t post anything new (I realise people have a life, but logic can suck it). I get obssessed and insist on visiting the blogs multiple times a day.
But don’t expect me to be nifty with the crafts myself. Oh no! I am as crafty as a piece of cork. I get glued to things and turn my hands black. It’s disgusting. However, owning my own bakery has allowed me to explore some crafty things to do.
So here are some ideas that have been life savers for me.
The Tin Can Cutlery Holder:
This was originally an idea from Essentials magazine. It’s worked so very well. My bakery has a quaint feel to it and these fit right in. I leave them as plain tin cans because kids would pull the paper off but at home it would go down a treat.
You can use patterned contact plastic, wrapping paper covered in clear contact plastic or you can use material glued to the metal. You could add names, or buttons or ribbon to make these unique. You could label them “spoons” etc if you want to group them all together for storage.
Personally I use empty condensed milk tins because of their shape and size but you could use whatever tins you like. Make sure that you use a pair of pliers to secure any sharp edges left over from opening the tin otherwise you could hurt yourself or others.
These are quite nice because you can be as creative as you like with them and you can get kids involved as a holiday activity if you like.
Your Own Candles:
Making your own candles does not take a whole class to learn to do.
You can buy wicks online or in craft shops and the wax is also readily available but you can use left over wax from old candles if you have it laying around. I don’t often burn candles but I like to have them as decoration and these make them yourself candles are brilliant because you can add any scent you like.
Personally, I pop the wax and wicks into a clean fish tin and cover it in wrapping paper or material to decorate. You could add some dye if you’re going for a special colour. However, if you have some old teacups or you’re good at thrifting and finding some, then you could use the teacups to pour the wax into. You can learn how to do that here. The picture is also courtesy of Cupcakes And Cashmere.
I think I’m going to start with some more crafty ideas and add to this blog series. We’ll see how it goes.
If you didn’t know, we’ve moved to New Zealand and we need to find a house! But as soon as we do, I can break out some arts and crafts and as soon as our container arrives, we’ll have all of our own stuff to work with.
I contemplated calling this blog post “All Good Things Must Come to an End” but I’m really not sure the good things have come to an end at all, so I will continue to just use the phrase “Good Things” until the words blend and don’t make sense anymore. Plan? Ok, let’s go people.
So we finally wrapped everything up in the UK.
My bakery closed it’s doors, our stuff was packed into three vans and then a 40ft container, we travelled to London to spend a few days in the capital and then we flew to Thailand. We have yet to make our final flight to New Zealand but even that is only a week away.
It was sad to see all my things disappearing into boxes and knowing it will be a month or two before I can give my favourite stuffed animal a cuddle or use my own duvet. But the hardest part was saying goodbye to my cat. His name was Cat…I’m sure he’s featured before, he was my offical taste-tester afterall. Hopefully he will be rehomed well and find someone to love him as much as we did.
So let’s skip over the awful flight where I was violently ill for 12 hours and move straight onto Thailand!
It really is beautiful here. We’ve done a day trip to James Bond Island and the floating village where a small monsoon hit. We were on a speedboat, it sucked to be us on that day. But the experience was totally worth it. We got to see where The Man With the Golden Gun was filmed without being harrassed by market vendors because they were all huddled under their stalls hoping the rain would pass. The market vendors are certainly not shy about showing you their wares and attempting to lure you into their shops.
Now I have a massive confession to make. You may gasp, you may cry out in protest and you may delete me from your RSS feed, but that’s ok because I’m totally comfortable and at ease with the situation.
I really don’t like Asian food.
The smell of the different frying oils gets to me, the noodles mock me from my plate and they confined me to my room for two days while my parents enjoyed the local markets and went swimming. NOT COOL.
So I haven’t taken many photos because I’ve been sticking to Western food as much as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in Thailand and the experience is something I will treasure forever, but I do not enjoy the food and it doesn’t like me much either. The only thing in Thailand that I would wrap up and take home with me is the banana pancake they sell on the streets. Vendors sell them everywhere, but the guy right outside our hotel is a genius at it.
It’s a thin, crispy pancake with a banana filling thats wrapped up like a parcel and you can have whatever you like spread on the top. It’s cut into small squares and you eat it with a cocktail stick. So far I’ve had a nutella, maple syrup and peanut butter pancake. I’ll definitely be going back for more too…and hopefully some photos.
I hope everyone is well!
There’s not a lot I get to do these days other than work my butt off in my bakery. So when we sold out of bread, scones and pastries yesterday afternoon, we got to go for a wonder. My mother worked near Charlestown for 3 years…she has never been to Charlestown. So it was obvious where we were going.
One of the parents at my mother’s school owns an ice cream shop there so we visited her. I don’t have a picture but my tongue was bluer than the ocean after my amazing bubblegum flavoured ice cream in a waffle cone. It was fantastic.
There was a ship coming into the harbour so we waited for a while…which meant it was picture time!
They also had the Orange Farm there which is a refurbished schoolbus that sells artisan bread and Cornish goods. I bought a sunflower and honey loaf…it wasn’t mind blowing but it was ok. It was £1.90 for about a 200g loaf.
So there you have it! Our day in Charlestown!
It was really good, especially because it was family time. Best part of the day.
Here in Cornwall we have clotted cream…it’s kind of a big deal. Rodda’s is the local clotted cream and it’s illegal to add Cornish to the name unless the clotted cream is produced here. That’s right, it’s on a par with champagne.
Cornwall is famous for it’s cream teas that consist of jam, clotted cream, scones, butter and a cup of tea.
There are arguments on how the word is pronounced and Devon and Cornwall have a rivalry when it comes to putting jam before the cream. Doesn’t matter because as long as the scones are tasty, the rest is all just semantics. I make this recipe in my bakery and the scones sell out super quick.
Maybe it’s the British pride that’s floating around at the moment with London 2012? Maybe it’s my amazing baking? Who knows?! Either way, these are a winner.
I also got a new cake stand which I absolutely love, btw. I like having the belljar dome. It’s really handy to have.
This recipe makes 8-10 scones:
450g Self Raising Flour
80g Caster Sugar
4 TBsp Whole Milk
1. Start off by whisking the flour and caster sugar together (easier than sifting by the way)
2. Rub the butter into the flour. The butter shouldn’t be too hard, it should be room temperature so that it’s easier to combine. You want a sandy consistency.
3. Whisk the egg and milk together in a jug and then add to the dry ingredients.
4. Stir your mixture with a knife and then finish off combining it all with you hands.
5. Roll the mixture out on a floured surface to around 1 1/2 inches.
6. Using a cutter, cut the scones into the shape you want. Press down hard on the cutter, DO NOT TWIST the cutter at all.
7. Bake at 220 degrees C for 10 – 15 minutes
I just have to say that the photos are all taken on my iPhone because sometimes it’s not all that practical to have large photographic equipment in the bakery…cameras normally come in black and that’s not a good plan when it comes to flour. Don’t believe me? Just have a look at ALL of the black clothing I own.
So pour yourself a nice cup of tea, pop some jam and cream on your scone and relax with some olympics on the TV.
The one thing I love the most is going out for dinner. I have always been a big fan of eating out. I like indoor dining, al fresco tables and even bar snacks. When I was at university, eating out was a ritual and we did it 3 or 4 times a week.
Since I moved home though, I don’t eat out as much. It’s difficult to find somewhere that we all enjoy what we order, don’t spend the earth and actually enjoy the evening.
A friend of mine has been harping on about The Bridge on Wool Pub for a long time.
I’m not a major fan of pub grub in all honesty, it’s the one cuisine I don’t indulge in often. But we thought we might as well give it a try. And I’m incredibly pleased that we did.
The interior of the pub is ok. Some of the walls have pretty paper on them, the chairs are well looked after and comfortable and the food was tasty.
The prices weren’t too bad either.
My father and I had a burger, his with cheese and bacon and mine just plain. There was loads of salad garnish on the burger and the patty was well cooked. The onion rings on top were a nice touch and the chips on the side were really tasty.
My mother had the chicken and bacon pasta bake and she absolutely loved it! And that’s rare.
My friend Linda had the BBQ chicken pizza…they put a salad in the middle. The crust was really nice and tasty, not bland like in some pubs. I would definitely recommend the pizza.
Overall I think it was a really good place to have dinner. The only thing you need to be aware of is that the menu is very limited. There are only a few options in the different categories such as pizza, pasta, burgers and sandwiches. But the options available are really good anyway.
If you ever visit Wadebridge, don’t forget to visit The Bridge On Wool Pub. It’s a must see!
The thing about the LTEC project is that it allows people to blog about cake without feeling guilty…that’s how The Free Range Kitchen puts it at least and I tend to agree whole heartedly.
This blog post made me smile, it made me drool and it made me a little jealous that I do not live close enough to visit Hans myself (I have enquired and apparently he does not deliver to the UK). I’ve picked out a few of my favourite things from this amazing post and have included them here but I suggest you read the full article as well.
“After carefully arranging our bakery box in the van, ensuring no pancake-ing would happen, we set off for home.We also decided that it would be a much better idea to skip supper completely and go straight for the project at hand. Essentially, we wanted cake- Thank you, Miss Minny!!!”
“ Every once and a while he has something different, this week he had strawberry cheesecake. Obviously, this was our new target.”
The pictures in this post do not belong to me. They are from The Free Range Kitchen’s blog post and they are epic.