Sunday, 20 July 2008

Just to keep you updated...

Thankyou for all of your fabulous emails and comments, and your recipe suggestions. I have started to put them all into a 'Bloggers Recipe Folder' and they are going to be experimented with next week. It's so kind of you to send your own family recipes, I am incredibly touched by the sentiment. So far I have made Nancys recipe for Mars Bar Cakes. Rob is munching on it as I type. I fear we may be in the bad books with the dentist. It really is yummy stuff indeed. And cannot be wasted on children!

We have had another really busy at the Cafe, but are starting to see results now, whereas before everything just seemd like an enormous mess with paint tins scattered everywhere.

I have grouted the toilet floor, put up shelves and a newspaper rack, cleaned and scrubbed everything in sight and done lots of PR work (ie. gossiping outside with the locals)

The boys have painted, moved the safe (quite some feat, believe me) put up tiles, moved fridges, sanded walls, taken out wiring and pipework, laughed and taken the mickey out of me for 'shirking' my reponsibilities (they don't understand PR work, obviously).

The painting is nearly finished. The splashback is grouted and splashproof! (and I have the yucky fingernails to prove it) the doors and skirting boards are sage green. The glasses are washed and sparkling. The coffee machine is still foxing me! But I am getting better.

We have lovely cream walls, beautiful new lights and loads of enthusiasm. In fact the bags of enthusiasm I have almost match those under my eyes, in size.

I have even had time to partake of some 'experimental cafe cooking' and here is one attempt..herb bread. It's from a book by The National Trust called 'Traditional Teatime Recipes' that I bought on a recent shopping trip to Oxford with Nancy. It's the only thing I have made from the book so far, but it was a success. We had it for lunch today with (homemade!) Sweet Potato, Red Pepper and Lentil soup. Alas there is no recipe, I just made it up as I went, but the recipe for the bread is as follows...


8oz Self raising white or wholemeal flour (or a mix of half and half) sifted

1tsp dry English Mustard powder

2 tablespooons of fresh chopped herbs (chives, basil, thyme, sage etc.-from ones' herb garden!)

4oz grated mature cheddar cheese

25g (1oz) butter (melted)

1 egg, beaten (defeated, cannot take it any more...etc..)

150ml water (5 fl.oz)

Preheat the oven to 190 C, 375 F, gas mark 5. Grease a 1lb loaf tin.

Mix together the flour, mustard herbs and cheese.

Add the melted butter, egg and water and mix to a soft, wet cake like dough.

Turn into the tin and bake for 45 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold with butter. Or soup!

It is incredibly easy to make and really tasty. You can use any herbs you have to hand, and I used chives and basil, which made for a great combo.

So the week ahead holds more cooking, costing up recipes, finishing the writing of the menu (or the provisional menu, anyway) finishing the painting, sorting out the kitchen, finalising suppliers, chasing up the solicitors and meeting with the sign writers. As well as more tiling, cleaning the glass fronted fridge, cleaning the windows, cleaning, cleaning and possibly a bit more cleaning.

Did I mention the cleaning?

Have a great week



Kitty said...

For a bit of a break, you could always do some cleaning? :-p

It's looking lovely - I especially like the warmth of the cream you've chosen for the walls.

Can't wait to see all the cooking - how about producing a little book of Bloggers Recipes? I'd buy it!

Take care. x

Vintage Amethyst said...

OOohhh how exciting, lots of work being completed.
It is looking fab and don't underestimate the power of gossiping, I mean PR! Tee hee!
All the recipes sound lovely and I absolutely love herb bread although I do tend to just make mine up as I go along (well I do this with most recipes) so I will definately have to try this recipe.
Good luck with the rest of the cleaning.
Love Alison x

Jane W said...

Cafe is looking lovely and fresh. I've save the recipe - it looks delicious. I have a week at home next week and intend to do loads of baking ("intend" is the word, as I often find other things take over!)

Vintage Amethyst said...

Oh I forgot to say I love the new look blog too!
ta ta

Ragged Roses said...

Wow what a difference Anna, the cafe is looking great, so fresh and inviting. Never let your boys underestimate the power of good PR and in case they think you're shirking, show them those fingernails of yours! Seriously though, I really admire you for all your hard work and enthusiasm, onwards and upwards, Take care

driftwood said...

looking great Anna, and the herb bread sounds scrummy, as does Nancy's mars bar cake (recipe please?)
hope all the cleaning goes well, what is the official opening date?

Miss sew n sew said...

I love your enthusiasm am I right in thinking your really enjoying this? Your list of endless jobs has left me exausted just reading it but oh how exciting it must be! The cafe is looking great what a transformation from those first pics. I have recently planted a old wash tub full of herbs at the kitchen door and was wondering what to do with it all, now I know your herb bread!
Hope you have a productive and happy week

Cowboys and Custard said...

What are you doing blogging girl... get back to the kitchen this minute!!

Great work Anna... don't run out of steam before opening day though.

Fancy some of that herb bread.. could you post me a slice?

Love and all..

mollycupcakes said...

Wow honey it's all coming together and looking fab.
The bread sounds so yummy I'll have to give that one ago.
So glad you got the recipe ok, I've been so busy over the last few days myself, sorry I haven't court up with you sweetie. Smack on my hand. I will email this week and check in with you for more fabulous news on yourself and the cafe.
Many hugs.
Catherine x

Tracy said...

Hi, Anna! It's looking great there...the cream color really makes a great difference! I am sooo excited for you with this new venture of yours. This herb bread is making me hungry--LOL! I have lots of recipes at my blog...stop by sometime for a look, am sure a sweets recipe or two will cheer! ;o) Good luck with all that fixing and cleaning :o) Happy Days ((HGUS))

Katherines Dream said...

It is looking grand Anna. I bet you are having such a good time - even though it is all hard work! it will be worth it. I will pop into see you in Aug...I hope that you will be open then!
Carol x

Sal said...

It all looks wonderful and the bread looks fantastic too ;-)

Vintage to Victorian said...

Hi Anna

Just found your blog from your comment on Michele's re the Vintage and Handmade Fair. Look forward to meeting you if you get to it.

Congratulations on your new challenge. It looks as if you've achieved loads already. Well done!


Hazel Designs said...

Looking good, Anna! How exciting!