Saturday, 11 April 2009

Happy Easter

This is what happens to cute easter chicks when they spend too much time sat at the cake counter....
And this is our new tablecloth fabric. Very summery and pretty, I thought.

It's been a big hit with the customers and has made the inside of the cafe feel all bright and cheery.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Yet More Cake!

At the risk of turning into a cake making bore, check out these bad boys! These have been created from my new purchase, Rachel Allens BAKE book. If you are a baking goddess then I insist you buy it now, as it is bloomin marvellous, yes it is!
So first up to tantalise you taste buds, we have the delectable Mocha Cake. Oh yes, she is smothered in espresso icing with a touch of chocolate for good measure, and sandwiched together with more of the same. Finished off with a sprinkling of shaved Green and Blacks dark chocolate this is one sophisticated loaf!!

Secondly, Blue Poppy Seed cake with vanilla icing. Not, I would imagine, everyones cup of tea, but it was certainly popular this afternoon. I have a poppy seed cake recipe from Cowboys and Custard that I much prefer, but you have to try these things, don't you? The icing is a touch sickly, so only a small slice is needed at a time.
It also goes particularly well with a lovely cuppa! (although truth be told what I could really do with right now is a LARGE glass of white wine...but tea will have to do, Saturday night is Alcohol night!)

I have finally decided to sign myself up for a sewing course. At last! I now have the sewing machine, the book for beginners, the pile of squares ready for my first ever patchwork quilt, and enthusiasm by the drawstring laundry bag load. But I don't -have-a-clue. Nope, not one. So the lovely Victoria (my new friend who I have plied with tea and soup this week!) and I are off back to college. Hurrah! I am most excited.

This is the sight that greeted us when we finally managed a trip to the allotment last week-a host of golden daffodils. Our plot stood out from far far away due to the abundance of bulbs that Dad put in. The Sweet Williams are coming, as are the irises. The kiwi is spreading across the shed and the rhubarb! Remember when I used to make jam and marmalade? Remember when I used to make things in my very own kitchen, in my own home?! Well I decided to go mad and make some Rhubarb Orange Lemon and Grapefruit Marmalade. It was a recipe I spotted in The Times, called Dalemain Marmalade, after a National Trust place, I believe, in the Lake District. They hold an annual jam and marmalade festival, and the one I made is one of the specialities. It is truly fabulous, and if anyone would like the recipe then do let me know!!
Staying on the subject of Domestic arts, I was given a marvelous present this week from a very special lady. We had a lovely lady called Mary who used to come into the cafe most days for her lunch and we always had a chat and a giggle. For an 80 year old she had a wicked sense of humour and always have me in stitches. I got to know her, and her fabulous sister Gracie really well over the past few months since we opened. Mary sadly died quite quickly a couple of weeks ago now, and Gracie travelled down from her home in Scotland to sort out the funeral and other bits and pieces. She popped in most days to see us and have a cuppa and some lunch. I heard lots of stories about her and Mary when they were younger, and it was lovely to spend time with her. Before she caught her train home Gracie came in to see me with something she thought I might like that belonged to Mary. A very old, very well used (and therefore all the better, in my view) copy of Good Housekeeping's Home Encyclopedia. What a wondeful present. I clutched it (and Gracie!) to my chest and shed a tear or two. It will be so well loved and cherished, and also used! I thought I would show you one of the pictures from it that made me smile..but then Blogger went stupid on me and wouldn't allow me to insert the pictures where I wanted to. Has anyone else had this problem with them? Usually I can move pictures around the page easily by clicking and dragging, but have really struggled with this post for days now. Any helpful suggestions would be gratefully received!
In the meantime, Mary, I miss you massively, but am sure that you are looking down on us from a very lovely place with a ciggie in one hand and a pint in the other. Here's to you, lovely lady, I am delighted to have known you X