With ear muffs, hats, gloves, scarves and several layers, I headed out to join the celebrations for Chinese New Year this Sunday in London’s Trafalgar Square and Chinatown.
After a couple of hours squeezing down colourful streets crammed with excited children bringing paper dragons to life and hungry grown-ups hunting out the best dim sum, I moved on to take in some of the dancing and music in Trafalgar Square.
As I’m sure you know, with moving house (and cities) comes great upheaval and chaos. For the last week or so, along with trying to expore this bewilderingly big and endlessly entertaining city, I have been pretty much in nesting mode for the last week. This has mainly involved a lot of squaring up furniture, trying to make our new flat cosy and organised, and discreetly pushing boxes of miscellaneous ‘stuff’ under the bed or to the back of very high cupboards. Out of sight, out of mind…
I was also desperate to get into my new kitchen and get baking, but was lacking a lot of ingredients and the determination to dig out most of my equipment. It was on this premise that I decided to go for cookies. I really forget sometimes just how much of a win-win bake they are.
I came home tonight and spotted a card from Royal Mail, who’d left a special delivery with a neighbour. I’ve already had all of my Christmas presents, so I had no idea what it could be.
I love a surprise, and this one was no exception. It turned out to be my very own limited edition printed copy of the Kerrygold Community Cookbook with my very own recipe and name printed in it!
Those of you who follow me on Twitter might know that I’ve got a very exciting and hectic few weeks ahead of me. I’ll be relocating from Bristol to London just before new year to start a brand new job fundraising for the Prince’s Trust – an amazing charity, and one I feel absolutely honoured to be joining.
If you caught my last post on the kindness of strangers, you may remember that – before a remarkable series of events took place – it was originally destined to be about custard tarts.
I just couldn’t not share these beauties with you.
The custard tart was one of the bakes on my Bake List – though I’ve probably already mentally added about 30 things and removed others by this stage. It’s something I’ve loved to eat since I was a little girl, but had never made myself.
When a colleague of mine was agonizing over what to get her partner for her anniversary this weekend, I offered to help her celebrate the occasion with a batch of homemade cupcakes. I did it partially so I would have the chance to try out my lovely little heart-shaped icing plungers, but mainly because I think homemade cakes are a wonderful way to show your love for someone close to you.
Like many of you, this weekend my kitchen contained a pumpkin. Unlike many of you, I felt mine was just too precious to carve, so I did what comes naturally to me. I turned it into CAKE. Cupcakes to be precise – gorgeously light, subtly spiced, gluten-free ones.