Here we go again

Well hello there my salty sea chums, how are we all, how have you all been keeping this long while? I do hope we’re all fine & ready to get on with some fine adventures & thoroughly wholesome tales of life as a Sailor’s Mum. There are many tales to tell & much advice to impart whilst accompanied by copious amounts of tea or indeed cocktails, whilst passing around the gingerbread & cake as freely as rum on Her Majesty’s Flagship. I was going to say something like as free as a harlot blar blar blarblar but it was deemed most inappropriate, funny but inappropriate by my editor  going by the title of Sailor’s Aunt, so we’ll just leave it at that.  (gluten free on request)

Many adventures have indeed happened since last we spoke. Far too many to account in detail – it would bored you senseless, & if I’m honest they do blur a little. However, there are some magnificent highlights, dos & spectacular don’ts & even if so say so myself some rather nice vistas to share.

And I thought as it’s been over a year since I last shared my in-depth knowledge of being me & my epic foray into all that that currently entails we’d do this hello, hello – wakeywakey & then straight into an synopsis of summer just gone & the beginnings of autumn, baking morsels to keep us going, pictures of interest to keep us awake, tea & pink gin as appropriate & potentially some rather dashing ginger liquor I’ve just acquired – if I’m feeling generous of course, I rarely share chocolate so don’t hold your breath.

Right that’s done, publish & on with the first proper post, no pressure. 

(photos : Souths Shields)



From Wednesday evening 8th November 2017

I’m making Parkin. It reality I should at this point be finishing the last crumbs of some  Parkin I made earlier rather just getting round to it now but beggars can’t be chooser, so here we are. Bit of a spur of the moment thing, I really should be making tea, we’ll be having beans on toast now instead of toad in the hole, I really haven’t thought this through…

You can tell by the way I’ve gone about it too. No military operation, no careful & organised collection of ingredients & equipment, each put in their proper place, it’s utter chaos, (well it is for me). There’s stuff everywhere & I’m not even wearing an apron. I will have nightmares about this for days… Or rather my OCD will.

And I’ve actually chosen a recipe & completely & utterly stuck to it. No deviations, no adaptions, no little tweaks as I go along. An unheard of occurrence, I NEVER do that – ever!!! I always change recipes, always. There’s definitely something in the air…. I may need a lie down…. Mind you, it does come from a rather excellent recipe book (Cakes – Regional & Tradional) so I am hopeful. Julie Duff is the author & if you want a fount of all knowledge when it comes the traditions of British cake baking then she is the lady in the know. So let’s hope she knows. I’m sure she does.

It also turns out the 7″ square tin I bought some years ago & have never used is actually 9″… It’s obviously been an invaluable buy. Thank goodness for that awkward but equally useful square multi pan thing from Alan Silverwood, now that was an excellent investment.  Unlike the 9″ tin, one for eBay perhaps.

It’s beginning to smell rather delicious with its spicy autumnal overtones, the very definition of devine especially at this time of year. Nothing is more lovely that warm cosy mugs of deeply rich hot chocolate & decadent spicy morsels, warming your insides, calming the soul & filling your entire self with happiness. Unless of course you can’t stand ginger or cinnamon or worse still, are allergic…  So sad but then all the more me.

Twenty minutes to go & then a week under wraps, Parkin is a torturous cake. Tempting you with its promises of sticky gorgeousness but waiting is worth it, if it’s made right. Let’s hope so.

It’s a fairly Northern cake you know, Celtic in origin & called Thor, Tharf or Thar cake which I really rather like. Makes it sound all the more delicious  & possibly a super food in its own right I shouldn’t wonder.  Just as well its traditionally only eaten on Bonfire Night, we’d all be superhuman which really wouldn’t do.

Ten minutes to go, I’d best clear up the mess. Everything back where it belongs, all filed neatly in its place, pots & pans in dishwasher for a good scrub, treacle gets everywhere. I really should’ve worn an apron..

Beep beep beep! Done. It’s out! Well I don’t know about you but that looks OK to me, not bad at all. Of course the proof is in the tasting & so we wait… Although I’m really not sure I can.

Happy New Year!

imageWell that’s it, 2015 is almost over, 2016 beckons…

Apparently this last year has been one of warmest on record, December certainly has been very warm, one small hint of my beloved snow & I wasn’t even here to see it happen, oh the irony! It’s exceptionally windy & tipping down with rain as I write this, & warm, feels more like September than the end of the year… It’s not normal!!!!

Anyways, I’m still hopeful for some snow, persitant stuff, at least a foot deep, I’m not interested in a paltry dusting you understand, it lacks effort in my opinion. You can’t knock the effort this wind & rain is making though can you , it’s definitely caught our attention. Anyways, enough of the weather, on to cake things & gingerbread, & baked treats that sazzle your senses & tickle those tastebuds & well, other things!

2015 has been extradinarily quiet for me to be honest, I have genuinely only made one batch of cupcakes in the  whole year, can you believe it, I’ve been taking the imposed rest & recuperation quite seriously & I’m pleased to say, tentatively that things are looking up. I’m looking forward to 2016 with a degree of optimism, nothing is definite but I have everything crossed for a return to baking for you all at some point in 2016, now wouldn’t that be nice!  Nothing is certain these days of course but a positive outlook is always good to have!

2016 holds so many things to look forward to, plenty of Treacle Markets, the great & wonderful Barnaby Festival of course, brilliant new independent shops opening, visits to the countryside, snow, sunshine, lazy hazy summer days, first blossom, cake, apples, rhubarb, strawberries, the buzzing of happy bees , profiteroles, gingerbread buttons – lots to look forward to – I can’t wait!

I’ve come to realise over this last year though, that the love, understanding, patience, care, resilience & steadfastness, of those who I hold close in my life are the most cherished treasures a girl could ever wish for, well that & chocolate, & sparkly glass cake plates & gingerbread of course, it’s all about balance!

So I wish you, on the cusp of the New Year – Health, Wealth & Happiness, may your deepest wishes come true, may your resolution be rewarded, may positivity fill your world, may your hard work ,determination & resilience reap what you sow & always, always love & be loved & eat cake!!

Happy New Year Dearest All, see you next year!

Anyone for a Wimbly Womble!
Anyone for a Wimbly Womble!