Curveballs…


As life throws you curveballs every now & again, adjustments in that life are inevitable. Life goes on but in different directions, not always how you envision.  
But there are always silver lining, little rays of sunshine, new opportunities, new skills explored. For me, cake & baking was my world & now it’s not. It’s ok, I miss my stall at Treacle Market, I miss making luscious cupcakes & gingerbread for Plums Kitchen, but it’s ok. Life goes on, new adventures, new opportunities, new perspective.  

I miss tempting you all with the treats I made, of the kitchen messes & disasters, of stuff. I like writing about stuff & I LOVE taking photos of things, so I’m going to bring it here, share with you the things I like, things I think you’ll find interesting, stuff that’s useful – or not! Gardens, flowers, cake, pie, absolutely no cat videos under any circumstances, & cake. Maybe chocolate, for medical reasons & the odd obscure brew, & sailing or the view I get of sailing which if I’m honest isn’t as much fun as you’d think, but it’s gets you out & about. 

So new adventure…… With cake…. Anyone up for that??


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Weymouth revisited


Here again. It feels very like our third home at moment. Home obviously being 1st, Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club at Pennington Flash being a high 2nd. Premier Inns are blurring into the same room…

Source: Weymouth revisited

A Tale of Weymouth revisited


Here again. It feels very much like our third home at moment. Home obviously being 1st, Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club at Pennington Flash being a high 2nd. Premier Inns are blurring into the same room as are Premier breakfasts… And we’re only in February. Time to jump ship now if we should have commitment issues I would’ve thought.  

Soldier on.

First laser Worlds/European Qualifiers of the year. First of the 3 Spring events.

Rigged & ready. Small but heated discussion regarding suitable layering, it’s still February despite the mild weather. But what do I know…

Off they go.

This is our 2nd visit to Weymouth so far this year & the weather has been really very good! Brilliant blue skies, warm winds, well not so much wind actually what with all boats being towed back after racing finishes at the setting of the sun. Quite dramatic to watch & most definitely not the time to forget how to be towed. Bets with other parents who’s youf would be last off the water. I’m not being smug or anything. 

Credit: Ben Nichols

Good days sailing, huge numbers of Black flags though crossing the line early, only 2 races done.  New kit holding up well, not so much smelly kit to dry in the Dri Buddi which was nice. Now a Dri Buddi is a sailors best friend according to some.  It’s the difference between cold wet miserable layers & wet suite to wear the next day or the delights of putting on dry, warm kit (if you’ve timed it right), which is quite the attractive thing I’m sure. Others would say not, could shorten the life the kit. Having invested in one, think we’ll stick with it, if nothing else, it’s great for heating the garage.

Day two

Feeling distinctly disinclined to have another Premier Breakfast, still feeling full from the Pizza the night before (health kick starts Monday). As far as hotel breakfasts are concerned they’re not bad really. Plenty of things on offer & on the whole consistent, although the best bacon was at the one in South Shields. Iplenty of pancakes & chocolate spread which apparently makes the world go round. I don’t think we’ve come near to eating a pennies worth yet though even with childer who eat for free,  next visit we’ll be seeing if filling a food thermos with beans to take on the water is fair game or not. I’ll keep you posted! 

All packed,  early dart, ready for 3 more races.

It’s fairly boring 

Tales of Begin again…


 

img_3255Here we are then, 2017 has arrived, it’s cold, the wind has blown away, & there’s no snow yet but the next 48 hours could be critical. So far this year I’ve up racked 5 days on Sailing Mum duty,  & that’s just the start. I’ve earned at least a million brownie points already I’m sure. I really do need to find out the exchange rate, I’ve got my eye on some lovely new dr martens. 

The planning & plotting for the year ahead has begun & I admit I’m finding it quite daunting & kind of consuming. There’s talk of passports… I’ve also got to March & I’m still looking for a free weekend! What are we doing!!!!?!!!!

Well in layman’s terms, what we’re doing is providing a logistics & catering division to the sailor in the family. Aswell as the usual counselling service, arbitration, editor of travelling notes, laundry manager (damp smelly kit, I might’ve mentione that before)), locator of lost stuff (including but exclusively hot socks, towels, boots, cars, ipods, food, coats, gloves, people, marbles & hotels)…  snack manager (including controller & distributor of winegums), negotiator, networker, information gather, part time rigger, even more part time de rigger & Much more I’m sure…

Needs must.

This week, I’ve been doing some of the  logistics management, ie nominated driver. It’s not a task I usually do but as always needs must. Thankfully no towing was involved which really is just as well when there was a sudden smell of burnt treacle which was quite alarming, I’m sure it’s nothing… Something about coolant. Made it home safe, yeah it’s probably nothing…

As for the driving…

Is it just me who finds driving at best a chore, at worst a nightmare? Is it just me finds the roads a greasing quagmire of impatience & intolerance, not to mention total & utter stupidity?? Just to clarify this is not me, I am of course an exemplary driver but I’d say at least 60% of other drivers? Oh ok, I’ve no real idea exactly how many but it’s ALOT!!!

I have a number of favourite idiots road users. There’s the ‘Blinders’ – travel round at tonight with their main beam on with regardless of where they are. Behind you (I think the most annoying), on the other side of a central reservation (I can still see you, you monstrous buffoon!), the ones who have politely turned them off when you’ve come into view but whack them back in just as they go past…. Idiots… All idiots….

Then there are the Tail-Gaters. Needs no real explanation do they? We’ve all seen them, driving so close they could apply make up the rear view mirror in the car in front.  I just don’t understand why they do it, maybe it’s a love thing, an attraction to the driver infront, they simply must be as close as possible. Maybe they have separation anxiety, who knows, either way they really learn that size is everything – leave some room for goodness sake!!!!

My current absolute favourites are ‘Roundabout Jackers’. There are two types, both are to found causing mayhem on double lane roundabouts, oblivious of they’re lack of judgement & stupidity. actually now I think about there are more…. What is with roundabouts!!!! 

Pause…

Time has passed, more days racked up, more trips ups the M6, snow has fallen – falling, it’s chuffing freezing, and I’m sat inside the club house with a hot cup of tea. All thoughts of imbisillic drivers have been purged from my thoughts, self preservation & all that. And if I don’t finish this sometimes soon it will never get finished.

Currently in awe all the none ‘fair weather sailors’ freezing their various bits off, out in sub zero temperatures & slow wind conditions,  they all deserve medals. Obviously when the childer returns, full of cold limbs & extremties & harsh words, I will expect a medal for keeping oneself calm & composed despite the torrent & barage heading my way. In the meantime, I shall enjoy my cuppa for one more race, watching the boats drift by, checking the detailed plan for our next big adventure, & how many layers I can get away with before I look like a flump. The joys of a Sailors Mum…. 
 

So Long GBBO, Thanks for the Memories


I’m genuinely sad The Great British Bake Off has finished now. It does irritate me sometimes & I don’t think I’m alone in that, but at the end of the day there’s a prolific love of baking oozing from this programme, which I personally love. You can’t beat a lovely well executed home made Victoria Sponge with or without buttercream, so much better than supermarket bought.

I think though it’s left the BBC on such a high, inspiring us all to bake more, bake better & be creative, which I think is a fabulous legacy!

This all sounds very final, & I know it’s not but without Mel, Mary & Sue, it’s just going to be a collapsed pavlova…

Perhaps it will be fine when it goes to Channel 4, it will definitely be different, no question there…. But it won’t be the same.

Let’s just wait & see what the BBC will bake up for us next. We all surely need new branded bakeware.

Well, enough sadness, I’ve a crate load of apples To bake into something! Apples pies, apple crumble, apple sauce, apple filling for apple pies & apple crumble. I may just need another freezer…

Waters New



I’ve not posted here since Christmas sadly. There’s been a lot less baking going on since then too unfortunately but I’ve been busy – sort of!

To document this new busyness I’ve started a new blog – Tales from a Sailors Mum just for fun like but you never know where words will take in my experience.

So please take a look, you may just be mildly amused! 

https://talesfromasailorsmum.wordpress.com/about/

❄️❄️❄️ Christmas Treacle Market Part 2 – The Finale!! ❄️❄️❄️


Christmas is Coming

As I write this I’m watching  Morcombe & Wise Christmas Special, kipper ties, wide lapels & Des O’Conner, oh & Angela Rippon now, its definite throw back to the 70’s, (not that I remember the 70’s of course, I’m purely guessing here you understand…) Either way, it definitely means Christmas is almost here! It’s very nearly almost time to hibernate & I really cannot wait!! But before all that (&  several more vintage Christmas Special of years gone by), there’s the very serious  business of the final, the very best till last, the amazing finale of the year, the last Treacle Market of 2014 & it’s going to be MAGNIFICENT!! It will be a perfect ending to a very busy year! So you’d best get out the trundles & trollies, bags & baskets, & fill your boots, you’re going to need it!

So if you’ve not been before & you’d like a heads up to Magnificent Stalls & local businesses (obviously I include myself in this list!) here’s a few of my absolute favourites!!

❄️ On Chestergate there’s the wonderful treasure trove that is Deja Vu! It’s a shop full to the brim with the curious, the gorgeous & the must haves, but hands off the cake plates – they’re ALL MINE!!! Mwhahahahaa!

❄️ Next is the wonderful Fudge Box to be found on Castle St, you’ll get the most amazing Cheshire fudge, the a tasty gift for Christmas!

❄️ The best Cafe by far is Plums Kitchen on the Market Place (opps the Library), the best food in Macclesfield in my honest opinion & they currently have the cutest Gingerbread House that ever was! (Ok, I admit to being utterly biased but it is cute don’t you think!!)Home Sweet Gingerbread Home

❄️ My lovely friend Doodle Lou is so very talented & she has a stall along with other very talented artists/designers, just out the entrance to the Grosvenor Centre, beautiful, quirky jewelry , cards & gifts!

There are so many more wonderful business I could go on all day & night & longer, but a few to look at anyways!

Right then.. CAKES!!!!!!

So Fairy Cakes & morsels are priced at £1.50 each or the special Treacle Market Box Price of 4 for £5.00, gingerbread priced individually.

FESTIVE FARE

St Clements Cake – Oranges & Lemons – lovely zesty sponge with

Cosy Spicy Apple & Cinnamon – Moist & Spicy sponge with delicate vanilla buttercream dusted with cinnamon & a Christmas shaped Gingerbread Biscuit!

 Orange, Chocolate & Cinnamon – The King of the Christmas Menu, Zesty, aromatic & utterly Wonderful!

Mince Pie Cake – Warm & spicy Mulled spice & Mincemeat Christmasy Sponge – Christmas Perfection!

Vanilla & Nutmeg – subtly Spiced & slightly exotic – delicately flavoured buttercream – topped with perfect Gingerbread biscuit!

Christmas Trees – Decadent Chocolate Sponge with perfectly poised Christmas Tree Buttercream & Sparkly Sprinkles! (Natural food colouring)

GLUTEN FREE FAIRY CAKES

Gluten Free Simples – Wonderfully Moist Chocolate Sponge with voluptuous Vanilla Buttercream – Gluten Free Perfection!

Double Trouble – Divinely moist Chocolate Sponge with rich chocolate buttercream with a top of sprinkles & chocolate stuff!

Doodle Lou’s Victorious Sponge – layers of gorgeously light Victoria sponge & raspberry jam, Vanilla buttercream & dusted with golden caster sugar! NEW!!!

FAIRY CAKES

Karl’s Crazy Caramel – Delicious rich Caramel Sponge with home made caramel buttercream, with drizzles of dark chocolate & caramel

Silly Vanilly – Simply the simplest flavour there is but oh so yummy, Vanilla Sponge topped with the whippiest lightest Vanilla Buttercream ever

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake– Sticky toffee sponge with oodles of dates, liberally swirled with crunchy brown sugar, toffee buttercream

Luscious Lemon – Lovely Luscious Lemon Sponge with zesty lemon buttercream – Lemon Lovers Heaven!

Double Trouble Chocolate – Divinely moist Chocolate Sponge with rich chocolate buttercream with a top of sprinkles & chocolate stuff

FlutterBy Choc – Delicious Chocolate Butterfly Sponge with raspberry jam secret centre & fluffy vanilla buttercream

Deepest Darkest Chocolate – Divinely moist chocolate sponge with seriously dark chocolate ganache! Only seriously chocoholics need apply!

Simon’s Coffee Cake – Rich Coffee layer cake, with a tiny hint of Vanilla topped with wonderful Coffee Buttercream & chocolate coated coffee beans!

ChoccyCaramel Cake – Moist chocolate sponge, a centre of creamy caramel, topped with Vanilla Buttercream & oodles of chocolate & caramel drizzle!

SLICES 

Lemon Drizzle – The Infamous & Legendary Luscious Lemon Drizzle, one slice is never enough!

Vicki Victorious Sponge – layers of gorgeously light Victoria sponge & raspberry jam, dusted with golden caster sugar!

Batty Battenburg – Gorgeously moist almond sponge with oodles of raspberry jam & cosily wrapped with marzipan

Sticky MaccTreacle Cake – Deeply dark treacly, orange & ginger cake, utterly gorgeous!

MORSELS

Coconut Macaroons – Utterly Moist & seriously flavourful Macaroons, liberally draped in Dark Belgian Chocolate! £1.50 (or 4 for £5.00 Deal)

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Best recipe ever!! 50p each!

GINGERBREAD

Gingerbread – Secret Recipe Gingerbread, extensively taste tested as only the best will do!

Please feel free to sample the specially created Treacle Market Gingerbread Festive Mittens that will only be available while stocks last!!

Buttons, Moustaches, & Baubles 

Christmas Tree Lollies

(All Gingerbread are priced individually)

Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday, a Very Merry Christmas to you All!

A Very Merry Christmas

 

 

Change is as good as a rest!


There’s lots going in the back ground at the moment, all things to improve CocoaNoko Makes, it’s quite exciting! The website is having an overhaul, new logo, & new tempting cakes to make you ooo & ahhhhhh & lots more! So please bare with me as I sort all this out! You can still order in the meantime, email me at cocoanokos@hotmail.co.uk You can still purchase cakes & bakes at the following outlets in Macclesfield, Plums Kitchen on the Market Place, Serendipity on Chestergate & Food4MaccDirect online. Not forgetting Treacle Market of course!

Looking forward to seeing lots of you at the next Treacle Market, Sunday 31st August on Castle St, Macclesfield, it’s going to be amazing!

Upcycle a chair!


Registered Charity No. 115360

ArtSpace has been donated a number of fine chairs, which we are offering for sale at £25 each. The frames are in good condition, but the fabric is slightly faded in places. However, see picture for how good they can look once recovered! Our friend Jennie Gaywood has done a fantastic job of giving this one a new lease of life: “2 1/2 metres fabric, a staple gun and a curved needle and thread. Lots of pins and a few hours of toil whilst watching Wimbledon, hay presto ! A new chair!”

Anyone like to have a go at doing their own? The chairs are on display (and on sale) at ArtSpace.

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Lane Cake


This sounds AMAZING!!! Perfect summer treat, I may just have to try this one out! Any takers for the taste testing team?

Time To Cook - Online

Lane Cake

Wotchers!

This is my End-Of-Term post for 2014, before taking a short break over the summer to do Stuff™, and so I have chosen a cake that has been on my ToDo list for many a moon.

This is Ms Emma Rylander Lane’s Prize Cake, with which she was declared champion at the Georgia State Fair, Columbus in 1898. It is also the cake immortalised in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. When the novel’s narrator, Scout Finch, described the celebrations for the arrival of her aunt Alexandra, she declared:

Miss Maudie Atkinson baked a Lane cake so loaded with shinny[1] it made me tight.

Miss Maudie later decides that a Lane Cake is in order when a neighbour is hurt on the night Miss Maudie’s house catches fire.

“Mr. Avery will be in bed for a week – he’s right stove up. He’s too old to do things…

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