When anyone asks me what my favourite cake flavour is, it’s a difficult choice between lemon cake, chocolate cake and a classic Victoria Sponge. Actually, it’s a difficult choice between all cakes, but sometimes simple is best. These little Victoria Sponge fairy cakes make the most of the simple, timeless combination of vanilla sponge, vanilla… Continue reading Victoria Sponge Fairy Cakes Recipe
After Christmas is over, January drags its heels in a seemingly endless parade of grey sky and perpetual drizzle. The complete opposite of a month of sparkle and celebration in December, and unsurprisingly, it’s a struggle to stay motivated for the goals we optimistically set ourselves on New Year’s Day. It’s far too easy to slip into a dull routine, forget the resolutions for another year, and nothing changes. But, instead of all this, I think now is the best time to look after ourselves for a bit. Christmas is a barrage of friends, family, parties, and as much as we love them all, it’s exhausting! (Especially for us introverts.) I’m lucky in that Dad’s birthday is January, so there has always been something to look forward to after Christmas, but it has meant that I hadn’t taken any time out for myself to recover. This year could be the start of a new routine – something wonderful. The month of me.
Before holly, trees, presents and cards, my first whiff of Christmas in the air is always signalled by the reappearance of mince pies in my life. Usually in early November, hopefully sooner. The garish boxes appear in the supermarkets far earlier, but, call me fussy, these can never match up to a home baked mince pie. I’m talking dreamy wafts of Christmas seeping through the house, leading to bites of crumbly, buttery pastry melting away in my mouth to reveal tangy fruits, rich spices and a hint of alcohol, all rounded off with the sweet drizzle of glace icing over the top. The pie in my hand almost falls apart in surrender: ‘eat me!’, and the filling is jewelled with glace cherries so red it’s almost offensive. But it’s Christmas: red goes.
Some of my earliest memories are of warm summer days spent in the garden between tall forests of runner beans, and discovering muddy potatoes in the ground. The best part was always eating them, knowing that they had come out of our earth in our garden...