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Happy Valentine’s Day from handmadebysoo

The ladies of the Fenton Knitting Group will be meeting this evening as usual. There will be a very special chocolate mousse cake, courtesy of the lovely Mary Berry, and a few other chocolatey treats. And yes, despite our slightly sticky fingers, we will be working at the table as usual, underneath the Valentine hearts hanging from the ceiling.

 

Pumpkin pie

The Trumpkin outside our door attracted a lot of attention and did indeed stop traffic at one point! But now the Trumpkin is no more. It went into a pumpkin pie. I used the basic recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and added some very non tradtional whipped double cream and chocolate shavings to the top. The pastry was buttery and crisp. The filling set well and was spicy, sweet and delicious.Yum! I served it up to my American brother-in-law with some trepidation. I hope he enjoyed it.

Great British Bake Off first timer

I realise I must be something of a rare breed, but I have never watched GBBO before. Yes, I make cakes (a lot of cakes!). Yes, I watch TV (mostly whilst knitting!). But a TV programme based on the premise of competitive baking?!

So why have I decided to give this season a go? The answer is simple! Nadiya! I was vaguely aware that Nadiya was the winner of the last series … and then I heard her speaking on Dessert (sic!) Island Discs and I thought ‘If someone as engaging as this is involved in that show then maybe I am seriously missing out!’

So tonight I will be watching and I will even put my knitting aside. Mel, Sue, Mary and Paul – I am (finally) ready. Let the baking begin!

cakes

Here’s 2 I made earlier! So far this week I have already baked a Victoria sponge for my husband’s lunches and a jam swiss roll for my knitting ladies. And yes, I even have the gingham!

 

 

Back from Manchester … fuelled by cake

Soo and Lynda travelled up to Manchester at the weekend for Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas Fair.

As we had hoped, it was a riot of crafty inspiration and left us full of ideas for hours and hours worth of makes.

The beautiful tweedy and flannel patchworks will send us searching through our fabric stash.  I’m already eyeing up Mr handmadebysoo’s Harris Tweed hacking jacket and wondering how many patches it would make!

With thanks to Richard for his recommendation of Home Sweet Home, we enjoyed an inevitable (though very large!) slice of cake before setting off back to Lincoln.

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Good old fashioned bakewell tart

Members of the Fenton Knitting Group will be enjoying a slice of the past this evening as they nibble delicious home-made bakewell tart alongside their knitting, sewing and crochet.  The recipe may be a blast from the past, but the tart was freshly made this morning!

The recipe comes from the Hamlyn New All Colour Cookbook, known by handmadebysoo and all the family as ‘the big red book’.  The book was a wedding gift from my husband’s aunt a very long time ago and has stood us in good stead over the years.  Our kitchen shelves are heaving with Jamies and Delias and even the odd Hummingbird, but the big red book is still our first ‘go-to’ recipe book when we want something hearty, warming and tasty or, like this evening, we fancy a truly vintage treat.

Both our children have their own copies – very useful for young people fending for themselves for the first time, off to uni or setting up their own home.  There’s a veggie version, too.

Enjoy!

Hamlyn all colour cook book

Happy Friday, Fenton Knitting Group!

Black Forest Gateau handmadebysoo

Black Forest Gateau handmadebysoo

Yet another week has simply flown by and we are almost into February already.  My days are very busy, planning lessons and teaching, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  My Friday smile this week came as I reflected on the week gone by, the knitting project I have finally finished and the next piece of sewing I am itching to start and my thoughts turned to my little knitting group.  On Tuesday evenings everything stops for just an hour and a half and my ‘knitting ladies’ arrive.  I started the Fenton Knitting Group soon after we relocated to Lincolnshire.  We are only a very small band at present but hope to grow as the word gets round.  We are not all knitters, but all needle crafters are welcome and what a laugh we have.  My poor, long suffering husband can hear us from his ‘office’ and is convinced we are fuelled by something stronger than tea and cake.  But no, it is simply the pleasure of sharing our ups and downs, not always craft-related, with like-minded people.  I make the cakes, though I am most definitely not the best baker and certainly not very good at decorating them, but years of whipping up sponges to feed hungry children coming home from school means that I can manage a Victoria sandwich.  Occasionally I become a little more adventurous and bake a Black Forest Gateau and this week it was my personal favourite, Flapplejacks.

Thank you for your company, ladies and Happy Friday!

 

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