Sunday, 22 August 2010

Rehearsals tomorrow

Kenwood was a really great night with lovely performances from Faryl Smith, who reached the finals of Britain's got talent a few years ago and Wynne Evans, A brilliant tenor and very funny guy( great banter and stories ) Scones went down well too!!
Start rehearsals in Halifax tomorrow for new play 'The Game' details at
Really looking forward to meeting everyone but doubt I'll have much time for cooking.!

Scones for Kenwood!!

Well Celebrity Masterchef is over for another year!!!
Congratulations Lisa! Really disappointed for Christine though - had been routing for her, as you know, but realised she wouldn't do it when she messed up her final menu - although it's not supposed to be judged on that.Lisa's menu was lovely but felt Dick's was technically much harder and was also worthy of the title. Looking forward to the professionals now!!
Top tip from Konnie Huq on Friday on GMTV. An easy way for melting chocolate, especially when piping. Cut up choc really small and place in a plastic freezer bag. Dip the bag in a bowl of warm water until melted then snip off corner for piping. Brilliant !!! will try soon.
Saturday night we went to the last night of the proms at Kenwood House (luckily the rain stayed away!!).Our very good friends, Howard and Anthony, prepared a lovely picnic and I decided to do some scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.
As I was busy Saturday day decided to use my mum's tip of preparing the dry mix the night before.
Put 1lb Self raising flour in the food processor with 4oz butter and whizz.
Place in large bowl and ad 4oz sugar and 4oz sultanas. Cover with cling film and go to bed.
Then in the morning put oven to 190oc and mix one egg in a measuring jug and make up to 1/2 pint with milk. Gradually add to dry mix until have dough. Cut out and brush with mix and sugar tops.
Into oven for about 15 mins.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

A programme about baking - Hurrah !!!!!

The problem with being home all day with nothing to do (apart from cleaning, washing and ironing!!)is I watch too much tv !! Always been a square eyes!!
However, thrilled there are still so many cookery, food programmes on throughout the day.
Started with Ainsley throwing things on the barbecue ( doubt we'll have many more of those this Summer- hmm British weather!!).
Moved onto This Morning and Gino pinching ingredients from 'Happy Campers' to make them all a great meal.
Bit of a lull over lunch but can always catch a repeated 'Come dine with me' - seen them all so many times but still great viewing.
Then back to ITV and Michael Ball making chocolate pancakes with Jo Pratt. Really pleased to see her on tv. I love her books and often use her recipes for dinner parties - White bean and leek soup, really good and can be prepared in advance and the white chocolate and baileys cheesecake is to die for!!!Let's hope she starts making more appearances.
Now mid afternoon and washing dry so got on with some ironing and Gracie decide she wanted to make some cupcakes. Left her to it as I get a little frustrated by the mess!!!
Still ironing for Britain's best dish - interesting choices of dishes and contestants, assume there is an audition process to get to this stage!!
Needed to get out , so went for my swim ( try to go at least 4 times a week) and came back to cupcakes and kitchen with a film of icing sugar!!!!!Never mind, just thrilled she loves baking!!Settle down to dinner and the programme I've been waitng for all day- The Great Britsh Bake off.
So good to see Mel and Sue back together on tv ( used to love Light Lunch)and great to see the wonderful Mary Berry( a lady who really  knows her baking and can comment with great knowledge and empathy). She came to my local memorial hall a couple of years ago to promote a book and give a talk on her career. It was a really interesting afternoon (and I managed to get all my cookery books signed!!)
The programme was a good mix of history of baking and competion and totally agreed with the judges on the two who left. I know there's pressure in a competition but a competent baker whose reached this stage should know not to open the oven door mid way through cooking!!
So by the end of the day was completly cooked out - had a cupcake and went to bed!!!

Looking forward to 1st episode of the week of Celebrity Masterchef tonight. No doubt it will be full of drama.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Why am I here ????

Ok !!!
I've been thinking of sharing my thoughts and tips for a while but have been spurred on this week by a few things.
1) It's Celebrity Masterchef final week and my mind has been taken back to this time last year, watching with interest and remembering all the fantastic things I learnt !!!! Really want Christine Hamilton to win ( a phrase I never thought I'd hear myself say!!!! ) however I think it's 90 % certain it will be one of the other 2.
Hence the name of my blog as this was what Greg called me a few times in the programme and I was thrilled.
2)Visited my mother in laws farm on Sunday and went for a walk and noticed that the blackberries are already ripening. My daughter, Gracie, was very enthusiastic  and insisted she come and help me pick some when we got home, ( more of that later).
and finally
3)Popped the tv on when I got to bed last night and was flicking through the channels and had to stop at Ideal World tv!!!!Has anyone ever heard of Clicart ? They have produced an amazing machine for cutting out icing shapes for cake decorating. Loved watching the machine working and the finished cakes but I can't imagine who would pay £500 to get those results!!!So, obviously, didn't succumb - however that was not the case a few weeks back with their Showroom Shine car wax - it really works !!!!! I'm either getting old or am just really sad !!!!! Answers please on a postcard!!

So, here I am.
Back to the blackberries. The common where I live is bursting with them. So Gracie and I set out with our tubs . A couple of hours later we arrived home with purple fingers and a little scratched but very pleased with our full tubs of sweet, beautifully ripe blackberries.
Next job was to make up crumbles for the freezer.
Gracie chopped up apples to add and I got out the tin foil trays bought in bulk from Costco (bargain!!)
Made a normal crumble mix - half butter and sugar quantity to plain flour quantity - and assembled 24 blackberry and apple crumbles to see us through the winter ( and maybe the next !!)
Gracie was very pleased with the results although I don't think she'll be eating them ( 10 and still has an aversion to fruit !!)  

Got a lazy! day at home today and preparing for going away on tour next week.
Doing a play called 'The Game' by Harold Brighouse for Northern Broadsides theatre company . Really looking forward to it but will be away from home , on and off, until 27th November so am stocking up the freezer for them. Just finished a big pot of chilli to freeze. Wednesday night has become known as Chilli night in our house as Gracie has ballet class till 7pm and it the easiest thing to prepare when we get in. Think this will last them !!!
My oven decided to pack in last Thursday so the lovely man from Britannia is here fixing it at the moment. It's been horrid not being able to bake etc but at least it was over a busy weekend!!

Any way enough for now - Go Christine !!!!