A funny couple of days in London with some good friends turned out to be a bit of a hilarious adventure last weekend. I had had this great idea that since it was my dad’s birthday a couple of days beforehand, that I would make his favourite jam (rhubarb and ginger), get my mum to bring it up (from home in the Cotswolds) and while I was in Coventry for a few days I’d make some scones and bring them up with a bit of clotted cream, to the house full of food-enthusiasts that is our London friends.
Unfortunately, mum sort of … forgot the jam. Which was a bit of a disaster. And in addition, Peter had bought himself a newly refurbished beautiful VW camper van, which was the centre of everyone’s attention for the weekend – and in which we got chauffeured directly to the Tate gallery! On the bright-side however, the scones were good! And so was the jam, when we finally got around to having it for breakfast this morning! But perhaps it was a good thing after all, as a house full of grown men might have limited the amount dad actually got to take home with him…
Here is the jam in the rather higgledy-piggledy jars we managed to lay our hands on. And Cath Kidston labels. Of course. My first attempt at jam making – and it went rather well, and was far easier than I had thought! Seb made his personal recipe for a jam made from tomatoes – which is surprisingly delicious, despite the fact that I simply couldn’t envisage it beforehand.
We also had some fun making our own Easter eggs – mine looks less professional, but I really wanted to have a go at making little ladybirds on the shells on mine! We successfully managed to fix the halves together with the proper baking-tray technique where you melt the rim of the shells slightly to stick them together. Unfortunately I burned my arm quite nastily on our horrible student house oven. Have I mentioned that I hate that oven? …. Oh. I have.
We also made some eclairs, which didn’t last more than a couple of days! Very satisfying, and tried for the first time the technique of piping the filling in through holes in the bottom, without slicing them open. Frustratingly however, my eclairs always seem to go a little soft and soggy after they come out of the oven (Seb’s oven, I didn’t bother with ours!), so I need some practise at sorting this soggy-bottom problem out!
I have had quite a creative day today, volunteering for the third week at one of Gloucestershire’s ‘Art Lift’ workshops in a hospital, doing two sessions of artwork with a group of local people. We managed to cheer up the entrance to the place quite nicely with some Spring-style decorations that they made! But after watching people draw for a whole day, my fingers have been simply itching for a pencil…
And finally, is this not the most attractive cooked breakfast you have ever seen? Courtesy of our friend Vince, who puts my presentation to shame!