09 10


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A few of my favourite (not sewing or crafty) things...

I make no apology for the fact what I am about to write is technically nothing to do with sewing or crafty stuff. But, partly inspired by Lucy's lovely blog, I thought I'd just write about some of the other things I like.

I think a lot of people probably have a favourite recipe, that they've made so many times that they know it off by heart. Something that, more often than not, when they make it, people want to know the recipe for.

My favourite recipe would have to be the one for chocolate brownies in this book.

Delia may well be the undisputed Queen of how to cook things like
roast dinners, but when it comes to baking with huge amounts of
butter and chocolate, it has got to be Nigella every time.
If you squint, you might be able to read this...
The first time someone made me these brownies was ten years ago. (I married him.)

I cannot think of situation or occasion that these brownies would not be welcomed at. Aside from a Weight Watchers meet up, perhaps. They do contain a slab of butter and two bars of chocolate. And there lies the secret of their success. How can lots of butter and chocolate not taste good? Unless you burn the chocolate, of course. Not so good...

I deviate from the original recipe, in that I don't bother adding any nuts. They're nice with or without - I just prefer them without. The one piece of advice I would offer if you're going to make them, is not to over cook them. There's a fine line between the squidgy moist brownie heaven (exactly 20 minutes in my oven) and the misery that equates to an expensive chocolate sponge. Not that I take brownie making too seriously, or anything. But I do love a good brownie.

Best brownies you'll ever taste.
And, when I want to go out for my cake, my place of choice is most definitely Fancy, on Roff Avenue in Bedford. The owner, Saffron Denton, claims that her brownies (above) are the best you'll ever taste. I can't say I'd argue with that statement. Almost a year on from its opening, I am still maybe a bit too gleeful about the fact this place is only a five minute walk from my front door.

Fancy is a gorgeously elegant place that sparkles and makes you smile the minute you walk in. It is perfect for escaping to with a book, and just as ideal as a meeting place to enjoy a catch up with friends. Or, as the ultimate in special treats (bribes for good behaviour) for little girls. Who, I have observed, when faced with fine china and a cake fork, rise to the occasion in a surprisingly pleasing manner. Almost as though a life of cake eating is what they were born to do.

Before the days of Fancy, those of us in the know used to buy our slices of cakes from a hatch out of Saffron's bakery on Stanley Street. In the early days of motherhood, when it was just me and Sophie during the daytimes, I'd have a secret routine of popping by for a brownie on the way home from our weekly swimming trip. Then Sophie learned to talk, and, when driving past the bakery with her Daddy, she pointed and said quite clearly, "Mummy! Cake!". "Oh, really?", was the reply from the front seat. Scuppered.

Final thing to blah blah blah on about (for now) would have to be running. 

A rare photo of me running - this one appeared on the front page on a local newspaper,
and was a big help in launching the mums' running group I'm still proud to part of 5 years on.
Either alone, or with friends, I love it - not least because it allows me to continue on in my love of all things cake and chocolate. For the next month, this will be a cause for me doing a bit less sewing, as I have a half marathon to train for. I like to do one a year, normally in the Spring, as it gives me something to focus my running efforts on during the winter months, when, let's face it, finding motivation to leave the sofa can be hard.

Training until Christmas was all going smoothly, to the point I was getting ideas about beating personal bests from days before children, and so on. And then, various bugs and viruses hit the household, plus a bit of snow, and before I knew it, a good month of training had been interrupted. Ha! That'll teach me. If decent half marathon times could be achieved on brownie eating ability alone, I reckon I could give Paula a run for her money. But, sadly not, and so time for a reality check and to get back to motivating myself to getting on with doing the best I can.

So, back to the long runs. With only a month to go, it is time to get on with it. I need to get back to the position where it feels comfortably hard, rather than a slog. Fingers crossed I'll manage to get a few good weeks of runs under my belt so I manage to run the full 13.1 miles and finish feeling good. I'll let you know how it goes!

No comments:

Post a Comment