My support of Veganuary, or more accurately, vegans in general has continued with me baking a variation of Ruby Tandoh’s chocolate and hazelnut cookies for Lynwood & Co. I had difficulty finding hazelnut or almond oil so used walnut oil instead, so in keeping with the walnut substitution in the oil, substituted walnuts for hazelnuts in the cookies. My colleague Charlotte took to Instagram with the following comment:
‘Can vouch for these … one was not suitable to sell as it was too … ummm ….small. Had to dispose of it. Yummmmy’.
On the topic of cookies, although I was not around to witness the event, Kate Moss came into the cafe for a takeaway coffee again. This time she came in with Nick Grimshaw, the Radio One DJ. He picked up one of my cookies to go with his coffee and made some comment about the cookie looking somewhat smaller out of the jar than in the jar but lets hoped that he liked it, despite its size. I guess, on the upside at least the cookies looked good enough to purchase in the first place.
I should possibly mention that I tried a coffee and almond vegan cake recently, but despite having a very good crumb was lacking in taste (it needed a stronger coffee taste) and texture (a few more almonds wouldn’t have gone amiss). I might try this again shortly, but I think my Head Chef wants me to stick with what we have for a while i.e. the apple and rhubarb vegan loaf cake with a hint of orange and ginger and the vegan cookies. Speaking of rhubarb, and being inspired by its presence in the vegan cake, I made a rhubarb breakfast pot, courtesy of an Olive Magazine recipe – a delicious blend of stewed rhubarb, Greek yoghurt with an toasted oat and nut topping. So much did I love this delicious breakfast offering, that I have chosen the photographic evidence of this offering to adorn this post.
On a completely different note, we are currently staying in Beach Hut 5, Shaldon, Devon for my husband’s 50th Birthday. This very diminutive holiday accommodation was featured in Episode 16 of George Clarke’s Amazing Builds by the Sea and is well worth a visit if you are not frightened of small spaces and are not claustrophobic. That being said I border on being claustrophobic, but after a brief period of acclimatisation, I am feeling quite relaxed in my temporary home on the waterfront. The accommodation itself is not why I am mentioning it, but rather that its location is in Devon, which is also the home of the Ashburton Cookery School, where I trained to be a patisserie chef. As I was in the locale, I decided that I would pay the cookery school a visit, or more importantly the main chef on my course to say hello. I stupidly expected a warm hello, but instead got a rather cold greeting and distinct feeling that I was not overly welcome. I guess I am a past, rather than a current student and the chef is teaching a new group of students (his second since I graduated). I know I wasn’t the easiest of students, given my fear of exams and the stress that they created for me, but in the end I didn’t think I was the worst student that they could have. Anyway, late in life, I have learnt a couple of new lessons: never have any expectations and never look back.
It is so typical – we have been looking forward to our mini-break in Devon for some time (we really needed a break from our respective work), but I think that with the thought of relaxing in mind that I made my body susceptible to catching the lurgy. My poor husband has a snuffly, poorly wife to contend with. My snuffliness has been added to another bout of stomach pain, which started on Tuesday. The ironic thing was that my stomach had been behaving itself for some time – in fact on Tuesday morning I had been to the Great Western Hospital to see my Consultant (and to sign me off as fit). Just after lunch (I think I wolfed down a bowl of mushroom soup to quickly, sending everything into a painful spasm), I started to feel poorly and I haven’t felt 100 percent since. Despite my ailments, I am trying not to be too pathetic. I did manage a 4.7 mile run yesterday and an 8.7 mile run/walk today along the South West Coast Path, along with keeping up our 100 a day challenge. I say run/walk with reference to the 8.7 mile run today, as the coast path was very steep and slippery in places, which reduced us to a walking pace. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable run/walk – the sun was shining most of the time and the scenery was beautiful – we even incorporated an old smugglers’ tunnel into our training (running the length of the tunnel and ascending and descending the steps contained therein 10 times).
On our return to Shaldon, after our walk/run, we decided to drop into the Shaldon Bakery, a local bakery, which was awarded Devon Life Food & drink Awards, Best Bakery of the Year in 2016. Although slightly underwhelmed when we entered the shop, we purchased a multiseeded loaf and their signature Uglibun, which as the name suggests is ugly but nevertheless turned out to be quite tasty with a cup of warm tea. The perfect reward at the end of a longish run/walk.
Okay, I am now going to retire for a while – I need a quick snooze to recuperate before taking Jo out for his birthday meal to one of Tim Bouget’s Ode eateries.