Start as you mean to go on

Christmas has been and gone, with the last remnants of Christmas being removed this morning.  We are now well and truly into 2018.  I am back on the early morning shift and my 4.45 am wake ups for a 6 am start at Lynwood & Co.

I started the New Year with a pamper day at Barnsley House Hotel; treating myself to a facial and a massage. Yesterday, I got myself a new hairstyle – shorter and a bit more flattering than my last ‘hairstyle’.   I have decided to treat myself better in 2018, despite the fact that I can ill afford it on a chef’s salary.  That being said, I am not feeling too good today as we had my Mum and her friend Normski (real name Norman, but he Normski gives him more street cred) around last night for dinner and drinks and we all overindulged a bit on the liquid side of things.  Not a good idea given that we are just about to embark on one of our weekend runs.

Okay, so I am just back from a 6.5 mile run.  Well not quite ‘just’, I have had a bath as well as prepared dinner (stuffed mushrooms with pesto, tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, olives and feta, accompanied by broccoli and asparagus, followed by cinnamon, apple crumble and vanilla ice cream).  I should possibly mention that my run went okay despite overindulging last night.  Although we have now completed our 1000 Mile Challenge (I have the medal to prove it) we are still running – just not quite as much as we were doing last year.  Jo has set us a new challenge for 2018, 100 exercises per day (e.g. press ups, pull us, tyre flips, lunges, squats, crunches etc.).  So far, so good!

As mentioned in my last post, I was going to bake 12 chocolate and orange muffins for my muffin fan and his wife.  Well I did as planned, albeit that the order changed to 6 chocolate and orange and 6 orange and cranberry muffins.  As I went into work on my day off to make the muffins (and this was disclosed to my muffin fan and his wife by one of my colleagues), I was surprised with a personal thank you from both and a bottle of Prosecco.  They were both very happy with the muffins, so much so that the muffin fan’s wife was happy to pass them off as her own, or so she said.

Not much change on the cake front.  I did however experiment with a cherry and coconut cake with a raspberry jam, glace cherry and coconut topping (to potentially replace the Bakewell tart traybake) and a blood orange, blueberry, almond and polenta traybake (to potentially replace the lemon, almond and polenta cake).  As I have been off work for a couple of days (my days off), I haven’t heard how well they went down.   I guess I will find out tomorrow when I return to work.

Other than what I have already told you, I haven’t much more to say.  I bought myself a copy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s much more veg and have made a few of his meals; mainly soups as I have been using up Christmas vegetables.   I have attempted celeriac and parsley soup; leek and cauliflower soup with mustard and thyme and celery soup with pear, as well as a tartare hash with poached egg.  I have to say that none of the meals disappointed and I would thoroughly recommend the book, even if it is just for the delicious soup recipes.   You may ask why a pastry chef is blethering on about delicious savoury meals.  Well man/woman can’t live by cake alone.

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