• Hot (or not) news – an update on some of my previous posts

    I don’t often look at my previous posts, but I guess I should as when I do I realise that I have mentioned things that possibly need some sort of conclusion.

    Let me first take you back to my post  ‘Video debut in my quest at becoming an Uuni Pro’ which I wrote back in October.  After a wait of more than a month and a mention that over 5000 people had applied to become pizza tasters for UuniPro, I finally heard, what in my heart I already knew, that I had not been successful in my quest at becoming an UuniPro.  I can’t say that I wasn’t disappointed, but it certainly didn’t come as a surprise.  5000 applicants were just a little too much competition for me (and I am guessing, many others).

    My big bake started as suggested on Friday, 22 December with two batches of mincemeat and pecan crumble slices (one for the coffee roaster in Cirencester and one for my manager), a batch of vegan cookies and a batch of rocky road; something I hadn’t made before.  I didn’t think that I would like the rocky roads as I thought they would be too sweet, but the combination of mini marshmallows, dark chocolate, rich tea biscuits, glace cherries etc. was  the perfect combination.  When I delivered my bakes for the cafe in Cirencester on Friday, I included a few squares of rocky road for them to try.  Their feedback was as follows:

    ‘Thank you for the rocky road by the way, delicious and perfectly balanced!  We may well go for that in January.’

    Saturday saw me bake 60 traditional mince pies.  I was planning on making 18 wholewheat, vegetarian mince pies (another customer order which came in late) as well, but the 60 traditional mince pies took longer than I expected and I wanted to fit in a run as well.  With the 60 traditional mince pies dispatched around 4pm and a 6 plus mile run under my belt, we indulged in some mulled wine and later a pizza from Sourdough Revolution in Lechlade.

    As I didn’t finish my baking on Saturday as planned and I also got another order for 12 traditional mince pies on Sunday, whilst at work,  Sunday was not a bake-free day.  Although my baking didn’t go as planned on Sunday, my visitors (youngest son and in-laws) arrived as planned.  I managed to deliver the mince pies by early evening and then proceeded to make a delicious chickpea curry with cucumber raita and rice for dinner.

    Despite planning an early start to my baking on Monday, I was somewhat delayed as my in-laws stayed longer than expected.  After a 10.30am start, three chocolate roulades and two batches of profiteroles later, I had two roulades for one customer and 24 profiteroles (8 large, 8 medium and 8 small) for another customer.  The spare roulade and the excess profiteroles were put aside for our Christmas dinner.  I sent Jo off to deliver the roulades while I went off to deliver the profiteroles.  We were both rewarded for our efforts with a little Christmas Eve tipple.  Our Christmas Eve was topped off with an invite from one of our neighbours for drinks and nibbles.

    Already baked out, there was no rest for the wicked on Christmas day.  My Christmas Day started with a 4.5 mile run, opening of presents and a Christmas Day service at the local Church.  It was followed by making the starters (vegetarian and pork and cranberry sausage rolls), vegetarian main (beetroot and red onion tart tatin), vegetables (thyme roasted parsnips and carrots; coriander seed red cabbage, chilli-charred sprouts and fluffy, roasted potatoes) and finishing off the desserts (chocolate roulade and cream filled/chocolate covered profiteroles).  I was very fortunate to have been assisted all day in the kitchen by my very capable, youngest son, Noah.  I am not sure what I would have done without him.

    The dinner was well-received, along with my sister’s contribution of ham, turkey and chicken, so I guess all the effort was worth it in the end.  Another positive note is that Montague (our dog), who has been very poorly for some time, made a somewhat miraculous recovery over the Christmas period, aided I am sure by all the delicious food on offer.  He spent most of Christmas Day evening on his feet, in close proximity to one of my brother-in-laws, who had the job of carving the meat.  Given my brother-in-laws love of dogs, I think Montague was given his full of tasty meat morsels.

    I can’t recall much about Boxing Day other than returning home and trying to clean up after the Christmas period.  I must have cooked something that evening, but I can’t recall what.  Either way, I had a slight reprieve from cooking/baking on Boxing Day.  This was all change again on the 27 December as you will see from my next post.