Easter is just around the corner
Sitting with my computer this evening and thinking about the date I realise it is exactly a year that I found out I had a place on Bake Off.
Obviously being told I had a place was both exciting and scary. I was able to share my news only with close family. The real work was beginning and I had absolutely no idea how challenging it was going to become.
We were advised that the work would be time consuming, stressful and I realised it was quite a lonely time. I was unable to discuss anything with anyone and as yet had no idea who my competitors were. So work was solitary involving long hours and a need to develop new recipes and ideas. We had to produce original work which, for me was the most difficult part – having not created my own original recipes in the past.
Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would even make it to half way – never mind walk away with the Cake Stand. It has been wonderful.
I remember the first weekend of filming. I arrived at Newbury Station and was collected by car and taken to the hotel that was to be my home, as it turned out, for the following 10 weekends. I was taken into a garden room and there were the other bakers and members of the production team. It was surprisingly easy to get chatting to everyone because we were all actually in the same boat ! At last we could chat freely and opening with each other without fear of breaching a secret. Within an hour or so I felt I had known this crowd for months – and certainly by the end of the evening and a few drinks we were laughing and joking.
As bakers we still keep in touch via Whatsapp which is fantastic. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t open up some subject and everyone gets chatting. What a great bunch of friends. We have had two or three get togethers since the end of bake off and long may that continue.
I realise that the downside of retirement is that sometimes you may fail to continue to engage with young people in the way that you do when working. Bake Off was like a breath of fresh air – young people were the majority and are so much fun. The production team were a great bunch and all young and vibrant and I miss them all.
Back to today and Easter is just around the corner and talking about young people makes me think of grandchildren and their love of an Easter egg hunt. I have uploaded a photograph of some silk eggs I have made with the children which I think are lovely and very easy to do. I have a German friend who makes these every year and now I know how – I do the same.
You will need white eggs and some old silk ties (The material has to be silk). Tim has lots of old ties from when he worked and I unpick them and cut out a piece of silk large enough to cover an egg and be tied at one end with a metal twist tie. Don’t worry if there are creases and pleats in the silk – the pattern will be even more attractive.
Make sure the right side of the silk (not polyester by the way) touches the egg.
Use a thin piece of white cotton and cover the egg again enclosing the silk and put a metal tie over.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and add 2 tbsp white wine vinegar then submerge your eggs and boil for 15 minutes.
Carefully take the eggs from the pan and unwrap and voila ! Beautiful little decorated eggs. You can enhance their appearance further by polishing them with a little oil.
If, like me, Easter is likely to be busy – this little job can be done well in advance and I promise you everyone will be impressed. Even if you don’t have an Easter egg hunt they make lovely Easter decoration.
I think that’s enough for now – do you ? Talk again soon x
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