Blog Post
Primrose day

Today (Sunday 19th April) is Primrose Day and I realise I should have saved last week’s photo as my introduction.  How do I know it is Primrose Day ? because its my birthday today !  I remember as a child receiving a white leather diary with its own lock and key.  I was probably only about 10 years old and, as one did as a child – the first diary entry made is your own birthday, followed by mother, father, brother then grandparents.  When I flipped through the pages I discovered that my birthday had a special name and so in later years I found out that the day is the anniversary of the death of Benjamin Disraeli, one of Queen Victoria’s Prime Ministers and the primrose was his favourite flower.  When he died she presented a wreath of primroses at his funeral.

I recall very clearly my birthday last year it being only one week before filming started in the tent !  The bakers enjoyed another reunion this weekend but my birthday with the family had to come first otherwise I would have been there with the others.  They copied me and other absent bakers into photos and Whatsapp messages so that we didn’t feel too left out.  I will make sure I am at the next soiree !

My cover picture is a wedding cake that I made this week for a dear friend whose daughter got married yesterday.  Modern brides tend to want sponge cake rather than a traditional fruit cake and a simple Victoria sponge can look quite special, but there is a problem. The problem is that it isn’t possible to get too far ahead – almost everything must be done in the days before the wedding.  The roses were the exception. They were made weeks ago, dried then preserved in an airtight box.

The Victoria sponge cakes were therefore made on Tuesday, crumb coated and filled Wednesday, iced Thursday then decorated Friday and delivered to venue Saturday morning.  The bride requested ivory fondant which I then decorated with a mixture of ivory and white roses and white ribbon edged with gold.  She was very pleased and the cake went down well.

Have you ever bought a small chicken for a midweek roast ?  I do it quite often but this week I decided to set myself a challenge and find out how many meals can be taken from this small bird (only 1.5kg). I managed three.  Granted there are only two of us, but buy two birds and do the same for four people.  I jointed the bird and pan roasted the legs with mushrooms and a lovely sauce made with a little chicken stock and cream.  We had those with roasted potatoes and vegetables.  I then made a superb quick curry with the breasts but the knock out for me was a lovely spring vegetable soup made from the carcass.  The flavour is delicious and the vegetables retain their colour and bite and serves four easily with freshly baked bread – what can be better ?

Here is my recipe for the vegetable soup, simple but absolutely delicious.

My greenhouse is filling up now and I have this week planted out the cauliflower plants.  Still too cold to sow your peas though !

Have a good week and don’t throw away your chicken carcass !

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