Hurrah for Autumn! It is easily my favourite season, no contest. You can keep your sweaty Summer days that make my fringe stick to my forehead thanks. Spring days where I always manage to under or overdress thus resulting in either being hot and bothered or freezing and bitter, nah, not for me. Winter is just cold and bleak plus it’s just so far away from the next Autumn! Give me crisp mornings where I want to set my alarm 10 minutes earlier just to give me snuggle time, crunchy leaves and the long-awaited emergence of my coat wardrobe (I have a weak spot for vintage coats. Last year, I had 5 different ones on rotation. A girl can never have too many coats. Fact.). The food is also far superior, so long salads, see you next year! It’s pumpkin season. I feel this chunky bright orange monstrosity is often just viewed as a Halloween accessory to be carved out and cast aside yet the flesh is so delicious. It is naturally quite sweet, the same as a butternut squash for those who haven’t chowed down on one before (they are from the same family of vegetables. A pumpkin is basically a giant squash.) and lends itself perfectly to baking.
After a few weeks of struggling to keep my mouth shut I can finally reveal to you lovely readers that I have been offered a job as a baker at the wonderful Lily Vanilli bakery! Lily has been a great source of inspiration for me for the past couple of years and to have the opportunity to work with her is going to be shamazing. The bakery is in Shoreditch, on Columbia Road where they hold the famous flower market every Sunday. The bakery is open only on Sundays for homemade sausage rolls, fresh coffee and of course, delicious cakes. For the rest of the week, there are commissions to be baked and wedding cakes to make. Lily’s style is very natural, she uses lots of seasonal fruit and veg, edible flowers and darling decoration. There is currently just Lily and another wonderful baker, Erin, so it will be amazing to work with a small team plus I have so much to learn.
I have a confession to make. It is pretty bad and I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself. I have found a new love! One that is currently stealing my heart and taking up all my thoughts, all day, every day. And no, the BF shouldn’t fret, my new love is my sewing machine. It has been in my life for a few years now, gathering dust on a shelf, unsure of how to use it. My awesomely skilled crafty friend Laura Cherry had been inspiring me for some time with her beautiful bunting so when a sewing session was suggested to show me how to use my machine, I was super excited. And in those few hours one Saturday afternoon, as I learnt to thread the machine, refill my bobbin and how to stitch straight, I fell head over heels. Since then I have spent many an hour dreaming about what I might create, getting lost in haberdashery departments and raiding my local charity shop for vintage fabrics. So far, I have kept it pretty simple. I’ve made cushion covers using 1970’s bed spreads and replaced the BF’s jean pockets with 80’s curtains. My next project is still dealing with cushions (perfect the simple before moving on) but replacing all the BF’s cushion covers (currently battered and garish Ikea numbers) with John Lewis 1950’s archive print fabric which is just to die for! My new obsession takes time (of which I have little) and sadly, so far I have been taking this time away from cakes and cookies which is why I haven’t been posting much lately but I have noticed how much I have been neglecting my baking and have dedicated myself to coming back with a bang so keep your eyes peeled for some very exciting new cakes coming soon….
After what felt like an eternity of waiting, this week I finally started my brand spanking new super shiny shamazing job! I spent a vast majority of my working week discussing cooking, baking and Le Creuset. It was just heavenly and finished the week brimming with new baking ideas (I now have a list of bakes I want to do as long as my arm). There was lots of listening and learning too which involved copious cups of tea. There is nothing like a cup of tea to start a bit of bonding, if you offer to make someone a cuppa and you execute it properly (tea please, no milk, no sugar, ta), chances are you have made a friend for life. Everyone was just lovely too, even though I was thoroughly annoying by asking for directions every time I left the room (but then I did once get lost trying to get out of a car park and had to ring my friend for directions to get out) and not remembering anyone’s name (I just called everyone babe/hun/doll instead). It is a nice feeling to actually be looking forward to going back to work rather than having the dreaded Sunday evening blues!
Its pretty obvs that I love to bake and there is nothing better than dedicating an entire day to produce a bouncy billowing sponge cake to order. Some cakes can take a couple of hours to produce, some take whole days. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing (butter cream being the exception to this rule. And Fox’s Crunch Cream Biscuits. And Milkybars. And possibly custard). After spending 10 hours on a cake order on Friday I was covered in icing sugar (but then everything in my entire kitchen has a constant layer of shimmering icing sugar), there was butter in my hair and I had devoured so much cake mix I felt rather nauseous (seriously, why bother baking the cake when the mix tastes so frikkin shamazing?!). I just wanted to sit down with a cuppa and watch Supersize Vs Superskinny. Alas, I still had more baking to do, my brother needed something to take to his charity cake sale at work. I obvs offered my services being the wonderfully kind and thoughtful sister I am (it was also out of the eternal guilt I feel from when I pushed him down the stairs when I was 5). However, after my massive all day bake-a-thon, the last thing I wanted to do was spend more time in the kitchen. Sometimes, you want to produce something gorgeously tasty with minimal effort possible, when you don’t have time for technique or decoration, no faff but impressive results.