Hello my lovelies! Hope you’ve all had a good week. Made it through the not-so-summery weather bomb. Managed to sneak some moments of sunshine. I’ve been out and about a bit this last week. I made a new friend. I helped another friend make delicious pies and cookies. Worked on some recipes. Made some preserves. Had a scare with my plants. Mum saved the day. Don’t they always? On Sunday I made a birthday tart for my oldest friend.
So NZ, where the fuck is our summer? I have noticed a shift over the last few years that the summer weather has been coming later and later and we end up with sunny weather right through to June. But this is ridiculous. There is snow for goodness sake. In January. Sigh. Fingers crossed it comes good in the next few weeks so we can get out and about a bit more.
I had two wonderful outings this week. I made a brand new friend who is also big into baking and doing her own thing on the side. Lauren is also working out what her 2017 looks like for her baking projects although she isn’t making a change as wholesale as mine! I’m so glad I met her and really look forward to catching up and maybe collaborating this year. What a sunny start to the week.
On Thursday I had a blast helping out a fairly recent friend do her weekly baking for her food business. Eloise is the power behind Montfoort, a Wellington company that makes fresh dutch treats at farmers markets around the region and also sells the most amazing fresh stroopwafels to cafes and retailers. I got to give her a hand and hang out for the day.
I learned a few tricks and a couple of secrets. But not all the secrets. Stroopwafel making is hard on the hands. Hopefully she’ll let me back again. I also snaffled a bag of wafel trimmings that I made into an amazing no churn ice cream. I used Nigella Lawson’s standard base and folded in crushed wafel cookie pieces and cinnamon caramel sauce. So good.
So my herbs were trucking along nicely and then one day they were covered in APHIDS. I panicked. Emailed my Mum. ‘WTF is on my plants? How do I kill them?!?!?’ A quick trip to the garden centre and some careful spraying and my little babies are unmolested once again. I am irrationally emotionally attached to these herbs. I never could grow anything properly and my recent success has been so encouraging that I am clinging to it. Look at those evil white lurkers!
I finalised a recipe I have been working on for another new friend, Jax from Libertine Blends. This Honey Kapow Corn is the shiz. The recipe will be up on her site before long so head on over to check out the teas and some of the other recipes she has up.
I can’t remember if I have mentioned that I love preserving. This week I made a Spicy Plum Sauce from one of my favourite books The Modern Preserver, by Kylee Newton. She is an expat Kiwi living in London who runs a business selling preserves of all kinds and now teaches classes. I may have bumped up the heat a little bit. It’s basically hot sauce made with plums. Good though.
It was my best gal’s birthday this weekend. It’s not a great time of year for her and we managed to make it a bit more relaxing. We went for a meandering shopping trip. Popping into this store and that. Punctuated by gossiping in the car. And I made a birthday tart. When I asked what she wanted I was given vague guidelines about chocolate, cherries and cinnamon. And something to do with low carb. I left out that last part. Because birthdays should be delicious. And we were left with a chocolate shortbread crust with cherry jam and cinnamon frangipane. Candles but no singing. We also had a skype call with another friend in Melbourne. It was lovely to catch up after the birth of her first child.
I got a real boost from all my friending this week. It’s easy to forget what a lift a good friend can give you. I had been struggling with motivation the last couple of weeks and it really helped to spend time with enthusiastic people who are into the same things as me. It also helps to spend time with my biggest cheerleaders. Because I work from home now it’s easy to forget how important your interactions with support crews are. Don’t forget friends. Make time to give each other an injection of support and energy.
Look after each other x