Kid In The Kitchen

Sarah the creator of the blogging site Sarah Elizabeth Moore has a writing challenge called “The August Write Away”.  I have been struggling to keep up with word and picture prompts this week because last week was crazy busy and it is looking like after today, the week ahead is going to be horribly busy too.

But I am really loving Sarah’s writing prompts, and am sorry I am just completely out of sync with the day they were for.  But I could not resist this one:


I have a very very vivid memory of the kitchen from my childhood.

My Mumma used to like doing some baking for the family.  I don’t remember what she actually baked being my own personal favourites, but I still loved working along with her.  She loved making date and walnut cake, which was a bit too heavy for me to enjoy as a child.  She also made madiera cake, fruit cake and sandwich cakes.

I loved helping my Mum.  I was fascinated by her baking and I was keen to learn.  But at times, I may have been more of a hindrance than a help.

My most vivid memory….one that has frequently come back to me over the years is the time I dropped a bag of sugar onto the tiled floor.  The bag split on impact and sugar spread all over the floor.

Can you imagine my tears?

I cried and cried.  I ran out of the kitchen, through the living room, up the stairs and into my bedroom.  I jumped on my bed and I sobbed and sobbed.

My Mumma – well…I remember she came to me after a few minutes and asked me why I was crying.  I can’t remember my exact words, but I remember that I wanted to help her so much and now I seemed to have ruined things.  I kept on telling her I was sorry, I did not drop the sugar deliberately, it was an accident. I was so upset.

Mumma said if I really wanted to help then I should return to the kitchen with her.  I followed her downstairs feeling rather sullen.  Once we were in the kitchen, Mum told me that accidents happen, sometimes things go wrong because of something we have done, but the important thing is how we deal with them.  She said that crying is not really going to help.  But what would help her, was if together we tidied up the mess.

I instantly threw myself into sweeping up the sugar with the dustpan and brush. Mumma then grabbed the hoover to pick up remaining parts of sugar and then she allowed me to use the mop (I was a bit too short to be very adept with the mop, but I was determined to help Mumma).

Mum thanked me and gave me a huge hug and then suggested we walk down to the local shop to buy some more sugar so we could finish the baking.  When we reached there, she bought me my favourite little bag of white chocolate mice.

I am sure you can see why many times over the years, my memory of how mum dealt with that situation has come back into my mind.  Sometimes we make mistakes, most of them are complete accidents, unintentional.  The important thing is how we deal with them.  We might feel like having a cry…but the most important thing is that we do everything we can to try to tidy up the mess we have made and start over again.

I marvel at the ingenuity both of my parents displayed many times. They remembered to turn many incidents into lessons that would reach our heart and help us for the rest of our lives.

Mum made sure I always knew she was happy to have me by her side trying to help her, and made sure I never felt like a hindrance.  She was incredibly patient.  We enjoyed many more baking sessions together over the years.

FOWC with Fandango — Ingenuity

Day 19 – 2018 AWAC

It Gets Very Hot In The Kitchen

Inconveniently, I needed to go into our communal kitchen to bake. I had promised to bake some cinnamon wheels. A young man who we had been working with was leaving London as his father was ill. We were having a farewell breakfast first thing Monday morning before his drive home. I had asked him what he wanted me to bring along. He said he loved Danish pastries. I suggested cinnamon wheels. He was delighted with the idea.

Only I felt trapped. I knew I had hurt Jack. I could only imagine how he would be feeling. It felt so awkward. I presumed that Jack was in his room broody and sulky. I was in my room paralysed by the horror of what I had done in asking for my thank you card back. But I had promised to make the cinnamon wheels. I had to get into our kitchen.

Eventually, I plucked up the courage to tip-toe into the kitchen. I closed the door silently and tried to extract from the cupboards everything I would need and I set about my task of making cinnamon wheels as quietly as I could, which is not easy when you are shaking with emotion.

I had just rolled my puff pastry stuffed with the cinnamon and raisin filling up and was about to cut it into slices when the door of the kitchen flew open. I will never forget Jack’s dramatic entrance.

Jack was furious! I had never seen him angry. His hair seemed to stand on end and his eyes were bulging like some eccentric scientist. I had never heard him yell like that – a ferocious roar of a yell. I felt awful because I had done this to him. I can’t even remember his first few words, just the fury in which he delivered them. I am not sure what calmed Jack down first. Was it seeing my tearful breakdown in response to his outburst? Or was it when he saw the massive carving knife in my hand that I was wielding on the pastry? We will never know!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lgtdufgu.pngBut Jack did calm down. He started to plead with me. He said I was being completely unfair and what I had done was out of order.  I just nodded and wept, “I know Jack”. He saw I was not trying to argue. I acknowledged I had been unfair, but I was so hurt by everything I had heard that week.

I cannot remember every word of that conversation so I am only going to be able to share with you what I can recall I am afraid, but it will give you an idea of the state of the relationship between Jack and I when we last tried to have an honest talk with each other.  I have been over and over this conversation in my mind many times.  It haunts me still.

I was truly overwhelmed at that point. My emotions were intense and I was terrified that if I opened my mouth I could make it even worse. It made it difficult for me to respond to Jack.

When I could finally string together an emotional sentence that Jack could comprehend, it was about how hard it is when there are so many awful rumours and degrading remarks being made about the two of us. I told him it was unbearable, that it was making life unbearable. I told him that since we had spoken the week before the rumours and gossip were worse than ever before.

He was frustrated with me.  He told me I should not listen to gossip.  He reminded me that we had already talked about the pressure rumours had made us both feel, and that we had agreed to put them aside and just enjoy our friendship.

I shook my head and told him I was not overreacting to people who just wanted to tease me in a friendly way.  Then I gave him a few examples of what I had heard that week. I was too embarrassed to tell him what I had heard people say about what had happened between he and I, but I told him I had been called a slapper, a tramp, a cheap slut, a cheat, (and other names I would prefer not to repeat) even in comments from other people on his own Instagram account. I told him I was sick of being the subject of such horrible remarks. His face looked very stern as he was listening.

He said he was so sorry that I had heard those awful things. He asked me who I had heard these things from. I didn’t answer directly, I said I had heard them from friends and seen things on phones with my own eyes. I told him I had seen the comments on his Instagram account. Jack took my hand into his soft velvet paws.

With real earnestness in his eyes, Jack softly said: “Mel…..

(Now…because of the ridiculous length of the post I had typed out, I have decided to split the exchange between Jack and I into two separate posts. So, if you are wondering what happened next, look out for what Jack next said to me tomorrow!)

This is part of what I am calling:


Would You Like A Cup Of Tea?

What Happened After That Cup Of Tea?

What Did Suzie Have To Say About It?

What Did Marta Have To Say About It?

What Did Ella Have To Say About It?

What Did His Friends Have To Say About It?

Something Was Brewing… And It Certainly Was Not Another Cup Of Tea!

Would There Be Another Cup Of Tea?

It Gets Very Hot In The Kitchen

What Did Jack Have To Say About It?

Nobody Else Really Understood

FOWC with Fandango — Tease

Apple And Blackberry Beast Of A Scone

Did you know it is INTERNATIONAL SCONE WEEK? Tandy the creator of Lavender and Lime is hosting a scone spectacular. If you are a budding baker, scone maker, cream tea partaker…I am sure you will love to see the array of scones that have been made by WordPress bloggers. If you want to take part…prepare a post and link it to Tandy’s INTERNATIONAL SCONE WEEK post. This is Tandy’s host post:

International Scone Week 2020


I have eaten quite a few scones during the course of my life. Usually, we partake of scones on visits to National Trust historical houses. After wandering around admiring the tapestries and carpentry, we head to the cafe and order ourselves a cream tea – a big pot of tea to share, along with scones with jam and cream.

I told Jack about a recipe I used to make during my first year working as a cook/baker in a private household. (Yes…they actually paid me money to cook and bake for them…nobody fell ill or was hospitalised during my employment, which was a great boost for my confidence.)


I looked through my recipe file and found the very recipe I had in mind. It is not a recipe for scones, but rather a recipe for a gigantic scone. It is an APPLE AND BLACKBERRY BEAST OF A SCONE!



  • 1 cooking apple
  • 25gr caster sugar
  • 8 cloves
  • 75gr blackberries
  • 2tsp cornflour
  • 200gr self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 75gr unsalted butter
  • 25gr oatmeal
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 90mil milk


  • milk to glaze
  • demerara sugar and medium oatmeal to sprinkle
  • 75gr blackberries

So…let’s begin. Before anything else, we had to preheat the oven to 200ºc and lightly grease a 20cm spring-release cake tin.

We then prepared the fruit for the scone. We had to peel, core and slice the apple before putting it into a bowl with the blackberries, sugar, cloves and cornflour. Then we gently mixed it together so that the sugary cornflour is coating all of the fruit.

Then we had to turn our attention to the scone dough. We started by sifting the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder and then placing it all into my food processor. Then we added the butter (chopped into small pieces) and processed until the mix resembled breadcrumbs. Then we added the milk, and processed…and we ended up with a soft dough – which was a little bit sticky I thought.

Next was the rolling. After flouring my worktop, we rolled out two thirds of the dough into a circle roughly 23cm. It was very tricky to transfer the rolled out dough into the cake tin. However, the dough is fairly malleable, so it was alright in the end! The recipe said to use the dough so that there is a one inch rim all around. Hopefully, you can see in my photo how that looks.

Then the apple and blackberry fruit mix are piled up inside the center. We brushed the dough around the edge with some milk. After that, we rolled out the remaining third of the dough to form a lid. The dough lid fitted perfectly over the fruit, and we pressed together the edges gently to bind the dough.

Then we brushed the lid with milk and sprinkled with demerara sugar and oatmeal. We baked the scone for thirty minutes.


After the thirty minutes, we took the scone out of the oven and reduced the heat to 160ºc. We scattered  the remaining blackberries on top of the scone and sprinkled more demerara sugar and oatmeal before returning to the oven for another twenty minutes.

Then we removed the golden scone from the oven and left it in the tin for five minutes before we transferred it to a cooling rack.


It was very yummy. I definitely had that scone consistency and tasted so lovely, the hint of cinnamon worked so well with the apple and blackberry. Yum! This is Jack’s portion…he had some whipped cream with his. I had mine with a little drizzle of honey.

The recipe said that you can make this with pears, or with peaches and raspberries. I also found a recipe for a huge lemon and blackberry scone in the Waitrose magazine.


Cooks, Confectioner, Children'S, Sweets

The suspense has been hard to endure! After the amazing display of BAKING and PICNIC creations we saw from THE GREAT BLOGGERS of WordPress, we have awaited with breathless anticipation for the announcement of the 2020 STAR BAKER!

Cook, Confectioner, Food, Desserts

At last our wonderful judge Jeanne, the creator of A Jeanne in the Kitchen, has had chance to peruse all of the gorgeous photos she received and has made her decision!

Scroll down to discover who THE GREAT BLOGGERS BAKE-OFF 2020 STAR BAKER is…

Please give a huge cheer to this year’s STAR BAKER…


…and to find out who it is…click the link below to read Jeanne’s post where she makes the announcement!!!

The Results Are In

A Sweet Note From Sa

We are almost reaching the end of the BAKING submissions from our truly wonderful WordPress bloggers. It’s time to return to a sweet note.

We have two delicious sweets from  theresaly520 theresaly520, the creator of the beautiful website Culture Shocks, who has been very busy in her kitchen, making a stunning Glazed Fruit Tart (this is something I really want to make, so thank you for supllying the recipes you followed Sa!) and some delicious Melt-In-Your-Mouth Butter Cookies – yummy!

This is Sa’s gorgeous post where she shares with us her fabulous baking and the great recipes she followed:



I mentioned yesterday that Sa produces very beautiful posts, so I wanted beautiful music videos to go with her bakes. I also wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you to Sa for her gorgeous baking and to all of other brilliant bloggers who have made THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC such a fantastic party!

Thank you to everyone for putting up with the musical choices of the weekend – that was a big responsibility and I know it may have been testing to some of you. On that note…here is another famous ABBA song!!! Yayyyyyy!

Rolling With It!

I am so impressed by Gary, aka bereavedandbeingasingleparent, who has been in intense training for a live BAKE-OFF challenge. He has made some extraordinary BAKES these past few weeks.

I have a feeling that if we were all together physically, enjoying all these amazing BAKING and PICNIC creations, Gary’s next PICNIC productions would vanish very quickly! Who doesn’t love a sausage roll (vegan for me please Gary!) Even better, Gary’s sausage rolls are gluten free.

This was Gary’s wonderful post featuring the story of these sausage rolls (Greggs had better watch out…Gary’s going to be stiff competition!)

Great Bloggers Bake-off



I am going to state the obvious…when it comes to sausage rolls, you gotta roll with it, you gotta take your time…!

We all love a sausage roll…especially a vegan sausage roll!!!

A Red Velvet Danish

We have our second of two amazing Danish bloggers who create fantastic posts on WordPress. We all know the Danes are famed for their delicious viennoiserie…but they make pretty awesome cakes too!

And…it is a delightful cake we have from KiannaKitter   Kianna Kitter, is truly flying the flag for Denmark! Kianna baked a Red Velvet Cake, filled with vanilla cream. After glazing her cake, Kianna decorated it with (Danish red and white) sparkles and red fruits, reminiscent of the fine-looking flag of Denmark!


There are so many songs on the theme “red”…I checked out scores, to the point that I became really fussy! But eventually I settled on one because I liked the video. But as Kianna’s submission is now taking THE BAKE-OFF into the early hours of Monday morning (here in London), I thought I would tag one of my favourite party songs.

Don’t you just love that WordPress bloggers have had a party for the entire weekend…and we are still partying in the early hours of Monday morning! Yayyyyyyy!


Beautiful Blogging And Baking

Throughout the summer months I live on salad and something on the side. Most of the time, that side is quiche! I love quiche. I love variety, so I am always experimenting and looking for different combinations of veggies to quiche-ify!

I was very pleased when I saw that theresaly520 theresaly520, the creator of the beautiful website Culture Shocks, had sent in her photos of her Mushroom Quiche.

To me…quiche is iconically SUMMER, PICNIC and of course BAKING! Which makes it the perfect addition to THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF 2020 SUMMER PICNIC! This is Sa’s gorgeous post where she shares with us her fabulous baking and the great recipes she followed:


I could have chosen the B-52s famous “Quiche Lorraine” song…but inspired by our the beautiful images that Sa uses on her site (her site really is one of the most beautiful on WordPress), I wanted to perpetuate more beauty, summer, nature, love and wonderful! We love you Sa! Your posts are so beautiful!

I should have warned Kristian this song was coming!

I Wouldn’t Touch It If I Were You!

I am sure you have been impressed by the BAKING of our very own Gary, aka bereavedandbeingasingleparent. Gary has certainly not shied away from taking on some serious BAKING challenges in his hard core training for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF.

However, this BAKING creation from Gary, reaches a whole new realm of delectable digestives. We have here a record of his attempt at the classic Soufflé – only this one is a dairy and gluten free version – which left me speechless! Literally…no words!

Gary didn’t actually specify if was a chocolate Soufflé, I was just hoping that was the case!



What do you say to that? I don’t think anyone can compete with baking like this. Gary you truly are in a category all of your own!!!

I should not tease our glorious Gary…I am sure it tasted delicious!