Cake making WITH PURPOSE. That's what.
Birthday update! Seconds before consumption!
...is the marketing spin upon which Stoke Place has settled. So Al and I reinvented our traditional weekend, by eliminating the girls from it. Huzzah!
It was one of those Grouponny style Saturday nights away, with dinner and a bottle of fizz thrown in. Al bought me it for my birthday. To be honest, the appeal was mostly in getting rid of the girls for a night and having other people run around and do stuff for the day - no particular expectations of the dinner, aside from there being three courses of it. This turned out a substantial disservice done to the extremely fine Garden Room Restaurant, which offers cuisine to Michelin Star standards, at rather less than typical Michelin Star prices. Three courses for £45, which were already included in the deal (along with several amuse-bouches). OK, we near doubled the cost with service, coffee (plus superb petit-fours) and lack of restraint on the winelist, but this was an exceptional meal for the money. Breakfast wasn't half-bad either.
I took some snaps. Inevitably.
Abby's Valentine's Day baking wasn't driven entirely out of a love of culinary creation... She took her efforts to school... and so did everyone else. The school mixed them up and flogged them back to the children blind, a mixed plate for a quid. The children bring them home and stuff themselves with their variety cake selection and the PTA makes a load of dosh. So no losers in that equation then. Oh, hang on...
Whoever brought in the poly-encased 'Madeleine D'Armor': D-Minus, Must Try Harder. You could at least have unwrapped them and attempted to wing it...
She's a cake fiend. Any excuse. 'Oh, it's Valentines Day? I'd better get baking...'
Is rather more regular than just Shrove Tuesday in this household. Because I make the MOST EXCELLENT pancakes. And I like to eat my MOST EXCELLENT pancakes. They were the second bit of proper cooking that my Mum taught me (after a classic French Omelette), following which they became a routine after-school snack. If I was at home on my own, lunch prep quite often extended to knocking up half a pint of batter and then seeing if I could get more than eight pancakes out of it.
It appears that this crepe-predilection is genetically transmitted. Today, the girls had pancakes at school. And then they had pancakes after school, courtesy of Janet, who picks them up on Tuesdays. When Abby arrived home from gym, the first thing she said to me when I opened the door was 'Have you started the pancakes yet?' This, after enduring an hour of pancake whingeing from Hatty... ('Why does Abby have to be home first? Why can't I have my pancakes now? It's not fair etc etc').
So - they each had four like this...
And then GASPED in horror when they realised I was putting the empty batter jug in the dishwasher. Because IT IS NOT EMPTY DADDY. There is still AT LEAST one pancake to be coaxed from the last few drops.
And they made me cook this.
They cut it in half. To share. DROWNED in maple syrup. And then they ARGUED about WHOSE HALF WAS BIGGEST.