Archive | February, 2012

Yaw Eladseet Episode 3 – Preston Park to Middleton-One-Row

26 Feb

Part three of the Teesdale Way today from Preston Park to Middleton-One-Row. About 11.5 miles along the river Tees, so pretty flat, but very pleasant walking.


We had a really good turnout today too with 23 members of the group in attendance. I think the dry mild weather helped!

Glaisdale, Egton Bridge & the River Esk

19 Feb

We had a glorious day for walking today, taking in just over 8 miles in the North Yorkshire Moors. The weather was dry and sunny, but there was a pretty cold wind blowing, which was quite biting when you got up on to exposed moorland, but in the valleys the weather was really very clement for February.


The walk was great because there was lots of different terrains: some climbing, some forest walking, some road walking, some moorland walking, and walking through fields. Plenty to keep everyone interested.

The Wedding. And the cake!

19 Feb

So the wedding…!

We were so lucky with the weather. It doesn’t happen often in February but, despite being bitterly cold, the sun shone!

Half of the office made it to the Registry Office in Durham in the morning to see Lindsay and Colin tieImage the knot. The service was small and lovely. The bride looked adorable, and groom looked very smart in his kilt, and the bridesmaid, who looked cute as a button, was very very well behaved.

Lynsey and Colin spent the afternoon with their close family members at Lumley Castle enjoying a meal (which I hear was absolutely lovely).

The evening ‘do’ was a lovely homemade event at a local church hall where Colin and Lynsey run a swords club. Both are pretty adept with a samurai sword, and we  were treated to a wonderful sword demonstration by members of the club, and finally Lindsay and Colin. All I can say is that when Lyndsay is wielding a sword, she is a very frightening lady. I’m a little worried about asking her to do banal office tasks for me now! 🙂 We also enjoyed a lovely Northumbrian piper (I adore the Northumbrian pipes), and then there was dancing, but not before the cake was cut (with a samurai sword of course). 



The cupcakes had been made by one of the other girls in the office, and it was by complete chance that the frosting matched. It almost looks like we co-ordinated! There were two little girls at the reception, and I have never seen girls happier than when they were told that they could have a cupcake each! 🙂

Oh, and for those curious whether the purple stripes came out (because I certainly was), here is the proof, and everyone tells me that the cake was really good. So, mission accomplished, despite the 6 layer mishap (see the previous post)!


The Cake for a Wedding

18 Feb

Today I’m at a wedding.

I work with Lindsay at the University. She is a sparky Canadian and I adore her. So, when I heard that she was planning a wedding at very short notice, and an even shorter budget, I wanted to do everything I could to help out.

The result was that I somehow found myself volunteering to make a cake for the wedding. Not a wedding cake, that has far too many perfection connotations, no, I would be making her a cake for her wedding.It was both a terrifying and thrilling prospect.

I love to bake, and being a vegan I love conjuring baking magic in the kitchen and wowing my friends and family with just how delicious and fulfilling food can be when you remove all aspects of cruelty. So, being given the green light to make a cake for an omni wedding was a real thrill.


I really wanted to get it right so a fortnight ago I had a test run. It had to be different to the cake I was making for the actual wedding so I 

made a four layer vanilla sponge, with (vegan) red food dye in it, and covered it in chocolate fudge frosting. I deliberately made it with wheat-flour so that I couldn’t eat any (I wasn’t about to sabotage the diet I have been working on since Jan), and so the cake went into the office for sampling. The feedb


ack was very positive,and the cake disappeared into peoples’ tummies pretty swiftly. So I knew my sponge recipe was just about right.

So that takes me to Friday night. I left work a little early with my plan to construct a 6 layer sponge cake, with purple and vanilla stripes, raspberry jam filling and vanilla frosting. 

I got the first layer out of the oven and it was looking pretty amazing, 


and smelt pretty amazing too. The vanilla sponge recipe I was using worked really nicely. I carried on and got all six sponge lay

ers completed and cooled and started the assembly. That’s where the first disaster occurred. As I started with the layers they started sliding about all over the place. and then one of the layers collapsed completely. 

So, I decided, 6 layers was too ambitious. Two layers were scrapped and we went back to a four layer cake. I covered it in a thin layer of vanilla frosting and put it in the fridge with some trepidation – would it all hold together?

This morning, when I came down to the kitchen for breakfast, and the essential morning coffee, I opened the fridge door nervously. Would I find a cake disaster. I let out a relieved breath to discover a perfect crumb coated four layer sponge cake waiting for me.

The cake was frosted this morning, and is currently resting in the fridge before tonight’s reception party. And I’m really happy with it. Lindsay and Colin have bought a Lego geisha and samurai for the cake toppers, and I’m really excited to see them with their little feet nestled in the vanilla frosting. They are going to cut the cake with a samurai sword. The next task is to transport the cake from my house to the reception venue without damaging it or destroying. Keep your fingers crossed for me!





Adventures in cake making

5 Feb

Homemade Salsa

5 Feb