A GREAT GIFT FOR ANY TEA, CAKE AND CHOCOLATE DEVOTEE…

I have just published my book ‘A Little Book on Tea Cake & Chocolatewhich would make a great gift for anyone who loves tea, cake and chocolate. 

This little book on tea and cake is a guide about one of our favourite beverages. It explains tea pairings, tea and chocolate, tea and health, tea and sandwiches, fascinating tea facts, buying the right tea, tea to help you sleep and tea cozies and teapots. It also features over one hundred tips on baking cakes and has some recipes for delicious loaf cakes. It finishes with several lovely tea quotes.

A great book for any tea devotee. It’s available on Amazon for £2.99

Over the last three months of spending hours after hours and days after days at the hospital, where my Dad was,  I started making notes of some of my posts on tea, cake and chocolate as I felt sure I could use it in a book.

There are nineteen chapters which cover all the tea topics I have mentioned above plus tips on how to make the best cake, pastry, and more. I also cover baking apps and recipe books old and new.

I finally finished it at the weekend and it is now available to buy as a paperback and hopefully as a kindle read soon. I would love some feedback if any readers bought the book.

 

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BEAUTIFUL DANISH PASTRY IN SKAGEN, DENMARK…

We had a recent one week’s cruise to Bruges in Brussels, Copenhagen and Skagen in Denmark and Oslo in Sweden. The weather was beautiful apart from in Oslo where it was dull and damp but that certainly didn’t spoil our visit.

Our first port of call was Bruges where we could easily walk to from the ship and where we were determined to have some of their famous moules frites.

Our second port of call was Copenhagen where we were told before we embarked that eating a meal in Copenhagen was very very expensive so we decided to just have a drink then go back to the ship for lunch. We had a lovely boat ride around Copenhagen, which was stunning.

Our third port of call was Skagen also in Denmark where we were taken to a little village with lots and lots and lots of little coffee shops and restaurants but this time we decided we would have a Danish Pastry and a cup of tea.

It was the nicest, lightest danish I had ever had and was worth every penny to pay for it. I loved Skagen and it’s quirky interior shops. Our final port of call was Oslo, the home of the troll which was another expensive stop but well worth walking around the town and the views as we left Oslo were something I will never forget. It seemed to go on for ages with little island after little island and yellow painted houses and ski lifts. I would love to make a visit back to Oslo as I felt out of all three it would make a great place for a weekend break.

THE DAIRY BOX OF HOME COOKERY…

The Dairy Box of Home Cookery by Emily Anderson is a special anniversary edition of this book celebrating 50 years of this classic cookbook, featuring 950 classic recipes including 50 new recipes sure to become firm family favourites.

The Dairy Dairy website has lots of gift ideas around this famous book with recipes and competitions to enter. The legendary Dairy Book of Home Cookery is the perfect reference book for both novice and experienced cooks. It’s cited as one of the most trusted recipe books of all time and is revered by all those who own a copy.

It has extensive cook’s information and over 900 recipes from soups to desserts, baking to confectionery, this is the one cookbook you’ll return to time after time. This new edition contains all the favourites from the original book along with new British classics.

Its photography has been updated to create a stunning, attractive and invaluable book. Over 3 million sold! 18 chapters 900+ recipes & variations Triple-tested recipes Nutritional facts per recipe Ribbon page marker Easy-to-follow instructions Essential cooking techniques Hints & tips for success.

THE HISTORY OF BABYCHAM…

Babycham was created in the 1940s by Frances Showeing where it became one of the first drinks actively promoted to the middle-classes. Post-war, it was one of the first adverts to appear on television and it was targetted specifically at women.

The first Babycham Deer leapt into our lives and onto our glasses in the 1950s.  He was a white deer standing upright at first with all four legs together. In the 1960’s the deer turned into a golden brown colour with a loose blue bow.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, it became an international icon for chic. It was also very important in Somerset as the drink maker employed around 1,000 people.

During the late 1970s, a champagne flute with the well known yellow deer came into circulation with no wording around the base and no gilt trim. It remained as a champagne flute into the 1980’s but the deer changed from yellow to fawn and he lost his antlers.

In the 1990’s the deer disappeared with a rebrand of Babycham which they did in the hope it would appeal to both sexes. However, by 1997 the deer returned for the female sex.

You can still find Babycham in the supermarkets now and of course, it always tastes better out of a Babycham glass whatever decade it originates from!

VINTAGE GROCERY BRANDS, FIFTIES STYLE…

The hardware shops of the fifties were where you could get most of your household goods as supermarkets were not up and running then. It was home for household items like balls of string, cook’s matches, mothballs, toilet blocks and nails. You could also purchase crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment.

Some of the traditional cleaning products survived the war and are still around today. Those who have changed little in their design including Brasso (in the can), Lux Soap Flakes, Tide Washing Powder and Ajax Scouring Powder. Other popular brands include Harpic, Flash and Surf. Of course, laundry detergents were quite different with optical brighteners like Reckitts Blue which would be added to the final rinsing water to ensure the linen was whiter than white.

Even some of the old breakfast cereals are still going strong, Kellogg’s Cornflakes and Frosted Flakes (now known as Frosties) Shreddies, Quaker Puffed Wheat, and Scotts Porridge Oats.

Although the fast food was not happening until the middle of the 1950’s there was plenty of canned foods around like, soup, luncheon meat, corned beef and tinned fruit and vegetables. Frozen foods were also starting to become popular with fish fingers being one of the first ones on the market.

Of course, there are still a number of stock cupboard items still going strong now including Marmite, Oxo, Bisto, Colemans Mustard Powder and Atora Suet. Diet drinks were not available at that time but Tizer, Lucozade, Kia Oran Pepsi and Coca-cola topped the list of favourites.

If you still love some of your oldies then try the British Corner Shop below.

The British Corner Shop is a unique online supermarket for expats around the world. Whether you miss Marmite or crave Warburtons crumpets, they can deliver your British favourites straight to your door.

Their website stocks over 10,000 products from Britain’s most loved brands, meaning you can enjoy the British food you miss, wherever you are in the world.

Customer service is at the heart of their business. Since their humble beginnings in 1999, they have refined and developed British Corner Shop, building on the wants and needs of their loyal customers.

From purchasing your shopping through to the delivery, they want their customers to have total confidence when ordering with them.

You don’t have to be a British expat to use the service. If you have friends or relatives overseas who may be missing the taste of home, why not order them a box of British happiness? Their service is perfect for sending parcels of British food to Brits in the Armed Forces and others working abroad.

7 STRANGE (BUT SCRUMPTIOUS) SANDWICHES TO TRY…

7 Strange (but scrumptious) sandwiches to try.

Bored with cheese and ham? If you’re looking for a new exotic sandwich filling to have with your afternoon tea, why not try some of these weird and wonderful combinations from around the world – they’re tastier than they sound!

BRIE, BACON AND CRANBERRY SAUCE...

Brie, bacon and cranberry is a coffee shop fixture that you may have tried before, although those unfamiliar may dubious to try it. The creaminess of the brie, the saltiness of the bacon and the sharpness of the cranberry may seem like an odd match, but together the flavours and textures in this filling all work wonders. This sandwich is best served toasted as it causes the brie to melt. For a more festive take, you can even swap out the bacon for roast turkey.

PRAWNS, AVOCADO AND CHILLI JAM...

Prawns and chilli jam is a classic Thai pairing that can also be turned into a tasty sandwich filling. Adding avocado to the mix can help to offset the spiciness and make it altogether more wholesome. You can buy fresh shellfish and add a pinch of pepper to turn this into a gourmet sandwich. Try mixing the prawns and chilli jam beforehand so that the flavours all mix.

HAM AND PINEAPPLE

If you’re a fan of Hawaiian pizza, why not try this topping in sandwich form? Grilled ham is the best option to use with pineapple, although you can also use bacon or roast pork. You can even put swiss cheese in the sandwich and grill it to help meld the flavours.

SPAGHETTI  BOLOGNESE…

Got some leftover spag bol? This could make a scrumptious sandwich filling for the next day’s lunch. You can also use leftover lasagne, ravioli or any other mince-based meal. Serve this with a thick bread or baguette that won’t get too soggy from the bolognese sauce.

AVOCADO, MOZZARELLA AND TOMATO

This trio of flavours is popular in Italy, with ingredient reflecting a colour in the Italian flag. Whilst it’s tasty enough on its own, you can also put it with some flatbread for a tasty sandwich. For add zing, you can also add some balsamic vinegar.

CHORIZO, EGG AND SALSA...

Known as Choripan, this spicy combination hails from Argentina. It often just consists of chorizo sausage and chimichurri salsa, but many people also like to throw an egg in there to give it that added dimension. This filling is great for when you’re fancying something fiery.

PEANUT BUTTER, CELERY AND RAISIN…

If you’re vegan or looking for a healthy but wholesome option, this unusual sandwich could be just what you need. It may sound like a monstrosity on the surface, but actually, the flavours harmonise well.  The peanut butter and celery gives it a creaminess but also a crunch, whilst the raisins add a subtle sweetness.