Saturday, 31 December 2011

Here's to another year of brilliant baking

I set up Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking blog a year ago so I’ve been looking back over the last year. It has definitely been a whirlwind, with plenty of tasty baking.  Here are my top Grandma Abson moments....

Putting the finishing touches to Grandma's book
I was quite nervous about getting the layout and design right but the patience and determination of Mark and colleagues at FCD brought me through the process to bring Grandma’s book to the market. The team also proved to be most discerning in tasting the recipes. Paradise Cake was a regular winner.

Launching Grandma's book
Grandma’s book launch in June was a splendid affair with the Catering students at Dearne Valley College proudly showing off their expertise in producing a wonderful array of Grandma’s treats and serving them in a most professional manner. And Bridlington Cake made a superb entrance to the scene.

Meeting people 
I’ve really appreciated seeing so many faces light up at baketastic book signings at lots of branches of Waterstones. The staff have been fabulous book ambassadors and always made me feel so welcome with mugs of tea to keep me going. They’ve certainly been fans of Grandma's baking! 
I’ve delivered talks to all sorts of groups and debated how to craft the perfect pastry, the tastiest biscuits and the most delectable cakes.  Chiswick Boot Camp all joined in my baking lesson and produced a fabulous Marmalade Spice Cake. 
With Grandma’s easy to follow instructions, it was great fun getting my friend and saxophone teacher, Maria started baking with her first ever gorgeous chocolate cake. 
Afternoon tea in London was a delightful affair and the sun came out too.  Who can resist those wondrous smells of homemade baking, straight out of the oven? 
I got dressed up as a cook in service to reenact Stir Up Sunday and make a Plum Pudding for the visitors to Cusworth Hall.

Grandma’s had lots of coverage in the media with recipes featuring on Saga and Deliciously Yorkshire's  websites and Living North’s Tasting Notes. Her fame travelled worldwide and my visit to San Francisco brought an international audience to Yorkshire baking.  My favourite review came from my son’s friend, Ana Cecilia  who rates Grandma’s book as 'her personal cooking bible’. She’s posted a mean Coffee Cake picture too.

Diamond Wedding Anniversary cake
We’ve fond family memories of Colin and Pat’s Diamond Wedding celebrations in April, made more poignant by our sad loss when Colin died later in the year. He loved the Diamond Wedding cake, and described the home made almond paste as an ‘exquisite delight’. Pat has the lily of the valley decoration in pride of place on her mantelpiece. 

Wedding of the Year 
Our wedding of the year was Katherine and Phil’s. I achieved the ultimate feat of making and decorating their amazing 3 tiered Wedding Cake for their magnificent wedding at Hodsock Priory on the hottest day of the year in October!

What will the next year bring? 
The passion I have for the delights of home baking and desire to pass on the skills I learnt with Grandma is as strong as ever. Her recipes are a beautiful combination of simple ingredients, classic cakes and puddings, biscuits, jams, chutneys and some quirky ones to try out. Her signature baking reminds us how quintessentially British it is that we put the kettle on for a cup of tea and a piece of cake to deal with all manner of life’s difficulties. I hope you like the way of listing recipes on the blog so they are easy to access. Have a very Happy New Year!

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