Saturday, 31 December 2011

Here's to another year of brilliant baking

I set up Grandma Abson's Traditional Baking blog this time last year so I’ve been looking back over the last year at what has been going on. It has definitely been a whirlwind, with lots of excitement and plenty of tasty baking.  Here are my top Grandma Abson moments from the year.

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 192 recipes and 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 reproducing wonderful array of Grandma’s treats and serving them in a most professional manner. This was when Bridlington Cake first 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 Waterstone's .
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.  The group of people who do the  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. 

Who can resist those wondrous smells of homemade baking, straight out of the oven? 

Afternoon tea in London was a delightful affair and the sun came out to serve us up a wonderful time.  





even got dressed up as a cook in service to reenact Stir Up Sunday and make a Plum Pudding for the visitors to Cusworth Hall.


                              


Lovely media

Grandma’s had lots of coverage in the media and Parkin and  Boxing Day Cake recipes have found their way to Saga's website, Deliciously Yorkshire's  website and Grandma’s book featured in Living North’s Tasting Notes’. Her fame travelled worldwide and my visit for Young Enterprise 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 some lovely fond family memories of Colin and Pat’s Diamond Wedding celebrations in April, made all the more poignant by our sad loss when he died later in the year. He loved the Diamond Wedding cake, and commented particularly on the home made almond paste which he referred to as an exquisite delight. Pat has the lily of the valley decoration in pride of place on her mantelpiece.



The Wedding cake
Our wedding of the year wasn’t Will and Kate’s but Katherine and Phil’s. I achieved the ultimate feat of making and decorating (with help from Kay) their amazing 3 tiered Wedding Cake   for their magnificent wedding at Hodsock Priory on the hottest day of the year on 1 October!



2012

So what will 2012 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 from the pantry, classic cakes and puddings, biscuits, jams, chutneys and quirky ones to try. 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 new way of listing recipes on the blog so they are easy to access. 

If you have a treasured recipe, please send it to me to share with everyone. There’s a whole world ready to enjoy Grandma Abson’s Traditional Baking. 

It only remains for me to wish you happy and blissful baking in 2012!

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