My 2016 entry for the Eurovision party was this lower fat lemon tart on BBC Good Food, or tarte au citron seeing as I was bringing a French themed morsel to the party table. It uses low fat creme fraiche instead of cream but none of the party guests could tell it was a healthier take on the tart. I employed the services of Burford Brown eggs as I love the bright colour of their yolks and hope it produced a punchier looking dessert. I also increased the amount of pastry as in many of the comments people said they struggled to line the tart tin although I think my pastry could have been a little thinner.
I’ve had this song in my head for a while now. Some of you may remember I was kicked out of my home of 8 and a half years so that my landlord could sell it for double what he bought it for 11 years ago. Tomorrow I will be 8 weeks in on my own house purchase in the relative countryside of North Kent.
I am having serious first time buyer wobbles. I don’t really want to leave my familiar leafy South West London surrounds but the rent is so high now and I certainly could never dream of buying in London anymore. The choice was a grotty studio flat in Croydon or a Victorian cottage in Gillingham, Kent.
My little house is lovely, very well maintained with period features, a south facing garden and hard won after it was the fifth property I offered on in four months of looking and by far the best I had seen. I will also be 30 minutes away from my aunt, uncle and nan.
So why the hesitation? By buying in Kent I will be reducing my outgoings whilst still being within commuting distance of London. This was my primary goal if I am to get my assisting career off the ground. On paper the plan seems perfect but why do I already feel like this house is a millstone round my neck shackling me to the 9-5 world that I hate, a job that has begun to make me feel ill and saps me of my energy.
Thoughts of growing my own veg, getting another cat, turning the house into a Farrow & Ball coloured dream home after renting forever and finally being able to buy commercial sized polyboards and blackout blinds to manipulate light in a way I’ve so far not been able to do in rented properties are countered by the fear of the unfamiliar, the burden of being a home owner and the mortgage company forcing me to sell the house 2 years from now should I dare to become a freelancer in the interim years of my fixed rate deal.
For now I shall bounce between fear and excitement as I wait to hear news of exchange and completion dates from my solicitor and make the most of photographing the contents of my housemates organic veg boxes.
In a desperate attempt to do some baking without having something irresistible in the house afterwards to scupper my pre holiday healthy eating, I have turned to canine baking! This recipe for carrot and caraway dog biscuits is from River Cottage: Cakes and the biscuits have been well received by my friends dogs. My workmates weren’t so sure and thought they were a bit dry but 50 mins in the oven will do that!
So here I am about to embark on sharing my kitchen adventures. Triumphs and no doubt a few disasters….Hmmmm I probably won’t photograph them!
Growing up, I used to annoy my mum no end because I couldn’t just follow a recipe, I had to tweek or change it a bit. Sometimes the tweeks worked and other times they didn’t. Even now when I research classic recipes I take elements from two or three to create my own version. They are not wildly different but I hope I can become braver in creating recipes on this journey.
For the last 2 and a half years I have been baking for a friends stall and my savoury cooking has been very neglected so I thought I’d use this opportunity to start wading though the pile of recipes I have earmarked or torn out of magazines, don’t worry there are lots of cakes in the pile too!