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Get set… BAKE!

31 August 2016
By Sarah

Soggy bottoms, squirrel’s nuts and star bakers. It can only mean one thing… the return of the Great British Bake Off! I’m with respondents of a recent Yale survey who said it was their top TV show for a perfect night in. I’ve been on a countdown for its return.

I can’t get enough of presenters Mel and Sue’s innuendos; “You’ve got two hours to pop Mary’s cherry” being my favourite. I love Mary and Paul’s iconic partnership with Paul’s directness and Mary’s more understated, left-hanging remarks!

Flowers for Friendship

10 August 2016
By Sarah

What do you look for in a friend? A sense of humour, family values and moral compass have come top of a new list of the most important friendship factors. Shared hobbies, similar backgrounds and matching music tastes, also rate highly. Trustworthiness is rated as the most important quality we look for in our friends, followed closely by loyalty and supportiveness.

When it comes to friendship, it seems us ladies take it far more seriously than menfolk.

Summer foods

28 July 2016
By Sarah

Quinoa, chia seeds and pomegranates are this summer’s superfoods. Back in my day, the super food was what’s popularly become known in my house as a ‘Nan’s salad’: a lettuce leaf, tomato, cucumber slices, a boiled egg, new potatoes and a dollop of salad cream. And if you were really pushing the boat out, a slice of ham - or tinned salmon if you were positively showing off!

Back in the day, food was all about filling you up, with hot stodgy puddings like Spotted Dick and custard – never mind it was 80 degrees outside – you sweated it out while you tucked in - and woe betide if you left any...

Summer Garden Design

7 July 2016
By Sarah

What embodies an English garden? A shed, roses, striped lawn, bird bath…and a gnome, according to new research! Apparently we're spendaholics in the green-fingered department, frittering away around £345 a year or £17,000 in a lifetime beautifying our gardens – mostly to upstage the neighbours' well-manicured lawn and bountiful hanging baskets!

This year we've worked with our (great) neighbours as our shared fence blew down in the winter winds. Admittedly, I was only going to spend money on a new fence and split-reed screening. But the fence project has spiralled into a garden makeover...

Summer Traditions

29 June 2016
By Sarah

Nothing heralds the British summer more than devouring a bowl of strawberries and cream while watching Wimbledon. This delicious culinary treat has been associated with the tennis event since 1877. Apparently some 23 tonnes of strawbs and 7,000 litres of cream are enjoyed during the fortnight, but no-one really knows why.

The link may be that English statesman Thomas Wolsey used to serve the treat and had a real tennis court at Hampton Court. No doubt, many of us we'll be hoping for a Brit win this year so we can wash down our strawberries with some bubbles!