Sometime ago, Gem at Cupcake Crazy Gem honoured me by passing me an ABC award. I know it's really bad, but I've only now really had the time to get around to posting in response (Sorry Gem!). I love Gem's blog. Her zest for baking, and life in general, is so infectious I love reading about what she gets up to. She is also, like me, completely addicted to American baking, and hosts the monthly United Bakes of America challenge.
My recent blogging indolence is mainly due to my return to work after maternity leave - and the fact that now there are never enough hours in the day to do all I need to (including sleep!). However, much time has been spent scratching my head about what to write. You see, I lead a probably really boring life, which is very much centred on my family. I'm not sure that that will have sufficient entertainment value for you. Anyway. I decided to bite the bullet and compile an ABC of me, which hopefully will let you know a bit more about me, my likes and dislikes, while not sending you to sleep. Here goes ...
A - Amazon - which I love for its ease of use. Unfortunately it's too easy and this is what happened to my cookbook collection as a result.
B - this has to be Ben, my 13 and a half year old middle son, who is the one most likely to join me in the kitchen for a baking session (I still have plenty of time to train Sam). He loves to cook, loves chocolate, and when the two are combined, he is in heaven.
C - Cardiff City FC. Yes I know. Football, again. But it gets you (well, me) in the veins. It's a bit of a family tradition, as my grandparents and parents were CCFC fans. Nan and Grandad were at Wembley in 1927 when Cardiff took the FA cup out of England for the one and only time.Growing up, I heard regularly what a great day that was. Luckily, I managed to experience a similar atmosphere on my 40th birthday, even though it was tipping down, when Cardiff made it to the 2008 FA cup final. Sadly we lost to Portsmouth 1-0, but getting through to the final was so unexpected we all felt like winners just being there. We've been back to Wembley a few times since then ... Championship Playoff Final, Carling Cup Final. And the results haven't really worked for us. But this year will be our season ... maybe.
D - Doctor Who, as that has now become mandatory family viewing as laid down by Josh and Ben. And after all, it's made in Cardiff don'tcha know? Along with Torchwood. Quite often you can find filming taking place in and around Cardiff. Nothing like stumbling upon an alien blowfish from Torchwood when your teetering back from the pub at 11.00 at night with your mates ...
E - Ecumenical, as in 'That would be an ecumenical matter'. Last year's holiday viewing when we introduced the boys to Father Ted. Great viewing for a couple of teens. It was actually quite difficult coming up with an 'E' - no doubt as soon as I hit 'publish' some other much better one will spring to mind.
|El Cotillo Beach, Fuerteventura|
G - Gower. The Gower peninsula in South Wales is one of the most beautiful places. My parents had a holiday home there which we used to go to frequently during my childhood. Those were the days of long, hot summers spent at the beach. A bucket and spade were essential kit, and we would then stop at the ice cream parlour for a '99. I can still taste the creaminess of that ice cream, golden yellow against the chocolate, and dribbling down the cone.
H - Home - definitely where my heart is.
I - Indian Cookery - a few years back I did an evening class at our local high school. Spread over 30 weeks I learnt loads of great recipes and had loads of fun. It's a great way of learning and making friends at the same time - my local adult education centre also does cake decorating, Thai and Chinese cookery, Mediterranean cookery etc, and I would love to work my way through them.
J - Definitely Josh. My oldest son, who at 15 seems to have grown up really too quickly for my liking.
K - Stands for my Kindle, which I absolutely love as I'm such a fast reader I can load it up for holidays and take enough reading material to last me for three weeks in a box that's smaller than a paperback.
L - London, where I spent three years doing my degree, during which I met Mike, and then we stayed on for a total of 10 years. I don't really miss it, and I'm glad we moved back to Cardiff before having the boys. But it has been a large part of my life.
M - Definitely Mike. The only 'M' I need.
N - My nana, who taught me to cook. No longer with me but always in my heart.
O - Can't be anything else at the moment than Olympics, can it? Feel very proud that they are in Britain, and I have been lucky to see football at the Millennium Stadium. Looking forward to seeing the Olympic Stadium during the Paralympics. Go Team GB ...
P - Pasta. My all time favourite food and one I love to make from scratch but don't often get time to do so now. I do a fine ricotta and parmesan ravioli with amatriciana sauce, and a gorgeous black pepper tagliatelle with four cheese sauce. Yum. Now there's an idea for dinner tonight ...
Q - Quidditch. Yes really struggled with that one, but I'm a big Harry Potter fan.
R - Red. Something I will not be wearing this season. (Non-devotees of Cardiff City FC will be excused not knowing what I'm talking about here). Of course, I reserve my position on this in the event we do get into the Premier League.
S - Slovenia as one of my first jobs after my degree was at the then Department of Trade and Industry. I worked on the country desk for the former Yugoslav states just at the time that they had first gained independence, and my favourite was Slovenia. I was lucky to go there on a trade mission. It's a beautiful country with lovely people. One of my all time favourite experiences. It could also be Squirrel as that's just hands down my all time favourite word. There's just something about it. Squirrel. Squirrel. Squirrel. But, last but no means least, there is also my baby Sam, who is my pride and joy and I just feel so privileged and lucky to be mummy to.
T - Tapas. Although late to discovering tapas they have become one of my favourite meals, not least because (much to our surprise) the boys love them too. The first time I tried them was in Fuerteventura at a little restaurant overlooking Corralejo harbour. the sun was shining, we had just spent the most amazing morning snorkeling for the first time and it was perfect. Tortilla, Gambas, Chorizo and Queso de Cabras were some of our choices that day, and they were all incredible.
U - well, I guess this must represent US baking. I am completely addicted to reading and experimenting with my US cookbooks (and if you've read my Random Recipes #19 Cookbooks post you may glean that I have a few). I blame this in part on cable tv opening Britain up to programmes such as Barefoot Contessa, Dessert First and Cupcake Wars. Mind you Barefoot Contessa could be another 'B' as I am pretty addicted to the programme.
V - Vanilla. There can be few things as comforting as the aroma and taste of vanilla. I love vanilla ice cream, and it's instantly reminiscent of cones devoured on childhood holidays way back when the sun used to shine pretty regularly in Britain during the summer. Yes, that long ago ...
W - Has to be Wales, doesn't it? You can take the girl out of Wales, but you'll never take Wales out of the girl. That said, (a very far) second would be the West Wing - my all time favourite tv programme. One of the best presents I've ever been given is my treasured 'Santos and McGarry : For A Brighter America' campaign t-shirt. If only ...
X - X-men. Symbolic of my love of comic action films - especially Avengers Assemble, Iron Man, Batman etc etc. With the definite exception of 'The Green Hornet' which must be my candidate for the worst film of all time (Seth Rogen you are sooo busted with that one!).
Y - Yes. Because I try and be a positive person. (Mike is shaking his head in incredulity at that one ... not sure why).
Z - ZZZZ's. Hopefully you're not actually asleep at this point. But this represents what every parent of a new baby needs but cannot have. Well, not when you really need it. I had forgotten the cumulative effect of sleep deprivation. It doesn't last forever though. Repeat after me ...
I just need to pass this on to five fellow bloggers, so without further ado, I've chosen five whose blogs I really enjoy, and would love to get to know a little better.
1. Jo at What do You Make of My Cake
2. Laura at Laura Loves Cakes
3. Rachel at Dollybakes
4. Ryan at Baked with Kindness
5. Kim at Cakes From Kim
Normal Service will be resumed as soon as possible! :)