Saturday, 11 June 2011

A Lovely Day For a Royal Wedding

Firstly, I feel that a word of apology is in order. It seems that in the whirlwind that is final exams; blogging has well and truly fallen into the shadows of manically revising the French imperfect subjunctive and desperately trying to cram as many Spanish verbs into my rapidly shrinking brain as possible.
But, the neglect has gone on long enough, and with my student life ending once and for all yesterday, and it being, rather fittingly, the Queen’s birthday today, what better than to lose oneself in all things baking and all things Royal... 

 The 29th of April saw a few of my very favourite things collide. Having been concerned for quite some time that I am in fact a 65 year old woman in a 22 year olds body, the Royal Wedding day lived up to my every expectation. As William and Kate became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they also provided the perfect excuse for my love of cake, champagne and the Royal Family to come in an explosion of red, white and blue. Glued to the television from the early hours (well as early as it gets during the holidays...) wearing a homemade fascinator and sipping tea from my commemorative mug, the whole day made me feel incredibly proud to be British.

That dress, THAT bridesmaid, the whole day was the perfect occasion to celebrate. And, as celebrating is certain synonym of eating in my house, the food planning for the big day began at about the same time as preparations started at the Palace and the shop shelves  were filled with Union Jack paper chains and Wills and Kate mugs. Which of course I amply stocked up upon.

So, as the happy couple were feasting on canap├ęs and sipping their champagne, and my Grandma had cried her way through an entire box of tissues; an extravagant afternoon tea was laid out in the summerhouse of a Suffolk garden. Listening carefully for the sound of the flyover that we were sure was to pass overhead, and after rushing to stare at the sky multiple times only to be greeted by the sound of a particularly aggressive lawnmower, the cake stands and vintage plates were piled with all manner of delicious treats.

Rhubarb and custard whoopie pies, Bakewell tarts, bejewelled Florentines and rose pink macaroons were seated alongside jugs of pink ginger cordial, homemade scotch eggs, lemon curd and strawberry cream tartlets, vanilla scones, and cheese straws made by the lovely Milly. And of course a Victoria Sponge, which no
English tea would be without and is rather my speciality after winning the Wickham Market Victoria sponge competition three years in a row. What did I say about being old before my time..?

Pink Ginger Cordial.

200g root ginger, grated.
2 lemons, sliced thinly
500g sugar
A handful of raspberries or blackberries
2tsp citric acid

Put the lemons, sugar, ginger, citric acid and berries into a large bowl.

Pour over 1 litre of boiling water, stir and leave covered overnight to get really tasty.

Drink in the sunshine, slightly diluted and with lots of ice!

 More recipes to follow or leave me a comment if you want to hear anything in particular!

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