So, now that the fabulous Great British Bake Off is gracing our screens again, I thought I should post a blog that combines my two loves! I came late to baking-I prefer eating if the truth be told. I’m very fortunate that my lovely husband is a truly incredible cook. Honestly. From beef shatkora to braised chicken with sherry, from rhubarb panna cotta to creme brûlée, he’s a legend. It’s no wonder in our (almost) 15 years together I’ve made him dinner…4 times. Moving swiftly on….
So, when I discovered the Hummingbird Bakery cupcake book a few years ago, it was a revelation. It was as if the Angel Mary Berry had come down upon me and spoken! Here was a way for me to cook with precision (none of that ‘little bit here, just a dollop there’ malarkey for me), to make pretty things people could eat, and to treat my long-suffering other half. I became a cupcake queen.
Yes, I became a slave to a fashion. There’s no doubt cupcakes have been just that. But in their defence, they got me into baking, they inspired an interest in feeding people (whoop says hubby) and they’ve helped me put a smile on many a friend and work colleague’s face. I’ll never forget the first time we made a pilgrimage to the Hummingbird Bakery on Portobello Rd. Yep, had to drag hubby there. Not that he was objecting. We could smell the butter a mile away! I’ve graduated since my first Hummingbird cupcake foray-I can list a mean Key Lime Pie and a tasty Battenburg among my successes. But this baking urge has also led me into another charity shop obsession-china. My word, as if vintage brooches, dresses and bags weren’t enough I hear you cry!
Anyway, my vices are few and far between so what’s a little vintage china between friends! It’s the perfect accompaniment for cute cakes and desserts. What do you get when you put two pretty things together? Perfect things of course! And this fab cake stand is the perfect display for any number of baked delights.
It caught my eye initially because its pattern is like a colourful version of our dining room wallpaper. It’s bright, pretty and a great size but it’s also a reproduction of an old Aynsley design. Which means its not strictly a vintage piece but certainly couldn’t be any more vintage inspired. It’s also soooooo pretty that it keeps me on my toes-I’d never forgive myself for placing a soggy bottom on it!
I’ve noticed that charity shops have started to make the most of their china and glassware, no doubt acutely aware that there’s a connection between the current interest in vintage, baking and the ditsy Cath Kidson effect. It’s great! There’s so much choice and everyone can afford a little piece of something different, pretty or unusual.
I’ve picked up lots of random bits and pieces lately that will appear in the blog at some point. In the meantime, Tuesday nights have been well and truly brightened again by GBBO and I’m sure I’ll find some inspiration in the coming weeks to brighten my lovely cake stand again too.