Macmillan coffee morning

Round & About

baking

Join thousands holding coffee mornings to raise funds for Macmillan on Friday, 27th September

Last year almost £27million was raised through people drinking coffee and eating cake as part of Macmillan’s Biggest Coffee Morning and this year with your help they want to top that.

The first get together was held in 1990 with the very simple idea that people would gather over a cuppa and donate the cost of their coffee to Macmillan. Such was its success it was decided to do it again the following year but to take it national – since then the coffee mornings have gone on to raise more than £200million.

Whatever you raise it all helps make a difference – just £28 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for an hour, helping those living with cancer and their families receive practical and emotional support; £112 could pay for a Macmillan social care worker for a day and £210 could fund a Macmillan nurse for a day. However much you raise, you’ll be making a difference.

And if you need some ideas for what to treat your family, friends or work colleagues to while drinking their coffee, they can help with that too. How about a piece of cherry and almond tray bake, coffee and walnut cake or try a savoury option of gruyere, bacon and leek scones?

Whatever takes your fancy, get cooking (you can even cheat and buy ready made if you like) but join in and help people have access to cancer support in their communities.

Christine Wallace: in the mix!

Round & About

baking

Hello everyone! Is it just me or is there a feelgood factor in the air recently?

In general people seem to be quite happy and smiley. Just passing someone in the street or at the shops seems to generate a “hello” and my goodness, doesn’t it make you feel good!? I put it down to summer, the weather isn’t bad and holidays are on everyone’s mind so lots to be happy about. There also might be a measure of trying to forget that we live in quite a troubled world and the news can be depressing so let’s just live for the day! Whatever it is, I hope it lasts!

July brings hedgerows heavy with berries, fennel to liven up salads and lots more including aubergines and courgettes. Cherries and peaches are at their best and the glorious gooseberry is here. The poor gooseberry doesn’t get a good press and it’s hard to find them, even in farm shops. But there are wonderful recipes using this vitamin C-rich fruit; poached gooseberries with a creamy vanilla custard, gooseberry compote which is super used in cakes or to top a cheesecake, gooseberry jam or the very delicious gooseberry fool. Take 400g gooseberries and cook with 50g sugar over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat, crush and cool. Pour two tablespoons of elderflower cordial and 1tbsp lemon juice into 400ml double cream and whisk to medium peaks. Add 4 tablespoons of ready-made custard. Fold half the gooseberries into the mixture. Spoon half into four glasses. Layer the rest of the gooseberries, then top with the rest of the cream mix. Chill until ready to serve. You’ll love it!

Also in shops is new-season lamb (the best is from Kent). Lamb breast is a great make-ahead meal – slow cooking turns a cheap cut into a luxury. Tom Kerridge’s breast of lamb with broccoli, anchovy and caper dressing is lovely!

The Greeks and Romans are returning! Stretch Didcot’s Roman Festival at the Didcot Girls School on Saturday, 7th July (10.30am-5pm) will have more than 20 different experts and events, including me! Tickets are a fantastic £4.

Visit www.christinebakes.co.uk and please get in touch!