A spot of gardening and some Bubble Tea

Today started by finishing off a HUGE cake! Carrot cake traybake from the 2011 Great British Bake Off winner, Jo Wheatley’s cookbook.  Jo’s book,  A Passion For Baking has some really lovely recipes in it, on my to bake list are the mini banoffee pies, crumpets, custard creams, treacle tart and stromboli.  There are lots of traditional baking recipes in there, which is great for me as I’m more of a traybake cake than a cupcake kind of girl. There are some very nice looking cupcake recipes in there too though if that’s your kind of thing. The reason I was so excited about this book was not only is it full of lovely recipes, but I was sent it for free! After thanking the very kind people at NPower for our free National Trust passes, they had a quick look at the blog and saw I enjoyed (obsessed with) baking and sent me a signed copy of Jo’s book, there really are some lovely people out there! So after plunging headfirst into the carrot cake with a cup of tea in hand, I headed on with the day. It’s been a lovely mild day today. I’ve scrubbed the floors, cleaned grubby hand prints off windows, filed stuff, washed windows……. with a mop…..I really am rubbish at cleaning.  It was time to get out of the house.  A quick run around a small woodland, Orchid Wood and the surrounding area in Sawley, then back to collect the boys.  I’ve been trying very hard to entertain the boys after pre-school, to try and stop them watching TV.  Half an hour or so whilst I’m cooking tea is fine, but I’d prefer them not to watch too much as they get tired and grumpy.  So as the weather seemed pretty good, we did a spot of gardening. I chopped down brambles with my secateurs, the boys cut the grass, with their craft scissors.  I wasn’t sure they’d accept this idea but they thought it was brilliant! I let them trim pretty much anything they liked, as to be fair they ain’t gonna do much damage with those scissors! I chopped some bigger branches down and they put them through the sawmill. We’d been working hard so we treated ourselves to a glass of bubble tea.  This wasn’t actually tea, but more of a chocolate and coconut milkshake.  I had a trip over to the oriental shop in Loughborough the other week, I love that place, just look how exciting the food looks! I picked up some tapioca pearls. I think what made them so intriguing is that when cooked and put in bubble tea, you get to drink it with massive straws oooooo. The pearls are cooked until they go all soft and gooey but still chewy in the middle and are then added to a drink. I have no idea what the point of bubble tea is, but it’s fun and it will make some great gruesome halloween fruit cocktails! We also tried the original recipe which is one the Oriental food shop’s website. After all the excitement we decided we needed a sit down to watch Bob the Builder, phew. I ‘might’ need to do some tidying up in the garden tomorrow.