About Moi

I was born in June 1981, I'm a hearing impaired paper-crafter who loves all things crafty. I sew, although I'm still very much a novice at sewing. I bake and cook hopefully all kinds of delicious treats. I have a huge passion for photography and the camera {yes I'm old school I still use an actual camera} is never far from me. I also love creative writing from making up sentiments/verses for my cards and other paper-craft projects to penning some fiction. I am an avid reader and I may even throw in some book reviews on here too!

Saturday, 26 May 2018

A little reading time treat

Elderflower and Pressed Pear Sponge

I won't bore you with the exact recipe but this sponge mix doesn't use butter of any kind and get's it's lightness from beating egg yolk and sugar then the egg whites and folding them in.  I really like the summery freshness of the elderflower and in this case the pressed pear tones that down a little.  I've added some of the cordial to the buttercream too.

This recipe would also be really nice in Autumn using Autumn cordials e.g. Bottle Green's Sloe and Juniper Cordial, Apple and Plum, Rhubarb and Ginger or in Winter using spiced cordials e.g. Belvoir Ginger Cordial, Spiced Winter Berries and Apple Plum and Cinnamon Cordial.  Or at any time of year using Rhubarb or Elderflower or Blueberry and Blackcurrant Cordials.  Belvoir and Bottle Green are not the only makers of cordial, I've used a Robinsons Elderflower and Pressed Pear and I know most supermarkets make their own cordials too.

I have also made a strawberry and blueberry tart {a favourite food treat of mine is fruit so this one is not going to hang around long}.  I've made my version of it. I kept to the sweet pastry although a lot of the time I make savoury pastry for sweet treats and forgone the creme patissiere.  I'm not a fan of the texture of custard and quite frankly I don't have enough milk in anyway.  I've used a quick gel for the topping of the fruit.

It's almost impossible for me not to make something savoury and as it's "Saturday Treats" today I'm not cooking a proper meal and have made sausage rolls to go with some chicken wings, homemade beet and apple chutney, cheese chunks and possibly even some pear and apple chutney.  I'm likely to add cucumber sticks and small tomatoes {not cherry tomatoes} to the plate too or maybe some coleslaw I can't not have something comforting if it's a treat.

Now I said this was a reading time treat...only that never happens well perhaps in my dreams it does?  Anyway I dream of having an afternoon where I can curl up with a slice of cake, glass of cordial and read a book.  Not that it stops me reading without an afternoon and cake so here's a review of a book I've just finished.

Title The Christmas Cake Cafe

Author  Sue Watson

Image credited to Goodreads:


The style of this book in the beginning surprised me.  It wasn't what I had come to expect from Sue Watson yet somehow I couldn't get enough of it. I'm normally nervous of books that give too many visual imagery but I loved how well she described the area in Switzerland that the girls were staying and it met very well with what my imagination created.  It also had me in tears from when the girls arrived in Switzerland to the very last sentence.  I can honestly say a book has not touched me so emotionally or made me question my life, my actions and my attitude since I was in college and read "A Child Called IT".  I do believe this could also be the first work of fiction to have touched and impacted me so much, which only enhances the talents of author Sue Watson.

I found it hard to not throw the book in frustration at Jody, her language required me to have google open on my phone to translate what she was saying...maybe I'm "too old" for this kind of book or maybe being deaf and having been deaf my whole life I tend to use the words that mean exactly what I want to say and expect others to do the same.  Either way the language made the storyline difficult to grasp but at the same time made me more in awe of Sue Watson for writing something that to me seems very complicated.  I also found Jody's attitude harsh and although she did have some wisdom she seemed to care little for anything but acting inappropriately.

Jenny was someone I could not only identify with but liked...probably because she was in my view sensible, understanding, caring and appeared not to have an attitude.  I was pleased that Jenny got all she wanted from life and the magic of finding that happy ending not only happened but surpassed all expectation.

I found the message of guilt and longing for a perfect family after coming from divorced parents poignant yet I found Ella annoying, her brattish behaviour is not symbolic of all children from divorced parents, acting as though they are entitled to behave in a disrespectful manner with a negative attitude.  Some children accept new families are perfectly polite and well behaved throughout, however in hindsight and from experience I can see that disrespectful behaviour will garner far more attention than behaving as most children are taught...to be polite ever will.

Despite this I really did enjoy the book and Ella coming around to behaving appropriately and being happy and positive surrounding the ending of the book {no spoilers here} made me cry with happiness.

This book is exceptional and I can honestly say every time I read a Sue Watson her books amaze me and the standard just gets higher and higher no matter what my expectation level when I start the book.  Thinking about the star review section on Goodreads I cannot help but wonder if I can't give less than five stars without feeling a little guilty that I am holding back for the sake of it then I should give it five stars.  In the last twelve months I've discovered a lot of okay books, books I've quite happily read but hasn't gripped me or enthralled me and certainly very few that have left me with a book hanger, although I suspect that can only be good for my "real life".  So for no other reason than I cannot think of a single reason why I would not give this book five stars...I am giving it five stars.

Now onto the photos of the cake and fruit tart.  {Sorry no pics of sausage rolls I've made so many that I'm sure I've shared them here before or if not here then pop over and check out my twitter pics...username is always the same...straight up honesty from me it's my name...Sall_Baker}.

Although I dreamt of reading and enjoying a slice of this cake I am certain it will go down well watching last night's darts tonight.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I must confess that the tart looks toooooo delicious. I love both those fruits and it's making my mouth water :-D
    Very interesting book review - I am noy sure I have read any Sue Watson :-D x


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