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Monthly Archives: November 2013

  • Wedding Update!

    There is now only 2 months to go until the wedding! I am not entirely sure where the last 2 months have gone but I can confirm that more things have been agreed and organised - well at least I hope they have!

    I think the most exciting thing since my last blog has to be our wedding tasting day. Being foodies this is something both Rob and I were very excited to do. We anticipated a lot of food and drink to try but nothing prepared us for the feast that awaited us. We arrived along with about another ten couples all with weddings at The Gallivant over the next 6 months and got to work on trying out the canapés. Knowing Rob and I had a dinner to attend that night pacing myself was essential. Rob did not take this view however as I saw him tucking in to his 9th canapé! Starters arrived next; an array of fish, meat and cheese dishes (obviously we had to taste them all) then the mains - again meat and fish like I have never tasted before and all the side dishes too. How on earth were we to make this decision? We did mostly agree, which was good and I can’t wait for our guests to see the feast they will be getting! I was pretty much stuffed full after the starters, so when it was announced that a pudding table with ten puddings to try was ready I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going to put it! I instructed Rob to come back with 3 puddings to try, as it was pointless bringing back the more summery puddings what with our wedding being in January. He however had other ideas and came back with a sample of every single one, I seriously don’t know where all the food he consumes goes! We then drove back to London ready for another 3 course meal with friends (where Rob managed to ask for seconds!) All in all the day was a huge success and we are thrilled with the food choices we have made. It was the food at The Gallivant that really stood out for us when choosing our venue and we know that we won’t be disappointed on the day.

    Other key areas that are now sorted are music (a fantastic band who will remain a secret for the time being) and Rob’s usher Tom as a fab DJ for the night. Music to walk down the aisle to has been picked and I have been caught practising walking around the living room to it! Rob has a suit being made (he won’t be turning up naked or in his football kit) and Best Man and Usher suits are ordered. Bridesmaid dresses are almost sorted and I have found some beautiful dresses for the flower girls and a little outfit for my page boy. Readings have been chosen – although a lot of disagreement over these. Rob was not keen on anything too mushy or in fact my choice of one about a penguin. We have gone for slightly humourous readings that are meaningful to us. A lot of decorations and finishing touches have been decided and things are starting to arrive. Without giving too much away a lot of our evenings are spent doing DIY. I’ve even spoken to my hairdresser about how we are doing my hair on the day and booked in my trial. We have also booked our honeymoon! This was something we thoroughly enjoyed doing and we are taking ourselves off to Thailand. A few nights in Bangkok and then onto a luxury hotel in Krabi. A real mix of adventure and relaxation. We can’t wait!

    In other exciting news my wedding dress has arrived and I am off for my first fitting next week. Let’s hope it fits! I have my hen do this weekend so I am not sure that a weekend of drinking will help this, but a few days detox before and a lot of white tea may help! I have been going through a phase of worrying I don’t like my dress, which apparently is very normal. I am hoping the visit next week will calm my nerves and reassure me. If not I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do!

    The next two months I know will fly by and with Christmas to also get through the 25th January will be here before we know it. Although stress levels are currently quite high, I am getting those twinges of excitement a bit like a kid a month or so before Christmas and can’t wait to share our special day with family and friends. Let’s just hope Rob and I survive our upcoming stag and hen dos!

    (Image courtesy of Google Images)

    Melissa, November 2013

  • Jammy Coconut Sponge

    I have been a bit slack with my baking over the last month or so and Rob was worried his wedding diet of putting on weight was not going too well, so I dusted off my apron, baking tools and set to work on Sunday. On the long list of cakes Rob wanted to sample was a classic Jammy Coconut Sponge from Jamie Oliver’s Great Britain cook book. I decided to give it a whirl!

    The sponge itself looked like a classic sponge recipe but the thing that scared me ever so slightly was the fact I needed to make jam from scratch. This is something I had not ventured to do before but in actual fact it was not too tricky. One thing I did find though was it took slightly longer on the hob than the 20 minutes it claimed!

    Here is the recipe:

    For the cake:

    • 225g unsalted butter
    • 225g caster sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 225g self-raising flour
    • ½ level teaspoon baking powder
    • Splash of milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 75g desiccated coconut


    For the jam:

    • 250g blackberries
    • 125g caster sugar
    • ½ a lemon

    Grease and line the bottom of a 30x20cm cake tin. Preheat oven to 180.

    Cream the butter and sugar together until lovely, pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour and baking powder, add a splash of milk and the vanilla extract and mix again. Pour into the lined tin and cook in the oven for 25 minutes. While the cake is cooking make the jam.

    Mash the blackberries and sugar together in a small pan using a fork or masher and add a squeeze of lemon juice and bring to the boil. Turn it down to a medium heat and simmer for about 20 minutes (for me this took longer), stirring occasionally, until lovely and thick. Skim away any foam that rises as the jam cooks. Then take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.

    The sponge should now be cooked, remove and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Then turn it out on to a board and pour the jam all over the sponge and use a palette knife to move it around the sponge and the sides. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut and serve!

    Rob and I enjoyed this cake with some hot custard on a cold Sunday evening but I can also recommend it as an afternoon treat with a pot of Black Tea or Earl Grey. I think Tamsin would agree as she got to sample some in the office this week!

    Jamie Oliver’s Jammie Coconut Sponge

    Melissa, November 2013

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