Monthly Archives: October 2015

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Let Them Eat Cake! Rocking Dog Bakes

No Calorie Cake, Rocking Dog

No Calorie Cake

Very occasionally I put my “Heaven’s Cake” hat back on and agree to do a little bit of catering. So this weekend I am indeed going to be baking for a hundred hungry folk. Our lovely builder and his siblings are throwing a surprise party for their Mum to celebrate her eightieth birthday. Added to the cake, scones and tea surprise, unbeknown to her, one of her sons and family will be popping by from New Zealand! Recovering from a very recent hip operation I am sure this bash will be a restorative tonic for her.

The cooker will be going full pelt to produce Buttermilk Scones, Chocolate Brownie, Gilded Chocolate Caramel Slice, Sloe Gin Rocky Road, Raspberry Mascarpone Cake, Macaroons etc….

It will be lovely for the house to be filled with the aroma and heat of baking, for, the original purpose of the house was a village bakery. There are many census’s with Ludwell bakers and visiting journeyman bakers listed at our address, and part of our kitchen is double height, it’s purpose a towering flour barn. There is even a tethering ring for a horse next to our larder cupboard! The last of the Ludwell bakers emigrated to New Zealand at the very start of the 1900’s. They must have anticipated that a motorway was going to be roaring past their business one day. In 2000 we were fortunate to meet some of the Hambrook bakery ancestors in Rotorua. Anyway I mustn’t get started on ancestry it’s ALL about the cake!

Lovely cakes deserve lovely china, so I will be dusting off boxes of pretty vintage china. There’s homemade floral bunting, a cricket pavilion venue and forecasted sunshine…… perfect! I’m sure this plucky octegenarian will be truly touched that her children have hatched such a thoughtful and cunning plan.

Talking of cake, I was at Bakers & Co with a friend on Wednesday, and their cakes were sublime. We sampled Caramel brioche sticky bun ( a guilty second time pleasure for me!) and a Raspberry and Almond Financier. Yum Yum Yum! As ever attentive friendly service, a sunny table watching the world go by and the most amazing freshly made Beetroot juice. The juice felt so detoxifying that we almost ate the cakes (and gorgeous sour-dough sandwiches) guilt free!

Whatever you are doing this weekend I hope there is a delicious piece of cake involved! Best wishes to one and all.

English Cream Tea, Rocking Dog

English Cream Tea

Free Range Baking, Rocking Dog

Free Range Baking

For A Vintage Birthday, Rocking Dog

For A Vintage Birthday

Bakers & Co Bun, Rocking Dog

Bakers & Co Bun

Bakers & Co Yumminess!, Rocking Dog

Bakers & Co Yumminess!

Over Gilding The Lily!, Rocking Dog

Over Gilding The Lily!

Moist Macaroons, Rocking Dog

Moist Macaroons

For Drizzle!, Rocking Dog

For Drizzle!

Archive Cake By The Dog, Rocking Dog

Archive Cake By The Dog

Gosh! We’ve Tipped Into October!

All The Leaves Are Brown, Rocking Dog

All The Leaves Are Brown

Gosh! We’ve tipped into October! Please tell me how this has happened. Amazingly, it is exactly a year since I started my Rocking Dog Blog. This is my 186th post and it has been lovely having your company along the way. I will bare my soul and tell you why I started blogging in the next couple of weeks.

October is a real transition month, especially when we have been blessed with such beautiful weather. People are still in summer garb, meanwhile, the shops are filled with the last floaty dregs of summer clothing and the wools and tweeds of winter. Some retailers are unashamedly putting out Christmas stock whilst others are doggedly resisting until November rears its frosty head!

October last year, I was praising the humble pumpkin. It should be roasted, pureed, souped and not just carved! (I am a Halloween killjoy!) I was also cooking quince and extolling the praises of the fruits wonderful aroma whilst they stewed. It undeniably remains one of my most favourite smells … ever (but ripening tomatoes in a sun parched greenhouse probably is up there too!) Sloes were being picked, and this year i’ll be waiting for that first frost before heading out to pick them again this year. There appears to be a truly bountiful crop. Remember to keep the sloes after they have done their sloe gin magic. They are a fantastic addition to Rocky Road and for an autumnal take on Summer Pudding. They’d also add flavour to sauces and gravies to accompany a Sunday roast.

Last October we went on one last trip to the sea before tucking our beloved Pod up for the winter. Again, this October we hope to do one last toe curlingly cold trip. We will take hot water bottles, hot chocolate supplies, woolly socks and our Real Live Rocking Dog foot warmer! Bracing walks being battered by coastal winds what could be better? Some would say lying on the same beach on a hot summers day would be absolutely preferable. One Man’s Meat Is Another Man’s Poison as they say!

Oct 2014, last minute plans were being made to head off on our Italian holiday (does any other mad soul take their holiday in October/November?) Oct 2015, another trip beckons, – vintage textiles, olives, autumn sunshine, gondola’s, Vin Santo, and gorgeous friends. We are truly fortunate.

Last October Rocking Dog was busy making, wrapping, labelling, and somethings never change… but what I make hopefully does. So there are lots of sewing projects on the Rocking Dog work bench. I HAVE to organise some serious sewing time. Any other makers please give me your tips on how you schedule your day. Do you have a set routine, do you lock the door and turn the key, let the laundry bin overfill, not answer calls etc…. etc..? I think i’d rather like a sewing turret in the clouds!

So very nearly a year on from my very first blog I hope you’ll continue to dip in and out. Some of you I personally know and thank you for your love and support. Others of you I don’t know.. but thank you for reading, liking, commenting. If anyone wants a little personalised trek around Bristol or surrounds give me a shout. We can visit foodie, vintage and historical haunts in a city I quite know and love.

Have a very lovely October.

Dog Bowl. Rocking Dog

Dog Bowl

Comforting Bowl, Rocking Dog

Comforting Bowl

Making Plans, Rocking Dog

Making Plans

Seasonal Makes, Rocking Dog

Seasonal Makes

Quince Magic, Rocking Dog

Quince Magic

Avoiding Halloween, Rocking Dog

Avoiding Halloween