It gave me enough of a spark to carry on up the hill and when I reached home the snowflakes were getting bigger, and, well, more, um, snowflakey... I was manically trying to get more and more photos and I was stopping bemused passers by to tell them. Weirdly the top of my wheelybin was the best place for a snowflake photoshoot...
Definitely perked me up. Later I went to see one of my new North Somerset Arts cronies about getting some of my pictures framed, and I told him all about it, only for him to look out of the window a bit confused and he said "They are always like that when it snows in Nailsea", so I'm not sure I explained it well enough.
A bit more positivity later, when Jenny came round to make pastry with me. Now Jenny is a perfectly decent cook but suffers from a lack of confidence in all things kitchen-related. Last week after she had had a banana cake disaster, we had an impromptu banana muffin making session together over coffee (with a couple of other friends popping in mid-session) and it got us thinking. Quite often a few of us get together on a Tuesday morning for a little sewing, along with coffee, but could we
translate this format into a baking morning (or afternoon as today turned out to be)? She asked if we
could make shortcrust pastry as she normally buys pre-baked cases and hasn't had much success making it before, so a plan was formed. Together we made two batches, Jenny's a classic plain buttery shortcrust, mine with a hint of cheese and mustard powder added. Normally I make pastry alone and although I try to put some love into it, sometimes I can get a bit resentful over the time and concentration it takes (and don't tell Jenny but occasionally a bit cross when it turns against me and becomes a hard and unmanageable lump), but today it was great to have good company while I was doing it. It rested in the fridge and we drank coffee and ate cakes. Then we rolled it out and I showed her all I know (not very much) about baking blind. It is good to feel an expert on something even if it is all relative! I made one big flan case and she made lots of individual ones. We baked them and then had to dash to school; it was a bit surreal putting her hot pastry cases in the bike shed so that she could pick them later when we were out. So how did it go? Well I made a rather rustic-looking Swiss chard tart heavily laced with gruyere and an old piece of Montgomery's cheddar I found at the back of the fridge:-
And she made some quiches with a feta and olive filling, and some with prawns and lemon thyme (how good do they sound? I told you she was a decent cook!). Don't they look great? It's amazing how much positivity a bit of good food can spread.