Karen Wright writes: Well readers, that’s another whistle-stop week gone by in a flash, I can’t believe just how fast time is passing, I don’t know about you, but do you sometimes think your settings are skewwhiff and you are somehow fizzing along on fast-forward?
I do my radio slot between noon-2pm each Tuesday afternoon on 5towns radio, you can listen in on Facebook by searching the 5townsradio or online at www.ukonlineRadio.com/5-towns-radio. I take a different topic each week and fit my song choices around that. So that’s Tuesday taken care of, on Wednesday we hitched up our caravan for the last trip of the year and headed off right down to London. I was booked to appear at the Cake and Bake Show at the massive ExCel exhibition centre in the Docklands. This event is the highlight of the year in the food and baking show world and I was really chuffed to be invited along.
We arrived at the campsite and I was really impressed with it, to be honest I always am when we use the Camping and Motorhome Club sites. This one is in the outskirts of London, at Abbey Wood, just a short walk to the train station and a quick ride into the City. You would never expect such a tranquil haven to be tucked away in such a location. The site was attractive, and it was full of bright green parrots flying from tree to tree!
We made our way by car to the venue using the Woolwich ferry to cross to the other side of the Thames and were surprised how easy it was to find. The opening ceremony and ribbon cutting was a bit of fun with a life size Boris Johnson cake on display. There were hundreds of people flocking in to the show, there were hundreds of stalls with every possible thing on display plus a baking demonstration every half an hour. I had two slots, I did a millionaire’s shortbread and a savoury bundt cake. What was especially great for me was seeing Briony from my group of bakers from the Bake Off again as she was booked too.
I did get chance to a try a new recipe in the caravan. I am developing ideas for ‘quick easy’ main meals and I wanted to use an ingredient that makes us think of Halloween, what better than pumpkin! I made a pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato pasta, very easy and deliciously creamy and here it is:
1 cup diced pumpkin
1 cup diced butternut squash
1 cup sweet potato
1 tbs olive oil
1 diced onion
6 button mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
1 tbs smoked paprika
White wine vinegar (splash)
Runny honey (drizzle)
Salt and pepper
Cook the sweet potato, squash and pumpkin in a large pan of salted water, while it is cooking soften the onions, mushrooms and garlic in a frying pan. When the vegetables are soft scoop them out of the hot water with a slotted spoon and cook the pasta in the same water. Mix the veg into the onions and mushrooms and add a splash of white wine vinegar and a drizzle of honey. Add the paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon of salted pasta water as required to the vegetables to make a sauce. Mix in the peperoni and the dolcelatte cheese. When the pasta is cooked add it to the sauce without draining and serve.
We travelled back home the day after the show as I have some engagements booked around Wakefield but also, I was keen to go to a venue near Barnsley where the Bengali festival of Durga Puja was taking place. This is the happiest and most anticipated festival in the Bengali calendar and one that my friend Rahul Mandal was attending. Rahul was the winner of the Great British Bake-Off last year and I was keen to see him. We were joined by Terry the Tash also a contestant on the show and my good friend now. It was a great spectacle, light, candles, flowers, food, the gods on display, drumming and a real good vibration, oh and the ladies looked so beautiful in their best saris.
Well readers that rounds up my week and here we all are starting afresh with another. It’s a grey and drizzly day outside but stay chirpy and stay safe, see you next week!
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