It’s amazing how quickly the weather and seasons can change. When I wrote September’s post short-sleeves and sandals were still being worn, 30 days later we’re defrosting the car before heading to work.
Make – Chocolate Banana Bread
You can never go wrong with Nigella recipes and I’d go as far to say her top one is banana bread from How to be a Domestic Goddess. It seems foolproof. Sometimes I’ve only had half the bananas or eggs in and it’s still worked. I’ve even put the ingredients in the wrong order and it has been perfectly edible.
I baked a variant of this recipe with tea soaked raisins, chocolate and walnuts for a local community bake off in conjunction with Sainsbury’s. My cake won best cake in the fruit category and best cake in show. The cake was then sold off in slices for charity.
Eat – Glassboat, Bristol
October has been the month of weddings. Hubs & I have small families and friendship groups so weddings can be few and far between. After 3 years since the last weeding we had two family weddings within 5 days of each other, one of which LB was bridesmaid. Both very different and love-filled weddings.
The second wedding was in city centre Bristol on board The Glassboat. Fabulous setting and amazing food. As it was a late afternoon wedding. After glasses of rather superb Louis Roederer champagne we sat down to one of the best meals I’ve had at a wedding. The Glassboat are renowned for their steaks and after having a beef roast dinner as our main I can understand why. Perfectly medium rare and melt in the mouth. An epic cheeseboard was served later in the evening of which I never got around to trying as I was too busy working the dancefloor and photobooth with LB.
We stayed at Brooks Guesthouse, a short walk from the boat. Superb location, good value for money, wonderful breakfasts and friendly staff. They have a few other properties dotted over the UK and we’ll certainly stay with them again.
Get – wooden play food
LB’s love for her Ikea Duktig kitchen still prevails. I’ve done some work for dotcomgiftshop in the past and they offered to send some vouchers to spend in their Christmas shop. Since I’ve become a parent I seem to have lost the ability to spend anything on myself and ended up spending the vouchers on some things for LB’s kitchen
Dotcomgiftshop have these adorable crates of wooden play food – bread, butchery/fishmonger and fruit. Even better that they came in little crates for storage that live on top of the mini kitchen.
Read – The Fresh Vegan Kitchen
The beginning of October I took part in a Modern Vegetarian course at Seasoned taught by David Bailey. If you’ve been to a festival and had one of the famous buddha bowls it’s David who owns Wholefood Heaven. Although I’m not veggie I have veggie tendencies and was interested in discovering new ways of cooking. I always knew that veggie and vegan food can taste great and this course proved it. I took the chocolate tofu mousse home for Hubs and LB to try and they would never have guessed it was vegan.
We have a copy of David’s book, The Fresh Vegan Kitchen, in work so I’m enjoying reading through it and working out where I can shoehorn more veggie and vegan food in our life.
Go – Center Parcs Sherwood Forest
Since the early 1990s it’s been a tradition that my family camp off to Center Parcs, Sherwood Forest for a few days. It’s one of the few places we can all agree on. We can all do as much or as little as we want and everything we could want is within walking distance. Perfect time for some sporting sibling rivalry, chill out time and lots of swimming. This time we went in October half term and it really is a lovely time to visit. Yes some aspects of it aren’t cheap, but I guess you just have to expect that anywhere similar.
This was LB’s 4th visit since she was born. The chill in the air, the changing trees and rapidly darkening nights are perfect for huddling around the fire with hot chocolates. LB reignited her love of swimming, especially when it involved whizzing down the slides; thoroughly enjoyed the high ropes course designed for toddlers (in other words it’s 1m off the ground, harnesses included) and showed a total under-appreciation for balance bikes. Why sit on something and push with your legs when you can walk? There goes our idea of a balance bike for Christmas.
November includes a child-free foodie jaunt to London and time to get stirring up the Christmas pudding.