The South East has been very hot for the last 5 days. Trying to bake in this heat is difficult – cakes don’t rise as much, buttercream icing melts and I feel as if I’m working in a sauna. However, at least I’m not a dog or cat wearing a fur coat!
Since lockdown has eased, I have been baking again for The Earl Grey Tearoom in Southborough and business has been good. After all, why not treat yourself when so many other pleasures have disappeared. I have also been baking cakes for other customers who want a whole cake for a birthday or other celebration.
I have also been making chutney and jam – today it is strawberry jam which I use in the Victoria sponge. This is perhaps not the best pastime for such a hot day but it keeps me out of the sun. The chutneys were for Southborough Butchers – if you are local to Southborough, pop in and buy a jar from them. Jams can be bought directly from me – contact me via message or email and I’ll let you know which are in stock.
Thankfully, it has been easier to buy the basic ingredients for all the foods I make, although supply is still a little erratic. Icing sugar seems to disappear off the shelves very quickly so I have to bulk buy but flour and eggs are there every week now. Who knows what will happen in the autumn but for now, I will carry on making what I can when I can, making the most of the fruit harvest.
I am planning to have three Open House sessions in the run up to Christmas when you can buy any of my preserves, cakes, biscuits and other Christmas gifts. These will be in my home, in Southborough, between 2pm and 8pm.
I will advertise the dates as soon as they are confirmed so please keep watching this blog, Facebook and Instagram. If you live in Southborough, there will also be a poster in the window.
If you would like to place an order for specific items, please contact me by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by Facebook messenger on the Too busy to make page, or by Instagram at @toobusytomake.
I can now take card payments or you can still pay by cash or bank transfer.
The price list on the blog has been updated (price rises for some ingredients do mean there are a few increases). I always use good quality ingredients including organic free range eggs, organic flour and unsalted British butter.
I went fruit picking this week as I wanted to make more redcurrant jelly and blackcurrant jam. Even though we went early in the day, it was still very hot – the blackcurrants were significantly smaller but still have that lovely concentrated flavour.
Having picked the fruit, I then spent the following day making the jelly and jam – perhaps not the best job to be doing on such a hot day! However, I have 18 jars of Spiced Redcurrant Jelly and 22 jars of Blackcurrant Jam ready to be labelled and then they will be available to buy.
Other fruits seem to be ripening earlier than the last couple of years (I made redcurrant jelly in the middle of August the last two years) – I have seen blackberries in the hedgerows already looking ready to be picked – so I think my preserving pan will be getting lots of use in the coming weeks.
In order to make space for new chutneys and other preserves, I am having a stock clearance sale . All items are available on a first come first served basis, so if there is something you particularly want, please contact me as soon as possible.
Stock available : 300g jars
1 x Apple and sultana chutney £2.50
1 x Pumpkin and raisin chutney £2.50
1 x Apricot apple and hazelnut chutney £2.50
5 x Victoria plum jam £2.00 each
5 x Raspberry jam £2.00 each
7 x Luxury apricot and brandy mincemeat £2.00 each
4 x Seville orange marmalade £2.00 each
8 x Dark Seville orange marmalade £2.00 each
Stock available : 200g/190g jars
18 x Spiced Damson chutney £1.50 each
12 x Blackberry jelly £1.50 each
4 x Cranberry and orange compôte £2.00 each
1 x Spiced redcurrant jelly £1.50
Please email me at email@example.com or message me via my Facebook page Too busy to make