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Lakeland

There come moments in life when you have to be realistic about who you are and what you are actually like, rather than nursing febrile projections of what you hope and dream that you are like.

The first time is always when you hear a recording of your own voice. It is always traumatising. Always more high pitched and posh, or common, or flat, or regional or just otherwise terrible than you can possibly have imagined. One of the reasons I left my job on a newspaper was that I had to listen back to my stupid stupid buggery awful voice on recorded interviews.

There are many other moments after that, but that first moment of being confronted with the reality of what you sound like is always terrible.

I had another one today. I was beside myself with excitement at having a piece in the Guardian’s Family section. I love the Family section of the Guardian nearly as much as I love Style, so being in it RIGHT THERE THERE I AMMMMM more than made up for Kitty’s massive and terrifying nosebleed + 103F fever at 4.30am.

But then I opened the Times Magazine to see a piece they had on the “world’s best food blogger”, called Katie something; What Katie Ate, is her blog. She is beautiful and thin and her food looks fucking amazing. There was a glowing intro written by my husband’s editor at the magazine, which contained a slightly disparaging comment about “mummy” food bloggers.

I looked back at my picture in Family. I looked a bit fat. My hair needs a cut. I turned to see that Kitty was still staggering around the kitchen in her blood spattered pyjamas because she screamed every time I tried to take them off to get them soaking in Napisan. I thought about my clumsy, unchic blog, my stupid shit photos, my total lack, generally, of style and I felt really quite ill.

I have recovered now, by telling myself that this is just one of those times where you have to confront the reality of who you are and what you are capable of. This blog is almost entirely a response to food blogs like What Katie Ate, which are so professional and beautiful and chic and purposeful. I can never, ever be like that or do that. So I do this.

That’s another reason why I decided to go against most of what I stand for and feature a click-through to Lakeland at the top right hand corner of this blog. I love Lakeland. It’s not the height of glamour, but it is useful and I happen to know an editor at Vogue who reads the Lakeland catalogue in bed at night.

So that explains what that Lakeland thingy is doing on my blog. I’m sure Katie doesn’t have anything like that on hers, (I am literally too scared to look in case it gives me a nervous breakdown), but I’ve decided that I am that person. I am a Lakeland advertiser. If you click on the little picture and buy something off the website then I get 7% of your basket. And Lord knows all that germicidal soak we’re getting through these days isn’t going to buy itself.

 

goodtoknow’s new baking blog

Mum Anneliese Giggins learnt how to bake by baking her way through Mary Berry’s Baking Bible on the wonderful blog Rising to the Berry. Keen to continue her love of baking, Anneliese will be sharing a delicious new baking recipe with us each month – bake along and share all your tips, advice and of course pics!

After spending 18 months baking my way through the wonderful recipes from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, I have opened my mind to other possibilities and ideas. Nothing too crazy, you understand! I wanted to begin this blog with a nice, simple, but most importantly, tasty cake. I think most of us start baking with a classic sandwich cake, so I hope this is a good place to take a first step. I’m not sure I know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy a slice of lemon drizzle, so why not make it even more tempting by filling it with a luscious lemon curd and mascarpone filling?!

 

Get Anneliese’s lemon drizzle cake recipe

For me, a sandwich cake summons up an array of childhood memories. I must have made such a cake for almost every family occasion. It was either a vanilla sponge filled with strawberry jam or a chocolate version filled with a generous helping of rich chocolate butter cream. I never imagined I could venture into different flavour combinations; I stayed well within my comfort zone! 

I really hope you enjoy this recipe and that you feel the urge to give it a try. Good luck! 

Anneliese’s top baking tip

My top tip this month is to read through the whole recipe before making a start. It is so frustrating to get halfway through a recipe only to find that you don’t have all the ingredients in stock or that the dried fruit needs to soak in a brandy bath overnight. I know this from experience!! 

 

Where to next? 

 

Tabbouleh Sogomonian

Tabbouleh is another one
of those popular recipes for which I’ve received hundreds of food wishes for,
and yet inexplicably I’ve still not posted one. Why not? I have no idea. I’m as
mystified as anyone. In the meantime, I wanted to share this fine version from friend
of the blog
Robert Sogomonian (aka @psyrixx). You can check out his original post here. Enjoy!