Inherited Tea Sets Pull At Heart Strings

I have been very fortunate in the past few years in terms of having acquired some really lovely pieces of crockery and chinaware from various relatives.  Having helped empty the bungalows of two aged relatives as they transferred into care homes, the painful task was slightly cheered by having the chance to take home those much loved items seen so many times during family visits.

There is something really touching about being able to take afternoon tea from the same beautiful rose patterned fine bone china cups and saucers, the hot brew poured from the elegant teapot.  Ok, it drips a little, but a carefully placed tissue sees to that.  The only other way to get hold of these gorgeous artefacts is to tray and sources them online via several excellent sites that dedicate themselves to obtaining and merchandising fine china, porcelain and retro kitchenware.

Chefs’ Secrets Shared In Amazing Workshops

Cookery workshops are a relatively new idea for joint gatherings like hen parties and girlie functions.  A couple of former colleagues in a previous existence were recently moving from a company to start up their own enterprise and instead of a leaving gift each, they requested a contribution towards a cookery workshop specialising in afternoon tea presentations.  They gained a wealth of information and it proved so much more to them than the face value of the voucher itself.  They are now happily starting their second quarter in the afternoon teas sector of catering.

The choice online is fantastic these days – it is possible to pick every single discipline of the chef’s exetensive repertooire.  As the name suggests, a workshop gives an overview of what is required in say, fish cookery – being encouraged to try naming, selecting, skinning and boning a whole fish and then getting down to cooking it correctly before serving.

To Impress The Hens Try Chocolatier Heaven

A distant cousin was getting married the other year.  Plans had been announced a good 2 years before the big day – save the date texts received all round.  Time aplenty for getting help with wedding present ideas – cookery workshop perhaps, some kitchenware to complement . . . . . Eventually the real business kicked in.  Invites to the wedding and reception for the inner set, invites to the evening do only for the outer set.  Then the stag dos were organised and of course, the bride’s hen parties.

Cookery with high end chocolate workshops was one of the choices in our case.  Fantastic fun, a professional chocolatier had batches of chocolate ready made and we watched in awe as he flashed brilliant skills and inspiration aplenty for bride and hens to take away.  This idea had been sourced online from a site dedicated to themed workshops – they offered fish cookery, variations on vegetable presentation etc.  Fantastic, not just for hens!

Cookery Hobby Buys Excite The Senses

One very noticeable change has happened in the high street in the town next to mine.  At once time there were lots of charity shops and the odd stationers and newspaper outlets.  I noticed the other week that there are lots more shops of general interest, household goods and particularly kitchen goods and anything to do with baking.

This is a most cheerful improvement to what was turning into a drab and soulless high street.  There has to be a wide variety of goods to bring interest.  The pubs and restaurants are still there and it needs new visitors to maintain the cashflow in the area.   The rise in popularit for all things connected with kitchens has come about from the number of tv programmes on maintstrem and lifestyle channels.  Competitions aside, there is no excuse for not being able to knock up a quick meal these days – help and products are online 24/7.

Grandma Knows A Thing Or Two About Kitchens

There was a gathering of senior ladies in our village the other evening.  A veritable group they were too.  The function was an twice yearly get together of local village groups belonging to a well known national federation specifically for women.  This national organisation has been going over 100 years and some of the village groups will be celebrating their own centenary next year.  This will require much partying and the origins of their need to set up and become such a wonderfully inspiring organisation will definitely come to the fore once more.

There will be more cakes made, jam jars filled, cookery groups etc. than you might imagine.  The wealth of experience in each group is unmatched elsewhere.  Talking to some of the seniors the other evening was fantastic, they are so up on what’s currently trending in cookware and kitchenware.  This is the generation to be selling to as well as their grand children!

How To Engage With The Reluctant Cooks

Back in the 1960s this family went to a local secondary school that was brand new – so new that we had to wait for the developers to get off site before the first class could entere the segregated playgrounds.  I was a very nervous new entrant to big school.

One bright light in this tunnel of doom was the domestic science block that had been provided with a school flat for learning all there was about housework.  The cookery classes were conducted in one of two fantastically modern and well equipped kitchens each set out in 6 kitchenette work stations – the left hand side all had gleaming gas cookers, the other side all electric.  A heated cabinet for drying tea towels also doubled as the bread proving cabinet.  I loved my Home Economics classes and although never a master chef, I learned enough in those weekly lessons to stand me in very good stead throughout my adult years!

Several Hens And A Cookery Experience Day

A niece was getting married a year or so ago.  Invites were received in good time and then came an unexpected additional one, to take part in some of the activities for the hen party(s).  This phenomenon from the States, requires the bridesmaids to arrange a series of events for the bride’s closest confidantes.  Gone are the days when a table was booked at the local pizza parlour and a simply fab time was had by all.  No, nowadays it is a major competitive exercise to outdo all the previous hen parties known to womankind.

This particular series, over two days, offered home spa sessions, a chocolate working experience, lunch out at a pizza house, african drumming, photo shoot and finally dinner out at an up market Italian place.   All sessions were paid for by each acceptee.  The chocolate session at a good local establishment was best fun.  Good idea for other party themes.

Is That Massive Kitchen Really Efficient

There is a plethera of home restyling programmes on the tv just at the moment.  These range from the basic formula of showing a couple around a nice cottage or house in the country as they are now thoroughly disenchanted with city living, right up through various stages to the full on buying a property at auction and doing it up completely and we see the results and the rise in value as a result.

In every case, it seems that the conventional kitchen that would have satisfied the domestic goddess in years gone by is now totally unsatisfactory and the world needs that kitchen the size of a football pitch.  Unless there is a very useful worktop or island unit immediately next door to the wall mounted big oven and microwave, then there is much time and energy spent moving food about.

When Lounge Has To Bunk Up For Visitors

Using lounge furniture as additional sleeping space needs a lot of careful thought.  If hordes of visitors descend on the family home at Christmas and other high days, are any of the going to be using the lounge area for sleeping quarters.  Is there a downstairs cloakroom for them and is there room to put their clothes and baggage when not at night.

It is quite often a good idea for the host and hostess to shift themselves downstairs and use a sofa bed in the sitting or dining room and let the guests use their master suite upstairs – that way any facilities not quite coming up to hotel standard can be easily overlooked and ignored but the guests have all that they need.

Make Space for The Christmas Presents To Come

Getting the kitchen into some sort of order before the Christmas and new year festivities take hold is a good idea.  Perhaps in the summer holidays when all the windows and doors can be thrust wide open, there is more interest in getting to grips with sorting out the cupboards and drawers.  Kneeling down and pulling out those old utensils and mixers from the back of the corner cabinet.  Routing about under the sink to see what on earth is stashed in the basked under the stop-cock.  There are endless tasks that can be usefully completed then to make the run up to the businest catering session quite calm.  In the circumstances.

And what to do with the newly spruced up cupboard space – well there are all those well meant Christmas gifts coming your way – new hand blenders, vegetabls spiralizers etc. etc.