Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

We’ve been here in our parish for eleven years now – we moved in February half term in 2009. Almost since the beginning I have hosted a weekly coffee morning for people from the church and the community – including school gate mums, bringing baking from the Vicarage kitchen. We call it Cake and Chat, which captures the essence I feel.


Pistachio and citrus peel cookies and blondies were on offer this week

The group who meets includes those who’ve been coming for eleven years and others who’ve joined us in the last few months. We moved last year from meeting in the hall  which is tucked away from the road and has an echoey floor. Now we gather in the church itself, where we now have some café seating and can have the main doors open.

Over the last few weeks we’ve discussed what we’d do with a lottery win and the allure of gambling machines, we’ve chatted about the local lads who race their cars up the dual carriageway on Sunday nights, we’ve wrestled with Bible verses and with questions of identity and relationships. Our group includes Christians and Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs and people of no faith at all. Mostly we speak English but other times you can hear Polish, Punjabi and Patois. We begin around 8.30am and can still be chatting at noon. Some of my most precious times in parish life has been spent with this group.

The God of the Bible is the God who speaks, who breathes everything into being through his Word of life. Is it any surprise that chatting brings such joy and delight? Speaking makes things – it can make relationships. As we seek to build relationships of love in our community, time taken to chat (especially when there’s cake aswell) is never time wasted.

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Upupstairs (as it’s called) is beginning to take proper shape now. Our recent days have been filled with carpet quoters and a succession of tradesmen hefting new firedoors in and about. It’s looking lovely. The kitchen has almost more work surface than mine. The Vicar and I have been talking about moving up there and leaving the MTs to it with the kids on the lower floors. Rocky mentioned that he’d then have the woodburning stoves on the ground floor, which I must admit is still a bit of a draw for living in our allocated space rather than heading skywards.

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I have a few favourite gadgets in the Vicarage kitchen. Today I’d like to introduce you to my best pastry-making tool: a paint scraper.

I used to make most of my pastry in my food processor, but I found that it was too easy to blitz it and end up with the fat chopped too small and the pastry too tough. Since I started using the paint scraper (NB I’ve never scraped paint with this one) I’ve been able to ensure that plenty of gravel-sized pieces of butter/lard/hard marg remain. This gives me a lovely flakey shortcrust pastry that seems to go down very well with consumers.

It’s therapeutic to chop the fat into the flour, too – sometimes I imagine that I am chopping junk mail into tiny pieces. And no fat in the fingernails either – my pet hate with pastry-making. So there you are – a cheap and useful gadget that can also be used to remove welded Weetabix from the kitchen table. Every kitchen should have one.

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Actually, not so much a gadget as a bowl. Or is it a colander? Or a sieve? Well, that’s what makes it so great. It’s a metal bowl that you can also run water through. So *TA-DA* rinse your soft summer fruit and then serve it IN THE SAME RECEPTACLE. Cunning AND elegant, eh?

Sorry, I know I shouldn’t be too bothered about stuff but this bowl does lift my heart in the summer months. Got it in a French market, natch.

Don't eat them all at once, now

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