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  1. Rhubarb & Yoghurt Tray Cake Bake Recipe

    I've developed this recipe for rhubarb cake when I was working at Down House - a historic house in Kent where Charles Darwin lived for most of his life. We had an amazing garden kitchen which also had a large patch of heritage rhubarb. I wanted to create a recipe that would use the rhubarb as the main ingredients, as we had a bounty of rhubarb every year.

    Each day during the rhubarb season, I would walk down to the end of the garden after I finished my work and cut few stems of rhubarb. I was under strict instructions to make it look like 'nothing was missing', so I would spend a lot of time working out how to cut the best stems that were ready from each cluster. Fortunately the head gardener was a great fan of the rhubarb cake!

  2. Charles Bridge - Prague at night


    So, we’re halfway through January 2019 and it’s time for the first blog of the year. Perhaps I should start with just finishing off last year and the last party we did on December 21. It was eventful since we very nearly didn’t make it at all – not only that but we were on the point of emailing our apologies – from the airport of another country.

    We were booked to hold a rolling series of children’s chocolate lollipop classes by Lloyds Bank at their Chatham HQ. It was part of bring your children to work event and other entertainment was also laid on to create a festive party atmosphere.

    The previous day we were also booked – to arrive on a scheduled flight back to Gatwick from Prague where we’d been visiting Magdalena’s relatives for a few days. But the only the only thing flying around Gatwick that day were drones! Was it the same drone spotted by lots of people or different drones seen by the same people? Looking back on it now it all seems a bit of a mystery. In fact, it would be simpler to just put the sightings down to a passing UFO.

  3. My memories of 1970s chocolate bars

    Ah Yes, now you’re talking. As a kid who became a teenager by the end of the decade, this was my time to enjoy a childhood of chocolate. And now get to write about it nearly 40 years later. So, here are my personal memories of 1970s chocolate bars.

    My personal favourite chocolate bar – perhaps influenced by the tv adverts – was Nestle’s Texan.

    ‘Sure is a mighty chew’ was the catch line for this chewy nougat and toffee bar which was briefly back on the shelves in 2005. The cartoon tv ads usually featured a US cowboy who spoke the famous line with a Clint Eastwood mock accent. Often he’d be tied to a cactus plant out in the desert surrounded by Mexican bandits. ‘What is your last request?’ the captain of the firing range would ask before giving the order to shoot. Cue, some hours later, to a sunset, with the bandits by now fast asleep and the cool cowboy still chewing his Texan bar. Cactus plant uprooted, he’d then walk equally slowly into the distance.