The Wright side of life: Karen gives us food for thought
‘You can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs’, that’s what people say isn’t it?
They are usually not actually talking about cooking anything, least of all an omelette but we all get the gist. I was telling my friend Terry from Bake Off that I am having a kitchen make-over and that it was mess everywhere because of it and he said, “you can’t make an omelette without cracking eggs”. Set me thinking about phrases like - ‘it’s a rum do’, ‘like a pig in a poke’, ‘put your money where your mouth is’. I checked them out and they are all colloquialisms, that’s a good word for a spelling test!So, about my kitchen, I am very excited, as I type I can hear the old worktops being ripped out. They are due to be replaced with ruby red sparkle worktops. I have saved my old wall tiles, just scrubbed them up and re-grouted them, but I am getting a new white ceramic sink and white gas hob. I replaced my oven last summer when I was being filmed for Bake Off so that’s all good. I have got two very exciting change colour chandelier light fittings to match the one already in my lounge and some new teal coloured roller blinds. I know for a fact that all this is not to everyone’s taste, it’s certainly not subtle or even classy but for me it is perfect and makes me feel warm inside and very happy.Is my kitchen a thing of beauty? What in fact is beauty? I do know that when you feel love for someone or something you normally think they are beautiful. Like when both my baby girls were born, I thought they were so beautiful, more beautiful than any of the other babies on the ward. I know now of course that my babies pretty much looked like all the other babies and a stranger might not distinguish one from the other but that’s love for you, you feel it and it is beautiful (like my kitchen.)The reason I have been pondering all this is because I went along to the Arthouse yesterday afternoon on Drury Lane to listen to a talk by Kevin Trickett MBE, the subject being ‘On Beauty’. It was a fascinating talk and by no means did we come out with a definition. What I came away with was lots of food for thought, oops there we go another one of those big words from paragraph one, a colloquialism!Anyway, back to normal stuff. I made a cake for a friend last week. I didn’t have a brief it just needed to be something big enough for 30 people. I like being given the freedom to create whatever I fancy. I went for a two-tier affair. I wanted to make something gold and glittery. I managed to stencil some gold stripes around the top tier, I made a chocolate collar to encase the bottom tier and gilded it. I topped it off with a layer of caramel and a layer of chocolate, all swirly with gold running through it. I managed to get 30 gold candles on it, and it looked the bee’s knees (colloquialism again, bees don’t have knees) .Today, due to my kitchen being done I have got our dinner sorted. I got my slow cooker out and very quickly chopped up some veg, I reckon it will be a goulash of sorts, here is what I did.I chopped up onion, carrots, celery and put in the pot.Added 500 grams of cubed stew steak, one OXO stock pot, 500ml water and a tin of chopped tomatoes.I squeezed in garlic, chilli and tomato puree and sprinkled on smoked paprika.Later I will season with salt and pepper and thicken with cornflour, I have some leeks so may well add those for the last half hour. I will serve this with some mashed potato and peas, or I might just add cubed potatoes and call it a stew, it is all about being adaptable, to what you have and how you are feeling.Bon Appetite, normal service will be resumed next week in my sparkly kitchen.
Karen Wright: For more tips and recipes go to http://www.karenwrightbakes.co.uk