Thursday, 19 November 2015

Cambridge

Coming from London, I am a city girl at heart. Even though I have lived in a small village for over twenty five years now and have no desire to live anywhere else, I still enjoy the buzz and pace of city life. Fortunately we do have Cambridge on our doorstep, which is a particularly beautiful and vibrant city... with a very lively food scene. I have recently joined an online group in Cambridge for poeple who like to make food, write about food, photograph food... and most of all eat food!

Through this group I have met Cambridge based artist Naomi Davies who has produced these beautiful pen and watercolour drawings of wintery scenes around the city, that she has made into Christmas cards.

 They really do conjure up a feeling for the city... it's hard to pick a favourite.

But best of all Naomi has sent me a set of these cards and although I really would like to keep them all for myself, I thought it would be a festive gesture of appreciation for everyone of you who keeps reading my wittering to give them away! All you have to do is leave me a comment on this post and after one week I will pick a name out of a suitable vessel to find the winner of the set of cards

Meanwhile I am trying to get some festive baking underway... cakes, mincemeat, pies etc as I have a tasting day on Sunday to launch my new business. I'd like to tell you that the kitchen is all finished and ready but I'm still working around tradesmen, ladders and the occasional bucket of paint! Maybe by Sunday?

I've also had a special order this week to make a Slavski Kolac or Slava Cake which is a traditional Serbian dish made for family saint's days, a yeasted enriched dough a little like a brioche. Our friend Pete wanted me to make it for a family get together this coming weekend as it was something his Mum always used to make. As it was something new for me I decided I'd better have a trial run.

This afternoon Pete and his wife Janet came over for a cup of tea and a trial tasting!  And the verdict... almost as good as his Mum's... which was good enough for me. Now let's hope the real version turns out as well as this one!

Then it's back to more baking ready for Sunday... where luckily for me Naomi will be bringing some more of her cards so I will be able to buy a set for myself. Don't forget to leave a comment if you would like a chance to win. And take a look at some of Naomi's other lovely drawings:

29 comments:

  1. that cake looks like it would go down well with a cup of tea!
    We love Cambridge and those illustrations are so very pretty. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, someone has to go first. I love art in any form and those cards are very pretty. I'd like to be at your place right now - it probably smells yummy. Good luck on your new venture.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What beautiful watercolors...and lovely cooking too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cambridge is particularly lovely at this time of year, as long as the easterlies aren't too active. I've been thinking that it's time for a visit and now you've prompted me to do something about it.

    Good luck for Sunday!p

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a challenge - but that cake looks splendid!

    I was born and went to school in Cambridge, so it's the town that feels most like home for me. Those illustrations some up the atmosphere perfectly, but I agree with Colleen about the easterly winds that can cut through you like a knife.

    I hope to call in on Sunday xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Best of luck for the official tasting - I'm sure all you present will be enjoyed and appreciated. Those card designs are so delightful and unusual. They make a refreshing change from some of the garish ones that pass themselves off as Christmas cards.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I looked up Slava cake recipes, ah I can't wait. I nearly took a day of work to make one. Good luck with your official tasting! x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love those cards. My father went to Cambridge as a Rhodes Scholar from South Australia, my guess sometime in the mid 1920s as he was born in 1900.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Brilliant artwork, I particularly love the first bicycle painting!
    Your Serbian cake looks amazing . :)
    Have a great weekend,
    V x

    ReplyDelete
  10. Our son and daughter in law have just opened a new coffee shop called STIR in CB4.It is proving very popular,thank goodness!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your Slava cake looks delicious Gina! it would be perfect with a cup of coffee!
    My DH went to college in Cambridge - we've just been to a college reunion!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was in Cambridge to attend a course at the Anglia Ruskin University at the end of October. Once in the city itself it didn't feel too bad for a city and at least I could ditch the car at one of the park and ride places. I would have hated to try and drive in. I am definitely a rural person and avoid cities if I can, but there are a few that aren't too bad and Cambridge is one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What lovely cards, I'm off to look at her website now. Hope your kitchen is finished very soon

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hope that everything goes really well with your business launch! That Slava cake looks incredible!!! Congratulations on it all!! xx

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Gina, all the best for Sunday- your cakes always look so scrummy.the cards are lovely especially the crowd one . Vera

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've never even heard of that cake - and I thought I was an authority on cakes - eating them, not baking, obviously!
    I know you will have worked so hard to make Sunday a success, I'm sure It will be wonderful and I hope you have masses of visitors - I'm sorry I can't be there as I'm working at the shop, but I'll be thinking of you and wishing you well xx

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gina, I do envy you having the possibility of reaching the riches of Cambridge, while still being able to also experience a quieter homebase.

    Your testing version of the commissioned cake is so beautiful. Great to see the cross section view showing the lovely texture too.

    And...on the topic of lovely, thank you for the introduction to Naomi Davies paintings. Those cards are lovely! I am now very much emulating an elf in Santa's workshop trying to paint this year's Christmas tea cup watercolors. I am very much behind schedule, but am delighted to have dipped into NYC's fall cultural season in the past week.

    I must find time for a "review" blog soon. Do elves drink black coffee?

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  18. That cake lo9ks wonderful, I am sure the real one was just as good. Here's hoping the tasting goes really well. What a trial to be working in the middle of all the tradesmen. The cards are really lovely. Don't put my name in the hat - if I won, it would be nearly Christmas before they arrived over here. Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ooo, yes please Gina; I used to live in jsut outside Cambridge so would love a reminder. If I don't win I'll have to get Naomi's contact details and get some.

    ReplyDelete
  20. What lovely cards. I agree about Cambridge, in fact, we were there last night, wandering around, enjoying a coffee and admiring all the Christmas lights. Best wishes for Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love the Christmas cards! Do you know where I could buy some from? X

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wonderful cake! We loved quite near Cambridge when I was a teenager but I haven't been there for years. I like it so much more than Oxford which always seems much more crowded and shut in - must be those wide East Anglican skies and flatter landscapes.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Lived near not loved, of course - predictive text strikes again!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Fabulous art work -and cake, too. What more does a blog post need!

    ReplyDelete
  25. The cake looks great! And the cards are beautiful. Hoping to get started soon on some of your designs I bought on Etsy.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Why is it that renovations always take so much longer than they say it will? Your cake looks divine and those cards are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Looks as though your customers are in for a treat - all those wonderful creations coming out of the new kitchen. Perhaps you could find a cake or desert specific to Cambridge to go along with these beautiful cards.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Beautiful watercolours, and lovely baking. Am popping back from your most recent post. How on earth did you manage all that delicious food with such tight deadlines. Wow, we'll done, you should be extremely proud of yourself. Love Penny L in Dorsetxxx

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving me a comment. I love to read what you have to say and try to reply directly by email when possible... although it sometimes takes me a while!