February & March

Can you believe that we’re a quarter of the way through the year already? No, neither can I!

At the start of February I felt that time was going so slowly. I was sure that I’d have plenty of time during the beginning of march to write this post. And now, on the second day of April I find myself writing from the back seat of the car, driving across France on our way home from a wonderful holiday.

February ended up being quite an eventful month, even though it felt like nothing really happened. Pancake day is one of our family’s favourite days of the year. We make a big stack of pancakes and get all of our favourite toppings out, including squirty cream, Nutella and ice cream.

Valentine’s Day is another personal favourite. My husband and I are not romantic people in the slightest; it doesn’t really occur to us to be that way in our day to day lives. So when the 14th of February rolls around we both appreciate having that prompt on the calendar to make time for ourselves as a couple. This year, like every year, we stayed in and shared a lovely, home cooked meal and a bottle of wine. I cooked chicken in a mushroom and vermouth sauce and made rhubarb cheesecake for dessert.

At the end of February the daffodils were beginning to poke their heads out of the ground and we all started to feel like spring was in the air. Unfortunately the weather had other ideas and winter was back with a vengeance. We awoke on the first day of march to not just a light dusting of snow but a full 10cm of the stuff. It was the most snow we’ve had since Stinky was a toddler and she was absolutely delighted! We are definitely a snow loving family but I can totally sympathise with those who hate it. We live within walking distance to both of our jobs, Stink’s school and a supermarket so not being able to get places isn’t really an issue for us.

So we all put on our ski suits, dug out the sledges and spent a whole afternoon playing in the snow in our local park. Normally this park is quite deserted, except maybe for the odd skulking group of teenagers or a dog walker passing through. It was truly wonderful to see so many people from our local community outside and enjoying the snow. We all pay for these outdoor spaces through our council tax and we’re lucky in Bath to have so many lovely parks. It seems a bit daft that we need a few centimetres of snow to remind us to get up off the sofa and enjoy them!

March passed by in a whirlwind of snow days, work and holiday preparations but I managed to keep to my New Years resolution and found time to bake for fun. In my endeavour to learn to bake better bread (and spurred on by snow related bread shortages here in Bath) I baked a loaf a week with varying levels of success. I definitely need to learn to be more patient with my dough. The second prove is always where I falter; I’m far to keen to get the loaf baked even though I know it needs longer. Perhaps by the end of the year I will have learnt to exercise some patience and be rewarded with a decent loaf.

I’ve had a few birthday cakes to make this past month too. Firstly for my little brother who turned 21 this year. My parents threw a big family party at their home and I baked him a chocolate and banana cake with peanut butter filling and salted caramel decoration.

Stink’s best bud also has a birthday in March. She asked for a pastel rainbow cake which I decorated with party rings and sweeties. And finally our friend Michael is a March baby too. He loves a cherry Bakewell, so I made it a little more special by dipping the cherries in gold and sticking some sparklers on the top. What’s a birthday without a little glitter?!

The end of March was consumed with packing for our holiday, tying up loose ends at work and spring cleaning our house. Does any one else like to give their house a good top-to-bottom clean before they go away or is it just me? Getting back late after a long day of travelling and falling into your own bed with fresh linen is just the best feeling.

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