The Good Cornwall Guide

The Good Cornwall Guide

I thought it was about time for a follow-up on my employment status, given that the last one was in winter and involved Loose Women, junk food and plenty of rejection. Well, things have moved along rather nicely since then, hence the lack of posts. In fact, things got so busy that at one point, I had four jobs. It was only for about a week, but still.

Currently I am down to a comfortable two jobs, and writing for this website is one of them. It’s a great site to read when you’re coming to visit Cornwall, and brilliant when you live here. Working at the GCG has enlightened me to so many bars, restaurants, brilliant companies and events I didn’t know existed. And it’s gotten me off my arse doing fun things – note my embarrassing surf video in the comments of my Lamiroy Surf review. It’s also resulted in talking to all kinds of people I’d not usually have the chance to, or make the effort to.

All in all, big fun. Check it out and do something great with your bank hol!

Tagged , , , , , ,

For you Twidder folk: RVG

http://www.virginmediashorts.co.uk/film/4809/rvg#.UfJ37hasbdk

This is a cracking short film by some very talented Cornish boys, who are up for the chance to win £30,000 to shoot the next film. All you need to do to help them win, is use the Tweet button below the vid, or Tweet “#VMShortsVote RVG”.
Thanks for your help dears!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Coconut and Lime Cake with White Choccy Buttercream

I made this for Boyfriend’s birthday. Once presented with it, after many hours in various pubs, he promptly and unceremoniously delivered it to the floor. I called him the worst word.

Here’s how you make the delicious fella:

Cake Mix:

  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Unsalted Butter, softened of course
  • 200g Self-Raising Flour
  • 4 Eggs. Yup, it’s a bigun
  • 100g Creamed Coconut
  • Juice and Zest of 1 Lime. Maybe a little extra juice if you like it limey. I do.

Buttercream:

  • 110g Unsalted, softened butter (though who has scales that accurate? Just have a bash at it.)
  • 250g Icing Sugar, you’d be wise to sift
  • 150g White Chocolate. Try not to eat it.

Method:

Get the oven going to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas mark 5. If your oven is also nicknamed “The Inferno”, you may want to go a little lower. Do the boring stuff like greasing and lining your tins. I used two 8in sandwich tins. I’d love to be one of those people who also line the sides, but so far, I haven’t bothered.

I am lucky enough to have a food processor. I’m sure this cake can be made with a wooden spoon or your bare hands if you fancy, it’ll just take a hell of a lot longer. An electric mixer is of course your best bet unless you’ve got one of those KitchenAid things, in which case I would like to pretend that this blog gets so much attention, you should send me one for freebies.

Now, chop the butter into cubes and throw it in the processor with the sugar.

Image

Now mix the life out of it. You’ll have to scrape it off the sides every now and then. When it’s ready, it’ll look pale and be quite runny. Why recipes say “fluffy” I will never know.

Image

Now beat the eggs, set the food processor going and drop them in a bit at a time. If you’re worried about it curdling, put a tablespoon of flour in with the last one. It’ll fatten up like and look smooth, like this:

Image

Tescos sell sachets of Patak’s creamed coconut, other shops sell it in 200g blocks. Whichever you’ve got, grate 100g into the mix, add the lime juice and zest, and mix until incorporated. Put the mix into a large bowl.

Image

Sift the flour, fold it in and divide the mix between the two tins. Whack ’em in the oven and do the washing up. After about 20 minutes, they should be golden, and spring back when pressed. When they’re cool enough not to burn your little fingers, turn them onto a wire wrack.

Make the Buttercream.

Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water, then let it cool right down so it wont melt the butter later.

Mix the butter and icing sugar bit by bit in the food processor until smooth. It’ll be thick, so take your time. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until smoothy smooth. Spread the buttercream between the sponge layers, over the top and down the sides. Decorate as you wish.

Image

Ta Daaa.

This cake was fortunate enough to survive a rough trip to the carpet, but yours might not. Keep it in a tin. Enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Hub Box

Yesterday, I went for lunch with my two friends Ryan and Ryan. I’d been planning on spending no cash whatsoever, just a quiet trip to the library to spend a day sorting my life out. Funnily enough, it’ll take considerably longer than that, and the thought of a Hub burger was too tempting to resist.

At the far end of Truro’s Lemon Quay, nestled between the river and the subway sits a hulking, black shipping container. Within its little wood-lined walls are four tables, a kitchen, charming staff, and an array of interesting beers and lagers. There’s also bonus outdoor seating if you’re feeling wrapped up, and takeaway if you’re not.

Image

It’s the perfect set up. It feels temporary, but so comfortable, and each time I’ve visited, I’ve found myself surrounded by people gushing about how pleased they are to be there, stuffing their faces, and not just from my table. Yesterday’s meal was accompanied by a soundtrack of satisfied grunts, mumbled, mouth-still-full declarations of “it’s so fucking good” from the Ryans, and my particular favourite from a girl behind me, “I’m just so happy right now”. 

A Hub burger is a wondrously satisfying thing, served to you with absolute pride in the product. The guys that work there are friendly, chatty and clearly not too claustrophobic. There’s loads on the menu to choose from; American style dogs and burgers, and a great veggy option. I opted, for the second or third time, I forget, for the Big Chill Burger. I love the story of their Indian chef who makes the most fantastic chilli imaginable, (besides mine of course,) and gives me the joy of scoffing it with a rich, juicy burger and Baker Tom’s bread. Crackin’. The prices are great, my burger was just £7, and our wonderful, welcoming waiter even threw in a few unexpected fries and onion rings.

Initially, the Hub Box was only intended to open in Truro for “a few weeks over the Christmas period,” to give people the opportunity to try their “renowned taste of St. Ives”. Lucky for us, it’s still there, for now. 

For those who frequent Truro and have not been yet, what’s your problem? Go! Be swift, before it is gone. 

(Quotes and photo from the site, have a look: http://www.hub-stives.co.uk/hubbox)

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Self-Critique

After moving back to England in January, I have essentially became a housewife. I spend my time between job applications cooking, baking, folding laundry and cleaning the kitchen after the icing sugar bomb goes off. The Tesco delivery that arrives this afternoon may well be the highlight of my day. Stretching my last paycheck from Italy as far as possible, I don’t have the opportunity to do the things I used to. I used to fling money around on new dresses and shoes for almost every night out, and there were many. I would choose a new mascara when my old one had maybe rolled under the bed just out of reach. I would entertain myself with magazines, nail polish and lunch during my break at work. I spent so much, completely unnecessarily. For Christ’s sake – this is my phone case
Image

What I should have been doing, is shoving it all in an ISA for a time like this. A time where I’ve decided I really ought to get my arse in gear and decide what the hell I am going to do with myself for the next forty-five years. I think I am finally beginning to understand what that is. Something creative, preferably involving writing, in Cornwall. That may not sound like much of an epiphany to a lot of you, but I’ve been dodging this topic for quite some time now, allowing myself to be distracted by travel, temporary jobs, and worst of all, boyfriends. Let’s not get into that last one.

Predominantly, what has always kept me from just getting the hell on with the post-grad struggle, is the niggling little voice in my head that used to say, “You can’t do it, you’re a baby. You have no idea what you’re doing,” which then progressed to taunts of “It’s too late now, moron, you’ve forgotten your entire degree,” which often feels true when sifting through online job vacancies in front of the tele with a cuppa in one hand, the other grappling under sofa cushions for the remote to change the channel from the clucking hens on Loose Women, to Jeremy Kyle abusing another saber-toothed mongaloid planted in a rigid, pleather armchair, seemingly borrowed, along with its sitter, from the darkest depths of Weatherspoons. I can practically feel my education oozing out of my ears.

These days, the voice is gentler, more encouraging. “Come on love, put the kettle chips down and let’s give this a go.”

Tagged , , , , ,

Baby Blue

Baby Blue

I made these for my friend Jo’s baby shower.

Tagged ,

The Icing On The Cake

The Icing On The Cake

My purchase from this morning’s bake sale. Fantastic, local, homemade, and cheap.

(Caramel shortbread, Malteser, Mint Choc, Chocolate and Guiness, Lemon Meringue, and Cherry Bakewell)

http://www.facebook.com/icingonthecake.hayle?fref=ts

Tagged , ,

A Grand Entrance

A Grand Entrance

The Milanese take their banking very seriously, by the looks of things!

Tagged ,

Heat

The summer weather in Milan looks an awful lot like this:

image

Blazing sunshine, humid air and thunderstorms. It’s a little too hot to move around. Anyone that’s been in Australia this summer will call me a crybaby, and rightly so, but I like to be able to sleep at night, not just stick to myself. The kickstands of hundreds of mopeds and motorcycles leave rectangular dents in the melting pavements, all over the city. It amazes me that Milanese women are able to saunter the streets in stilettos every day. Not once did I see someone stack it, sending their designer sunglasses clattering off their face, along with their composure.

Flip-flops sinking into the softening tar, we seek shade in a castle.

image

Castello Sforzesco. Hulking, blocky, and guarded by stray cats, it is quite a sight. Housing several museums and exhibitions year round, it’s the perfect place for a little artistic and historical education after a stroll though the adjoining park, Parco Sempione. After taking some snaps for fellow tourists in the courtyard, we make our way outside to the oasis that is the Castello Sforzesco Fountain. We get in the oasis that is the Castello Sforzesco Fountain.

Preventing us from looking like lunatics are fellow overheaters. Many paddle towards the centre of the pool, hitching up long skirts and rolling up trouser legs, turning back to strike a pose for camera brandishing partners/friends/family members/total strangers. There is even a woman, small and leathery, like a handbag, who stretches herself out on a length of fountain wall, sunning herself in the midst of a crowd, only to dip herself up to the neck, sizzling in the water for a moment before resuming her reclining position. I am told a few weeks later by my friend Shauni that this miniature Mickey Rourke, in denim shorts, bikini top, and the most contented expression, has been there without fail throughout the summer.

That afternoon, we attempt to make our way back to the apartment, certain we are headed in the right direction. Not quite. Consulting bus shelter maps and running out of water, we soldier on. I am reacting as though I am lost in the desert, camel dead at my feet, ankles swelling, shoulders crisping, whilst Rosie frets that soon she may have to carry me. Upon recognising a church she spotted on a supermarket run the previous day, we are saved, and we clamber up the apartment steps to cool, minty air conditioning, peeling ourselves off the leather sofa now and then for rejuvenating ice cream. It turns out we had been circling my new home for at least half an hour.

Essentially, the advice you may take from this particular episode is: do not go to Milan in July/August if, like me, you have transparent skin and freckles, and generally can’t cope with much. Now, September on the other hand…

Tagged , ,