I have been a little quiet here recently for a few reasons, Not least because we have been away quite a lot enjoying wine tasting, and cycling as we travel around the country in our campervan.
It has been a glorious summer....that is still lingering in amongst the rainy days, which the farmers will be very grateful for after a drought through January and February. I did feel a little guilty for being so happy at so many weeks with no rain and clear, blue cloudless skies!
New Zealand has some amazing wine areas and we love nothing more than to call in at the various cellar doors, do some tasting and hear the fascinating stories the winery owners have to tell.
I have decided I want to come back in my next life as a wine maker. They are such interesting people. I know it is hard work and no where near as glamorous as it seems.....but they all have such wonderful adventures as they get their vineyards up and running.
The art of deciding which grapes to use for their new wine is intriguing. The wine makers have to take into consideration the soil type, sun, flavour, type of grape and it seems in their head come up with a recipe that will produce a certain wine by mixing different quantities of each grape variety.
Each year is different as the weather has a big part to play in what the grapes will produce. The hot dry summer is promising to make 2013 one of the best grape vintages ever in New Zealand.
Winemakers have so many decisions to make as they go along, but can't taste the finished product for months, and as we all know, some wines keep evolving for many years.How long the wine is left in the barrels.....and even which barrels.....or any barrels...sometimes they leave it in stainless steel vats, will have an impact on the end result.
Not to mention the very tricky process of when exactly the fruit is ready to be picked. It is a fine balance it seems between being exactly ready with sugar levels at a certain place and dealing with the weather.The winemakers in Blenheim were generally happy as they mostly managed to get all the grapes in before the rain set in.
Wine making really is an art as well as a science. Cake making is a lot easier. And a disaster can be more easily rectified! Maybe I should stick to making cakes and wine tasting.
Their enthusiasm even after many years in the game, suggests it would be a lifestyle I could take to.
Meanwhile on the home front I have been trying to get a few more recipes onto the site so I can get it better organised. The beginnings of a website can be frustrating until you have enough pages to do something with. I am still far from where I hope to be as my site progresses, but I am getting some semblance of order.
Most of my cakes are straightforward recipes which are good for beginning bakers to try. I really enjoy icing cakes .....but I am finding people seem to like plainer baking. So many of the recipes can be served with out having to ice them first. A sprinkle of icing sugar, a syrup that soaks through or served with a good dollop of Greek Yoghurt maybe topped with fruit can look good on the table, and be delicious to eat.
I am wondering how to label the cake recipes that actually have vegetables in them. I already have a courgette or zucchini cake, carrot cake and pumpkin cake. Will people be put off if I have a Vegetable section?
I hope you are all enjoying some baking from scratch and sharing with family and friends.
Let Us All Eat Cake,
Brought up baking from a young age I love to make delicious cakes to share with family and friends. Much like my mother, I can be one of those cooks who measure by "eye" rather than with a measure, and invariably add in or take out ingredients depending on what is in my cupboard. However, I do also appreciate the need to follow a recipe exactly for best results, as the "pour it in" method is really for those who have done a lot of baking over many years. I use this method for new recipes. So come share my recipes and learn some baking skills if you are not confident.