It's been a while. But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of you. Sometimes life with three little ones gets a bit overwhelming and I don't take time to write (I don't even take time to bake, and then I *whispers* buy bread - shhhh, don't tell anyone).
Even though I've been so quiet online, it has been lovely to continue to receive messages from readers, with questions, success stories, mouthwatering photos of bread and sometimes, just to ask if I'm ok.
Really, it is the genuine contact with genuine people that makes this venture worthwhile for me. It is knowing that there are actual real-live people enjoying their own homemade bread that brings me back, to try to help, in some small way, to make homemade bread a reality for more people. Because it IS unbeatably delicious, is it not?!
So, thank you for being here.
It's been an extra busy year for me because we moved house. Finally, I have a kitchen in which several people can cook at once. This is especially important when you consider that at least two out of three offspring usually want to pull a chair up to the counter and help whenever there are ingredients to weigh and eggs to crack.
I also have this:
Outdoor space! Mud! Digging! Worms! I still live in Newcastle so I am lacking Decent Weather but it is the middle of winter so I remain quietly optimistic for an improvement in spring. Also, we are tough and we have wellies.
It wasn't a white Christmas: more a wet Christmas, so the only snowman built was this one, from playdough:
That's a carrot, by the way. Though you probably already knew that(!)
I don't have much bread news, since I've been baking my favourite wholemeal loaf almost weekly, and (as confessed earlier) sometimes even buying bread.
The children have been baking more, in the new kitchen.
Here's my boy, proudly slicing a mini loaf that he made:
And here's my eldest, busily baking cakes:
The picture at the top of this post is of my middle daughter, enthusiastically tucking into a bun that she iced herself. Alas, her painstaking patterns of different coloured icing merged into one, leaving only a blurred shimmer, but it's still a thing of beauty:
And still, as evidenced above, utterly delicious.
So, what about you?
I'm starting the new year with renewed optimism and energy. I'm editing my recipes ebook (remember, you'll always have access to the latest version, at no extra cost) and looking forward to more chatting on the Freshly Baked Forum.
How's your baking going? What can I help you with this year?
Are you feeling inspired to bake your first bread? If so, you can start with my FREE guide to Fresh Bread In 20 Minutes.
Or perhaps you're ready to improve your technique to make your bread more beautiful and professional looking.
As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
I wish you all the best for the coming year, and happy homemade loaves!