My October Symphony


I don’t know whether it’s the sheer volume of orange and brown shades that have adorned shop windows and along pavements this month, but October has felt suitably autumnal. The leaves are starting to fall from the trees, it’s getting dark in the evenings, and the heating is finally, if only sporadically, being turned on. We’re getting closer to December by the day and the first few murmurings of Christmas can be heard.

The weather, much like life, has been rather mild through October. On the news front, October began with Prime Minister Teresa May announcing that she’ll trigger Article 50 by March next year, and so Britain’s exit from the EU shall begin. The UK government approves controversial plans for fracking in Lancashire, as well as more controversial plans for a third runway at Heathrow. The pound crashes in currency markets (again). UKIP leader Diane James stands down after just eighteen days after taking up the post, whilst another UKIP MEP is left hospitalised after a fight at a party meeting (I’m not even making this up is UKIP for real?!)

Kim Kardashian is held at gunpoint in Paris. Nobel prizes are awarded to leading doctors, physicists, chemists, economists, and Bob Dylan. Meanwhile, Hurricane Matthew batters Haiti, killing at least 400 people, in the worst Caribbean storm of the decade. There’s an earthquake of 6.6 magnitude in Central Italy.

The American Presidential Race continues its weird, almost comical, fight, as Trump is caught on tape being typically misogynistic with lewd comments, and Hilary Clinton has her emails investigated by the FBI (on a side note: how weird is it that they are ‘Trump’ and ‘Hilary’? Why isn’t it ‘Donald’ and ‘Clinton’? Or even ‘Trump’ and ‘Clinton’? Hmm…)

Pete Burns dies of cardiac arrest, at the age of 57. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies, aged 88. He was the longest-reigning monarch, which means Britain’s Queen Elizabeth now takes that title.

The Unilever price dispute ends and their products return to Tesco shelves, and Twitter announces it will shut down Vine. (I’ve never got into Vine, so won’t be mourning this loss.)

October was a big one for Winberry Crumble: it marked the first official birthday of the domain. Buying a domain was when I decided to be serious about blogging, and I’m so glad I did it.  As a hobby, it’s been fun, and I’ve really enjoyed thinking of recipes, writing, and putting posts together, and I have to say that I’m really pleased with every post I’ve put up. Through blogging, I’ve discovered some outstanding fellow bakers, found new, nifty techniques to try, and pushed myself out of my comfort zone to give different recipes a go!

white-chocolate-lemon cookies

This month, I began with what I consider to be the finest cookie recipe to date: lemon and white chocolate cookies, made with that secret ingredient- condensed milk! These were so tasty and I would recommend everyone to give this recipe a go! Think it might be time for me to revisit these cookies… watch this space…

portuguese tart

Next up, to coincide with my holiday to Portugal, I posted a very simple recipe for Pastel de Nata, or Portuguese tarts. These egg custard like treats are delicious, but I’ll admit, not as nice as the real thing! When can I go back to Portugal to stuff my face with them again?!

cherry and almond cupcake

These cherry and almond mini cakes went through so many different variations, before finally I decided on this cute cherry design! I think it is perfect for this type of cake and adds a bit of fun to this tasty cake.

pumpkin spice cookies

pumpkin pie

There were two Hallowe’en recipes on the blog this month. The first was the delicious iced caramel and pumpkin spice biscuits, so warming and autumnal and perfectly spiced. There was also a recipe for my take on Pumpkin Pie, a traditionally American dessert that I’d always wanted to bake, so I was really pleased when I managed to pick up a tin of pumpkin puree in Tesco. This Pumpkin Pie was not overly sweet, and is perfect served with whipped cream.

Since Winberry Crumble is now officially one year old, I can reminisce and look back on what recipes I was posting this time last year! So in a new feature for these monthly summary posts, we take a look at ‘Last Year’s Posts’.

(Theme tune plays…)

bakewell tart
Ghost biscuits

The first recipe post I sub-consciously made an effort to ‘blog’ was for Plum and Amaretto Bakewell Tart. A not-at-all scary, but very delicious, Bakewell Tart recipe made when I had a glut of homemade plum jam. Next up, I gave patisserie a go with my Pistachio Creme Religieuse (and I learnt the very valuable lesson that not all recipes will turn out how you want them to. RIP Beetle-gieuse). Finally, in the first post in which my ‘blog style’ begins to take shape, there was a fun and simple tutorial for roll-out sugar cookies, decorated in a suitably spooky (albeit rather cute) ghost biscuits. I almost want to bake all these recipes again, re-write the posts and update the pictures, but I feel like the early posts are little pieces of history, so I’ll leave them as they are.

This is the first time I’ve looked back at my old posts and on a personal note, seeing how much my style has changed (I’d like to think improved!) is so inspiring. Thinking about where I was twelve months ago is fun, so I wonder where I’ll be this time next year?

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