This week it would be fair to say I have been a busy bunny, on Thursday I was at the Royal Welsh Show exhibiting my jam. I must say that the 4am start was somewhat gruelling, but with remarks that included, ‘that is the best raspberry jam I have ever had’ I conclude that it was well worth the effort. Indeed my new jam and marmalade range was very well received and with a few tweaks to the labelling and packaging I am confident that the range, marketed under Seren’s Kitchen will prove successful.  The jam and marmalade market is somewhat competitive and it is very difficult to get farm shops etc., to take on new products as they often already stock three or four different ranges of preserve, but mine are all a little different, for example I make gin and lime marmalade and a lovely strawberry jam with honeysuckle wine. With the right marketing and a bold approach I am sure that people will buy into the brand as it is all made in a truly artisan manner.

After returning from the Royal Welsh Show late on Thursday evening, it was another early start on Friday as I began baking and cooking for a Regency Tea Party display on Saturday and Sunday at The Botanical Gardens in Carmarthen. I’ve been gathering my props together for months and when I put the display together on Saturday morning it was wonderful to see my vision of a Regency High Tea come to fruition.

Over the course of the weekend I interacted with some truly delightful visitors of all ages and enjoyed being party to some of the memories that my display evoked. For many of the older visitors the sight of china teacups and silver teapots evoked memories of their childhoods, whilst for others the home baked goods reminded them of their mothers and grandmothers. Stories of strawberry sandwiches, fruit cakes and summer picnics flooded in and it was wonderful to not only give talks on the history of afternoon tea, but to witness how the food conjured up memories of  people’s own food history.  I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend, though I must confess that I feel rather baked out and a rest I feel is in order.

As I sit and type my Welsh witterings for this week, I must say that I am fantasising about a soak in the bath and a rest, but before I go and pour myself a home made cucumber infused gin and tonic I must say that if you are planning on a spot of afternoon tea, then you really must enjoy rose and strawberry sandwiches and a decadent Rose Bellini. Admittedly this is not a period treat, but it is the most delicious afternoon treat.

Rose Bellini

This drink really is the ultimate in simplicity and sophistication. It is a great summer garden party drink and also makes a great bridal toast for weddings. You can use a sparkling wine instead of champagne if you wish.

Ingredients

1 tbsp rose syrup

4 heavily scented rose petals

Champagne

1 shot vanilla schnapps

Method:

In a champagne flute place a 1 tbsp. of home-made rose syrup and two heavily scented rose petals). Using a muddler or wooden spoon, press down on the petals and give it a few gentle twists until you start to smell their delicate fragrance. Add the vanilla schnapps’ and top up with champagne. Garnish with the remaining rose petals. Enjoy!

Rose  & Strawberry Sandwiches.

 

Fresh Rose Petals

Sliced Strawberries

Bread buttered with the crusts cut off

Lemon Juice

Rose Water

Icing Sugar

Method:

This recipe is super simple, simple butter white bread and cut off the crusts. The mix a few sliced strawberries and a sprinkling of icing sugar together in a bowl, add a teaspoonful of rose water ad a squeeze of lemon and then place on to the buttered bread, sprinkle with rose petals and construct sandwiches. Cut into dainty fingers and enjoy.

Well, I’m off for a rest so until next week, I bid you a fond farewell from Wales.

 

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com