A few weeks ago, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary at Highland Moors. I suppose you could say we've learned a thing or two. Gone are the microwaving of scrambled egg and gone are the silly little poaching rings which we thought would work well for fried eggs. I was taken to task by a guest chef who refused to eat his egg and when I inquired about it, he followed me in the kitchen and said 'What are you doin' ? Enough said. They only ever saw the frying pan again when I was making crumpets.
Sometimes, we feel like that couple in the hair colour ad - (the voiceover is too compelling to remember the brand) - with our ten years, eleven ensuites, three births, thirty seven windows etc etc but after this time, we have come through without too much grey hair and a few extra surprises we hadn't really planned for - a couple of enthusiastic budding cooks.
My 10 year old son who enjoys Jamie Oliver comes running in saying 'You can make Sizzling Chicken Fajitas Grilled Peppers, Salsa, Rice & Beans in 15 minutes'. 'Maybe he can', I retort, conscious that my own chicken pancakes are a far cry from Jamie's wonderfully flavoursome delights. But my lack of an enthusiastic response doesn't deter him in the slightest. He has spotted a You Tube clip on making ice-cream, found the ingredients he needed and whipped up a huge bowl of wonderfully delicious vanilla and chocolate chip ice-cream. We were spoilt for the next five days. The only tip is to add the chocolate pieces as the ice-cream is solidifying otherwise they melt and all fall in the bottom of the bowl. I was so impressed. I had wanted to make ice-cream all my life.
My 7 year old, not to be outdone will pass us by on her way to the kitchen asking, but it's actually a statement 'I can make some cupcakes ?' She doesn't hesitate for an acknowledgement. As they come out of the oven wonderfully risen and golden, I say, 'Oh Soph, we should have added some raisins', remembering back to when my Mum made such wonderful treats. When I go back later, she had put a small dab of coloured icing on half of the cakes and liberally sprinkled them with sultanas, just for me.
It might surprise you that as a family who fully embrace 'homemade' and work with as few machines as possible, that we have invested in a new machine - a waffle maker, but it has been a huge hit. Both kids make and serve the waffles for the family. How liberating. I remember back to the days when I was only allowed watch my Mum for much of the time. She was an exceptional cook, but I suppose with six children, she never had the time to allow me to learn slowly and mess up quickly as she always had so much to do. I decided early on to let my kids into the kitchen as often as they like. It's industrial size compared to many kitchens, but fortunately like the rest of our Victorian house, fairly indestructible.
As a business, we are in the business of constantly improving, upgrading and innovating and have decided to add our wonderful waffles to our menu for 2013 with our favorite toppings which include maple syrup, apple sauce, lemon and sugar or the healthy fresh fruit option. I instructed my son to leave some ice-cream in case our recent grader wanted to try some homemade waffles with homemade ice-cream for his breakfast. I think he was disappointed that he went for the traditional breakfast. Already our younger guests have loved them though, but why should children have all the fun food. We tell our guests, you don't have to be in single figures age-wise to enjoy this special treat.
We swiped the apple sauce idea when we went to the 500 year old German market in Bad Wimpfen in December where they walk around the stalls munching on freshly baked waffles and doughnuts and sipping their gluhvein. Somehow apple sauce doesn't sound like fruit.
See our menu for just some of the delights you can enjoy during your stay with us from all the traditional breakfast options, fresh fruit, omelettes with Welsh laverbread (seaweed), kippers and Welsh cakes. I wonder what other delights we can add to our already full menu for breakfast. Soon maybe I'll find myself ousted from my kitchen not by a highly trained qualified chef but by my highly creative and enthusiastic children. To be truthful, I can't wait !