29 April 2011

royal wedding day

Our royal wedding celebrations involved eating lots of traditional British fayre with friends.

Yesterday I undertook a marathon baking session and produced fruit scones, a Victoria sandwich cake and millionaire's shortbread. Of course we barely had room for all this after scoffing sandwiches and huge slices of my celebratory pork pie! And just to make sure we had more than enough, our friends brought a delicious home baked cake with a red, white and blue Union Jack decoration.

Oh yes, and in between all this we watched the wedding, and it was great!

27 April 2011

celebratory pork pie

Our lovely local butcher chopped up a whole pig leg for this one, including the trotter!

I used this Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe from Them Apples.

Cubing the pork shoulder takes a good hour and a lot of patience. To that you add minced pork belly, chopped streaky bacon and herbs and spices. It all gets squished into a deep tin lined with hot water crust pastry and baked in the tin at first, then out of the tin for the last 15 minutes to brown the outside.

As the recipe suggests I would highly recommend a springform tin to house your creation. If you use a loose bottom tin like I did you might damage the pastry case when removing the heavy pie from the tin to brown off. Mad panic ensued as hot porky liquid spurted out of a small crack in the shell, but I boldly went with it and managed to patch up the crack with egg wash.

Patience is also necessary for the following day's drizzling of pork jelly into the hole in the top of the cooled pie, but all the effort is more than worth it.  You will produce a pie of superior texture, with deep mace and sage flavours - a special treat for a Royal Wedding, or indeed, any occasion worth celebrating.

And of course, it absolutely must be served with lashings (and I mean lashings) of delicious Branston pickle.

17 April 2011

make your own royal wedding invite

I'm no royalist, but the upcoming marriage of Wills and Kate is the perfect excuse for a party. So, we're inviting some friends round to watch the wedding, followed by a thoroughly British buffet spread, and we thought it would be a good idea to get them in the mood with some joke invitations.

To make your own, just copy the wording of the official invite, make up some silly royal names for yourself and your guests, add a royal letterhead, and for the ultimate regal finish, seal the envelope by imprinting some sealing wax with the Queen's head from a pound coin!

To make it even easier, you can download my royal wedding invite template here (MS Word 2010).