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Birthday…

A long, long time ago, almost in a galaxy far, far away (let’s call it Poland) I used to work as a freelance journalist. I was mostly interviewing film makers and because I was independent, I only interviewed the ones whose work I found interesting. One day I said to my friends: ‘In 6 months I’m going to interview Mike Leigh’ and their response was ‘ Yeah, right, as if’. I’m not sure if you know this, but the urban myth is, Mike Leigh doesn’t like the press and interviews. Well, after 6 months I proved my friends wrong. After pulling all the contacts and possible strings I was on the way to London to a scheduled meeting with the man himself.  And I don’t know if it’s only an urban myth, but Mike Leigh was the nicest person ever. I was shitting myself anyway, because you don’t very often meet someone so intelligent, knowledgeable, accomplished and totally intimidating.  He was very patient with me and after we were done with the interview, we went for a little walk around Soho to have some portraits taken. It was February and it was my birthday. I knew his birthday was just a few days away, so I mentionned it. I also said that it was the best birthday I had ever had and he asked why. I said it was because I met him and got the interview. And that’s when he said to me ‘ Girl, you must have had really crappy birthdays then, if meeting me is the highlight’.

And boy, oh boy, was he right…I mean, about crappy birthdays, I still think meeting him was a highlight…

Anyway, birthdays. My mother never made a big issue of anyone’s birthdays.  I never had a hoopla. There was never a wild party or even a party come to think of it. When me and my sister were a little bit older she always used to make a birthday cake for me, so she was the only one making a bit of a fuss.

Because of the way we were brought up I never payed attention to my birthdays and I never know how to act when someone mentions it.

So this year I decided to treat myself to a bit of a me time. Boyfriend went away with the band to record a new album and I could indulge myself the way I wanted without him trying to upstage my efforts to do so.

Forget about Breakfast at Tiffany, Breakfast on Pluto or even Breakfast Club. It was all about Breakfast in Bed. Not just breakfast in bed. The whole day in bed. My plan was to stay in bed all day, watch films and eat and drink whatever I felt like. And don’t assume I stayed in bed in my dressing gown. Oh no…I decided it was time to glam up, dress up and doll up.

For breakfast I made myself croissants, and the recipe you can find in the blog under dessert section. The only difference was, they were plain ones and bigger than the ricotta ones.

breakfast in bed

breakfast in bed

breakfast in bed

breakfast in bed

breakfast in bed

breakfast in bed

And then I had lunch in bed and dinner and a little dessert. I made raspberry cupcakes with white chocolate icing.

Raspberry cupcakes with white chocolate icing

Ok, I know people say in baking you have to measure everything correctly…Well, I wasn’t in the mood for measuring so I combined let’s say 60g butter with 60g sugar, added 2 eggs and about 120g of flour, and a spoon of baking powder. Then I added a splash of vanilla and a few spoons of almond milk. After that I folded in the batter 200g (?) raspberries. Oh yeah, and I prebaked oven in the meantime to 180C. After all the mixing I spooned the mixture into paper cases and baked the cupcakes for about 20 min. I let them cool and then melted white chocolate (100g) in about 150g heavy cream over simmering water. When it cooled, I piped it onto my cupcakes. And funnily enough, it worked, they were yummy. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I added a bit of red colouring to the icing to make it pinkish. Just because I felt like it.

raspberry and white chocolate cupcake

raspberry and white chocolate cupcake

And you know what…? I had the best day ever!!

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About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

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