· By Oonagh Simms
Our Christmas Special...
Who’s bearded, jolly and paid our bakery a little visit this Christmas?
Nope, guess again….
The Hairy Bikers of course!
For their Christmas Special Si and Dave wanted to bring their families together- up north- and whip up a Christmas feast with a modern edge inspired by the small food producers they met on the way. So, no trip up here would be complete without a little zoom past our bakery. And as they were popping in for a cup of tea (Yorkshire, obvs) I taught them how to create my Christmas Pudding Marshmallows. With dried fruit steeped overnight in brandy, I use dark brown sugar for a rich treacle taste and then gently mix this mallow until it’s packed with the brandy soaked fruit. Tasting exactly like a Christmas pudding this brings a fresh new zing to the after dinner classic.
I packed them up with some tips, tricks and a few more mallows for the road and they went away to create something special for their families…it’s on telly tonight BBC 2 at 8pm so I’m pretty excited to see what they came up with. Especially since it’s the first time I will have watched TV in 2 months…not going to lie, this Christmas has been a stressful one here. Between a non arrival of packaging, ongoing ingredient supply issues and the daily pressures of too much to do and not enough time to do it- I can’t be the only artisan producer that’s felt the strain this year. Running a small business at Christmas is really bloody hard.
So, it’s super flattering that The Hairy Bikers wanted to celebrate small food producers and their commitment to creating beautiful products from well sourced ingredients with innovation and love. Because sometimes in the meltdown of orders and expectations this needs to be remembered. We’re not Amazon. And they definitely get that and wanted to make sure we remember the things that make small producers unique does not always make us more efficient!
But, look, I know why you’re still here. You want to know some bikers gossip don’t you? Like do they really ride those bike themselves or do they pull up in the back seat of a car and have the bikes rolled off a van before filming starts? Well, yes, they really do ride them, and I tell, you, it looks knackering and no, they wouldn’t let me have a go in around the car park. Despite my pleading.
And are they really that nice? No, they are not. They are even NICER. They were warm, funny, engaged, had no interest in a script. They wanted to come and have a cup of tea and a chat. Share some of their stories and hear mine. They listened, were empathetic, interested and quick learners in the kitchen.
In short, I could do with the Hairy Bikers visiting me every Christmas.