All posts tagged lifestyle

cupcakes

As a nation, last year we bought 110 million cupcakes. That’s nearly 2 each for every single member of the population.  And that stat doesn’t include all the cupcakes we whipped up at home – probably considerably more than that, given that 58% of us tried baking in 2012, a 27% increase from 2011.

I’ve just done a Google search for ‘cupcakes UK’ – it turned up over 46 million results.  So what exactly is this national obsession all about?

Cupcakes have become a symbol of hope amidst a backdrop of economic misery.  Where once hemlines were an indicator of financial prosperity (or otherwise), the humble cupcake flies the flag for affordable luxury. This bite-sized confection provides a comfort-food distraction from the economic rollercoaster (quadruple dip, anyone?)

Cupcakes are also emblematic of the rise of the small food producer. Start-up cake-making businesses have doubled in a year and sales of bakeware and ingredients have also shot up. Baking is becoming synonymous with the ‘make, do and mend’ psyche of a frugal modern Britain.

TV execs aided the cupcake’s rise to iconic status.  The launch of The Great British Bake Off in August 2010 fuelled our national obsession. A whopping 7 million viewers tuned in to watch the amateur bake-off at its peak. To contextualise it, that’s more than Eastenders gets these days.

It’s not just our taste-buds cupcakes are tickling. Their uplifting visual effects are being felt outside the food arena.  You can buy cupcake wallpaper, duvet covers, cushions and notepads, but to name a few.  The humble cupcake has its own range of licensed product – surely the ultimate sign of celebrity?

cupcake duvet cover

This morning I was privy to a conversation in Tesco Express that got me thinking. An older generation lady (for the purposes of this blog, let’s call her Elsie; she looked like an Elsie…or maybe a Hilda) was ranting (entirely good-naturedly) to the slightly bewildered cashier, about what the world was coming to, after said cashier informed her that they didn’t sell raisins, sultanas and dried fruit peel.
No prizes for guessing what Elsie’s making. Other customers gazed in bewilderment at this rare sighting of an actual real-life hot-cross- bun-maker. So, Rumblechatters, where do you sit in the make-your-own versus buy-them-in debate? And are you well informed as to the origin of this yummy food tradition?

I’d always blithely assumed that the origin of the hot cross bun was fairly clear cut – a Christian tradition celebrating the end of lent, utilising lots of tasty, forbidden by lent ingredients to make a yummy cake/bread cross-breed, stamped with the cross of crucifixion. In my head this was going to be a quick one – bit of history, bit of religion…job done. But no my friends, it appears that there is far more to the humble hot cross bun than meets the eye.

Did you know, for example, that way before the Christians staked their claim to the HCB, Pagans were merrily worshipping their goddess Eostre (after whom Easter was named), by serving up tiny, fruity, cakes, often decorated with a cross at their annual spring festivals.

The English word ‘bun’ evolved from the Greek ‘boun’, which was used to describe a ceremonial cake of circular or crescent shape, made of flour and honey and offered as a periodical thank you to the gods.

Superstitions regarding bread baked on Good Friday date back to pre-christian times, when people believed that bread baked on this day could be hardened in the oven and kept all year to protect houses from fires, sailors from shipwrecks and crops from perishing

So, given that the humble HCB is not actually that humble, imbibed as it is in a steep tradition of religion, history and culture, should more of us take a leaf out of Elsie’s book and get Good-Friday-Baking…or is this just another example of a time-consuming tradition best circumnavigated the modern way – by buying one and getting one free in a supermarket?

Don’t even get me started on the Easter Bunny!

hong_yi_03v2

For the whole month of March, Malaysian artist Hong Yi, known simply as ‘Red’ will be uploading a piece of food art onto instagram.

So far, the artist has uploaded a sushi replica of Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave’ and a banana headed Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’. We love it! Click here for the story so far, and keep a look out on Design Boom for the rest of the month’s offerings. Then if you fancy playing with your food yourself, please tweet us your creations!

upcycled

You may have seen our recent tweets about RumbleChat’s expansion into lifestyle as well as food. Ths is in response to popular demand, as recent RumbleChats have revealed that your good taste also extends to lifestyle products too. So this week’s blog is a little bit crafty! But also foodie 😉

Here are a few demonstrations of how to upcycle your drinks bottles, cans, salt shakers and tins into delicious looking pieces of art and crafts. DIY 101+ ways to upcycle your cans and bottles

If this is getting you all excited, then upcycling can be extended to anything and everything. Check out this article for tasty ways in which you can upcycle old lampshades, bed parts and random trash!

Let us know what you think about our new changes by tweeting us @RumbleChat!

This week we thought we would concentrate on sourcing some amazing recipes for the special lady in your life – your mum! It is of course Mother’s Day this Sunday, so why not celebrate by cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

Breakfast

egg-in-a-nest

Of course a great way to show mummy just how much you love her is with breakfast in bed. Our favourite is Egg in a Nest. You simply get a biscuit cutter (a heart or flower shaped one will work well for this occasion) and cut the middle out of a piece of bread. Then you melt a knob of butter into a hot frying pan and place the bread in, frying it slightly. Then crack an egg inside and fry to your mum’s liking. There you have it: Egg in a Nest. Otherwise known as Egg in a Saddle, Egyptian Egg, One Eye or Bird in a Nest!

Lunch

brandonrostsmokedsal

This classic combo of beetroot, salmon and horseradish creme fraiche makes a delicious starter, but works just as well as a Mother’s Day lunch as well. This recipe is great!

Dinner

lamb

A classic Mother’s Day dinner would have to be roast lamb. It’s perfectly spring like and such a treat. This recipe that we have found gives lots of great tips on how to cook the best roast lamb from chef Marcus Wareing.

oscar

Last night saw the 85th Academy Awards, so we thought we would take a foodie spin on the glamorous ceremony! What do you get when you mix films with food? We could discuss overpriced popcorn if you like, but we thought we would recommend a few foodie films for you to enjoy!

In no particular order:

Chocolat. It’s got Johnny Depp and a lot of chocolate… What’s not to love?!

Julie & Julia. This charming true story follows blogger Julie Powell, who decides to cook her way through chef Julia Child’s cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” The incredible Meryl Streep plays Child, with Amy Adams playing Powell. It’s a sweet tale of dreams, passion and cassoulet!

Ratatouille. This Oscar winner (best animated film) is adorable, and a great family film. It follows a chef, who just gets everything wrong, and the relationship that he forms with a rat who helps him learn to cook.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Again, depending on the version, we have Johnny Depp and chocolate again, but in my humble opinion, the original is the classic.

Let us know your foodie film favourites by tweeting us @RumbleChat!