After baking eighteen gigantic raspberry and white chocolate scones recently, I was all fired up to put on the pinny again and bake something spectacular, and heart-felt, for The 2021 Great Bloggers’ Bake Off. The bloggers hosting this event (including my friend Mel) have told us that the theme this year is LOVE and they have asked us to bake from the heart.
Well, who do I love most in all the world? Bennyboo of course!! Ben is not really fussy, although he does love fine dining, but he occasionally tells me he is missing the taste of home. Home for Ben is Chicago, and Chicago is famous for deep dish pizza and Italian beef sandwiches. Ben’s family are mainly Greek (his father is Irish) and so he has eaten a heck of a lot of lamb in his lifetime. But what to bake for my Bennyboo?
Ultimately, it was going to have to be a taste of the US. I found a recipe that I was super excited about – a tribute to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches – the recipe was a strawberry and peanut butter traybake. This was what it was supposed to look like….
….only, Ben and I went into London last weekend and I had the honour of baking alongside Mel herself. She kept on asking me if I had any pets when I was younger. To which I replied, “No, I didn’t have any pets, you know I moved around a lot as a child.” Mel asked me if my parents had any pets. “You know my dad was travelling a lot for work, and Mom was either with Dad or staying with friends. They had no pets or animals.” So Mel asked me if any of the relatives I stayed with had pets. “Yes, they had lots of animals.” Mel wanted to know if any of them were special to me.
Slightly confused by this obsession with my history with pets and animals, I enquired why this was of such particular interest to my lovely friend. “Well….” said Mel, “in this year’s Great Bloggers’ Bake Off, we are going to give a special prize to anyone who can make a cake or a loaf or anything baked that resembles their beloved pet. We have a pet love badge for anyone who takes on the challenge.”
“Mel, when I was a child, there was a yearly agricultural show near to where my Uncle and Aunt lived. It was a very big show, where they would display farm animals, countryside fashions and sporting equipment, and they had a fairground and all sorts of food tents, and luxury cars and a hundred other crafts or businesses that all wanted to have a presence at this show. I won a goldfish at the show, and they gave it to me in a plastic bag, and we took it back to my Uncle and Aunt’s home and they put it into a very tall vase. During the following week, they bought me a goldfish tank. I was thrilled. A couple of weeks later, my father came back from the Baltics and then I accompanied him back to Washington.”
“What happened to your goldfish?”
“My cousin wanted to have the tank in his room. I think they bought another goldfish to keep it company.”
“Did your goldfish have a name?”
“I don’t know. I think I called it something like Goldie. But I honestly cannot remember.”
So, there you have it…we turned my strawberry and peanut butter traybake which I wanted to make to remind Bennyboo of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, into a goldfish. It was Mel’s idea to make the strawberry slices into fish scales. I had the best time baking and we laughed so much on Sunday.
I loved that we made my cake into a fish! It qualified me to earn the GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE OFF PET LOVE badge which I am now proudly displaying in my footer!
If you would like to take part in The 2021 Great Bloggers’ Bake Off, please send your baking photos into:
Click the image below to visit Mel’s site where you can learn more about The 2021 Great Bloggers’ Bake Off.