Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Is Spring Springing?

I am most probably over optimistic but have had a feeling spring is trying to arrive and therefore have found a spring in my step!  Not quite ready to bake with my back door open yet as the wind still whips through the kitchen, but loving the fact that I can finish with a glimmer of twilight still visible when I walk home.  Had a busy February half term with lots of our regular customers in for half term treats and shakes.  Mr P has been a star and kept up with brownie demand (even though we have diva fever when he muscles in on my kitchen space and leaves a fine film of cocoa powder over everything! Gggrrr! Still he is a master at work )

 We had a heaving Valentines day on a Tuesday with lots of you coming into buy sweet love tokens.  It is my Birthday the day before so usually miss out of being an important Birthday and Valentine girl! However this year had lots of friends, family and customers showering me with Birthday wishes, flowers and gifts so felt very special (I think last years temper tantrum was noted and paid off!)  Many thanks to Simon, Amelie and Lilly who baked me an Armenian nutmeg cake......yum!   Mr P and I went out for lunch with the family (baby bro, Ma and Pa) as a belated Birthday treat (my Pa's birthday is a week before mine) to the Countryman Inn in Shipley West Sussex and can recommend for good ale and food! http://www.countrymanshipley.co.uk/

Our Parklife kiosk is doing well in the hands of Jaki and Becky who have been whipping up soup delights such as Sweetcorn,Chilli and Chorizo,Chicken Noodle,Tomato and Basil to name a few.  Always good to warm up with a soup on a chilly day with one of our snugly blankets wrapped around you.  These are available at the kiosk and the shop in town, just ask for one if we don't offer first!  We have had our health inspection and have scored a 5 for both premises  (0 being terrible and 5 being very good!) which a testament to the hard work and passion of the team Parklife (we are all very proud).  Picture of Becky in the kiosk Homefield Park.
When we hit 1500 in our facebook group http://www.facebook.com/groups/8417598963/?notif_t=group_r2j we will give away a box of cupcakes to a member, so if you know anyone who loves their cake add them to the group!
All the new Saturday team have settled in really well and everything runs smoothly with a smile even when we have a queue out the door.   All the old Saturdays are still in touch and doing well at Uni etc.  Kelly who was with us a while ago is part of  GB Bobsleigh team.....go Kelly! http://www.bobteamgb.org/womenathletes/a/12/  ..... again we are very proud.
We have a new special on at the moment, the "Billy Goat's Grub" toastie.  Soft goats cheese with roasted courgette, aubergine,onion and peppers...I am addicted!  Anyway that is all for now
Mrs Parklife x
PS have to add a picture of the extremely daft cat who has taken to laying as close as possible on the radiator even though it is too hot for his paws!  I bought him a bed that you hang on the radiator.....will he sit on it? NO of course he won't!

Big Pink Flags! sept 2011

We are back off our holiday in Spain, where we bathed in the sun, ate lots of seafood, swam in the pool/sea, played Kniffel (German version of Yatzee) and completed a very tricky Where's Wally puzzle.  It was great to spend some family time together.  One son has gone back to Uni with a full drum kit ( he is in Birmingham so I won't hear it!) the other son is taking a year out to recover from Chemo (hair is growing back and the effects of chemo are fading). Not sure the cat has quite forgiven us yet but has only bitten Mr P twice so far today so looking hopeful

Jaki and Becky have had a busy summer in the Park and have two new large pink flags to point the way.  We are currently making a cozy outside seating area so watch this space.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

BBBBBrrrrrrr JUNE!

Well I thought I would take advantage of this chilly wet and windy June day.  As the weather is too dreadful for the beach hut or a country ramble, the heating is switched on, Mr P is sat watching the Grand Prix, roast chicken has been consumed so onto a blog update.  Again an apology for the 5 month delay with an update.  We are about to hit the busiest time in our year with out door events and wedding orders.  Some of you may also know that Mr P and I are also in a 10 piece band (The Bootleggers) which play at weddings, parties and festivals.  This is usually at the weekend which can involve a quick turn around from being covered in cake and coffee to a 5 minute shower makeup, glad rags and high heels on (me not Mr P) in the car ready to perform by 7.00pm.  Mr P plays a mean keyboard, I supply backing vocals and the odd solo song with Kim and Jon.  So if you here some howling coming from the kitchen when in the shop it is probably me learning a new song......currently Mama used to say Beverley Knight or for those of a certain age, Junior.

For those of you who are on our face book group

  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_8417598963  you will already be aware of my new "and custard" thing.  It started when I was given a huge pile of rhubarb from my Aunt's allotment.  I decided to oven roast it with sugar and bake a rhubarb and custard cake.(Mr P actually drove me bonkers humming the Rhubarb and custard theme tune for the whole afternoon)  After an anxious wait (always when baking a new baby) it turned out better than I hoped.  Just minor tweaking required then I was on a roll....banana and custard, blueberry and custard, raspberry and custard and so on....up to just custard cake! These have been very popular and I will baking autumnal versions when the time comes.

 Also I have started to bake loaf cakes also proving to be very popular.  The first of which was inspired by the huge Elderflower bush next to my house....Vanilla and Almond loaf with an Elderflower crunch topping.  This is a deliciously damp cake infused with elderflower cordial. Not to be out done Mr P decide that he was to up his brownie game and been busy with chocolate orange brownie, lemon and white chocolate chunk brownie,cherry and dark chocolate brownie, chili and lime brownie,mocha brownie (my fav) and lastly MARMITE brownie! UUUrrrghh personally I like my marmite on granary toast and NOT in a chocolate brownie. HOWEVER...we now have a serious marmite brownie following (obviously not in Denmark)...you know who you are!!!!!

All our weekend girls are taking their exams at the moment some at GCSE and others A levels and are all doing really well! This will mean we will lose a few to Uni in September which I am bracing myself for as have been with us for years! It doesn't take much for me to shed a tear so September will be a watery month.

We still have Tanya and Sarah with us during the week (one of which put the phone in the fridge which we discovered after a looking for it all afternoon then deciding someone must have taken it from the shop! hilarious) and Sharna pops in with baby Henry who is now giggling away at the milkshake blenders (he must have heard them in the womb so feels at home in Parklife).  I am lucky enough to get a Henry cuddle every week whilst Sharna has her latte.

Some of you know that our 20 year old son Ollie is under going Chemo at the moment (Cancer in his lymph nodes) so this is a tricky time for us all as he has just started and has another 2 months or so to go.   Thank you for all the cards, flowers and kind supporting words from all our customers and friends.  He is being amazingly strong and between us all we are able to keep him company in Brighton whilst having treatment.

  Finger crossed for some sunshine as even the cat is fed up with this weather (jumped on the white bed spread this morning and flicked water everywhere).

All for now ,Mrs P x


Sunday, 16 January 2011

January 2011

   Well we have made it through the freezing snow and the Christmas festivities.  Our log stack is running low as had more fires than ever this year. Parklife had a busy Christmas period baking and making a lot of Rocky Road trees, stars  and sticky Chocolate gingerbread.  Mr Parklife went out and about serving hot chocolate and cake to the people of the Petworth area at Grittenham Barn (a fantastic venue for a wedding) before Christmas.  In December we managed to drive to Germany to visit family and stock up on the lots of decorating goodies, whilst we were there we went for a delicious traditional German Christmas dinner of roast goose. It was great to have both boys back from uni and all the chaos and friends that descend on the house with them. Opening the door and tripping over a pile of size 9 to 13 shoes is always a sign they are home.

We had the lovely Sam Attwater (Leon-Eastenders) and Alex Winters (CBeebies) in for lunch regularly whilst performing at the panto across the road.  One afternoon Sam was chased out by a group of girls screaming at him! I was also pleased to make Mark Wingett (from The Bill) a cake for his Birthday from the cast.  We are pleased to be stocking the Worthing Journal which can be bought for a £1 in the shop.  A publication all about Worthing, past and present by the talented local journalist Paul Holden.  Truly a good monthly read.  Tickets for Worthings comedy club can also be obtained for us, just pop in for details.

I am taking orders for 2011 and 2012! (very organised bride to be) and have some exciting new ideas.  One of which is cupcake decorating workshops.  I am planning the order and content at the moment but can say that they will be groups of 6 people who in two hours will decorate their own box of cupcakes to take home. Looking forward to the royal wedding and have already planned the cake designs.  If you wish to book a cake for your Royal wedding party give us a call asap to avoid disappointment.   Mr P is in the shop as I type as we are having a sort out, move round (as you all know we are pushed for space but have managed to fit in a few more seats) and paint.  Mr P has said he will let me loose with the paint brush! bet you all will be able to spot the bits I will do:).  The kiosk in Homefield Park is also having a little make over for the spring.   Jaki and Becky will also be offering a delivery service from the kiosk, more info to follow.

I left Mr P alone for two days in the shop last week and he came up with Chocolate Orange brownies.  We have serious followers already so pop in and try one for yourself.  Not to be out done I made a banana cake with a cream cheese and white chocolate frosting which also proved popular. There is always some sort of bake off going on in Parklife....keeps us on our toes :)

We are still waiting for Sharna to have her baby, any day now.....come on Sharna, a few star jumps should do it!


book now to avoid heartbreak....we had a chap propose with our cupcakes and she said YES :)

All for now Mrs P x

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Well hello! Mr P, the boys and I arrived back from our holiday at 6am on a Friday after a 4 hour flight from Turkey. We had spent a wonderful week relaxing, eating and drinking G and Ts. Poor Tiggy was left locked up in the house (better than being shipped off to the cattery) with radio 4 for company. He was definitely depressed when we returned but has finally forgiven us for leaving him behind. We left after attending the busy Findon Sheep fair event on Saturday 11Th September. A newer more efficient coffee machine in the little van meant that we were able to serve everyone who patiently queued for a good coffee which was as always made with love and care by Mr P. People were loving the cakes too as we sold out. I managed to slip spectacularly down the portaloo stairs in front of loo queue (NOT my most glamorous moment went down like a sack of spuds as my Dad would say). Staggered off through the crowds feeling shaky but otherwise unharmed (so I thought) and carried on with bruised pride. The next day it turned out the not only my pride was bruised but also my Cox sis, OUCH. Especially great if you have to sit on it for hours on a flight etc. Three and a half weeks later and still sore, if anyone has any helpful advice it would be very welcome.

Schools have been back for a few weeks and we have said goodbye to our Bryony who comes in during the holidays form Uni to help us out. Her sister Meg has joined us on a Saturday job sharing with Blossom. Sara and Nikki have also joined us during the week as Kelly has left us to join the GB Bobsleigh team and will be representing GB so watch out for her on TV. Allie has left to start her nurse training, we wish them both lots of luck and will miss them.

Sharna is expecting a baby in January 2011 which we are all very excited about. Happy Birthday Leah who has turned 18.

Skelly is back in the window for Halloween (our second favorite time of the year) and I have started to baked Halloween cakes at the weekend. I have also started to bake the dark and sticky chocolate gingerbread for the shop as well as taking Christmas orders (keeps really well for unexpected guests) and as always will have the Parklife sparkle treatment. If you would like to book one of these for collection or free delivery (Worthing area) for week commencing 20th up to and including Christmas eve please call the shop on 01903 207777 to book your slot to avoid disappointment.

You may have noticed Mr P is sporting a new facial hair design much to the amusement of all our regulars. I must say I like it as it is rather like having my husband switched to Spanish mode! (for those of you who have watched Toy Story 3)

Tiggy and I have been wandering the house a little lost as the Parklife twin sons have now left home to attend Uni. I managed to cry for 5 hours ALL the way home from dropping off one to Birmingham. Apologies to those who may have seen me wailing in the car (Mr P also was a little watery). I am glad to report that I have pulled myself together, decluttered their room, put loads of stuff on freecycle, only having the odd wobble when I see Birmingham on the BBC weather map in the morning. The other son is in Portsmouth so has the bonus of coming home ever now and then to stock with frozen home made dinners (I still can't stop cooking for 4!!).

Tiggy has new completion with a local cat called Basil (funny that is MR P's nick name, of course making me Sybil) after years of being the top cat of the block Tiggy is learning the hard way that he has lost that crown. He came in with a cut on his head which swelled up distorting his face (Mr P thought it hilarious and called it a pus helmet, poor baby). He has now fully recovered.
All for now, slow cooker retrieved from the back of the cupboard and logs ordered. Happy Autumn
Mrs P (or Sybil)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

School's out for summer

Day 16 in the Parklife household without a day off only another 12 days to go! Mr P and I are feeling a little weary as have work through the last two Sunday attending the brilliant Kariorche event in the Steyne(live orchestra playing with us howling along) and the American hot rod car show. Mr P purchased a new hot pink gazebo so we stood out. I was also given some lovely new bunting which was hand made for us, so we certainly looked very snazzy.

School holidays are here at last which means Sharna is off for the duration and we have Bryony back from uni to help us along with the rest of the team. However Sharna is still popping in to make the rocky road and have her well deserved coffee fix. We have a new addition, the Parklife Love bar another yummy treat from our kitchen. As summer is here I am making lots of Raspberry cheese cake brownies.

As well as baking for our brides and grooms we have been asked to bake some cupcakes for Kerry Katona and Okay magazine! Needless to say we are really pleased :)

As the weather has been so warm I have had the back door open whilst in the kitchen. So far have managed to rescue two baby seagulls who fall of the roof and can't fly.
I have perfected the technique 1. tip toe up as close as possible 2. throw a tea towel over the head 3. grab and put in a box with a lid 4. Call WADERS who always come out and collect them. I rescued 3 last year. They are on the endangered list (though doing well in Worthing) as their numbers have dropped. I have to repeat this to myself when the wake me up at 4.00am

Mr P and Salty the resident Parklife seagull have been continuing their on going alpha male battle in Bath Place, and has resulted in Mr P being pooped on(hilarious to us but NOT to Mr P). However Salty mysteriously vanishes on a Saturday, team Parklife think he goes else where for better pickings and comes back on a Monday. He is officially the fattest seagull in town.

Becky and Jackie have given the kiosk in the Park a make over which everyone has commented on. Becky has even crotchet little butterflies.

All for now Mrs P x

Monday, 28 June 2010

It is HOT! The cat is too hot, the car is too hot, the kitchen is too hot. The only two places that aren't are in the cafe (air con) or in the sea, which is where we spent most of the day on Sunday. Lots of friends and family joined us at our beach hut for a great day of BBQ and swimming. I am enjoying our twin boys company who are back from uni for the summer. The radio came out for the football and scores were updated to those swimming in the sea via hand signals. Mr P then impressed everyone with his unicycling(see pic) though there were some painful moments!

Mr P and I were released from the shop on Friday(thank you Sharna,Tanya, Helen, Allie, and Bryony) to go to the Cafe culture exhibition in London. We decided to take old classic car as it was a nice jolly. It was okay driving along in 27 degrees with the windows open wind in our hair( in Mr P's case wind on his head), however when we hit Chelsea the old car decided it was too hot and started to get hotter. Relieved to make it to London Olympia all in one piece we spent the day looking at all the coffee stands and watching the world barista championships. It good for us to know that we are supplying and making the best coffee we can for you all.

The shop has been so busy in the good weather and this weekend will be my busiest in two years with cakes! We are now making coke/cream soda floats which are proving really popular. For the Wimbledon fortnight we are serving fresh strawberries and cream.
All for now
Mrs P x