The rhubarb is calling me back to Wakefield!

The rhubarb is calling Karen to the festival of food and drink in Wakefield this weekend.
The rhubarb is calling Karen to the festival of food and drink in Wakefield this weekend.

This week the boy scout motto is on my mind, Dictum Parari, WRITES KAREN WRIGHT.

That’s me being fancy pants and googling it in Latin, we all probably know it as Be Prepared.

Try Karen's quick and simple recipe for healthy and delicious celery soup.

Try Karen's quick and simple recipe for healthy and delicious celery soup.

Just after Bake Off I was invited to do some food festivals and this week I have the first two in the same week. If I am asked to do something new, I always say yes, even if I don’t really know what I am getting myself roped into. It is having that attitude to things that wangled me a place in the Bake-Off tent and that worked out just fine.

Coming back to being prepared then, I am preparing for my first ever live food demonstrations: the first at The NEC in Birmingham, it’s an exhibition of all things to do with camping, caravans and motorhomes. I have always been a camping enthusiast and have worked for seven seasons repairing and refurbishing tired and broken mobile homes, so it is right up my street.

I am cooking camping friendly meals, no not beans on toast or bacon sarnies, mind you those are the staples of a good camping breakfast. Then three days later I am back home to Shaky for our very own Rhubarb Festival. I have been dabbling with the rhubarb for the last few weeks coming up with my ideas, I am finally settled on what to do and am now prepared.

I even have a rhubarb and custard coloured outfit to wear. I have two slots on Sunday February 24 at 11am and 2pm so please come and enjoy and say hello.

Say hello to Karen at the Rhubarb Festival on Sunday.

Say hello to Karen at the Rhubarb Festival on Sunday.

One of the recipes that I am cooking at the Camping Show has been sent in by a member of the public, they won tickets to the show to see me cook it for them. It is called a Brazilian Picadillo, I chose it for its lovely sounding name. It’s like a cross between a chilli and a tagine, the spices of Morocco, with sweet raisins, olives and capers.

My husband John thinks it is OK, but he has had enough of it now, four nights on the trot for tea is just too much for man or beast, it is the practice and preparing you see, it has to be done.

Apart from prepping for the rhubarb I have been out and about lots this week. One of my oldest friends Steve was celebrating his 60th birthday. He had booked The Red Shed and his favourite local band The Hunch, it was a great evening. As per usual I was the first up dancing around like a dervish, I warn anyone now, this is what you can expect if you invite me anywhere with tunes playing.

Tuesday morning, I was a guest at South Parade Ossett Junior School Event, Dreams. It was such a lot of fun. The children had to guess what I did for a living from the tools of my trade that I took along. I took a cake lifter, a whisk, a chef hat, a copy of my article in last week’s express and the Great British Bake-Off cookbook that has a photo of me squeezing golden syrup out of a bottle in it. That was when they cracked who I was and wanted to know if I knew anyone famous, out of the mouths of babes!

Thursday evening, I stepped out of the district and over to Rothwell as speaker at the Women’s Institute, it was the inaugural meeting and we sang Jerusalem. That really fired me up and I bounced up in front of them telling my tales of the Bake-Off tent and had the best time. They also had baked some lush things and even though I am still on the eat healthy campaign, I gave in to it and tasted everything, well it would have been rude not to!

As an antidote to all those calories consumed, I have made a batch of my easy peasy celery soup, it involves a head of celery, a bunch of spring onions and a vegetable stock cube. Everything goes into a pan with water, simmer until soft, blitz with a hand blender, season to taste and it is very good.

Apparently, this is trending at the minute, celery drinks being the new craze, I discover this after I invented my soup, always the case with me I am one step behind the times. Main thing here for our friend celery, is its promotion to delicious soup, it no longer must lurk limply at parties being the last crudité chosen from the buffet table.

John and I caught the bus from where I live in Hall Green to Leeds rather than drive in and faff with parking the car. We had tickets to see Collabro at the City Varieties in Leeds. It was the matinee performance and it was brilliant. We even had a little private box. I can remember the Good Old Days being filmed there with the audience dressed in Edwardian clothes, I think my parents once went.

After the show we got the bus back to the Walnut Tree in Sandal and had a bite to eat. I say a bite the plateful was enormous, so it is back on the celery soup once again today.

So that’s my weekly roundup of my antics. Just remembered I need to mention that I am hosting an evening with Karen at the Walker Studio/Theatre Royal on Thursday February 28, tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal. I am chattering on about the Bake Off experience and in addition I will be doing a bit of a demonstration, probably with cupcakes.

Righto readers, I better go, I can hear that rhubarb calling me again, they are such noisy veggies.

Please contact me through my website www.karenwrightbakes.co.uk if you have any questions for me or just want to look at my pages.