Karen Wright writes: It's motivational Monday in my house. I have been thinking lots around this subject this last few days, about how we motivate ourselves.
It is not usually hard to conjure up motivation to do things we like, going out for a meal for example, settling down to watch a film with a bag of sweets or a block of chocolate. It is not hard to get motivated to plan a holiday or to go on a shopping spree, so why is it so hard sometimes to find the motivation to make some changes to our lifestyles? I asked John how he motivates himself and his answer was just one word “start”! He may well be right, have you ever noticed how once you do start something that you were putting off, you get right behind it and really enjoy the process and what once seemed daunting becomes a pleasure.
Last week I gave a couple of my Bake-Off journey talks. The talks seem to veer off down the motivational route and I had lots of smashing comments from the audience about how much they enjoyed it. Of course, when you do get a pat on the back it encourages us to continue and do better and better, a lesson for all of us there, everyone benefits from a kind word. My first talk was on Monday and it was delivered to the ladies of the Inner Wheel Club in Wakefield. The Inner Wheel is one of the largest voluntary ladies’ clubs in the country and it was an absolute delight for me to be invited along and so warmly welcomed to their meeting. The second talk was at Wakefield Hospice and this was also fab. This time we all sat around in comfy armchairs and enjoyed tea and cakes and chatted all things Bake Off related.
Of course, I am never far from my kitchen and last week I was working on recipes to cook up on stage at my events this week. On Thursday I am booked at the NEC in Birmingham, it is the Motorhome and Caravan Show and I am demonstrating campsite friendly recipes. I settled on the pumpkin pasta recipe featured last week and as it's Oktoberfest time of year also a bratwurst sausage and red cabbage recipe for the other. John is looking forward to my other event this weekend at Elsecar Heritage Centre, I am on stage twice on both Saturday and Sunday. I have been developing a ginger, chocolate and pear cake for it and we have plenty of samples in the house, John prefers cake to cabbage!
I also made an easy and delicious relish, it is made using pears and beetroot, here is the recipe:
Pear and beetroot Relish
160ml white wine vinegar
60g brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 small red onion chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
1 inch red chilli chopped
2 pears peeled and chopped
1 large beetroot diced (vacuum packed or if fresh precooked)
Heat the vinegar in a non-stick frying pan and add the sugar. Add all the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Lower the heat just a little and cook until the liquid has disappeared. Makes one jam jar sized bottle.
It is that time of year when we start to consider our Christmas plans and arrangements. I am hoping to scale things down just a little this year in our house and buy less presents, food, cards and trimmings but at the same time what I do make or buy put more effort and thought in to. Next week my plan is to make my mincemeat, so I will share my recipe for that in the column. Remember you can tune in to http://www.ukonlineradio.com/5towns-radio and listen to my live show each Tuesday between noon-2pm. I know I have one new listener an avid reader of my column - Jill Brookling, hello Jill!
Until next week readers, stay motivated, keep smiling.
For more tips and recipes go to http://www.karenwrightbakes.co.uk