October fun: Baking & Bolsover Castle

Bolsover castle

It’s aliiiiiiive!

Yup, I’ve been absent for quite a while. What can I say. This year, this year. I’ve found it difficult at times (many times) to take my mind off the increasingly crazy/horrific state of the world and focus on other things and my blog has lost out because when I have been in the mood for stringing decent sentences together outside of paid work it’s generally been channelled into commenting on political stuff with an increasingly despairing tone.

But hey let’s not dwell, here I am. To ease me back in I have a little round up of a few half term activities.

Baking

I love cake, I really do. I don’t hugely love making it though, I like the *idea* of baking  but in reality I quickly get bored and just want to get to the point where I can eat it. All that weighing and measuring and following instructions and ending up with a ton of washing up from all the flour and stuff everywhere…..Sigh.

So I was pretty pleased to get sent this box of Betty Crocker baking products which included pre-prepared mixes for cakes, brownies and cookies plus some yummy vanilla icing.

baking, betty crocker

I know, I know, I can hear the eye rolling from some of you already. It’s really not that hard to assemble the ingredients and follow the recipe for a basic sponge cake, right?

WRONG, at least if you’re me, as I couldn’t even follow the super basic instructions on the Betty Crocker pack which involved adding 3 ingredients to the mix, one of which was water and which I completely forgot to do.

Yeah, I can read massive volumes of epic literature no problemo but the 3 step instructions on a pack of pre-prepared baking mix is a massive challenge.

The struggle is real.

Betty Crocker, baking Baking with child Baking mix Betty crocker, cake mix

I kept thinking it was a little stickier and harder to whisk than I’d expected but luckily, even with the missing water, the buns made from it still turned out pretty well and tasted nice, especially when I put some icing on the top of a few – it was so nice to just pop a lid off the tub and spread this on as needed.

easy icing

We used a silicon baking mould I found in a charity shop for 50p to make some dinosaur shaped buns as well as some normal ones.

Baking with child baking, betty crocker, dinosaur

The cookie mix ONLY requires the addition of water so I’ll give that one a try next and then maybe brave the brownie mix – keep fingers crossed for me!

Betty Crocker baking mixes

Bolsover Castle

I’ve driven past the sign for this place many times and never got round to visiting so when I asked facebook friends to recommend a castle reasonably close by and this got a couple of mentions it was the obvious choice.

Bolsover castle Bolsover castle

Although originally the site of a traditional medieval castle dating from Norman times, it was pretty much completely rebuilt in the 17th century, a time when luxury and leisure had replaced defensive capabilities as the most desirable qualities of noble residences.

Situated near Chesterfield in Derbyshire, Bolsover has the stunning views and the walls and turrets you usually find in a castle location but also the landscaped gardens and elaborate interiors typical of many large country houses built in this period.

Bolsover castle Bolsover castle Bolsover castle

There is a lot to see here and I’d like to go back on my own some time so I can spend some time looking and learning without a 5 year old pulling me quickly on to the next room. He did enjoy this exploring though, and the wall walk and of course the kids playground!

Bolsover castle playground

I would definitely recommend visiting here, though we did find the surrounding town slightly odd as apart from a small Wetherspoons which was completely rammed with no free tables, nowhere seemed to serve food even when they had a big chalkboard sign outside claiming that they did. Maybe it’s a Sunday thing….

The Marshmallow Man

The Ghostbusters team visited Trinity Walk shopping centre in Wakefield which was great as Seth is a big fan and had already decided he wanted to dress as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man for Halloween. I’d kind of hoped he might change his mind as the day drew closer and choose something a little easier to make/buy at a reasonable price in child size but obviously that was never going to happen.

Marshmallow man, ghostbusters, wakefield Marshmallow man, trick or treat

Spot the difference ha ha

So a good time was had both posing with and as the marshmallow man.

Back soon with some extra-income reports and a post about what has been a fairly lucrative hobby for me this year – comping!

Bolsover castle

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