With a week of dry spring weather behind us, the landscaping around The Barley Barn has progressed well as drainage pipes and cables have been laid, the ground compacted, walls built and the areas prepared for paving and concreting. While the heavy work has been going on outside, Ruth and I have played at being ladylike and domesticated inside as we try out ideas for the Creative Hen Parties that have been attracting particular interest.
Making roses from crepe paper has been strangely therapeutic, though it felt a little like being back in primary school cutting out paper shapes and getting tangled with sticky tape. These paper roses will be wired into a foliage covered wreath or garland, hence the lack of green stalk.
Bunting anyone? We’re working out what to put into packs so people can make bunting with all sorts of different things or make pompom garlands to adorn the walls.
Mostly though our preparation for opening day is a little more mundane and while Ruth is finding customers, planning workshop days and organising an Art Trail, I’m in my kitchen trying out some ideas for refreshments.
Baking chocolate biscuits for the morning coffee break. The last in a line of experiments. The recipes all make about a hundred biscuits and even cutting down the quantities we still seem to have eaten rather too many just recently. I think we’ll serve biscuits for the morning break and cake for the afternoon or should we just stick with biscuits for both? Decisions, decisions.
Trying another quiche variation for lunches on the full day workshops, using Mary Berry’s nifty tip for lining a tin by rolling the pastry on top of the removable base, folding in the sides and lifting the base into the tin. This is so much simpler than draping the pastry over a rolling pin and trying to unfold it in the tin. I rarely drop the pastry dead centre and usually tear the pastry as I try to manoeuvre it, so with this method I hope to have fewer leaking pastry cases. Don’t worry, I won’t roll out the pastry on a wooden surface when I’m doing it for real.
Our next job is to find some suitable railings to stop people falling from the path that will lead from the car park to the main door. It’s only a small drop but apparently railings are a legal requirement and doubtless there’s a raft of health and safety regulations to be adhered to. If only it was as simple as deciding which sort of biscuit to make.