Chantelle’s Tasty Titbits popped out of the toaster back in November 2013, before I could formally introduce myself to you. Joining Bluepatch.org in 2013 I was given the opportunity to start my own blog and I immediately thought of FOOD – here’s why.
Growing up in inner London I was always very keen to explore the countryside and have a change of lifestyle. This desire led me to southern Germany where I lived for 2 years, after leaving college. I had a little flat on the Lake of Constance or ‘Bodensee’ if you ‘Sprechen Sie Deutsch’. Each day I woke up to a view of the Alps, took long walks along the Lake and ate the very best of local cuisine, immersing myself in the local culture. This change made me aware of a new fresher, cleaner and relaxed lifestyle. It is true my daily trips to bakeries where I was known to devour at least 2 slices of ‘zwetschgenkuchen” (damson cake) before reaching home did add on few pounds – but my taste buds and spirit never felt more alive.
I have always been keen baker and the German bakeries fuelled my love of all things bakingly-delicious. I must credit my mother for this love as, as a child I was fortunate to spend many afternoons, alongside my brothers, baking with her. She was famous in my primary school for creating yearly end of term masterpieces. One year she created a dinosaur entirely out of liquorice shoelaces for my brothers and even baked her own wedding cake.
Upon returning to London, I made sure to home in on my baking skills creating loaves, cakes, crumbles and biscuits; taking me right back to my childhood. In our house Sunday desserts were always something exciting and our summer holidays filled with kitchen adventures. My own early creations were all apple or coconut based; I have a self-confessed love affair with cooked apples. I’ve even been known to eat applesauce with rice – delicious. Whilst I am definitely not ready to make any wedding cakes, I do enjoy baking for my friends and have done a fair few birthday cakes in my time.
In 2012 I was blessed with a son, who is already turning into a mini chef. With his little apron and wooden spoon at the ready he has taken over responsibility of beating the sugar and butter (whilst eating a fair bit) and sieving flour. Our favourite bakes are coconut and cranberry cookies. We both suffer from dairy allergies so its important that I educate my son into diary free fun cooking. Together we turn our little kitchen into an exciting place of culinary experimentation.
Being a mum is amazing and I like to spend as much time as possible exploring the great outdoors with my son. We are regularly on the hunt for worms, Incy Wincy spider and have taken many leaf collecting strolls. Children open your eyes to things we have forgotten as adults and for me this involves the importance of nature and the appreciation of our surroundings. My aim is to ensure my son opens his eyes and sees rather than looks, which is why I took him back to Germany to where my eyes were first opened. Watching my son run in the German fields with not a care in the world, walk through farms and see his amazement at seeing full grown cows and little baby calves was an indescribable sight.
I study German now and am due to obtain my BA in German studies in 2014. It always brings me joy to share what I have learnt and experienced with my son, friends and family. I count myself as fortunate that the two years I spent in the countryside, gave me the taste of a life that values the importance of our surroundings and great food; ideals I adhere to. Chantelle’s Tasty Titbit’s is my way of sharing all the flavours, herbs and spices that excite my and hopefully your senses – so cleanse your pallet and get your munch on.