#dumplingfest

Dumplings!

Dumplings dumplings dumplings, dumplings.

 

Wait, that doesn’t make sense. Let’s start again.

DUMPLINGS!

The first week of May is Bristol Food Connections week, where lots of different events happen all over the city as part of a big food festival. Two of my favourite tweeters, @waiyeehong and @restingchef are getting together to host a dumpling making workshop, and I had a sneaky preview one Sunday afternoon when the craymart needed to test the recipe. Obviously, I couldn’t say no because, well, dumplings.

So! We put together a pork based filling which was quite unphotogenic

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For the first batch of dumplings, we used ready made wrappers. You can buy these frozen from Wai Yee Hong if you’re in Bristol, or you can make your own with just flour and water.

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A small amount of filling is put on the wrapper, and if they’re frozen, you need to wet the edges so it will stick together.

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Pinch, pinch, pinch…

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Once we had made enough, we cooked some off because testing is super important, you know.

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Oooh, look at those dumplings! Crispy and delicious, with a bit of sauce on the side to dip into.

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While photos and videos can show you how something is done, being shown in person is even better, so if you’re free on Saturday 9th May, head over to the Wai Yee Hong website and book your spot on the dumpling making workshop. You’ll learn how to fold jiaozi, how to cook them and…ok, you don’t need any help eating them, but you will get a bag of ingredients from Wai Yee Hong to go with your creations and will be shown other things like how to make wontons and other ways of folding.

(Oh, and if you’re not really the cooking type, you can buy ready made dumplings from the craymart, and you can go to one of the supper club events because Danielle makes one of the best roast dinners in Bristol)

Black Heart Creatives Jewellery Making Workshop

As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of the acrylic jewellery that Black Heart Creatives makes. What’s not to love? The designs are clever and unusual, the pricing is reasonable (and makes you realise how much other brands mark their products up!) and Charlotte is one of my favourite people I have met through Twitter and blogging.

When she was looking at doing a jewellery workshop last year, I helped out by sending her a few places that she could approach to do a workshop, and after a few months, there was finally a date set for a workshop in Bristol. Held at the Crazy Fox in St James’ Arcade in Broadmead (which if you haven’t been there for a while, you really must visit! There are some wonderful independent shops in there, including Milliners Guild who have recently moved to a larger shop), a few of us piled upstairs after work one night for cups of tea, bottles of cider and a lot of chatting – oh, and making our own necklaces and earrings!

First up was a set of earrings – for the Valentine theme, it was a heart and an arrow. Charlotte started off simple and showed us how to open and close a jump ring to be able to attach things together.

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The little pack we were given had the heart and arrow, a piece of chain, four jump rings and two earring hooks. Despite this, I don’t think there was one pair of earrings the same!

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We took a little break to top up our cups (and our bellies – go for the cookies at the Crazy Fox, you won’t regret it!) and when we returned, we found a selection of hearts at our places, with more chain, jump rings and a clasp – everything needed to make your own necklace. Charlotte had also brought along some spare pieces, so we dove in and started playing around with the shapes.

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I went for a simple three heart design – I couldn’t resist the beautiful new glitter that Charlotte had just picked up that week!

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Black Heart Creatives are aiming to hold more events like this on a regular basis, but if you’re holding your own event, then you could hire them to run a hen do activity or perhaps for a birthday party activity?

Thank you Black Heart Creatives for inviting me to come and try my hand at jewellery making – I’m already looking forward to the next event!

#blogclub

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photo by Black Heart Creatives

Today marks a year since the very first #blogclub. Apparently I’ve never written about it here, which is weird since it was such a big part of last year so thought it was about time.

A few years ago, I was thinking “hey, wouldn’t it be cool to have a regular meetup with some awesome bloggers where you can just talk about blogging and not have other peoples eyes glaze over”. Because it’s me, I never really did anything about it, but the idea didn’t go away.

When she was working at Viral Ad Network, Sophie contacted me to see if I was interested in having YouTube ads on Bonjour, Blogger! Since I wouldn’t click on those ads, I didn’t think anyone else would, so it wouldn’t be worth having them on my site, but we got chatting, and ended up creating #blogclub.

We’ve had a few meetups but the thing that I’m really happy about is building up the little group of Bristol bloggers. On Friday, Sophie, Lily, Lyzi and I headed to Emily’s house for spag bol, booze and a lot of talking and it was excellent! It was what I wanted to do all those years ago when I started the UK Bloggers Map – so thank you everyone who has supported #blogclub in someway in 2014 – I’m already looking forward to doing many more this year!