Friday, 16 December 2016

Basket Head Score Board



Leader board:

Adam - 7 /7

Jamie - 2 /4

Callum - 4 /8

Rhys - 5 /10

Greg - 1 /3

George - 1 /3

Sue - 0/1

Dom - 2 /8

Katie - yet to play

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Monday, 12 December 2016

Sue's annual Christmas bake

Yet to do a Cake Monday, accomplished baker Sue tends to bake a festive treat for us in December and this year she chose to make a Stollen Wreath cake. It is amazing. Thanks Sue (and keep them coming!!).






Christmas Meal out

By popular demand, we chose to return to Porters for our 'Christmas Do' this year and the food as usual did not disappoint. Most of us chose the Duck & Venison Pie since Porters are known for their pies, but actually it was those who opted for the Christmas Turkey that lucked out. Fortunately, not everybody could finish their meal, so the Christmas dinner did find its way to Adam as planned.


Friday, 9 December 2016

Rhys's lunch is cheaper than Katie's coffee

Turns out the secret to running 100m in under 11 seconds doesn't need to involve a good diet, this is what Rhys chose for his lunch today....6 hot-cross buns (consumed without jam or butter).



Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Steadfast-Sue we call her

It's been musical chairs this morning with everyone having moved down one end of the office to allow for the refurb to take place. Not without its problems (cables mainly), we've got through it. Only Sue remains, loyal, and routed to her carpet space whilst the workmen spray glue (all above board, we don't call her glue-sniffing-Sue), work under desks, and generally create noise around her. Not once has she complained, although she has become somewhat light-headed.





Tuesday, 6 December 2016

From red to grey-blue

New carpet! Chaos, what chaos? To be fair, the carpet fitting is fine, it's the new security door implementation that's causing havoc across different companies within the building!



Monday, 5 December 2016

Cake Monday - December 2016

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

Chocolate Brownie by Dom

Fully expecting Dom not to have made his cake over the weekend, scepticism was on red alert when he brought in his cake this morning, particularly as it looked quite tasty....

So anyway, Dom melted dark chocolate with butter over hot water. Placing sugar in a separate bowl, he then folded in the melted chocolate. Eggs were whisked and added into the mixture, as was sieved flour and crushed white chocolate. The mixture was poured into the tin and baked for 45 minutes. He dusted some icing sugar over the top "for Christmas". 

The Verdict:
Considering we were expecting a packet-mix, the cake tasted decent. Everybody liked it and the general consensus was that it worked; it was nice and gooey and sweet. It was a bit heavy for Sue, and a bit too sweet for George and Greg, but Jamie was inspired and reckons he might make it at home for the kids (Jamie loves a cake that doesn't need to rise). A very solid first attempt for Dom - he secured the highest marks people felt they could award given the simplicity of the cake. 

Chocolate Brownie Average Score 7.25
Next time: he doesn't even like cake. Adam will be baking, but this will be the last time for a year.



  

Thursday, 17 November 2016

It's your birthday

Tradition is, we provide a boozy gift and you bring in the cakes. Happy birthday George! (If we hit cake target tomorrow, we could be in for a bit of an eating challenge)




Friday, 4 November 2016

Curry Night went Thai

Having hit curry target the past few months, we've been getting a little bored of curry so this month we opted for a Thai (crazy, I know). There was A LOT of build up to this curry night, Adam had some kind of crispy-duck-banquet-for-one in mind, and despite being put under pressure to share his food, he still went home happy (and nicely full).


The duck feast: 20 pancakes later...

Everyone's happy with their starter. They taste amazing and the portion is similar to that of a main.

Katie's platter!

Conversation played 2nd to getting on and working through the food.



Monday, 31 October 2016

Cake Monday - November

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

Pecan Pie by Callum

November's Cake Monday was delivered early (in October) and a tart was delivered rather than a cake, but since a homemade pastry before 9.30am on a Monday morning is always a good thing no one complained. 

Callum borrowed Greg's recipe book for his Cake Monday selection. Knowing how complicated Greg's cakes have been, we thought this was a bold move for novice baker Callum. 

This bake involved pastry-making. He mixed butter, flour and salt til it looked like "sand". It then chilled in the fridge for a bit. Then he added water to it, mixing it up to form a block of dough. Back into the fridge it went (I know! I'm sure he read that wrong on the recipe too). Next he formed the dough into a disc shape and rolled it out with a lemonade bottle (he couldn't find the rolling pin). Into the tin it went, with baking parchment and beans for a 'blind bake'. For the filling, he whisked golden syrup, double cream and sugar in a bowl. Vanilla extract was meant to go in at this point, but he didn't have any (well, he did, but it was dated 1994 or something). Pecans were scattered over the cooked pastry followed by his liquid syrup mixture which he poured over the top to fill the tin. It was baked in the oven for 30 minutes and was meant to be served with cream (another missing ingredient). Callum was concerned however as he cut into it to serve it up that the ratio of filling to pastry looked a bit too equal...

The Verdict:
Greg's book is amazing. It tasted good. Adam didn't know what a pecan pie was meant to taste like, but said it tasted like a lot of pastry. We generally all really liked the taste of the pastry, which was very buttery and delicious, but it was a bit thick and it probably wasn't totally cooked through because of its density. That said, this didn't appear to deter people's opinion of it too much - it was a very good solid effort from Callum. Greg, Katie and George all said that Callum's pecan pie was much tastier than the one regularly consumed from Simmons Bakery in town!! Katie also pronounced Callum's cake better than George's Banoffee Blondies which had been her favourite cake. Katie and George couldn't fault the Pecan and awarded 10s! Callum is now out for a year with his highest score yet!

Pecan Pie Average Score: 8.8


Next time: Elusive-Sue we call her - 2 years and desperate to bake for Cake Monday, but no, once again, her dreams can't be fulfilled. Dom lost the race and bakes for December. 

Cake Monday - November

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

Pecan Pie by Callum

November's Cake Monday was delivered early (in October) and a tart was delivered rather than a cake, but since a homemade pastry before 9.30am on a Monday morning is always a good thing so no one complained. 

Callum borrowed Greg's recipe book for his Cake Monday selection. Knowing how complicated Greg's cakes have been, we thought this was a bold move for novice baker Callum. 

This bake involved pastry-making. He mixed butter, flour and salt til it looked like "sand". It then chilled in the fridge for a bit. Then he added water to it, mixing it up to form a block of dough. Back into the fridge it went (I know! I'm sure he read that wrong on the recipe too). Next he formed the dough into a disc shape and rolled it out with a lemonade bottle (he couldn't find the rolling pin). Into the tin it went, with baking parchment and beans for a 'blind bake'. For the filling which consisted of golden syrup, double cream and sugar, he whisked it all up in a bowl. Vanilla extract was meant to go in at this point, but he didn't have any (well, he did, but it was dated 1994 or something). Pecans were scattered over the cooked pastry followed by his liquid syrup mixture poured over the top to fill the tin. It was baked in the oven for 30 minutes and was meant to be served with cream (another missing ingredient). Callum was concerned as he cut into it that the ratio of filling to pastry looked a bit too equal...

The Verdict:
Greg's book is amazing. It tasted good. Adam didn't know what a pecan pie was meant to taste like, but said it tasted like a lot of pastry. We generally all really liked the taste of the pastry, which was very buttery and delicious, but it was a bit thick and it probably wasn't totally cooked through because of its density. That said, this didn't appear to deter people's opinion of it too much - it was a very good solid effort from Callum. Greg, Katie and George all said that Callum's pecan pie was much tastier than the one regularly consumed from Simmons Bakery in town!! Katie and George couldn't fault it and awarded 10s! Callum is now out for a year with his highest score yet!

Pecan Pie Average Score: 8.8


Next time: Elusive-Sue we call her - 2 years and desperate to bake for Cake Monday, but no, once again, her dreams can't be fulfilled. Dom lost the race and bakes for December. 

Friday, 28 October 2016

Cake Monday - October

We race (electronically) and the loser has to bake a cake to feed the office. 
Why? Because we like cake.
Who? Everyone in the office. No one gets out of it. When? 1st Monday of the month. The rules: you make the cake yourself, without any help. You can't 'repeat' a cake. Your cake will be judged on presentation, difficulty and taste, and marked out of 10 by each colleague. When you have baked 3 cakes, you are out of the competition for 1 year.

‘The Renee’ by Greg.

It was the final countdown for Greg who once again lost the race and had to bake his third and final cake before he is out of the race for a year. He decided to use the same recipe selection method as the previous cakes and go for the next recipe along in the recipe book. It looked quite straight forward so he went with it… not realising it referred to several other pages in the recipe! This cake was not for the faint hearted and Greg had given himself quite the challenge. He realised the recipe gave 2 layers, but he decided (because why not) that he wanted three, so he doubled up the recipe. For the sponge he mixed sugar & butter which took ages because the butter was hard. He then added flour, baking powder, some egg yolks and some whole eggs and whisked with a hand whisk.  The mixes were put into separate tins and went into the oven. For the filling he pulled out all the stops by making Crème Patissiere. For this he mixed milk & caster sugar and brought it to the boil, he then added corn flour, egg yolks, vanilla, caster sugar, mixed it all together, strained it, and then brought it to boil again! Whilst all this was going on the cakes had overflowed, but were nowhere near done. He kept checking and eventually just took them out and left to cool.

But this cake journey does not stop here, next he made the topping; Italian Meringue. He whisked egg whites to soft peaks, and in a separate bowl mixed caster sugar and water. He needed to bring the water/sugar mix to 120 degrees, but with no thermometer he brought it to boil and then left it a bit longer. The next part required a helping hand (usually against the rules, but we let him off because there was no way he could have done this bit single-handedly). The boiling water/sugar mix was poured over the egg whites while they were being whisked (to cook the egg in the meringue). Now, back over to the sponges, they were cut in half and brushed with kirsh liquor. The Crème Patissiere was mixed with raspberries, and a pallet knife was used to spread onto the middle of the cakes. Finally, once assembled, Greg had some fun with a blow torch on the meringue which topped the cake.

The Verdict: 

Wow, Greg certainly went out with a bang! This cake was everything you could want from a cake and more. The meringue was a delicious combination of sweetness and fluffiness, and the Crème Patissiere with fresh raspberries was to die for. The cake itself was a masterpiece and everyone in the office was impressed by Greg’s culinary creation. Never before have so many 10s been given and it was declared a “bloody good cake” by Adam. Callum said that the only improvement that could have been made would have been to add chocolate. No one wanted to follow this level of cake, and it was a nervous wait to find out who it would be…

The Renee Cake Average Score: 9.5



Next time: Callum lost and we fear he may not be joking about a meat cake…

Teresa's Ode to Enterprise

In my many years at Enterprise, I've seen some wondrous things,
So I thought I'd share a few of them, to see what laughs they bring.
We've done some trips along the way, and downed so many beers,
We've had good times and laughed so much, some even face their fears.....

At Centre Parcs there was some fun, we had a barbecue,
And then we played the name game  - though some didn't have a clue,
Adam came early for breakfast, hoping to be fed -
But he was so disappointed to find us still in bed.
We fired some guns and climbed up trees, George wobbling on that board,
That leap of faith - it took some guts, when finally she soared.

Bruges showed us Jamie's wild side, his pole dancing was sublime,
To unhinge him from that pole of his - took us a long, long time,
The locals there stopped by to help, but all to no avail,
Our recompense came the very next day when Jamie looked so pale.

We've been to France to learn to ski and spend some time on snow,
Some found it hard, some skied a lot but everyone had a go,
The following day, with aches all round, we'd all improved a bit,
Apart from Adam, now where was he? Ah yes, hungover in his pit.

In Amsterdam the red light zone was visited at night, 
In our hotel, with few clothes on, were porn stars left and right.
In Ireland we went to Dublin, to try some pints of stout,
But the black stuff wasn't good for us - some even spat it put.

The boys of course, love cake Monday - in fact they think it's a pleasure,
To bake a cake for their colleagues, giving up a whole day of leisure.

Once, feeling brave and fool hardy, we did a charity run,
So we entered a race with obstacles - it should have been some fun,
We were dunked in mud and cold water, on a cold October day,
And Jamie carried his team's log alone, although he went the wrong way.

We like to try out pub quizzes, we generally have a blast,
Our egg head man Greg knows a lot, well except for ropes and masts.
When targets are hit it's curry, so to Berko we go forth,
And tottering on the highest heels it's  our party girl George North.


So what will I miss as I'm leaving? From all the laughs we've had,
Perhaps Callum wearing his slippers, and a cardigan like a dad?
Or maybe Sue with her sighing, when anything goes wrong,
Or Adam who hates adding up, why does it take so long?
If you say the wrong word, or do a daft thing, Katie gets out her book,
And records your faux pas for posterity - so everyone else can look.

So, my memories so far are good - but one thing still rankles me,

And that's the A team's lack of effort when it comes to making the teas!

Friday, 30 September 2016

Teresa retires!!!!

As one of the Company's original founders back in September 2001, Teresa is finally joining Andrew in retirement....well, sort of - she's back in on Monday for a management meeting! Whilst she will be missed on a day-to-day basis, we hope to continue to see them both on our Curry Nights and we'll try not to be too jealous when we hear about what they've been up to and all the places they've visited!

There are a couple of sore heads this morning after an evening in Berko that began at The Crown, involved BYO in Buenos and continued on til we were chucked out of the Kings Arms.