Everything seems to happen at once…

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We find ourselves lost in the miracle that is our beautiful baby girl, staring at her face and being overjoyed when she smiles back at us. Then we turn around to see boxes everywhere, emails arriving by the bucket load, builders calling about the work on our new home, a film crew asking if they can film us baking in our house that doesn’t really resemble a place that people live in and we stick the kettle on, brew some coffee and enjoy the ride…

I think it would be fair to say that our lives have in no way settled in to any kind of rhythm or normality, but then again we haven’t been looking for it. This is a brief recap of the last couple of weeks:


 

Following the amazing support of friends and family pushing hard for us to win the Mazda grant, the film crew who will be following up on the work with Peek, the Bakery, Ujima and St Mary’s Hospital called to ask if they could do a little interview at our home and get some action shots of us baking.

Normally (not that this is a normal happening anyway!) that would have been absolutely fine. However, it was the day before we were due to move home, we had a baby who was not yet 6 weeks old, the house we were moving in to was covered in paint, plaster, tools and the flat we were moving out of had boxes being unpacked by Lucas in search of his tractor-digger faster than we could pack. To complicate matters a little further, Andrew was in Mexico (another story for another day) until the day before they were due to come round.

At the same time, the renovations for the Bakery were getting close to completion and flights had been booked for Ben (possibly the most amazing Baker on the planet and dubbed the “Jamie Oliver of baking” by the film crew) from the e5 Bakehouse to fly out to Kenya and start training the team.

The film crew, who are a great bunch of guys and seem to have got to the core of what we are trying to do, visited us in the depth of our chaos and spent several hours filming as the Lucas show took over. His mastery in the kitchen ended up absorbing most of the time as he cracked eggs, scattered flour and educated everyone on the multiple types of farm machinery and tractors that can drive through piles of flour. A set of short (2 minute) documentaries are being made on the progress of the bakery, eye care and the various strands involved and this was filmed as an intro to them.

Ben and the film crew were to fly out on the Saturday and a timely message popped up on our phones on the Friday (the day we moved home) notifying us that the renovations for the bakery building had been completed.

We looked at each other, so excited and relieved that progress was being made. Equally, we know that there are no guarantees this will work but we will work as hard as we can to support the team who are making it possible.

We’ve had regular reports from Kenya this week. Ben has been training the team and it seems that things are working well so far. This Tuesday (tomorrow) the much anticipated delivery of the equipment is expected. This is no simple job. The 4-deck oven ways a ton and the road to the bakery is really tough going. Then there is the issue of if we can fit the equipment in to the building with out having to take a wall down. We will let you know how it goes…honestly I feel nervous!

We have managed to start unpacking and our house is starting to feel like home, at the same time, the dream of a bakery that supports the community is beginning to look more like it may be a dream come true?

 

At home with the Bastawrous family…  lucas
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Training at the Ujima Bakehouse

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Bakery renovations being completed

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Moving house

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Thank you with spiced apple cake

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Well done everyone who managed to navigate the Mazda site and vote for Andrew, it was so close which means every vote really did count, so thank you!

As we feel you are very much part of the Peek, eye care and bakery journey we thought we should perhaps keep up the blog and bit by bit explain these crazy happenings that we really hope will support eye care and the community.

We have been absolutely humbled at the support during the voting for the Mazda grant.


 

‘I got Madeleine’s e-mail I didn’t realise how close it was, I was doing a training session and we put the instructions on the big screen, we struggled with the internet and all morning we tried to vote’ Kisumu Kenya

‘I was running a training session and got everyone in their coffee break to get on line and vote’  Leeds, UK

‘I ran down the corridor getting all my colleagues to vote, we saw Andrew take the lead, it was so exciting’ School in the UK

‘I e-mailed it to all the contacts in the Liverpool Hospitals and have asked the Royal college of Ophthalmology to send it out to every member’  Enthusiastic eye doctor and old colleague of Andrew

‘I should have been in bed hours ago but hey, I can live on empty for a while.  I THINK YOU CAN STILL WIN.’ – Artisan baker, UK at 2am (had to be up at 5am)

‘It went through all my families networks back home in Canada …America …Australia  …Peru  …Egypt’


 

We are all connected and when the collective effort can lead to positive things it is awe-inspiring. The ripple effect was at work, each person voting and sharing with all his or her contacts. It truly was a case of every person’s effort combined towards this.

Of the grant 70% will go towards Peek development/manufacturing costs which means the team can keep autonomy at an early stage and keep driving the social mission above anything else.  20% to St Mary’s mission hospital which goes directly to eye care there and eye care education in the surrounding communities and 10% to the bakery set-up fund which will hopefully lead to long-term sustainable support for St Mary’s and multiple other benefits too.

As part of the Mazda grant they have employed a production team to take a series of small documentaries on the whole story and projects so these guys and Ben who runs E5 bakehouse in Hackney will be flying out in mid-November.

The above and many other strands all seem to be moving with some pace and we have yet to tell you the stories that have unfolded in the last 6 months, we will endeavour to tell over the next few blogs but for now this is our big thank you for supporting the story so far. Written in a rare opportunity whilst Lucas and Elena are sleeping!

As anyone who knows me well, also knows my addiction to apples! As it was October when I wrote this! and the plentiful month of English apples the bake had to be a spiced apple cake…

 

Spiced apple cake

Ingredients:

150g dark brown sugar

115g butter, softened

2 large eggs

4 medium apples, peeled, chopped and heated into apple sauce

65g molasses

1 tsp. vanilla

200g self raising flour

125g whole wheat or spelt flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

pinch salt

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 170°C

2. Butter and line a 20cm deep cake tin

3. In a medium bowl mix together the dry ingredients

4. In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then applesauce. Add molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined

5. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until well combined

6. Spread in the prepared pan and bake for 50-60mins minutes until knife clean when poked into the cake