Saturday, August 30, 2008

Giving In

Something I've been working on a lot in my life is acceptance of things that I cannot change.  What clearly stands out to me here in Seattle as something I can't change is the weather.  As I type this, some people are sweating out the hottest parts of the year in their regions.  Here it's 64 degrees, I am wearing sweats, and the trees outside my kitchen window are turning red.  Dare I say it? It's fall.  

I did not have fall as a child.  It's a season that was foreign to me until I went away to college. I have to admit, there is something a little enchanting about this time of year.  The air changes and the trees really are beautiful.  Here are a few more things that make me excited about fall:

- Sweaters
- Fireplaces
- Blankets
- My birthday

Yes, fall food is definitely my favorite, and as I try to hang on to anything that can keep me from wallowing in the fact that summer was roughly 3 weeks long I must think of food!  I have more recipes stashed in the fall food category than any other.  

Baking is also much more fun in the cooler months.  We don't have air conditioning, and when I turn on my oven in the summer it gets HOT!  Did I mention my kitchen was 90 degrees when I made those flower cupcakes a couple of weeks ago?  Anyway, my oven basically acts as a heater in my house, and that's actually really nice when I want a heater.

I think that if it weren't for food I would probably spend 10 months out of the year yelling at the cloud layer that is perpetually covering this city.  Thankfully, I always have something to look forward to (namely, cooking) and think positive about (namely, eating).

Ok, God, I've learned acceptance.  Now can you please make it hot again?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why I Love...Cottage Cheese

I forgot about cottage cheese for a while, but then the other day I was reading an article in a magazine about how cottage cheese is a great diet food. I was all, "What??" I have never in my life been on a diet- the closest thing to it would be trying to go a day without eating sugar (I failed)- but I do love cottage cheese.

In this case, "diet food" means "something you should be eating anyway." The thing about cottage cheese is that it's packed with a ton of protein for only a few calories. This is great for me when I realize sometimes around the afternoon that all I've had to eat all day is different forms of bread. Throw a 1/4 cup of cottage cheese in a bowl with a few baby carrots, and voila! I feel much better about myself.

Cottage cheese also goes great with many other foods. My favorite things to pair it with are bagels, peaches, or grapes. I also know that it's common to eat cottage cheese with pineapple, but I am a little scarred from that because when I went to college, it was served in the cafeteria every single day. Oh! Also, put some cottage cheese and some good quality strawberry jam in a crepe, dust with powdered sugar, and you have a quick, easy, and healthy cheese blintz!

My favorite cottage cheese brand is Knudsen's, but very sadly I cannot find it anywhere here in Seattle. Other good brands are Organic Valley and Trader Joe's. I'd stay away from Nancy's unless you like that odd, tangy, cultured flavor (fine for yogurt, but no thanks in my cottage cheese). If you're the lucky enough to live in the right area, you may be able to find a local farm that produces their own and sells it at a farmer's market.

Cottage cheese is also used quite a bit in baking- it's a great way to add moisture and protein. And funny enough, just as I was about to write this post my Grammy gave me a recipe for cottage cheese pancakes, which I'm sharing with you today. I highly recommend it with some sort of fruit (preferably peach) topping, rather than the normal maple syrup. Also, I think it would be a great idea to add to this recipe some lemon zest, or cinnamon, or vanilla- or all three!

These pancakes are great for a lazy Saturday, but with none of the guilt that comes with regular, sugary pancakes that are loaded with nothing but carbs. Well, some guilt, but definitely less.

Churchill House Cottage Cheese Pancakes:

4 eggs
1 cup small curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup AP flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the skillet

1. Preheat oven to 2oo degrees. Lightly grease an ovenproof platter.

2. Beat eggs in a medium bowl; stir in cottage cheese. Add flour and mix until just blended but still lumpy. Add melted butter and stir gently to combine.

3. Melt butter on skillet over medium heat, and pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the skillet. Cook like regular pancakes, though they should be crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

One Week Too Late

Yesterday I went shopping with my mom to one of my favorite home decorating stores called Home Goods. I always go putter around this store when I am visiting California, because we don't have them in the Seattle area. Sad. I always want to buy something when I go, but usually it's something that I can't fit in a suitcase- like an armchair or floor lamp or something. While I was there yesterday i was perusing through the cookbooks and found a great little baking book all about cupcakes.

I know, I know. This cupcake trend has gone so far that many of you want to scream. Too many of these stupid books have these "make this cupcake from a box mix, then add frosting and sprinkles" instructions and they are always in the "bargain books" section at Borders, and you wonder how they were ever published in the first place. Like this one (promise me you'll stay away):

The book I found was different- great actually. It's called Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse and has a lot of fantastic ideas, but what caught my eye was the section on flower cupcakes that I really wish I had a week ago. What I really wanted to do for the baby shower last weekend was dahlia cupcakes, but I didn't know how so I just made a generic kind of unidentifiable flower-like decoration. I still think they were adorable, but had I found this book before I could have been able to do exactly what I wanted. Or hydrangea, or pansies, or sunflowers, or daisies- all of which I am waiting for another baby shower to try out.

It will go up on my cookbook shelf right next to my other favorite "decorating small things" cookbook called Cookie Craft that I first found in a little book store in Pasadena. This one has some amazing step-by-step instructions for baking and decorating cookies for quite literally any holiday you could possibly think of. I'm not kidding, I think they have Secretaries' Day cookies.

The greatest thing about these books is that you don't have to be a professional pastry chef to make the things they contain. The instructions in both actually make the crafts pretty easy. PLEASE NOTE that I did not say quick. Some of this stuff takes a ridiculous amount of time to complete. Maybe one day when I'm retired and have nothing to do but make cookies for my grandkids I can do them. The rest, like the flower cupcakes, take a good half a Saturday, and I could definitely do that- and so can you!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rediscovering Nutella

I have always loved Nutella, but had a lack of knowledge of what to do with it besides eat it with Strawberries, so for a while I just kinda forgot about it. Recently, while craving a bite of something sweet, but not too sweet, I remembered. Really, nothing compares to the perfect mix of chocolate and hazelnut that is Nutella.

Then little while ago, while having dinner with some friends, they brought out a bunch of little clementines and some lightly heated Nutella to dip in for dessert. How perfect! This made me start thinking of the other many, many things to do with Nutella. For starters, Europeans use it just like we use peanut butter, so that's a lot.

Of course me being me, I went out and bought an organic version, but honestly it didn't do it for me. I think it's the lack of corn syrup that makes the flavor just not quite right (and you thought I was a purist). Anyway, I would just recommend going for the real deal.

So last week I copied one of my favorite brunch spots and made grilled Nutella and strawberry sandwiches. It would have been better if I had a panini maker, but I just did it on the griddle and it was still freakin' fantastic.

Other good uses fo Nutella:
- Drops in the center of thumbprint cookies
- Of course, dip any fruit or cookie or pound cake or graham crackers
- Use on cakes or brownies instead of frosting
- Add to hot milk to make Nutella hot cocoa or ice cream and milk for milkshakes
- Put on crepes
- Eat by the spoonful
- Put on pancakes and/or waffles
- Also, while searching for images of Nutella, I found this blog with an awesome sounding Nutella bread pudding.
- Lastly, the Italians have had it around for so long that they do things like this with it:

Enjoy it however you want to! (so long as it's in the privacy of your own home, I guess...)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

They Got Me...

I don't like coffee. Therefore, it has never been difficult for me to avoid the $4 drink trap at Starbucks. I have always been proud that I, unlike so many others, do not throw hundreds of dollars away each year on drinks that shouldn't cost near that much. Recently, I haven't been the only one not drinking at Starbucks. I don't know if this news travels outside of Seattle, but because of the recession fewer people are spending money there. Actually, I've heard that it's the pastries people have stopped spending on, to be exact, but think about it- instead of 7 or 8 dollars people are spending 3 or 4. That's half of their revenue, and exactly why half the company has been cut back or laid off.

Enter new ideas to hook new people. People like me. So Starbucks has come out with these very non-coffee drinks (of course, espresso can be added for 55 cents) called Vivannos, and I CAN'T STOP!!! I am totally addicted! The drink in question is the Banana Chocolate Vivanno, and yes, it costs $4.11 with tax. The big marketing campaign is that they are healthy, and although that's questionable, they are still waaay way better than, say, a Frappuccino.

Let's compare:

The Banana Chocolate Vivanno has 270 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber, 28 grams of sugar, and 21 grams of protein.

The Grande Mint Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino blended creme with Chocolate Whipped Cream (which is the other drink I like but can live without) has 530 calories, 19 grams of fat, 68 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of protein. Hmmmmm.....

I also think that the Vivannos have not listed in the ingredients the fact that they put crack or nicotine or some other addictive narcotic in this drink, because seriously, I want one all the time now. And after I have my happy little milk-shake-smoothie-like thingy I feel much better.

Anyway, I don't know what to do. Either I try to figure out how to make them on my own minus the drugs or I'm going to end up spending our mortgage on these little chocolatey drinks....Try one at your own risk.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Since last week I have been thoroughly enjoying watching the world come together over the Olympics. According to the ads surrounding the games there is only one other thing that also brings the world together: McDonald's. I have been increasingly irritated by the commercials advertising this company.

One that stands out in my mind has a good handful of US athletes standing and each holding a chicken sandwich.... Really?!?? Are we supposed to believe that these world class athletes in peak physical condition are fueling their bodies with fried sorta-chicken on a "home made tasting" biscuit? It's hard for me not to judge these champions for selling out in endorsements, but then I realize how many gazillion dollars that McDonalds must be shelling out to pay these guys and I am just in awe that the company still makes that kind of money.

It makes me want to take a poll.  The information is there- I think that people know and understand that McDondalds slowly kills you.  So, who is McDonalds getting its money from? Personally, I don't even think of McDonald's as food. You may as well ask me if I want to get lunch from a book store. I wonder how many people grab McDonalds as a last resort, as a treat, or for a meal very frequently. Do these people not know it's bad for them or do they not care or do they just have no choice? Comments are welcome! Please help me... I really want to know!

Now, if you did eat McDonalds today, allow me to help you throw it up:

I wonder if the government forced these people to smile just like the dudes in the opening ceremony.

Michael Phelps, why? WHY?  Actually, I might believe that he does eat McDonalds, because he supposedly eats 10,000 calories a day and can get that in a single hamburger!

I Want a Garage Freezer

The reason: beef.

Beef has a bad reputation as something to be eaten often...and rightfully so. Just look at what has happened to this country (and you all know the major regions this occurs in) due largely to the consumption of nothing but roast beef and potatoes every day. Believe it or not, beef, in its original form, is actually really good for you. It's a great source of iron, protein, and those ever popular omega 3's. The problem is that beef has been horribly changed.

The industrial revolution- bless its heart- brought a lot of good with it, and we all know it brought a lot of not so good as well. When we have a piece of cow sitting in front of us at dinner time we all like to imagine that cow was once happily grazing on healthy green grass at a big sunny farm and taken care of by Pa from Little House on the Prairie. The ugly reality is this: that cow probably lived in a huge building crammed so close to other cows that it could barely turn around, standing in its own waste. Since these cows get sick very easily, they are injected with anitbiotics. Oh yeah, and now any of these cows may have come from a lovely cloned mother.

In this profit-driven day and age, the best way to make money is to make these cows grow large as fast as they can. They are fed a mixture of mostly corn, hormones, a little grain and sometimes ground up other cows in order to make them get big and fat as fast as possible (this fat is not good fat). Many of them don't need to be slaughtered because they die of ulcers. So what does this have to do with you? Well, these cows are not healthy when they die, and truly, you are what you eat. There is more corn in the beef than there is protein.

I am not a vegetarian or even an animal activist. I believe in the food chain, but I also believe that animals have a consciousness and pain receptors and should live healthy, happy lives before they give that life so that I can eat. I also want to eat healthy food. The only FDA way to guarantee that you are getting this is to buy %100 grass fed beef (note that I did not say organic beef). There is so much information to digest about this issue, and if you want more you can read about it here.

Anyway, back to my freezer. Of course, since grass fed beef doesn't produce as many cows as fast as factory farms do, there is a higher price tag. Usually $7-$9 a pound. Well, there are lots of local farms up here in the PNW, and one man raises and sells grass fed beef for $2.50 per pound. The catch is that I have to buy a quarter steer, and that is a lot of beef. Where would I put it? In a garage freezer, of course!

I went to Lowe's today thinking they'd cost, I don't know, a million dollars for a freezer or something, but they were actually quite reasonable. The one I wanted was only $188- a lot less than the quarter steer would cost me. I think this is a good option that would pay for itself in many ways.

Now, I will leave you with one of my favorite movies:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Why I'm Glad I Went to Pastry School

I graduated from pastry school about two and a half years ago. Since then I have dabbled with a couple different areas in the field, puttering from this job to that and trying to find my niche. I never did, however, find it working in a commercial bakery. I do still consider myself a pastry chef, although my current "day" job has nearly nothing to do with baking.

I recently started pondering: since I am not baking full time was it worth it to spend all the time and money and effort sending me to pastry school? The answer came quickly and easily: absolutely! I love baking, and I love the knowledge I have. I love that my husband or even my boss can ask me, "Hey, could you make [insert something sweet and tasty]?" and I can say, "Sure!" Baking is something that can always be used to make people happy- regardless of whether or not I'm getting paid for it. More than anything, I love that I can read a recipe or see a photo like this:

And know exactly how to do it! As a matter of fact, I am totally going to make that cake this fall.

I do think I have found my correct place in the baking world, for now at least. I am finally making a name for myself; getting calls and referrals. Just enough to keep me busy, learning, and expanding my creativity while working full time and a different job. This makes me much happier than when I baked full time and always had to worry about numbers and mass quantities.

In conclusion, going to pastry school was a decision I will always be glad I made, and I will always be able to use the skills I learned.

Whether it's baking the awesomest chocolate ship cookies.....

Or a Las Vegas themed birthday cake.....

Or a birthday cake for a friend.....

Or some petit fours for a fancy catered party....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Cupcakes....and more cupcakes...

For some time after the year of making thousands of cupcakes a night I couldn't even look at a cupcake without shuddering. Sometimes during that job I would wonder aloud, "Who is eating all these cupcakes and why does everyone want them?!?" Well, this weekend in particular turned out to require cupcakes as perfect special occasion treat, so I rolled up my sleeves and pulled from the back of my brain everything I had tried to supress from my year of cupcakery.

I mentioned before that I had two baby showers to make cupcakes for this weekend. One was kinda Hawaiian themed (ahi tuna on the menu and such), so for that I opted for coconut cupcakes. They were not super fancy looking- no sugar flours or intricate icings- but sometimes the rustic looking cakes can be the most mouth watering. I made a basic vanilla cake and topped them with a mixture of vanilla pastry cream, whipped cream, and toasted coconut. I think I have said this before: mmmmmm. They were pretty perfect, and again I proudly pleased the most particular of palettes. (how's that for aliteration?)

Today was a shower for a baby girl. I topped these cupcakes with adorable flowers. The display was the cutest thing you've ever seen until I bumped the table and half of the cupcakes hit the floor. Oops. Luckily, I was able to get some photos before the "incident." Also luckily, the atmosphere was casual and everyone was good natured about it all. Anyway, I learned my lesson not to perch cupcakes so precariously on cake boards.

The past couple of weeks have been such a sugar high! I think this week I will try to think of things that are healthier. Eh, I'll try, anyway.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An Amazing Culinary Career

Seattle has an unarguably great food scene. So many people in this city are into eating out that many chefs have become celebrities. One of the most famous is Tom Douglas, who I am so tired of hearing about that there's no way I'd write about him. But if Tom Douglas was a big time movie actor, there would be a very noteworthy indie-film star lurking in the underground.

Tomorrow is the opening for the long-awaited Cascina Spinasse, the new restaurant by Justin Neidermeyer. His culinary career has had him cooking at restaurants around the city like Sitka & Spruce and the late Pian Pianino. I haven't eaten at either of these places, but from what I've heard, Neidermeyer is somewhat of a "noodle genius." He has made this culinary career by hand making all of his pastas, and cutting and cooking them to order (the definition of artisan). To give you an idea of just how good this fresh pasta can be, the Stranger (which is not a periodical I normally use) quotes Bethany Jean Clement, saying, "Until you eat some of Neidermeyer’s noodles, you can’t know how encouraging this development is for the neighborhood and the city. Picture that scene in Lady and the Tramp, with you at one end of the noodle and, I don’t know, God at the other."

Spinasse sets itself of right in the middle of trend central on 14th in Capitol Hill. The location used to be a vegan dive called the Globe Cafe. Apparently tastes in that neighborhood are becoming more sophisticated.

I can't wait to try this place, though I might wait a couple of weeks until the hype has died down and the wait's not so long. Until then I will look forward to my plate of tajarin in beef ragu!

1531 14th Ave E
Seattle, Wa 98112

Sunday & Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 5pm-11pm
Closed Tuesday
Friday & Saturday 5pm-12am

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mission: Complete!


Saturday finally came and I was ready! Things went pretty well, so thankfully no more of my time consisted of me redoing anything (though a couple hours were spent clearing room in my fridge to store the cakes as I was making them).  Perhaps the good juju from the Olympics being on TV in the background helped as I imagined myself taking the gold in the cake making games...


Of course, even after the cakes were finished and ready to go, the most difficult part lied in actually transporting them to the wedding site.  It was the first time in my life, I think, that I didn't get mad at the traffic, because I actually wanted to drive 8 miles an hour.

Anyway, on to the wedding: The venue was at the Stimson-Green mansion in First Hill. Lucky for me it was so beautiful that I could have piled of bunch of Hostess cupcakes on the table and it probably still would have looked good.  Fortunately, once my cakes were set up they looked pretty darn nice if I do say so myself, and the setting made it look even better.  I was pleased, but still quite nervous for the wedding couple to see my creation....


My butterflies faded when I got huge smiles, raving reviews, and many many compliments for everyone in attendance. And no one threw up!  I am happy with the end result, and for me that's saying a lot.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Man vs Cakes

Well, I promised drama in this wedding "Cake Week", and now I'm starting to wish I hadn't. I wish I had said something like, "Wedding cakes are a very simple process and are usually baked and assembled in a very calm and easy manner where nothing goes wrong." As it were, I have been a total self-fulfilling prophecy.

Today I finally began baking the brazillion sheet cakes I need for the weekend. Mind you, sheet cakes are not something that need to be left to the pastry chefs or even the especially talented baker. They are just sheet cakes- cakes that are baked on sheet pans. Somehow today these sheet cakes did not go very well- and when I say not go very well it is an understatement, but the words that would most accurately describe my time I do not use because they are not befitting of a lady.

See, what happened was this: today I discovered that MY OVEN IS SLANTED!!!!!!!!! How in the !#$#%#^%$ it took me this long to notice I do not know. I guess I just havent made very many kinds of dishes that exaggerated the angle. Well, the chocolate cake batter I used is delicious, but very liquidy before being baked. Soooo the first two sheets of chocolate cake ended up paper thin on one side and way thick on the other. I supposed I could have ran with it and made some awesome sculptural wedding cake, but I really just want squares- not triangles.

So I cleaned everything up, washed out my mixing bowl and set out to begin again with the intention of giving all my sheet pans a 1/4 turn to make the slant a little less *$#@#@$#. Good news: it worked well enough. Bad News: when I set out to mix another chocolate cake I ran out of flour AND vanilla AND cocoa powder AND milk AND lemons all at the same time. I guess I just didn't notice my supplies of all of the above dwindling at the exact same rate.

Anyhoo, it was getting close to "throwing the cake against the wall" time all too soon. I hadn't even begun decorating! So, I took a deep breath and embraced the opportunity to go on a windows down summer evening drive to the grocery store while listening to bluegrass on a local radio station. I came back, sucessfully made 4 beautiful sheets of vanilla cake and some lemon curd and called it a day.

Now I'm going to try my hand at my prophetic skills again....There's no need to even read my blog anymore this week. This wedding cake is going to be sooo easy and perfect and go so well that I'm not even going to have anything else to write about.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Seattle's Gem for all Pastry Careers

I know that I have yet to begin to bake, but I HAVE gotten a lot done.  Yesterday and today I have been doing my supply shopping.  Goodness knows I am not the only "foodie" in Seattle, and this snobby city is full of posh, upscale cooking stores.  It's the home of Sur La Table, has good handful Williams Sonomas, and also a number of City Kitchens.  I went to none of these. I do not need nice displays, fancy lighting, and a mall setting to make a good cake.  I need good cake making supplies for a decent price.

For this I drive north past downtown to the "hardcore" shopping: Home Cake Decorating Supply Co.  This store is not only popular among bloggers and amateurs, but professional chefs with Pastry Careers as well.  Why, you wonder?  The store is set up in roughly 600 square feet of the biggest organized mess you have ever seen.  When you walk in, you have to squint your eyes just to make out a narrow walkway through the store.  What's stuffed in here is everything you can imagine that would have anything to do with baking cakes.  I kid you not- anything from half naked Barbie Dolls for princess cakes to pig shaped sprinkles to chess piece shaped cookie cutters.  

As much fun as it would be to see the wedding couple's faces when their cake was covered with piggie sprinkles, I avoided that section and went right for what I needed- the owner (or I assume is the owner, since she is always there).  I have no idea how to find anything in there, so it's Greil I find and annoy with all my "Ok, and also where is the...." And she knows, oooh she knows every inch of that store.  It's really amazing.

Actually, today my needs were simple so I didn't need that much help.  A few cake boxes, a couple piping tips and bags, some ribbon just in case I need to cover a big mistake in the last minute.  Now I feel most confident to start my actual baking and decorating!

Home Cake Decorating Supply Co
9514 Roosevelt Way, NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 522-4300

Tuesday- Friday 10-6
Saturday 10-4
Closed Sunday and Monday

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I had great expectations for this week. Starting Monday, I would begin my slow and steady process of this wedding cake, and every day I would share with you my experiences. If you know me well enough you are now laughing your head off and thinking, "When does she EVER do anything slow and steady!" My college career serves as evidence that I function by doing everything in the last minute. This- combined with the fact that when I feel overwhelmed with too much to do I end up doing absolutely nothing- has prevented me from beginning my baking. Also, the fact that today it was a perfect 85 and sunny out. Seriously, who can do anything when it's that nice?

Don't get me wrong, I had a very productive day. I cooked a huge pancake breakfast for my husband, went on a hike, cleaned, read a book, wrote a blog....The GOOD news is that most of my shopping is finished. I need a few more tools, but I went to Costco yesterday for all the baking supplies I needed (I wonder what the checkout guy was thinking when I bought organic burritos and eight pounds each of butter and sugar...) So that's a big check off my list.

It's really OK, though, because the longer I wait the fresher the ingredients will be, yes? So, what I am taking an entire blog to say is that I have pretty much nothing to write about today. I am sorry that this isn't near as exciting as Shark Week, but I promise that things will pick up. I'm sure that the more I procrastinate the more dramatic the end of the week will get.

So don't give up!

Friday, August 01, 2008

This week on The Discovery Channel was Shark Week. Since I have a wedding cake to do next Saturday, I have decided to make next week "Cake Week." Wedding cakes, you see, are not a one day event. They take planning, shopping, piping, mixing, and baking ahead of time all week- especially if you don't want a cake that was previously frozen.
Of course I learned a ton in pastry school, but there are a lot of things that can only be acquired by field experience. For example, the woes and triumphs of making a wedding cake for 100 people at home in my very non industrial kitchen. This includes baking 5 sheet cakes one (possibly 2) at a time, and many, many batches of buttercream icing in my 5 quart Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

Another thing I never learned at school was where to find one of these cake stands on which to place the finished product. They are bloody expensive and I don't want to have to buy one. I called the reception site, and they said they had a round one- a lot of good that did me since I need a square one. I think I can rent one somewhere.... I am also looking forward to the challenge of transporting all the elements of a three-tiered wedding cake from my house to the reception site without smashing it all into bits.
Needless to say my blogging next week will probably be insanely dramatic with all the bi-polar ups and downs, victories and failures, baking and baking again.....I will take lots of pictures, hopefully none of them consist of my crying and/or throwing my cake on the wall. Shark Week, step aside. This will have you gripping the edge of your seat!

And God bless the UK!