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Saturday, 3 November 2012


Some time last week I was watching a cookery programme on More4. It was HFW teaching celebrities who "don't cook" how to make simple, successful items. I jotted down some notes whilst watching Ruby Wax make a lovely sponge sandwich.
Hers looked every bit as good as this.
This is my first successful cake, cooked from scratch, in goodness knows how many years, if ever. Whenever I've been asked if I can cook I always respond "Yes, but I can't bake!". Even packet mixes made with chemistry-experiment-exactitude fail. I am prone to *sinking-in-the-middle, *volcanic-uprisings, *catastrophic-crumblings, *denture-danger-denseness and even *"are-you-sure-you-read-the-instructions?".

So much advice is available for the unsuccessful baker that it would take a dozen batches of scones before I could determine whether the fault was caused by ...oven temperature, too dry/moist mixture, wrong/old flour, slap-happy measurements, recipe faults and even being called Gillian etc.

Anyway, this one was a bit dry in the mix so I added a splash of milk. There is something in my well-aged experience that made me feel it was better for the added fluid. It also took about 4 minutes longer to cook because I used smaller tins and the mixture was therefore deeper (I'm quite clever sometimes!).
We managed about half of it for arvo tea. (It is smaller than it looks!). I filled it with the some of the raspberry jam made from the raspberries from Brusselton Woods, over the road from us, and added plenty of whipped cream.

I'm so proud of it that I had to blog it.

I've done some other interesting things this week too, like cook a ham hock for the first time, take DJ to a Tex-Mex dinner in Darlo for his birthday at a fabulous cafe called "The Imperial", get the boiler fixed, unpick the oversized cardigan which I never wore and start a new jumper with the yarn, and have more goes at painting with a painting knife.

G and D (DJ's granddaughter and new husband) spent time with us last weekend before returning to the Midlands to move into their new home. We had the snow, some great steaks, fabulous fish and chips from "The Almighty Cod", fish and chip shop at Seaton Carew, and a great afternoon sitting around the woodburner in the snug. Also had  good news tonight that more rels will visit us soon.

The cat has been a bit strange lately. She has always been reckless and dashes around bumping into furniture. Recently I heard her tumble. I suspect that she fell through the banisters and down a flight of stairs. She was hiding under the table when I found her and so I treated her to some poached chicken to coax her out. She was so keen to get to it that she got trodden on by me as I stepped backwards!

She now runs away when I come near her, but follows me from room to room if I move away from her. But she has found refuge in the little basket on top of the fridge. Well at least until I decided to get up and go into another room.
Straight out of the basket and back down to floor level again! She is now at my feet in the snug.
Cheers Gillian


helen tilston said...

Congratulations on baking such a beautiful cake. Well done.
Your cat is a loyal friend. How much fun you must have with her


lovethosecupcakes said...

Well done you, the cake looks delish! One of our cats is still getting used to being back home after a stint in the cattery. He's driving us mad!

Lyn said...

That cake looks delicious, and our cat has a long memory if I accidentally step on her she stares at my feet for days after!

Vanessa1988 said...

Your cake looks delicious :) and your cat is adorable as ever!

carol said...

It did seem extraordinary to me that someone so adept in every other creative skill should claim she couldn't bake! That one has smashed right through the belief system!