Bake Off: Missing the Final

What with the new kitchen and also work being done on das Boot, my outgoings are rather higher than usual. Sales of the Ginger Ninja calendar will not, alas, bring me great wealth, so I am accepting every job offered to me, yea even unto one that is going to extend my working day this Wednesday to around 9pm.

I was just wondering about sore feet, and snatched meals. But it suddenly dawned on me that I am going to miss the GBBO final.

Oh no. Continue reading

Mum’s Fruit Cake Recipe

This recipe, in Mother’s handwriting, was tucked into the cover of Good Hosekeeping’s Picture Cookery which was her main cookery book. It is the fourth impression, published in 1952.
Mother’s fruit cake was famous. Once, when I arrived in Lecce, in the heel of Italy, my friend’s mother eagerly anticipated the cake packed in my bag. Word of it reached New York; students from Libya tasted it and told their families. A little bit of Mother’s baking was quietly celebrated in different parts of the globe.

Fruit Cake Recipe

Fruit Cake Recipe

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A Good Day

Aunt Margaret, Mum and Snibby

Aunt Margaret, Mum and Snibby

A good day. I wrote my tribute to Mother last night. I thought it would make me feel better to have it written, but I kept waking in the night worrying about it. Was it a proper tribute? Did it convey what she was like? What had I forgotten that should have been included?
The anxwer to that last question hit me at four in the morning; baking. Mother never rated herself as a cook (I’d disagree), but she was a great baker of cakes, biscuits and puddings. Her fruit cake was famous in several countries. It was something she would give me when I was going away from home, so travelled to France, was sampled in southern Italy and in the US. I am not a great fan of fruit cake, but Mother’s was the exception. Always baked in a tin with a hole in the centre so it was easy to slice. I don’t know when she baked her last one. I have been trying to remember when she stopped baking, but I have failed.

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Minor Achievements

I am still living with stress at work as nothing has been resolved. I know some thrive on stressful environments. I find them terribly corrosive. My energy levels have plummeted, I am unfocused; lasse is the French word which comes to my mind.

So today, recognising that I was slipping again, I made myself a little list of achievable targets for the afternoon. Nothing grand. A trip to the bank to pay the taxman, a cheque for Mother’s Personal Allowance so she can get her hair and feet done, a few emails, a call to the vet surgery to make an appointment for NotCat’s vaccinations, bake a cake. Continue reading