Dear reader, it’s bloody cold, isn’t it? Having been a student for five years, I feel I’ve perfected the art of keeping warm during English winters (especially when there’s no insulation/other people keep turning the boiler off/you don’t have access to the broken-down boiler). So it’s been the season of stockings-under-tights-under-normal-socks-under-long-woolly-socks-under-gigantic-fluffy-socks-from-Primark-under-jeans, because rural Norfolk is significantly colder than the city. It is, on the other hand, also snowman-building time and my pocket-sized snowman is now sitting on the bench in the garden… or at least, he was before it started raining (I didn’t dare look after). Anyway, dear reader, let us think of more warming things, like the worryingly large and probably impossible baking idea I came up with the other night, during the witching hour, and the comforts that one can find in writing in the wee small hours.
Dearest reader, here is the recipe I promised for tasty cake. A note on the quantity of rum: having not used it in baking before, I erred on the side of caution. For some people, the taste of rum was just right; for others, it was a little bit weak. I leave it to you, dear reader, to increase the amount of rum as you see fit – this recipe is yours to play with as you wish.
Dear reader, it’s been a rum old week. Mainly because I made a cake containing rum (boom-boom!). More on that later, however, as last week I forgot to mention that I was going to be going down to Cambridge for my biennial allergy testing. It’s infrequent enough to be of interest to me and if you or someone you know is going to have their first allergy test soon, this blog might even be useful. Just on the off chance that you might not be terribly interested in The Travelling Rash and The Itchy Lumpy Bits, so there’s also some good stuff about salted caramel and books.
Dearest reader, I write to you in a state of distress, woe and frustration. A distinctly lemon-flavoured state of distress, woe and frustration. Five lemons, four days, three sources of advice, two large pots of cream and more boxes of eggs than I care to count later, my attempt at lemon-curd ice cream has failed. It’s been something of a quiet week, so I’d hoped to have something to show for it, first in the form of several jars of lemon curd which refused to set (NB, reader, ALWAYS use the size of eggs that the recipe asks for), then the lemon curd ice cream I could surely make from the dratted jars of yellow glop which filled my fridge. However, having just spent the last couple of hours alternatively pleading with the ice cream maker to make just this one batch, please, I’ll wash you with the nice Fairy Liquid if you do, and threatening it with the big red spatula and to bloody well set damn you, I’ve given up. It tasted very nice, but nobody wants three pints of lemon-flavoured cream that won’t even do the decent thing and freeze.
To be honest, it’s not been an amazing culinary week – that sauce recipe I promised still wants refining and my first attempt at bubble-and-squeak was more soak-up-the-oil-and-fall-apart-on-the-plate. I’m making a chocolate rum cake tomorrow… hopefully the start of a new week will allow it to be a success.
In other news, dear reader, last week – back when lemons were just those nice, useful yellow things that never let you down, unlike pears – I promised thoughts on fish and chip shops. So, without further ado, I present for your thought and potential delectation a sampling of nation-wide chippies.
Dear reader, how have you been? I haven’t written here for four months, for which I apologise. I’m not sure where the time went – some of it, unfortunately, went to a few very unpleasant people and places (sorry, I couldn’t find any postcards), but things are starting to look up. I’ve also just moved away from somewhere not very nice to somewhere very nice indeed. For the first time in over two years, I don’t have to worry when it rains (although I am now probably something of an expert in buckets and bleach spray). Without going into the soggy details, it’s a relief to be somewhere where I feel safe, warm and increasingly relaxed.
Anyway, dear reader, it’s great to be back on the blog and, as promised, I have foodie recommendations: the Norfolk edition. Food is even more interesting to me at the moment, for two reasons. In November, I had a flare-up in my back, which was mostly boring and painful. I got to discover the wide variety of ready meals out there, ranging in taste quality from ‘decent’ to ‘vastly improved by at least two glasses of wine’. Now that I can stand and move about again, I’ve been cooking and noting down things that I want to make, while also of course incorporating pacing and physiotherapy. I’ve also been very stressed over a long period of time, which had a huge effect on my appetite and meant that on some days all I’ve managed is a few bits of toast. I make good toast, but it gets a bit boring after a couple of weeks.
Dear reader, I bring news from the North! Or, rather, I bring cocktail and food recommendations. Manchester counts as the North, right? Sadly, nothing pleasantly interesting has happened during the rest of the week apart from the Manchester wedding, but I still have, as promised, ideas on how to make daily physiotherapy more interesting.
So, dear reader, the last couple of weeks have been a bit crazy in the run-up to graduation, getting over the con-lurgy and being kidnapped by kittens a week ago. I have also watched the first two episodes of Doctor Who and have Opinions. Thankfully, I’ve been able to boil said Opinions down into a couple of points, the discussion of which I’ve done my best to keep short, and I’ll then get onto pastry and graduation. Naturally, there are spoilers for the first two episodes of the current series of Doctor Who.