Thursday, 12 September 2013

Having one's cake

Yesterday I made a glutinous Banoffee Pie for the first time in my life, so sweet that my son actually failed to finish it.
The Banoffee Pie

There's been a theme to desserts recently:

(1) we've had some;

(2) they've all been baked, brown and packed with sugar.

The Salted Fudge
After we came home from a brill 1970s stylee driving across Europe holiday (all 2700 miles of it, mostly un-air-conditioned, once we'd realized how much fuel aircon uses, and how pricey Italian petrol is), I felt the need to end August with a violent burst of baking.

Suddenly, the dormant bread machine was mobilized, and produced streams of chewy pitta bread, and white loaves with glorious tanned muffin tops to match my own.

We'd spent all our money on French motorway tolls, so I immediately reverted to type, and behaved as if we were in the Second World War, except with bananas. Out came the houmous recipe, and we all had to suffer through weeks of dubious chunky chickpea spread.
The Child Labour

Earlier in the summer, we had gone fruitpicking at a nearby farm (another of my idealistic faux-retro 'let's get the children in touch with nature' whimsies).

After a lovely time plucking berries in the open air, we got to the checkout, and were promptly charged FIFTY-NINE POUNDS for the pleasure.

We are now breakfasting on the world's most expensive homemade jam, and the freezer is full of raspberries. It's all very well striving to maintain one's stay-at-home, kept woman, Earth Mother credentials, but it's bone-crushingly expensive! Not only can I not keep up with the Joneses (because I haven't got a job), I can't even keep up with my fruit payments.

Thusly, with my wartime helmet on, I set about making industrial numbers of raspberry muffins, a Shaft-height Victoria Sponge, and banana bread — with raspberries. You get the picture. And if you don't, here's a picture:

The Bouncing Victoria Sponge,
with handpicked raspberries, natch
At one point we had, I think, four alternative desserts on the go at the same time: salted fudge, shortbread, muffins and cake.

Now, however, the tan has faded, it's already the second week of term, and not only have I not stopped baking, I am actually building it into my day as religiously as… religion. I am on a roll. 

Unfortunately, the roll is also on me. In a confused attempt to start as I mean to go on, I have also been doing obsessively large quantities of fitness classes. This, given the sheer tally of dessert-related calories I've been consuming, hasn't produced the results I might have hoped for. 

Never have I been more plumply Goddesslike, as I swan from Yogalattes to the baking section of the supermarket, wondering if I have finally lost my mind. 

But it's all right, I know what's wrong. 

I'm supposed to be writing a book. 

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