I’ve been doing really well. I’ve not revisited the Wild Loaf Bakery for a doughnut. I’ve resisted the temptation. I’ve had enough will power to not get off the bus a stop early (or even… More
I am rubbish at this updating my blog malarkey. Its had been weeks. There have been too many instances to mention where I have thought “I should write about that”. I have even taken lots of photos with the intention of updating my blog. Except I have been busy. This wasn’t a problem I envisaged when I first started blogging. As mentioned in my first blog, I was anxious about leaving the house. As a result I had nothing but time. But in that first blog I made myself, and you, a promise. I was going to work my way thought the Liverpool Echo’s 9 best places to have icecream in Liverpool; which I have slowly been licking my way thought. But every blogger knows that if you don’t write about it, it didnt happen. I was also going to learn the cello and do a stainglass workshop. I haven’t done either of these yet. I simply haven’t had time. I have taken up pottery and a landscape painting class. I’ve been to a Screenprinting and a Experimental Protraits Mixed Media workshop. I have had opportunities to blog about all of these. I screenprinted the photo of the 99 with flake that costs me £2 (I had to get my money’s worth). I was also a bit early to the Experiemental Protraits workshop, which incidentently was round the corner from Hotel Chocolat, and a really nice day. So I tried their chocolate icecream (it tasted like a cold version of hot chocolate, where its was not quite as chocolately as I hoped for). I have also been on numberous bike ride, and cycled for miles; and pretty much every ride involved cake or icecream. I have sampled icecream and deserts in Romania and Lithuania. For the first time in years, I have also been baking. It is not like I have been sitting on my increasingly fat arse doing nothing. This week my time has been taken up trying (without much success), to get my parrot instagram famous (he’s expensive and needs to start earning his keep).
So let me introduce you to Jack. Jack turned 3 last weekend (in case you are interested, we had scones, strawberries and cream to celebrate). Jack is a Black-Headed Caique parrot. There is much debate about how “caique” is pronounced; ranging from “Kah-eek” to “Cake”. Jack loves cake. So, I’m going to assume “cake” would be his preferred pronunciation.
On the day this photo was taken, me, Jack and Lorna (a BFF), decided to enjoy a homemade cake in my yard. Lorna had to follow a gluten free diet, which is what prompted me to bake for the first time in years. Using ingredients that have been lying in my kitchen cupboards, and were on the verge of being just a bit too old, I knocked together a cake. In the past, I have used recipes from blogs. They are useful. Especially if there is a photo of a gorgeous cake (even if, in this case it is in the background). However, I can’t tell you the exact ingredients. It consisted of a tin of Pumpkin, approximately half a cup of coconut flour, 2 or 3 (or was is 4?) eggs (I kept adding them in until I got to the right consistently), a good squeeze of nectar sugar, an unspecified amount of desiccated coconut, and the remaining jar of coconut oil. I’m aware “the remaining jar” is a useless form of measurement, as this is subject to a lot of variation (but if I had to guess, I would say it was about a cup full). The buttercream was made of soft cheese and nectar sugar. I had to improvise as I didn’t have any butter or sugar (ingredients that are generally an essential part of baking). What I ended up with was a really light and moist carrot-cake like cake. Lorna and Jack had seconds, so I’m assuming they were satisfied with my creation.
I’m aware I am not the best food blogger out there. I’m rubbish at writing regular intervals. I don’t give you any useful information about places to go, or food to eat. I haven’t even been able to provide a recipe so that you, or I, for that matter, would be able to recreate a cake again. Also, while proof reading this, I realised I hadn’t even specified how long the cake mixture needs to go in the oven. Which, while on the subject, is “until baked” (stick a cocktail stick in it after 15 minutes, and if it is dry, it is ready … or overdone). I don’t think blogging about cakes and puddings and ice-cream is my forte really. However, I am really good at eating it. So over the next few weeks, I will have to limit my pudding supply until I have caught up with my backlog of unwritten blogs. In the meantime, bearing in mind Jack isn’t allowed chocolate, what cake should I bake next?
On another note, I was right in that very first blog. The search for a taste sensation has set me free.
It was a beutiful night, so I cycled to the river front, ate a picnic and then spent half an hour wondering if a ’99’ with a flake was really worth £2. I was kinda of sad to see it was no longer called a ’99’, but a ‘single with flake’. I wonder why they renamed it. Sure when I was a kid in the 90s they cost 99p, but can we blame inflation for the name change? A quick check online revealed that the ’99’ had been called that since the 1930s. Im pretty sure back in those days, when the UK was dealing with pennies, shillings, and pounds, that ice creams didn’t cost 99p. It also turned out that no one (including cadburys) knows the origin of the name. Maybe the ice cream industry just got feb up of arguing with the fact that a ’99’ no longer costs 99p.
So with gritted teeth I ordered a ‘single with flake’.
We celebrated a friend’s birthday at a local East Asian restaurant last night. My Thai Pad was inoffentive, and I always find East Asian deserts a bit hit and miss, so I don’t usually bother. However, when we were informed that the cake special was watermelon cake I was curious. I mean that is just wrong right? How can you have watermelon cake? What does it taste like? What does it look like? What was the texture? The waitress said it was abit like red velvet, but with watermelon. So it was definitly a cake. Not a jelly type thing. Not a sortbet or ice cream. A cake.
So while everyone else ordered their Apple Spring Rolls & Ice Cream, I opted for the watermelon cake (with coconut icecream). I figured I might as well. I can try their Apple Spring Rolls or Mango Rice pudding any day of the week, but this was their special. There might not be another opportunity.
I was still kind of surprised when a cake (that looks abit like red velvet cake) was placed in front of me. Anyway, to my (pleasant) surprise my watermelon cake tasted like watermelon.
Some days I wake up phyically and mentally tired. Exhausted. Acing. Heart pounding. Gutted that I am awake. Somehow, I am still alive, and now I have a responsibility to live. I have to find the energy, again, to get to the end of the day, again. There was a phase when I would have just stayed in bed. Now, I am able to convince myself to make myself vaguely presentable and go out. I promise myself that it will be worth the effort; and I know the dread wont last forever. I know an hour of boogie bounce will help me breath. And I have a mission to complete. I have to keep working my way thought the Liverpool Echo’s list of 9 best places to have ice cream in Liverpool.
By the time I have finish off my chocolate, and orange & biscuit ice cream from P&D Italian Deli, the imaginary hands that choke my throat starts to lose their grip. More importantly, I am already thinking about which flavours I am going to try next time. The day doesn’t look like it will be so bad afterall.
I often display meerkaks like traits. Im either consistently checking over my shoulder or up ahead. If, for whatever reason, Im busy, possibly checking my phone, or googlemap, or maybe just focusing on eating a really messy ice cream (while it melt all down my hand because I ordered a cone), then I expect another member of the group to keep look out. If I am on my own, I will sit with my back to a wall or seek shelter at a bus shop for a few minutes of safely. But Australia was different.
For a start we were enjoying these doughuts and nutella while out in the evening at a little festival during the Adelaide Fringe. Yep, that’s right. I walked round a city at night. I wasn’t hiding under a blanket or duvet, trying to keep safe, like I do at home. I don’t remember keeping an eye out for hazards and dangers (other than in the fair ground). I don’t remember thinking there are too many people, or this isn’t safe. I don’t remember thinking “what if…?” (except maybe at the fair ground…).
I remember enjoying the freedom and fresh air, and the views, and the pretty city lights, and the view of the moon, and my friends company. I remember not being able to decide what I wanted to eat, so I ordered, ate and enjoyed all my options. The festival was everything you would expect. It was quint. It had food vans, a crappy little fun fair, nice little shop stalls, music, festival type lights, and most importantly a vibe (the good kind).
So on this night, I sat at a table in the middle of the field in the middle of the evening focusing on nothing except dunking those nutella loaded doughnuts into my big fat mouth.
This Chocolate Mint ice cream took me back to my childhood. I don’t mean it in the same way that the smell of freshly cut grass takes you back to sunny days in the local park. Or how the sentation of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth makes you feel safe. I am referring to that rush to eat the ice cream before it melts all down the cone, and before you know it both of your hands are somehow covered in ice cream. And the ice cream continued to drip down onto your shorts, and then shoes. And you become one sticky mess.
Turns out I never learn. Should have ordered a bowl not a cone.
This was a nice double chocolate muffin. It was everything you would expect from a chocolate muffin (chocolately and moist). But this muffin was extra special. It was 3pm, I was hungry and I was on a natural high. I had spent the afternoon having a private tour of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I had held a koala, a python, a barn owl and a white-bellied sea-eagle. I had fed the platypuses and tazmanian devils. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
Everytime I have a double chocolate muffin I hope I remember those moments. I want to remember how koalas smell like eucalyptus, and how I laughed hysterically as the snake wrapped its tail round my thigh. I never want to forget that feeling; that buzz. And that is why this double chocolate muffin was special.