Tag Archives: Battenberg

Taking Stock

The blog has become boring. This is, unfortunately, a case of art mirroring life, as my life is also very boring at the moment. I don’t want to die, so I’m staying inside. And because I’m staying inside I’m not out looking at birds and trees and burgers. Or, of course, improving my mind in a museum.

As I said to Dame Judi Dench when she popped round for tea and cakes yesterday afternoon, something has got to change. By the way, if you ever have her round for tea, watch the Battenburg. She has what used to be called a healthy appetite and she’d had three slices before I’d finished pouring the tea (we were using the Crown Derby because we had company). I was lucky I wasn’t just left with crumbs. I suppose with the entertainment industry being shut down she’s feeling the pinch and has to eat when she can. Thinking back, perhaps we should have had sandwiches too, and offered a doggy bag.

It could have been worse, I mean, I wouldn’t want to get between Timothy West and his dinner. I’ve seen some of the things they eat on Great Canal Journeys (though I’m not sure the Rochdale Canal really qualifies) and they seem to eat well. I’ve been to a rugby league match at Rochdale when Nottingham Outlaws were in the cup, and played in a dismal cement enclosure. We ended up with a punctured ball when it hit the perimeter fence and spike went through the ball.

I recounted this to Dame Judi, but it seems she doesn’t follow Rugby League. Probably not enough Battenberg involved.

Next time I’m going to invite Dame Maggie Smith. She’s quite thin and I can’t see the Battenberg being in much danger from her.

Anyway, that’s the first post from my new and interesting life. Not sure how I’m going to cap that as the letter from Kylie Minogue’s lawyers was quite definite about the 200 metre rule, which will make the tea drinking almost impossible. On the other hand it will keep the Battenberg safe. Swings and Roundabouts…

 

(Note: No, none of it is true. It’s just the lockdown talking. I’m sure Dame Judi has impeccable etiquette when it comes to eating cake.)

Scone Chronicles – 38 – Tea in the Garden

We had tea and cake in the garden this afternoon. As Julia had gone to the trouble of baking banana bread I thought this called for a revival of the Scone Chronicles.

She has been working away in the garden all lockdown and the patio is looking like the sort of place you might find a new species of beetle. Or even a lost tribe.

As you can see, we also had Battenberg, though that came from the shop. Life really is too short to make your own Battenberg. We’ve had Battenberg nearly every week since the start of lockdown, which is one of the brighter spots of the last couple of months.It’s a very reliable cake, and usually cheap. Other budget cakes can be a bit hit and miss, while other, pricier, cakes can be be covered in calories and three or four times more expensive. There is a case to be made which suggests Battenberg is an aid to dieting, but that might be pushing it a bit, even for me.

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Banana Bread and Battenberg

The banana bread was excellent – moist, tasty and light without being soggy or crumbling. Fortunately we still have some left. This is the advantage of afternoon tea at home – plenty of chance for second helpings. I won’t recommend it too heartily as I don’t want to have to queue for a table next time I’m here. It is possible for venues to become too popular and I don’t like crowds.

It’s back to work tomorrow. However, the good news is that I have two days off after that.

As I sit and think, it occurs to me that about 68 years ago my parents were married in the time of sugar rationing. I’m now, despite the recent shortages from panic buying, able to buy more sugar than is good for me. History can be a strange thing.

Later we had banana bread for supper with a nice cup of tea. It was slightly drier than when we had last eaten it, but still good. We have enough left for a couple of good slices, but will probably butter them.

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Is it just me. or does the position of dried fruit and plate decoration make this slice look like a face?

 

A Relaxing Sort of Day

This morning I read several blog posts, did some writing and resisted the temptation to turn on the TV.

We had tomatoes and mushrooms on sourdough toast for lunch (my slightly chaotic buying has landed us with a surfeit of mushrooms), the post arrived (bearing a parcel of tomato plants and woolen twine for Julia) and we are now watching Father Brown on TV.

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The post also held our letter from the government. Just in case we hadn’t heard, it tells us, amongst other things, to stay at home. This has already been covered in so many ways in the last few weeks that this further message is superfluous. No doubt it seemed useful at the time they thought of it, but it’s been a bit slow in coming and is now just waste paper.

Later, I intend to do some shredding and watch Pointless.

Ah, shredding…

It took some doing. I hate to think how many sheets we did, but it took the two of us over an hour to do it, mostly by hand as the shredder didn’t show a lot of enthusiasm for the job.

When I took over managing the youth side of the club my first action was to cut the joining form down from three pages to one. With over 100 junior players that saved 200 sheets of paper straight off. I’m amazed at how much paperwork some people can generate. He, to be fair, was always of the opinion that I didn’t keep enough records. He was probably correct, but I did it for six years, never had a problem and, best of all, saved a few trees from being pulped.

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There are now two bin bags of ripped paper in the hallway waiting to go out. We tried to put it all in one, but there was so much weight in it the bag started to rip.

After that we had tea and Battenberg cake, and relaxed with Pointless as a pigeon on the chimney pot filled the room with cooing.

I’m going to look for photos now, then will plan the evening meal after posting. I have had worse days.

I thought I’d adopt a cake theme for today.

 

Another One Bites the Dust

Hopefully, my masterful title writing has hooked you, and you are now wondering which of my many shonky enterprises is currently munching the dry brown stuff.

It could be the continuity of my blog. I started writing it last night but was diverted by a number of things, including a slow-cooked tea which refused to cook properly and an interesting programme on how they make cakes in factories, including fondant fancies and Battenberg, which are two of my favourite cakes.

Did you know they use jam to glue the cake slices together in Battenberg, but jelly to stick the marzipan? I didn’t. It really is fascinating. Not quite fascinating enough as I fell asleep before the end of the programme and missed my midnight deadline.

I’ve been burning the midnight oil recently, trying to correct the faults in my haibun, which are coming home to roost at an alarming rate. Another set came back today, meaning that I now have a run of five submissions without a single success to lighten the gloom.

I am not letting it bring my mood down. It’s frustrating that I no longer seem able to write acceptable haibun but I’m sure it will pass. If I write enough one of them, on the law of averages, will turn out OK.

With that thought in mind, I am off to lunch at IKEA. Number One son needs a few bits before he moves into his new flat and I want to be as helpful as possible in helping him  move out.

It will be a relaxing interlude, which will hopefully help my writing.