Tag Archives: food

If I knew you were coming…

I love cakes.   I think cakes are the best.   The things I would do for a fresh cream horn don’t bear mentioning.  If there was a danish pastry 100 metres away and I was standing next to Usain Bolt then I’d get there before him (and probably be licking the crumbs from my fingers before he arrived).  Did I say that I like cakes?

I was having a discussion about cakes recently, one of those abstract conversations that tend to happen when you’ve been driving too long without human contact and so you pounce on the first caller.   After meandering through the jam donuts and the gaily coloured Battenburg we finally alighted on the ultimate piece of food, the fruit cake.

Not any fruit cake but the booze riddled, iced, marzipanned behemoth that masquerades as a wedding/Christmas cake.

There is a tradition in the UK (this may be true everywhere) that the top layer of the wedding cake is kept back and not cut until the christening of the firstborn child.    I thought here that I would provide a handy little statistic saying that the average time a cake lays waiting is x years, but the internet has failed me.   In fact, the average age for a woman to give birth to her first child is 29 and the average age of a woman getting married is 32.5, so the cake would be -2.5 years old.   I think it might have to be called an uncake.

Never mind.  It is still tradition and we can pretend that the top layer of cake is going to be in a tin under the bed for at least 12 months (even if you are the most rapid christener in christendom).     This got us thinking.   Whilst your cake is waiting to be consumed could there be other uses for it?

My first thought was that the cake could be used to fashion an emergency exit in case of fire.   My type of  fruit cake has a density similar to that of a small sun.    Kept on a window ledge it would be a simple thing to cast the cake through the window (or wall for that matter) and hey presto you have a cake shaped hole ready for egress.

If you were thinking that you may be having twins as your first born then you may well plan ahead and have two top layers of the cake.   With a bit of lateral thinking, these would make fantastic book ends that are also a lasting memento of your big day.  You could have the little plastic bride at one end and the little plastic groom at the other.   Once the twins are born your married life will have gone to pot anyway so you will be glad to get rid of the bloody things at the christening.

Bits of fruit cake could easily be fashioned into brake blocks for a bicycle.    This would actually have two benefits.  Aside from the undoubted additional stopping power achieved, every time you slowed down there would be a lovely smell of re-cooking cake to assuage your hunger.   Carrying spare cakebrake blocks (as I think they should be called) would mean you also had an emergency supply of high energy food should you get stuck up a mountain with no patisserie nearby.

My recipe for Christmas cake involves starting cooking just after we come back from the summer holidays.   The recipe seems to have been written on parchment with a quill by what I fondly imagine to be an old and slightly befuddled cook from around the time of Robin Hood.     The best part of it is that I have to feed the cake with Brandy every week.   We all know that drinking alone leads to all sorts of problems so it is essential for the health of the cake that I join it with a glass.

Just as an aside.  The only English monarch ever to be given the epithet of “The Great” is also the only English monarch who is associated with cakes.   That can’t be coincidence (although there is an argument that after burning the cakes he should have been Alfred The Grate).

There are some good superstitions that go with cake.   My personal favourite is that of the burial cake.   Again this should be a mighty monster of a cake and it is kept near to the head of the dearly departed.  Those who come to pay their last respects should keep a piece of cake in their mouth whilst viewing the deceased.   I would like to state now that any cake found near my body is mine and should be buried with me.

The daily prompt today asks what is our guilty pleasure.   Need I say more?





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Cheese and garlic in windmills

You can always rely on Shakespeare for a good quote, especially when taken totally out of context.   The title of the post is Harry Hotspur in Henry IV (part 1) railing against Glendower and more complete (and accurate) would be “Worse than a smoky house: I had rather live with cheese and garlic in a windmill, far, Than feed on cates and have him talk to me In any summer-house in Christendom”.

However, The Daily Prompt suggests that the world is ending tomorrow and would like to know what my last dinner will be.   I think that cheese and garlic in a windmill would be a great way to bow out providing there’s a decent bottle or two of port to help it go down.

I asked the youngest resident of the house what would be his preference.  I promised that whatever he chose would be served as Sunday dinner.   He chose a pot noodle.    Those of you from other

Pitstone Windmill, a 17th Century post mill

Pitstone Windmill, a 17th Century post mill (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

parts may not be familiar with pot noodles.  All I can say is that they are the staple diet of male students and (allegedly) have the nutritional content of an ant.

Youngest resident (I’m not counting the cat, she is the youngest in human years but the oldest if we allow for “cat years”) is a bit of a character.   He requires daily medication for an ongoing condition and a side effect of the medication is that he is awake way into the night and has absolutely no appetite until around midnight.   Getting food into him in daylight hours is always a challenge so any positive request for food is to be encouraged.    We occasionally have “Robby Fried Chicken” which, unlike Colonel Sanders recipe goes nowhere near a deep fat frier and (though I say so myself) is rather delicious.   If I had a recipe blog I would give you the means to make it yourself (but I don’t, so you’ll just have to wonder).

Back to pot noodles – Chicken and mushroom pot noodles to be precise.  It can’t be that difficult to fool him into thinking he’s eating something rubbish when it is really a healthy dish.   I reckon I can rattle off something in a wok and serve it in a plastic bowl and he will never know the difference.   It does come to something though when you’re having to make good food seem like bad food in order to get it consumed.

We also had a chat about who should come to dinner (I didn’t promise that they would actually attend), he wants Louis Suarez, Jennifer Lawrence and Adolf Hitler.   I quite approve of Jennifer (now that I’ve found out who she is) but I’m not convinced about the others.    Suarez (a footballer playing for Liverpool for those that don’t know) is famous for biting somebody during a match so if he’s not fond of pot noodles he may start tucking into the other guests.   Hitler?   He’s (the youngest, not the former Chancellor of Germany) just come back from a visit to Berlin so it may be that he (the youngest) wants to question him (the fuhrer)  about some matters that he (youngest) felt could have been handled differently.

The final question (the aforementioned condition means that questions to the youngest need to be limited and sprung on him when he is in a relaxed mood) was to select a venue.   Where shall we go for our pot noodle bonanza with the Uruguayan (you have no idea how many goes I had at spelling that) foootballer, the man who kick started the most devastating war in history and the girl who is very handy with a bow and arrow?

On a trampoline, on a boat, when it is foggy.

I have no idea.   He has previously shown no inclination to naval bouncing in a mist, in fact he’s never shown any interest in any one of these before.   Sadly he had run out of patience and refused to elaborate on why we have such an obscure place to eat.   It does sound like fun though so the next time it is foggy and you are by the coast, keep your eye open for a ship with a trampoline on it.  There’s going to be a very interesting meal taking place.


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