Tuesday, 29 November 2016

let them eat cake

I arranged to call round to see my parents this morning, after calling in on a friend who has drummed up demand for some jars of honey among her colleagues to drop the jars off.  Living where we do, sales at the gate are a non-starter, and the farm shops all have regular arrangements with one of the local commercial bee farmers, while I just have some spare jars from time to time. Next year if the weather's bad or the bees aren't in a cooperative mood I might not have any.

I thought that as I was visiting my parents I would make them a cake.  Home made honey loaf with our own honey and our own eggs.  I thought they might like a cake, and I enjoy baking.  I made it yesterday afternoon after coming in from the garden.  The cake has to be allowed to cool in the tin, and I put the tin carefully away in a cupboard on a pile of plates where the cats could not get at it.  They like cake, especially Mr Fidget and Mr Fluffy.

I was not due at my friend's house until ten.  At half past nine I started getting ready to go out, changed out of my Birkentocks into shoes I could drive in, printed off a couple of honey recipes I'd typed out for my friend's son who is a keen baker, transferred eight labelled jars of honey into a box with convenient internal divisions that had previously held cat pouches (it was the only box I could find that hadn't already had a cat sitting in it), put two boxes of eggs and the recipe sheets into a shopping basket, wrapped the cake in a freezer bag and put that in the basket, and decided to nip to the loo before going out.

When I returned to the kitchen Mr Fidget was in the shopping basket, and had chewed through the freezer bag and gnawed a hole in the side of the cake.  I was jolly cross.  In fact, I was discouraged.  I try to do something nice for other people and that is what happens.  It was not two hours after Mr Fidget's breakfast, and how the hell did he even know that the cake was in the shopping basket?  I put the cake back in the cupboard to sort out later and went to put my coat on. When I returned to the kitchen for the second time Mr Fidget was back in the shopping basket, and had bitten the end off one of the egg boxes and crumpled up the pieces of paper, so I had to find a new box for the eggs and reprint the recipes.  By then I was running ten minutes late.

I examined the cake properly when I got back.  Most of it was still protected by the freezer bag, so I cut away the margins of the bit Mr Fidget had chewed, and put the cake in a box.  He appeared to have eaten part of the paper liner as well as the cake.  I have promised to make a cake for a tea party the chairman of the music society is doing on Sunday, so I had better take better care of that one.

Addendum  The cake, should you wish to try it, is very easy and creates minimal washing up.  Melt five ounces of butter, six ounces of honey and four ounces of soft brown sugar with a tablespoon of water in a reasonable sized saucepan.  Whisk in two eggs, making sure the melted butter mixture isn't hot enough to curdle them.  Stir in seven ounces of self raising flour, whisking it if necessary to break up the lumps of flour.  Cook in a lined loaf tin at 180 C for fifty minutes to an hour.  Cool in the tin.  Protect from cats.

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