Pear Cake

Due to extreme sleep deprivation, a plummeting bank balance and occasional (Full disclosure? Frequent) boredom, this baby machine is now closed for business.

Subsequently, I have given away my maternity wear, pillows, baby books, to anyone who looks remotely pregnant- even if they are just fat.

Except for my underwear. The hideous ones with the high waist, cut low on the legs, I’ve still got those.

Uncomfortable underwear, shoes and mascara (that stuff hurts more than you can imagine when sharp bits flake off and drop into your soft eye) make me question the existence of feminism.  Forget the glass ceiling or pay disparity and consider the string.   Read more of this post

Annie Rigg’s Chocolate Prune Cake


Thumbs up?

Thumbs down?For me? Definitely thumbs up.  No question. No contest.  Sometimes I prefer them to the real deal (plums).  (Without me being to indelicate or unladylike, let me underline that my love of prunes has to do with flavour and texture only and not an other activities they may set in motion.)There are prunes and there are prunes though.  They have to have their stone intact and come from Agen.  Even then, not all packaging, handling is equal.  Recently, I found some extraordinary prunes at Galeries Lafayette, I can’t be sure but I think they were from Thorem.  Today I found a jar of St. Dalfour giant french prunes at Karstadt on the Kudamm.  I ate half the contents on the way home.For this prune cake, I use stoned organic prunes reasoning that they would be simmered in alcohol, pulverized and have ground almonds and 70% chocolate as bedmates.  It’s a recipe by Annie Rigg’s which I found in the Easter edition of BBC Good Food magazine.  Despite the unflattering picture (seriously, take a look at the link, did they photograph it on a paper plate?) the ingredient list  and method moved me to bake.  Rigg’s suggests whipping up the 2 eggs and 2 of the yolks with the sugar, folding everything in and then whipping up the remaining two egg whites and folding those in at the end to keep it light.   Read more of this post

Rhubarb Crumble Cake

We were out this morning when our Amazon packet arrived. An office in the building accepted the parcel for us. When we saw the DHL notice Layla and I did an ‘Amazon dance’ – she because she knew she was getting some more ‘Harry and the Dinosaurs‘ books and me because I was getting ‘Relish‘ Prue Leith’s autobiography. Leith is the founder of Leith’s (imagine that) and a serious over achiever in life.

We skipped over to the office and handed over the DHL notice.  The girl handing over the box launched into a rant.  I could tell it was a rant because her cheeks flushed.  I asked her to slow down and repeat what she had said.“You should know.  This is the last time we are going to be accepting any packages on your or anyone else’s behalf.  Otherwise all we do is answer doors to give people their packages.”  She must have seen my perplexed expression because then she said “I realize that this is the first time we have accepted a package for you but nevertheless that is our decision.”

I shrugged my shoulders, smiled and said thank you.  But to you I say there goes another sufferer of the resentful martyr syndrome  and “Don’t you need to know someone before you chew them out? Or at least – Hell I don’t know – be aware of their first name?’  I feel like I should walk around the city, depositing fortune cookies with nuggets of self-help ensconced inside.  She would get; “Doing the right thing has no value if done begrudgingly” or “Life is too short to be this anal and you are too young to be this bitter.” or “Smoke some of this green stuff, it will take the edge off”. Read more of this post


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