May Beevers cake.
Yellow leaves, red leaves, no leaves, green leaves. The oak tree outside the bedroom window is practically naked.
November - one week to go till December - and I've found a new eatery - in the next village. Twee, said the dawter. It's airy, light, walkers, dogs, old people, single people, groups of people, young people taking out old people, me and the old git, I suppose it could be classed as an eatery for the end-of-the-liners.
First time I ate there I had Early Grey tea and a cheese scone, all risen and moist.
Second time I had the veggie breakfast. Hot baked beans, veggie sausages, grilled tomato, toast and butter and a perfectly poached, poached egg, The latte was delicious.
So good to have a caff five minutes away. They also do writing days there. For 20 quid you sit, drink, have a chat and learn how to write. Love it. They have a postcard which reads TRY CAFE WRITING. Then they quote J K Rowling.
'The idea of just wandering off to a caff with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for a while Is just bliss.....'
Which is apposite as we went to see 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' last night. The step daughter sat in the front row, then moved. The 'oosbind and granddaughter sat in the second row. He had a headache throughout the film having to move his head, from right to left, from up to down, to focus the screen.
I sat in Row 'H'3. Next to a hipster crunching popcorn, and a moveable object the other side that was motionless. Unlike me who couldn't sit still. Mind you I was itchy bichky all the way through. Not my kind of movie. Too dark, although the effects were good, no knowledge of Harry Potter, and a problem with Eddie Redmayne's mouth. There's something so disingenuous about it. Something so mannered. If I had brought my sponge brick with me I would have thrown it at the screen.
Home by 9.30. The dawter visited on Sunday night. Just after Greg Rutherford had been fleckled off Strictly, she phoned. On the A21. A puncture. Waiting for the AA. Cold, dark, the other side of the barrier. Fortunately the young AA man turned up within the half hour. We sat down for roast chicken at 9.30. the poor old digestion screamed out.
She stayed for a day, wrote a song, then yesterday had a call. She had to go back to London. Leaving her car here she took a bag of laundry, a lump of Snofrisk cheese. Homemade bread and a hunk of my home made Christmas teacake/log/fruit anthem.
The phone went. It was the garage man saying her new tyre was in. I have to collect it this afternoon. He'll fix it, we'll pay and she'll be safe. although parking in Hackney is now a nightmare, her safe road has been designated an expensive parking lot. So her little car may stay here with us, that's after being fined for parking where she's parked for six years...
The phone went again. "What have you left?' I asked. She apologised for the inconvenience but her house keys were in the glove compartment of her car which was sitting outside the house. She jumped out at Tonbridge and Jimbo drove like the clappers to get to her. She hung over the barrier. I dangled the keys, kissed her and she rushed back to get the next train. My brick of a cake weighing he down.
So in my recipe book I have a letter from Jim's Aunty Amy. The one that brought him up. She wrote us a letter years ago, the ink is faded, as is the picture of her and her dog Missy, including the recipe for gran's Christmas cake. I am not a cake maker so I didn't know what I was getting myself into. Brought up the big fawn mixing bowl from the cellar. Bought Pounds and pounds of flour, butter, lard. LARD!!!! Raisins, currants, a dozen eggs, lemon essence, golden syrup. GOLDEN SYRUP!!!!, spices and ground almonds. The method is dead easy. Mix dry ingredients together, then add the creamed butter and sugar and eggs. Then stir. I had to use two spoons the mixture was so heavy, and there was SO much of it. I had to borrow three loaf tins from my neighbour, having used up my two already. I lined all of the tins with greaseproof paper. I had the oven on 150 degrees. In went the cakes/loaves/fruity breeze blocks. After nearly two hours one was cooked, the other not. More oven time, more fannying around. Finally four hours down the line I removed them from their tins. When thy cooled down Jim ate a slice, but only one mind, until I have purchased Cheshire cheese to eat with his grandmothers cake he won't touch a morsel. It tasted like Granny Beevers Christmas. To my surprise they came out 'Right Champion' so I have enough now till Christmas 2024. I've given away another slab, and so it goes until the cupboard is bare.
I'm off now to drive the kids car to the wheel man. Buy a lump of Cheshire cheese, a block of organic butter, then it's home for an evening in front of the fire dreaming of health, wealth and perfect self expression.
Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes
Jeni you are just what I need on this grey November day. I was feeling really down but your blogs really cheer me and I can almost smell your delicious cakes. Lots of love to you all.
Jeni, I've always had a problem with Eddie Redmayne's mouth so glad to hear I'm not alone. I appreciate he's a good actor (The Danish Girl suited his mouth) but he never really works for me.
LARD?? Tut, tut, not to be eaten at Chanukah I trust. So glad to hear you sounding good after your horrible year. 2016 can b---er off with no regrets from me and most of us I suspect.
It tastes just like Grandma used to make.