Tag Archives: egg

Me against the elements

There’s taking things too far and there’s taking things too far. This story falls into the second, more literal category. But at least it has a happy ending:

The well-travelled cake

The well-travelled cake

I was merrily creaming butter and sugar in preparation for this, Nigel Slater’s lush peach and blueberry cake. My wilted peaches, the cake’s raison d’être, sat expectantly on the kitchen surface. They were in urgent need of a botox injection but settling for some oven-based TLC. Then, as I twiddled the oven dials to warm it up to receive my culinary efforts, it became apparent that nothing would get baked that day.

I’m no stranger to temperamental elements going ele-mental, nor to the heartache they can cause the keen cook. I knew then with grim certainty that me and the oven would be out of action for a good two weeks. I would have two weeks to apportion blame, wondering forlornly whether one can cook too much and overwhelm a kitchen appliance, or whether said appliances are primed like bombs to self-destruct at regular (in my case six-month) intervals for the manufacturer’s pecuniary delectation. Now was the time for action. I had two severely compromised peaches whose lives only I could save from being futile. I had to do something.

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The breakfast of champions?

Recently I’ve become addicted to sitting with one fist in my mouth and the fingers of my other hand splayed over my eyes while I watch the childbirthing antics on Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute. This is part of a personal exercise in confronting the idea that one day I could be writhing helplessly on a hospital bed, lowing like cattle and waiting for an infant who will resemble a tiny, slime-covered version of myself to make a painful and dignity-stripping appearance.

This weekly shriek and sob-athon is compulsive viewing that never fails to leave me gibbering and rocking starry-eyed on the sofa. How do these women endure the marathon of birth? Most cling to the grim knowledge that there’s no choice: their baby has to come out somehow.

The teenage mother that starred this week was the exception to this rule. There she was with her mum and boyfriend, wailing and shaking and thoroughly petrified at her body’s revolt. ‘I can’t do this!’ she convinced herself over and over. ‘Yes you can,’ said her mum kindly. ‘When this is over, I’ll buy you a sausage and egg McMuffin – how does that sound?’

I’m not going to answer that question. OK, I am – I can’t help myself. It sounded so gross I had to cover my eyes again.

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