Tag Archives: peach

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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It’s rude to stare

Do you ever forget your manners at home? All greedy gourmets will know what I’m talking about. Imagine that you’re coming to the end of a lipsmackingly good meal. In denial that it’s about to end, you start mining the last dribbles of sauce from the seams of your plate. Perhaps you’ll surreptitiously lick your knife clean. You might even brush a cheeky finger along the edge of the plate and bring it to your lips to capture any errant drops and make the pleasure linger. Suddenly, you’re snatched from your reverie by your mother, who slaps your hand sharply and gives you a dark look, or your partner, who grimaces at you pointedly and asks what’s for dessert. It’s happened to us all.

The same scene unfolds, for me at least, when I’m eating tricky foods alone and hidden away in my flat. Here, in privacy, received etiquette goes out the window and jars of peanut butter are treated as single servings to save on washing up, while visitors might find me hunched over the sink with peach juice dribbling down my chin and arm, or sitting in front of the TV with a plastic bag in my lap to catch the run-off from a particularly effusive orange.

All well and good, right? But I wouldn’t do this sort of thing in public – at least not sober. So why do other people?

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