Thursday, 21 May 2009

I didn't want any adventures today!

We started the day off well. Up at just before 6. Into the office, a couple of hours of editing the second book, a look at the synopsis of the first, then off for a cup of tea and porridge.

Now I don't know if it was the porridge or not, but everything sort of slid downhill from then on.
First the cake: decided to be bold and cook a French recipe one. Didn't do a translation first. I think I had to melt butter in this pot, melt chocolate in that pot, mix stuff in another pot, break and separate five eggs so three bowls there (one for the whites, one for the yellow, one for the shells), put everything together in yet another bowl, divide the contents equally, add chocolate to one half, vanilla sugar to the other. All into cake tin. Swirl round. ( I am making a marble cake). Into oven. Am left with a ceiling high pile of pots to wash and much stickiness everywhere.

Bread day today: normal recipe kept in my head. No probs. All thrown together. A nice kneading. Onto baking tray. Covered. Should be OK.

From out of the oven comes a sunken cake. In the middle it has caved in. Oh f****k, that oven again! Might be alright. Looks aren't everything. Cake cools down. Cut a trial slice. Nope. No good. The edges dried up but the middle still soft. Has to go back into the oven.

Bread done nothing. No rising. As I inspect it a sudden awareness that I forgot to put the yeast in flashes into my mind. No matter. Grab bread dough in one hand, open a packet of yeast with my teeth and the other hand. Throw yeast into dough which is now stone cold. Roll dough around on the table to try and coax some life into it. Regret the fact that I haven't got a microwave and can't warm it up to get it going. No matter. Onto tray. Leave it to rise, hopefully.

Bruno pops round. Good news, bad news, some more iffy news, and then the bombshell news. He's getting married tomorrow. We have an invite. I ask if I can help out. Bruno says, "Make one of your cakes". My heart sinks. That oven and me are not on the best of terms at the moment. No matter.

Take todays cake, now missing a slice where I had tested it, out of the oven. Looks worse. Shrunken. More saggy.

Lunch over with. Yesterday's lunch recycled. A drop of wine as a treat. Tackle the huge pile of bowls and general mess from my cook up. I don't have the energy for another adventure today. This week I have done striding through the corn field to decorate my legs with scratches and wading through the head high grass gathering a head full of pollen and dust whilst waiting to be eaten . Today I am going to have a day off. Bools looks at me with 'that look'. He thinks different. He wants to go to the loo. "Oh why can't you take yourself off to a corner of the field and go yourself" I yell at him. He waits expectantly, his answer obviously "No".

Off down the lane, but not past Christiane's today. I don't want to do 'kick the poo into the ditch' activities today. Neither do I want to have an adventure as such. And yet I do. I have a slow adventure, of pootling along so Bools can do his pees and poos, and walking through a meadow to begin with. Because I am on slow-down, I look at the flowers, and see varieties I had never seen before. Oh, and look at that odd insect, the one which is a cross between a bumble bee and a butterfly and the most gorgeous colour of burgundy. And those bright red poppies occasionally sprinkled through the corn field which I am not walking through today. And those lillys parked in a ditch. Whatever are they doing there! And so many varieties of grass I see. All sorts. And up the road and onto the bridge. And there I stand and watch the River Adour for ages, first on one side, then the other. The fast flow, the movement, our beach, Claudine's secret pipe into the river for watering her garden.

I didn't want an adventure today, but I had one anyway. It was a 'watch and have a look' type of adventure and I didn't get scratched, or bitten, or nasally bunged up, and I got to see things which I had never seen before.

And the bread? It is in the dreaded oven as I write this and has grown odd pustules over its surface where the yeast obviously worked, interspersed with saggy bits where it didn't. Oh well, it matches the cake!

Things I learnt today: That it is not wise to try fangly recipes when all one has to cook on is an appliance which has a will of its own.
That if one is going to be bold and try to cook via instructions written in another language, it is better to translate properly first, otherwise everything will get sticky, including the computer keyboard as one tries to do an urgent Internet search for certain foreign words midway.
That adventures are multi-tiered, and don't have to be of the daring-do type of activity.
That bread really does need yeast put in it at the beginning otherwise it will grow odd pustules during cooking.
That watching a river busy with its day is a delight.
That it is Ok for a neighbour to put a hidden water pipe into the river to water her garden so she doesn't have to pay the water meter charge because Lester is going to do the same but through the duck pond which hasn't got any ducks on at the moment but will have at some time in the future.
That I might avoid a cake-bake tomorrow and go buy Maddi some flowers for her wedding day.

Bon nuit.