28 August, 2007

Lurid icing, fairy cakes and too much chocolate

I know, I know, I haven't blogged since June. Leastways not here - there's mysterious for you...

What's my excuse. Nothing to say. Sometimes I think I take this whole blogging thing too seriously, like I have to come up with a pithy paragraph on whatever. This is all beginning to unravel.

Anyway today was no. 1 daughter's 5th birthday, a pirate themed event, which I found a little startling as said daughter is freaked out by bits of Mary Poppins and would find a real pirate or even an Errol-Flynn-style pretend pirate a terrifying prospect. No matter the house was filled (well there were eight as said daughter is also freaked out by crowds) with small pirates hunting for treasure and mis-pronouncing Arrrr me hearties! ad nauseum.

And I did cakes. Lots of course which I made the mistake of revealing during the savoury course so no one would eat the perfectly nice sandwiches and hummus. Why oh why do we earnest parents kid ourselves that this is what they want? Main feature was a desert island cake with lurid coloured icing purchased at the Cooks Galley in Abergavenny, which is a fantastic kitchen shop. Frankly coloured icing is the least of its virtues and I hope it will feature large in my future life which is moving westwards in 7 weeks.

So the outside was lurid icing. The inside was Miranda's Birthday Cake courtesy of Tamasin's Kitchen Bible by Tamasin Day Lewis. Have I mentioned this book before? Can't remember. It's a funny one. The typeface and layout designer should be shot for crimes against publishing - white on pink? BIG PRINT? Anyway it's all a bit yeuch. And then there's the way it thinks it's the next Mrs Beeton when really it's Tamasin D-L's rebuff, counter or whatever to How to Eat by Nigella Lawson. And the prose for some reason is just a bit too lecturing - heaven forbid that you would even consider using chickpeas from a can, and make sure you only use organic everything, and Valrhona chocolate and Dove's digestive biscuits blah blah. And then she says she doesn't have a sweet tooth which I find hard to believe because you can easily take out ounces (that's another story, not that I'm great at metric myself) without noticing.

But. And this is a big but. The recipes are great and varied, and really sound for family cooking and it just works. A really excellent cookery book that I use all the time. Sorry did you think I didn't like it? What gave you that idea?

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