Since I stopped writing all the things I’ve been mainly cooking all the things: I can’t really return to sewing all the things while I’m still losing weight (outside of taking things in repeatedly until they can’t be taken in any more and I have to sadly abandon them); I could start embroidering things but I was frustrated with the lopsidedness and I am tired of stabbing myself in the fingers and have elected to burn them instead (oven gloves: someone explain their function to my boyfriend so we can actually have a set).
This culminated recently in the purchase of a pie tin.
In which I made a pie:
Now the pie in question could have done with more gravy (a steak and kidney pie adapted at the last minute from a pork pie recipe isn’t going to be the same), and probably a little less pastry, but it has merit: this is, after all, my first ever pie. In the history of me putting things in ovens and not letting them char to cinders: first ever pie. Future plans involve switching out the lard for butter and making a vegetarian pie with cheese and roast vegetables, as I go mad with power. I can MAKE MY OWN PIES. I can make curry pie.
But before the vegetarian pie, or experiments with mince pie the size of a bowling ball, or any of my other inside ambitions, it occurred to me that this tin is also the right size for making cake.
I’d originally intended to make an ugly garish rainbow cake, inspired by my friend Hana’s rather more beautiful cake, but when I went looking for recipes I found one for cinnamon and apple. If there is anything that is tediously predictable about me (apart from everything, and my etsy favourites), it’s that I can be immediately won over by the inclusion of warm spices. Sweet food, savoury food, drinks, ice-cream, perfumes – if it can be adulterated with cinnamon, ground allspice, cloves, garam masala, turmeric, paprika etc, I want it to be. I bought a load of “make your own teabags” so I can gingerbread my tea over the winter; paprika and garlic powder go in all the cooking oil as it sizzles.
As I was blindingly angry and had nothing better to do, I decided to make the cinnamon and apple cake.
So I embarked on cake-making. Two things about that:
- Trying to mix a cake without a food mixer (we have one, I just don’t know how it works and last time I tried to use it I got soup on the ceiling) is hard work. I’m a little wiser now as to why so many older cartoons have the cook character with seriously beefy arms.
- Violently attacking cake mix until it is properly mixed is a surprisingly good way of making yourself not be blindingly angry any more.
The greaseproof paper is, of course, for keeping it from sticking to the sides of the pie tin forevermore, as the cake has a good deal less ambient lard than the pie. “Cinnamon and apple” in this instance became “cinnamon and apple with some glacé cherries”, because I had some left over. And because I am a grown-up, which means I can put whatever the hell I want in my cakes, and no one can stop me.
In addition to going mad with baking power (as opposed to going mad with baking powder, which is unseemly and is what my kitchen looks like anyway), I’ve acquired a tiny Christmas tree:
I don’t normally do Christmas particularly but this tree is tiny. That is a stuffed goldfinch in the background, a birthday present from the Resident Australian: his name is Clive.
I also acquired a job, which is a nice way to finish the year.