Thanks to yesterday’s public holiday, I’ve spent most of today completely confused. Back to work means Monday, right? Except today was actually Friday. Brain. Can’t. Cope. Anyway… it is indeed Friday, and that means I need to write some letters.
Dear Friday. Back again so soon? Not that I’m complaining… you just kind of snuck up on me, that’s all. Time is flying again!
Dear boyfriend. Conferences suck! I’m looking forward to actually getting to see you for longer than 20 minutes tonight!
Dear work. It’s flattering that you trust me enough to let me be the guinea pig for new software, but please could it be someobody else’s turn next time?
Dear Newcastle United. Whatever you do, please do not lose against QPR this weekend! You are too close to relegation to be doing anything stupid.
Dear unhealthy foods. Why must you be so tasty? (Yes, Cheddar Cheese, I am looking at you. And you Sour Cream & Jalapeno Tortilla Chips!)
Dear self-raising flour. You need to be used, so I’m thinking baking sesh this weekend. Healthy baked goods only, of course – I mean, Blueberry Muffinsmust be healthy, they contain fruit 😉
Well, the flat-warming-slash-birthday celebration thingy was a success. Jan made guacamole, which was delicious (and also happens to be one of the things on his 101 things list – yes, he’s doing one too). Almost all of my chilli was eaten, and two people even took some home in tupperware tubs so it must have been good. And I made flat-warming cake, which I am now going to share with you, my internet pals, because it’s just too damn good not to. It is also my entry for the cake category of the Belgian Waffle Village Fete and believe me, it beats aubergine bee hands down.
Picture number one shows the basic cake, prior to icing. It was supposed to be chocolate cake. It looks more like my Grandma’s Yorkshire Parkin… all dark and sticky. I blame this on the random German syrupy stuff that I used in place of golden syrup. (Note to people living in Germany – if you replace the golden syrup in a recipe with Grafschafter Goldsaft it will not turn out like you’re expecting. Trust me on this one!) Also, notice how thin it is. I expected it to rise more than that, but apparantly using extra baking powder in the absence of self-raising flour (which doesn’t exist in Germany) does not work. Who knew?
Stage 2 in the cake making process… chocolate butter icing. I had to add extra cocoa powder to mine because it was far too ridiculously sweet, even for me. The recipe called for 175 grams of icing sugar with only 75 grams of butter and two table spoons of cocoa powder. 175 g of icing sugar is just insane!
And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the finished product.I give you Flat-Warming Cake… or what happens when you let a person with no artistic talent whatsoever loose with M&Ms, little sugar stars and the mini breadstick things from those nutella dip cartons…
It’s supposed to be my building, except one floor is missing because I ran out of space. My flat is on there though – the white window at the top. Also, check out my flower. And my tree. I am totally proud of them… in a half-amused kind of way.
The birthday picnic worked a lot better than expected. The sun was shining when I woke up this morning, and by the time we headed to the Schlosspark it was about 23 degrees. There ended up being 10 of us. Everyone brought a little something along – cake mainly, but my friend Lisa brought a salad. And anyway, since when has lots of cake been a bad thing? I made cheese scones, which I had to mix my own self-raising flour for. Can you believe Germany, with its reputation for efficiency and order, hasn’t discovered the joys of self-raising flour yet? They turned out ok though, and ended up being a real hit – Kat has now asked me to send her the recipe for them! So I shall have to translate my copy into German later…
We managed to get rid of most of the food. Including a huge bowl of fruit salad that I was convinced would be enough to feed an entire army. Mind you, Chris ate three huge bowls of the stuff by himself. It’s amazing how much food men can shovel into themselves! I would literally explode if I even tried to keep up.
It’s 5 past 9 now and I’m feeling rather sleepy. An afternoon of sunshine and non-stop eating will do that to a girl. Jan’s gone to install some software at the French centre where he works occasionally, sorting out there computer programmes. Hopefully he won’t be long and we can have a nice relaxing evening together. The perfect end to a lovely pickernicky day.