I am equally divided – happy the kids are back at school and life is back in its usual rhythm but disappointed that all the unscheduled days are gone. Perhaps you feel the same?
Our holidays were lovely and relaxed – swimming, long meals with friends, kids constantly in and out of the house, more time to read, watching lots of cricket and tennis on tv, salads and ice-cream for dinner – perfect!
One of my wonderful brothers gave me The Little Library Cookbook by Kate Young for Christmas. It’s a recipe book, based on food mentioned in classic books. So there are 100 recipes from Harry Potter, Love in the time of cholera, The book thief, Winnie-the-Pooh, To kill a mocking bird, Like water for chocolate, etc – and Anne of Green Gables.
Perhaps you remember the scene from Anne of Green Gables where scatter-brained Anne works very hard to make a layer cake for Mr and Mrs Allen, the minister and his wife. Anne is worried about whether the cake will rise but ‘the cake did rise, however, and came out of the oven as light and feathery as golden foam.’ Anne, ‘in her imagination, saw Mrs Allen eating it and possibly asking for another piece!’ However, Mrs Allen has a peculiar expression on her face after taking the first mouthful because Anne has used anodyne liniment instead of vanilla in the cake.
Mindful of Anne’s disaster, I concentrated very hard when baking this cake, because, as Anne says, ‘cakes have such a terrible habit of of turning out bad just when you especially want them to be good’. While it baked and then cooled, Miss 12 and I watched the 1985 version of Anne of Green Gables with Megan Follows.
Well, I have to say – with all modesty – the cake was delicious! It was light and moist, and Mr 9 decided it had become his number 1 cake instead of my chocolate fondant cake.
Flushed with success, I’m now planning to cook the crab and avocado salad from The Bell Jar and an enormous round chocolate cake from Matilda. I’ll keep you posted.