Last weekend I was moaning about the heat. These last few months, the east coast was alight and blanketed in smoke haze.
Heavy, flooding rain.
Perfect for cake baking and eating; red wine drinking; book reading. All of which I did.
It was Mr San’s birthday. So I bake him some chocolate brownies. I also baked a fiddley cake.
I’m not a fan of baking cakes that require rubbing butter into the flour nor ones that requires layers of fruit and batter. Why does there never seem to be enough batter for the top layer?
This cake had both. Turning butter and flour into breadcrumb texture and layers of batter and tinned plums.
I was nervous. My oven is shite. It cooks too quickly. I am sure it is hotter than the now rubbed off knob use to say it was. It also burns every cake on the back right side. How can a tiny space not heat evenly? Brownies can have the burnt bits cut off. Not so cake.
I think I was a little preemptive in taking the cake out. This cake was for colleagues at work. Two birthdays. Fearing a gooey mess in the middle, I had to try a bit.
Quite good. But not the done thing to bring in a cake with a slice missing. Should I blame my sons?
I will make this cake again. Despite having to rub the butter and flour. But I won’t layer. I will just mix in some stewed apples. Or grated apple – even easier.
In honour of Mr S, I also cooked up a bowel of chilli. (He loved it in the States.) It was to be for Monday night but it is so stormy here that we won’t venture out for the traditional birthday dinner outing. Much of our suburb is without power and roads are flooded so best to stay at home.
Our pool and gutters are overflowing. Trees, exhausted and dried out from the heat and drought, can’t bear the weight of wet branches so are dropping them. We have a liquid amber in the front yard. They are renowned, after gums, to be branch droppers. Luckily it has only dropped a small branch. Thus far.
We also have a repeatedly leaking roof. Several plumbers couldn’t find the problem. One fixed it. And it stayed fixed for about two years.
It is pouring through again. Quite depressing. So I sit elsewhere. I don’t want an internal water feature.
On the first day back at work I caught my foot in a piece of furniture. As usual, I was in a rush. My foot twisted, and I went down like the proverbial sack of potatoes. (Thank you, Evelyn for letting me know the proverbial sack wasn’t full of shite but root vegetables.)
Two weeks later and, while the bruising that coated my foot like a sock has gone as have the several more noticeable bruises, and the swelling has subsided, my ankle is still very sore.
I have finally decided to heed he advice of all and sundry and make an appointment to see a doctor. I think I have bilateral tendon damage.
It is most annoying. I can’t wear high heels. Not even little heels. I can’t walk my usual walks. I clop along like an Igor. I can’t sit cross legged. And it randomly hurts.
On the day I fell, I had some reaction to something and my eyes went red like a vampire. A few people suggested conjunctivitis. Me??? No way. I wouldn’t get something manky like that. Had it once when I was ten. I remember feeling aghast then.
Twenty four hours later I agreed to try the eye drops. (I can’t stand drops in my eyes.) Turns out I probably did have conjunctivitis. But also turns out you can get it from allergic reaction to cosmetics or dust. Plenty of dust here two weeks ago. And I used a new eyeshadow. (I thought conjunctivitis was up there with ringworm – a sign of unclean practices.)
As I said, a litany of woes.
But what I’m really upset about is, this weekend I found out Billy Bragg is coming to Australia for a special three night show. But it’s sold out. I hate that I’m missing out. I wish I never found out. Then I’d never have this deep feeling of disappointment. I saw him at his first tour of Australia, and then about three other tours. Maybe he’ll be performing in 2021 when I’m in the UK?
Thank god for cake, tea, red wine and books.
And buckets. And towels. Thank god for those this weekend.
And also for Mr Towles. Who wrote the book I’m loving.