"Just make sure you get my best side" she said.
I did what I could, given that she was feeling too hot to move.
Earlier in the day I had suddenly remembered a recipe which I had read and wanted to bake - the trouble was that that was a year or more ago. I had filed it away in my head for future use, but couldn't remember which book it was in. I scanned the shelves, eventually my brain cooperated enough to let me know that it was probably in an old Women's Institute book.
Me: "I have a dozen of those, I need more information."
Brain: "Leave it with me. Don't pester. I'm working on it."
Which was when I took the dog for a walk, let my thoughts ramble around the countryside.
My brain cooperated. I 'saw' a colour, then a glimpse of a wire spine. Red book, wire spine.
The book I sought was one of the old WI books gifted to me from the estate of my old friend, the village beekeeper. It had belonged to his wife Hazel; she had been a nurse and midwife, then during her retirement years she taught riding for the disabled and also encouraged local children to learn to ride. Back in the day when there was a real sense of community in the village.
This particular recipe had intrigued me because it came with instructions that it was not to be cut under 6 months of baking. Which, if I have counted correctly, means that it won't be ready in time for Christmas, darn it.
I baked it anyway.
It is just a large fruit cake, with a couple of slightly more exotic ingredients.
5 oz sugar
4 oz margarine + 1oz white fat
5 oz beaten egg
1/2 oz s.r. flour
5 1/2 oz plain flour
4 oz crystallised ginger
4 oz crystallised pineapple
4 oz cherries
4 oz citron peel
1/2 oz ground almonds
2 oz chopped walnuts
1lb sultanas Recipe: Moss and Fenwick WI 1957
Cream together the sugar and the fat, gradually add the beaten egg. Add the flour, together with the remaining mixed ingredients and mix together lightly. Bake at 360F for two hours and when cold wrap up and put into a tin for at least six months. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.
I'll let you know, in January/February or maybe March...
Meanwhile, this is for Susan at e-i-e-i-omg blogspot Aztec Coookies - chewy, full of good things.
This is a Sue Lawrence recipe, taken from her On Baking book.
170g/6oz walnuts, roughly chopped
284g/10 oz desiccated coconut
113g/4oz dried apricots (no-soak variety) roughly chopped
113g/4oz dark* chocolate, roughly chopped
1x397g/14oz tin of sweetened condensed milk
*The recipe calls for dark chocolate, chopped. I use any variety, sometimes chopped or in chips.
Heat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas mark 3.
Roughly chop the apricots, chocolate and nuts. Mix together in a large bowl and, using a wooden spoon, beat together until thoroughly mixed.
Using two tablespoons, drop about 20 blobs of the mixture on to a buttered baking tray and gently flatten down the tops (I usually use a fork for this).
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer at once to a wire rack to cool.
Packed with goodness and a little bit of naughtiness...