"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Friday, August 17, 2018

Battenberg and a delicious memory...

I have had an intensely work-heavy week with The Stitchery Club and unavoidably there's some quite a bit of housework which has once again been sorely neglected, but seriously, hard wood floors cover a multitude of sins and I am praising God today that we have them. If my floors were white tiles? Oh, let's not even imagine that one!

But in busy weeks you just have to take the good with the bad.

The Good: Our washing has stayed up to date and I've also been doing Blossom's washing since they moved house because their new machine won't be delivered until the end of next week. We've eaten well all week with every meal cooked from scratch using what was on hand, and that has in turn emptied the fridge and vegetable crisper. 
I'm even up to date with office work.

The Bad: Our bathroom is crying "help me" every time I walk past. Sophie's shedding hair by the bucket load now the weather has climbed to a late winter 28 degrees (82F) and it can be found on every surface and growing like molehills in the corners of each room. The refrigerator should be washed and scrubbed before I grocery shop on Monday and my studio is a mess. 

This is life, the everyday living and working from home life. And to be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way. 




So there I was at 2.30 pm today (Friday), the final email of the working week had been answered and I'd finished uploading all the new patterns to my shop. 
The kettle was almost ready to boil and I was considering whether or not to open a packet of McVitie's Dark Chocolate Digestive biscuits (oh, my, they are divine) to have with my cuppa or butter a piece of the banana bread I'd baked on Tuesday. 
I chose the McVities. Told you, they are divine.

With tea brewing in the pot and those three dark chocolate topped biscuits in my hand leaving a line of melted deliciousness across my palm I went looking for the novel I began last week. I was envisioning a totally relaxed, chilled out couple of hours before my husband arrived home.

But then out of the corner of my eye I saw the book which had started me on this whole living the gentle domestic life journey, the book I read off and on all year through. Shoving one biscuit in my mouth and laying the other two aside I ran to the sink to wash my hands before returning to the bookcase and taking that wonderful book off the shelf. My afternoon reading material had been upgraded.




But here's where it got interesting.
I poured a cup of tea, reacquainted myself with those remaining biscuits, and with the book wedged under my arm headed out to the white wicker chair on the back verandah to experience blissful domestic inspiration once again. I placed the tea cup on the table, the biscuits on a drink coaster, and felt the book slipping from under my arm. It dropped to the table and fell open at a page of memories from ten years ago.
The Battenberg Cake.




When I first bought this book and began to slowly read Jane Brocket's engaging thoughts on most things domestic (every page or two is another topic) I fell in love with her photo of the Battenberg Cake and could not go past it until this delicious treat had been baked in my own oven for my own family. 

My one diversion from her recipe was the marzipan icing. I detest marzipan icing and opted for a nice thick strawberry buttercream instead. 
The cake was delicious and I thought myself so accomplished surrounded by the children's oohs and aahs of lip licking delight, and Mr E's request for "another slice?"

I even found a photo of that cake in our computer archives!

(and I still have those beautiful plates...sigh...lovely memories of op shopping with Bloss)



Now you'd imagine after such a display of family pleasure the recipe would have been a regular repeat in our monthly menu...but no, it was not. I never made it again.
Why? I have no answer. 
Isn't that odd?

So there I was this afternoon stuck once again on the double page, salivating over the memory of that wonderful cake of ten years past, and deciding it must be made once more (at least).

Now I must also tell you that I've adored the matching tea cosy photographed on the same page for just as long as I've loved the cake. In fact at one stage I went looking for the pattern to knit a Battenberg tea cosy of my own but couldn't decide on two colours so it's just as well I never found one.

But that was then and this is now, and Pinterest can find anything crafty I need apparently - even a Battenberg tea cosy.




And this blogger also got inspired by the same Jane Brocket book to knit one (and bake the cake!)...




Also on my Pinterest search I found a tutorial to make the cake from Tesco's.



Well, what's a girl to do?
Clean the house and bake a cake I imagine.
Perhaps in that order, perhaps not?

Better see how the house hunting goes over the weekend before I make plans, though in all honesty if I clean the house on Monday then baking a Battenberg can be my reward.

Wouldn't it be marvellous if we found a home and the cake was to be a celebration cake!?
Either way, next week this cake shall be made.

Is there a cake you've not made for years and years that you really enjoyed?

Better be off, Mr E is ready for a night drive by the ocean and Bob-the-dog is tipping his head to one side as if to say "I'm going with you, right?"...

Have a wonderful weekend and may the Lord's favour be upon all you do,
hugs


13 comments:

  1. With Autumn just around the corner here in the states I have been thinking more and more of an apple cake recipe that I tried a few years ago. It was so good that I wonder why I haven't baked it again. Yummy fresh crisp apples are just about ready to harvest here. Noting like a fresh apple, warmed by the sun and picked right off the tree!!!

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  2. Eccles cakes! Easy peasy and delicious - why do I not make them any more? No idea. xx

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  3. Hello Jenny; Have a splendid time with Mr. E driving along the ocean; that sounds so relaxing. My Dad used to love to go and spend the day at the Oregon Coast just discovering new look outs or even spending hours at an old favorite location. Plus, enjoy your cake. It does look delicious. I always enjoy reading your fabulous posts!

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  4. That is such a great book that I have checked out from the library many times. Maybe it's time for me to have my own copy. I have just joined Weight Watchers so no cake for me! Enjoy your weekend and good luck with house hunting.

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  5. Beautiful cake...I'm sure it tastes as good as it looks. Funny how some things we enjoy get shunted aside and forgotten in the busyness of life. It is nice to be able to rediscover forgotten joys. Enjoy your cake with Mr. E, whether you are celebrating finding your home or the love the two of you share.

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  6. I just ordered two used copies of the book ... one for each of my daughters (I live with the oldest so really it's for me as well.) Thinking of getting extra for my daughters-in-law. Hmm ... I love old recipes. In the late 1950s, I made a Chocolate Chiffon Cake (2 layers) that was in the book that came with my Sunbeam MixMaster. I no longer have that book but have several that I bought through EBay ... hoping to find the recipe. No such luck!! /sigh Someday!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and world with us!! Happy House Hunting!!

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  7. En Barcelona, España, hoy es una fecha de triste recuerdo: Se conmemora un año del terrible atentado ocurrido en Las Ramblas. Aún estamos tristes por las victimas. Incluyo a esos muchachos, casi niños, que cometieron el atentado, también victimas. Oro por todos ellos y por sus familias. Hoy una típica tormenta mediterránea ha descargado litros y litros de agua, rayos y truenos en apenas 30 minutos. El cielo clama ante el recuerdo de tanto horror.
    Yo he dedicado a tarde a hacer mermelada de ciruelas rojas, deshuesar y congelar cerezas para usar cuando ya no sea temporada y hacer la masa de unas futuras croquetas de aprovechamiento con los restos de un cocido. Mientras cocino puedo encontar la paz en las cosas sencillas de la vida que darán placer a otros.
    Gracias por compartir tus experiencia, hoy he sentido que tenía que compartir las mías con mi hermana residente en las antípodas.
    Que Dios te bendiga a ti y a tu preciosa familia.
    Isabel

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  8. Jenny, I have read a couple of Jane Brocket's books but not that one. I must see if our library has it. A friend was downsizing and last week gave me a book about tea cosies. I think there was a similar one in that book. Whoever thought you could bake a matching cake to your tea cosy :-)

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  9. Oh, a night drive by the ocean! How wonderful that sounds! The cake looks beautiful, and I would prefer the strawberry butter cream myself. I won't be knitting a tea cozy, though. =) What precious memories your house gave you today.

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  10. I used to make a killer Pina Colada cake, then we discovered my son was allergic to coconut. I haven't made it since, and he's now 35 and married! Time to get out that recipe...

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  11. My Nan used to serve this cake - it brought back a flood of memories. Thank you

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  12. Oh how I long for that 28 degrees down here. A storm is just starting here with grey dull skies and rain beating on the weatherboards. I have never heard of that cake but it looks interesting. Love that table runner in that old pic...was it your own design? Funny, I just cleaned my fridge a couple of hours ago but not as thoroughly as you did. I was going to bake a breakfast bread from my Clever Guts book which I bought yesterday but realised, too late, that I was nearly out of almond meal. Grrrr. I hope your weekend brings good news.

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  13. I do love your food posts. The dark chocolate digestives are my most favourite biscuit in the world! I grew up eating Batternburg cake but none in my family eats it so occasionally I buy mini ones from the supermarket and pace myself in the eating. I have to admit to taking them apart and eating them square by square, and the marzipan is still my favourite bit. x

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
x