I’m cooking. Actually, that is an understatement, I’m creating two monster cakes.
My Mum and her twin sister are 90 on July 23rd and my cousin and I decided that this achievement should be recognised, so we organised a party. It started as immediate family and then it grew to sisters-in-law and cousins and then it grew to ‘relations’. Their mother was one of 14 so that category is not a small one. And people have accepted the invitation with gusto, ‘come and help the grand old ladies celebrate their venerable age.’
Everyone is bringing a plate so it’ll be a shared lunch and I’m sure the result will be an example of those wonderful shared country lunches, lots of variety and good, wholesome food. Of course a chocolate fountain is wholesome, why would you think it isn’t??
And I am making the cakes. One in the shape of a ‘9’ and one in the shape of a ‘0’. The 9 will be decorated as a golf hole and the 0 will be decorated as a racetrack, not by me I hasten to add, by a lady at church who is amazing at that sort of thing. I googled fruit cake and found a variety of recipes so I combined them. Last night I soaked 4 and 3/4 cups of mixed dried fruit, sultanas, currants, figs, prunes, ginger, dried strawberries and apricots and glace cherries and cranberries in white grape juice. And chopped up two big cups of nuts, brazils, cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios etc.
Today I made the ‘0’ cake. God it was enormous!! I have a huge mixing bowl which was part of my dear old Mum’s Kenwood chef mixer and it was full to the brim. I looked at the bowl and then at the tin and thought, “that is not going to fit in there.” But it did, perfectly. And then it cooked on a slow low heat for two hours and it looks good.
The batter has lots of lovely flavouring from different recipes, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, almond essence, half a jar of apple sauce, zest and juice of an orange…it tastes so so yummy.
The fruit and nuts are prepared for tomorrow when I shall make and bake the ‘9’ cake. I’ll make the same amount of batter but I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough left over to make another small cake…but I could be wrong, I thought I’d have enough to make an extra one today.
Apart from the cooking, life continues apace. Mum is a little under the weather and I suspect there is a urinary tract infection brewing. We’ll get a sample and if I’m right, a few days on antibiotics and she’ll be as good as new. Well, a 90-year-old version of new.
The Keeper of Secrets continues to sell well everywhere. Someone said to me, “it’s going gangbusters!” And I thought, ‘gosh I hope they don’t come after me.’ The book has registered on the first best seller list for the week ending June 29th
This is getting very favourable reactions from people who know about such things. It means sales have been very good. I think I should do my ‘happy sales dance’ and I will, as soon as I’ve had my daily workout by taking the cake out of the oven.