Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

26 Apr

When you have spent almost an entire sunny weekend day indoors, there is nothing like popping outside and being confronted by a sea of hobbling marathon runners to make you feel like a total slug – especially if the only constructive thing you have done all Sunday is make Lemon Drizzle Cake.

Lemon Drizzle Cake? Well, it began with a homemade recipe book I bought last week at the Open Garden I mentioned in my previous post. I love homemade recipe books, especially when they are called things like Other People’s Cakes, as this one is.  That said, I must admit that the recipes in this one do  sound a little suggestive – Granny Meg’s Fruit Cake with Ginger, for instance, or Nellie’s Gateau au Chocolat.  I’ll stop before I blush.

What got me onto making cakes this weekend was a miserable packet of malted biscuits I’d bought, earlier in the week, in the hope that they’d fill a little tea time gap. My, was I disappointed: they tasted of precisely nothing, the reason for which became abundantly clear as soon as I read the ingredients list (which I ought to have done in the first place).  It was palm oil and corn syrup, rather than butter and sugar, that were sinking their way to my hips.  What a shameful waste of calories.

This does, however, bring me to two blogs I’ve wanted to tell you about for some time.  The first is Wandering Gaia, belonging to science and nature writer Gaia Vince,who has the kind of career I’d love were I more intrepid and better at figures. Previously an editor at Nature and then New Scientist, she’s travelling the world looking at how climate change is affecting those most vulnerable to it.  She’s already visited  Indonesia, where natural forest is being cleared  to accommodate our palm oil habit.

The second is from über blogger and ladies’ man James Alexander Sinclair, usually of Blogging from Blackpitts, who has begun (ok, a while ago now) with some mates a blog all about biscuits.  Unsurprisingly, it’s called Encounters with Remarkable Biscuits.  I’d recommend a nice cup of tea and a happy hour dipping into it.

The picture is of some blossom, which I’m beginning to think is all rather too ephemeral for my good mental health. You spend months anticipating the stuff, it arrives and, before you know it, it’s over, gathering in papery drifts on the pavement.  That sounds like a lot of things, actually – a slice of Lemon Drizzle Cake being one.  I’d post a picture, only it’s all gone.


2 Responses to “Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice”

  1. Maureen April 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Exquisite blossom! It is ephemeral though, isn’t it? Thanks for the Wandering Gaia link. I pored over Nick Pattinson’s photos with envy! He saw condors! And guanacos! And real life gauchos! To say nothing of whales, dolphins, and a sooty albatross. I’m jealous! Our bus trips into the countryside of T.del F. and Patagonia were very interesting, but 5 or 6 large tour buses full of humans would have sent any sensible animal miles away.

    • Vivienne May 3, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

      Indeed. I have been thinking that with a name like Gaia one could hardly be anything but some kind of earth scientist.

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