Friday, April 17, 2015

Yorkshire Gingerbread and an impossible dream

Yesterday, amid the blogista meeting and other events of the day, and the sheepnip excitement at home -- second installment of this took place when Duncan showed up and found the toy, and went ravening all over the furniture and floors in catnip joy --I also baked a Yorkshire Gingerbread from the Two Fat Ladies cookbook.

Tremendous fuss and bother, I think I might go back to my much simpler and perfectly nice recipe from my Simple Sort of Cookbook, but anyway, I tried it.  And after the time elapsed for an early look at it, found it looked sad in the middle, so I left it for a few more minutes, figuring it would rise like my regular recipe.  Which didn't happen, and though it tastes fine, it's not exactly handsome.

Which reminds me of how poetic the language is.  Sad in baking means heavy, sunken in the middle, usually not quite cooked.  Heavy as in sadiron, those massive solid iron irons you used to heat on the fire before attempting to iron with them.  But our use of sad meaning the emotion, is a wonderful metaphor though we hardly ever think of it that way.  And we talk of the opposite, light as opposed to heavy, when we think of joy, as in Duncan and the catnip toy.

Just a digression for a trot about on one of my hobbyhorses, Etymology, his name is. He's back in the paddock now. Anyway, I gave the gingerbread a bit longer, and it was still sad, but now it was a bit dry, dangit.  Should have taken it out, sad and all, earlier.

And then the Two Fat Ladies, Clarissa to be exact, instruct the cook to leave the gbread in an airtight "tin" for a couple of days before sampling.  What? lovely smelling from the oven, and you put it away for two days before you even find out if you like it? on what planet are they cooking? well, they're no longer on our planet, but she was at the time of writing the cookbook.

                          See, full disclosure, sad in the middle

So this cook took a hearty slice, to test with afternoon Vietnamese, that is not a typo for Viennese, coffee, and very nice it was.  Spicy, not too sweet. But not sure it's worth all the bother they go to.  And I'm puzzled about the sadness, since I followed their lead meticulously, right flour, right butter, right sugar, all that. All the stages of beating and mixing and folding, all that.  I even had the ingredients at room temperature for once, having set them all out before I went on my expedition. I mean, I went over and above, and it shoulda worked better.

However, in the course of this perusing of their cookbook, I finally found a way to use up that shredded cucumber in the freezer, from the surfeit of cucumbers last summer.  As in "the king died of a surfeit", Annie, how I miss you, you'd have got that reference in a flash.  Sellars and Yeatman, anyway, in case you're not Annie.

What I was saying before I interrupted myself, was that I am going to make a nice cucumber sauce with sour cream and mayo, lemon juice, and fresh chives, which I have growing away on the patio, to go with some of the corn, crab and cilantro croquettes currently in the freezer, for lunch today.  Watch this space for updates on that.

1 comment:

Thanks so much for commenting. I read all comments with care and much pleasure!