Quick visit to the EarlyBird service at the kirk this morning (to persuade powers that be to ensure sun stayed out for rest of day) and then felt brave enough to tackle the triffids in the polytunnel. Three hours later I emerged slug-slimy and scratched, having berated the cat for peeing on a tomato plant, lovingly rescued some leeks that had all but disappeared in the undergrowth, pruned Vinnie the Vine (viciously), and harvested some lovely fresh asparagus :-). Next stop is local Dobbies emporium to buy some Piss-off-Pussy pellets (sorry FatCat, but there are limits!) and Sod-off-Slug pellets (no apologies to the slugs in view of their crimes against strawberries last year). This member of the polytunnel police means business…
The talk in the local village hall this a.m., during the mandatory post-preaching coffee/juice stop, was of scones… It appears that all conscience-possessing (female) members of the community are going to be baking scones for the teas at the forthcoming Jubilee Street party the weekend after next.
Now I like to think that I do have a social conscience, and that I’m fairly community spirited so, in principle, I’d be more than game to dutifully present a plate of scones on the day. However, there are two ever-so-teensy problems to consider. Firstly, the other local ladies are – almost without exception – sixth-generation, card-carrying members of the WRI, born with bicarbonate soda in their blood. Secondly, Yours Truly’s baking ‘outcomes’ (I hesitate to call them cakes) are generally about as well received as austerity measures in 21st century Greece.
Some years ago my domestic goddessTeacherFriend gave me a (she said) 100% foolproof recipe for chocolate roulade, which I proceeded to try out. Of course, the whole project was doomed from the start after she told me airily “Even you can’t go wrong with this….” By the time I had finished with the wretched roulade it resembled the aftermath of a chocolate, cream and raspberry explosion.
For a start, despite my zealous attempts at lining the baking tray, the greaseproof paper did not just “peel off the sponge” as the recipe assured me it would. Instead the limpet-like sponge had to be removed, painstakingly, in jigsaw-like pieces – and there was not a snowflake’s chance in hell of me rolling them up. So eventually I just threw the bits of sponge in together with the cream and raspberries, took a photo of my zillionth culinary catastrophe and texted it to G, accompanied by an embittered “100% foolproof, eh?” message.
With this experience front of mind, I kept a tactful distance from the ‘scone’ conversation, silently resolving to try out a batch in private before I made any rash promises. I have already been mentally planning what sort of “roughing up” one might have to inflict on scones purloined from the baking counter at the SafeburyCo supermarket in town to make them look like authentic home baking. Reckon it’s always safest to have a contingency plan in place…
The prospect of baking is particularly painful at the moment, the night before I launch my (now desperate) lose-weight-before-the-ceilidh campaign. As mentioned in a previous post, in the third week of June, we’re having a supper and ceilidh in the local hall to celebrate DaughterNo1’s 21st – and by that time, I have to be able to dance a riotous Strip the Willow (or three) without looking like some sort of giant kilt-clad jelly. As of tomorrow, it’s OUT with the chocolate and cheese and IN with the lettuce leaves and… er, more lettuce leaves. I suspect that the next month is going to feel very, very long indeed.