8 Feb 2016

Did You Hear The One About The TIme I Asked My Husband to Buy A Few Eggs…?

There’s actually no punch line to this ‘joke’.  Well actually, there is, but it’s a visual one.  If any of you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know that a couple of weeks ago, I asked my husband to buy me a few eggs on his way home from work.  I guess, my error lay in using the phrase ‘a few’.  As the image above is what my husband considers to be ‘a few’…which is considerably more than my own far more modest definition!

This numerical confusion, left me with a slight dilemma.  What does one do when faced with 36 eggs, and the annual enthusiasm (i.e. mass hysteria that I gladly succumb to) for baking ‘Great British Bake Off’ style hasn’t quite entered the collective consciousness as yet for 2016..?

I must admit that my baking mojo comes and goes in waves.  There are weeks, when the thought of baking anything is as enticing as bathing in a tub full of mud – which I feel I do on my daily walks with Coco anyway…

There are other weeks, however, where you simply cannot get me out of the kitchen or indeed, away from the oven.  Those are the days when I gaily dance around the kitchen, wooden spoon (aka microphone) in hand, belting out show tunes from The King and I, Grease or Les Miserables, or perhaps, when I’m feeling slightly more ‘youthful’ I’ll shake my ‘booty’ and pretend that I know the words to the latest Beyonce song on Radio 1, all the while beating my eggs, butter and sugar into fluffy submission.  (Rather than use an electric mixer, I prefer to whip or beat by hand in time to music in most instances – a great tension reliever!!)

These ‘baking splurges’ where the house is awaft with the scent of vanilla and cinnamon are the weeks when the first words of greeting from my childrens’ lips on their return home from school are a gleeful and Enid Blyton-esque “What have you baked today Mummy!” – as opposed to the usual mumbled “Hello” or “He Did / She did…!” wail before reaching for the ipad and disappearing up to their rooms…

I’m ashamed to to say that before I moved to the countryside, I was more inclined to use a boxed cake mix to make even the simplest of cup cakes.  The idea of actually measuring out and weighing ingredients was far too much of a time consuming faff for the high heel wearing, fashion shoot  producing version of me…

The actual act of baking didn’t faze me,  but my theory was that why on earth would I want to encourage a floury mess and create kitchen disorder by making my own, when I could purchase a perfectly good version ‘off the shelf’.  This period of baking denial coincided with the rise of the designer cup cake emporium in London.   Suddenly meeting for ‘cupcakes’ (as opposed to just coffee) at £5 a pop was a normal thing to do. This was swiftly followed by the beautifully presented cup cakes books,  encouraging the world to actually make these deliciously glamorous versions of what I had previously known as the humble (and 50% smaller in size)  ‘fairy cake’,  and which every self respecting ‘yummy mummy’ kept as a coffee table book to ‘imply’ that one was domesticated and capable, without actually having to ‘prove’ the fact by actually getting ones hands dirty…

Cut to six years after the ‘Big Move’ into bucolic countryside bliss, and I am now able to whip up a three tiered victoria sponge without once opening a book.  This has been encouraged by the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere, and am at least 15 minutes away from the nearest supermarket – ‘popping’ out to get a treat for the childrens tea time isn’t a straightforward endeavour.  Thus necessity has proven once more to be the mother of invention – or in my case ‘you’ve run out of time to go shopping’.

But with this act of necessity, came waves of joy, confidence and satisfaction.  I enjoy baking things and I enjoy watching people eat what I bake even more.  Yes, I have most definitely and indisputably caught the baking bug, and i’m not ashamed to admit it.  Why hanker after the latest pair of Chanel pumps, when you can have a pastel coloured measuring jug – It’s bakeware all the way for me now!

However, while I certainly have learned to revel in such simple pleasures, the next time I ask my husband to collect a little something on the way home, I may send him via Tiffany or  Cartier – perhaps if I ask for a ring with just “a few carats”  he may come home with a diamond the size of a potato!

Until next time,

The Diaries

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