I’m pretty sure that the word ‘simnel’ actually means ‘heavenly’ as that quite accurately describes the taste. There’s only one problem with it. At the end (after the mixing, the beating, the cooking, the cooling, and the marzipaning) the finished product needs to go under the grill to be browned off. All well and good for cheese on toast or the top of a souffle but not a knobbly cake.
See what I mean? Next time I’ll use a blow torch rather than the grill. That way I can make it look a bit more even. Anyway, as I said, it was delicious. Mind you, if someone didn’t like marzipan (if such a thing is possible) then they’d not like it. A seam of marzipan runs through it.
So I baked today. I also roasted a chicken and made a sauce with lemons, red onions, tarragon and creme fraiche. This was also delicious and we ate outside for the first time and the Crazies decided to burn their rubbish halfway through the meal. It would have been ok except the wind was blowing in our direction. Fortunately they didn’t burn off for too long so we stayed outside.
The weather has really been good enough for al fresco eating. This actually means that it has been too hot for me but everyone else is loving it. Even the squirrels are loving it. On the way into town this morning I spotted this little chap just laying down on a branch, chillin’ in the morning sun.
At Waitrose I told Julie what a simnel cake was and how I was going to take her advice and roast the chicken. She was glad but wanted to know what I was going to do differently to what Delia prescribed. Julie thinks I’m a brilliant cook (based on nothing but the ingredients I buy) so, rather than disappoint her by pointing out that I would NEVER try and improve on Delia, I told her I’d probably add some tarragon. This placated her a bit.
When she said I didn’t have any tarragon in my shopping, I thought she had me but then I remembered I have some growing at home. Disaster averted!
There are no shops open tomorrow. This is interesting. Everything was open on Friday, the day that celebrates the death of Christ but the day he rose from the dead, for this the shops are all closed. Interesting. I think it points to the power of the church indicating that we should really care when someone dies but should kick back and chill two days later because they will be walking along a country road just waiting to run into someone. I know Catholics hang around in churches at Easter just waiting. I find it very, very weird.
Still…the conservatory guy returned today with his quote. Martin his name is and he’s a lovely chap. I think we may go with him. With his quote, I mean. The design and build will greatly enhance the back of the house and the extra room will mean we can remain in Farnham. There’s even somewhere for the Christmas tree to go each year.
Mirinda had her hair done today so I made a second trip into town and shopped for tomorrow (did I mention that the shops will be closed?).
I found out tonight that the word ‘bumf’ meaning bits of junk mail that no-one actually reads except in the toilet, comes from the fact that people used to use these useless bits of paper instead of toilet paper. The word is short for ‘bum fodder’. We heard that on BBC 4 tonight. Hopefully I’ll never forget it.