It's been a month since I last wrote - thank you from the bottom of my beaten up old heart for all the kind words and prayers - they really were a help and made me feel less alone. I now realise that I cannot give this blog up; it's been too much of my life for nearly thirteen years now and much like an on-off extension of my diaries. We are waiting for what we hope is good news, and In the meantime I have taken on the task of teaching Joe to bake.
The kitchen is small and a bit higgledy piggledy and there are no chairs or a table, so I sat on the draining board and issued instructions, which started with where the utensils are kept, followed by the order of preparation and then the basics - such as how too weigh out ingredients. The first bake was my chocolate cake recipe. These turned out fantastically. As the last pair of cakes I made sank in the middle, I was a bit envious. A week later he decided he wanted to try lemon drizzle cake. I warned him it was a bit of a faff, but nonetheless he had a go. I oversaw the operation from my draining board perch and helped him out with the fiddly part of peeling the lemon rind.
I admit, I hadn't reckoned on how difficult it would be to teach someone to do something that I have been doing for a few decades. So I did as I do in my needle felt workshops and didn't interfere too much, but made him do 90% of the work himself, so that he would learn properly.
This time we followed a 'proper' written recipe, which wasn't entirely successful and the cakes were somewhat shallow - the taste was fantastic, but next time we will stick with the one in my head, which has never let me down.
I think the trickiest baking lesson for both of us was the making of cheese scones, which requires the rubbing in method. I was itching to get in there and do it myself, but I gave him a brief demonstration and let him get on with it. There was a lot of flour on the kitchen floor.
Joe seems to be a natural baker, and the scones rose very nicely. He's not ready to fly solo yet, but we're both enjoying the process. Next on the list is 'my' fruit cake. And how to do the washing up afterwards.