So you might remember that back in October the Evil Twin and I took a spin up to Maine where I promptly fell in love with Rabelais, a store (a heaven really) for people who like cookbooks.
It's possible that I might enjoy reading about food a teenytiny bit more than actually making the recipes. I say that hesitantly because sometimes I read a recipe that I find that has to be made immediately. I will literally drop everything and start cooking. But that is another post for another day.
Ok, where was I? Oh righty, in bed with Jane.
So I'd been looking for a particular edition of Jane Grigson's English Food. Laurie Colwin makes a reference to this book in Home Cooking and I have been curious ever since, mostly about the peculiar Sussex Pond Pudding which involves baking a lemon in a pastry case. I left my contact information with the owner of Rabelais and that was that.
Until this weekend when I got the email that a copy had come in. I phoned them up yesterday and amazingly I got the book in the mail today! That is amazing to me. You can't understand what particular joy regularly delivered mail is until it isn't.
And then there I was in the kitchen with a dozen farm fresh eggs and this marvelous book. I made an omelette and cracked the book open. I read the Sussex Pond Pudding recipe, which I might well make this weekend although it seems a bit long on the butter and sugar. Wait, did I really just type those words? Oh please. Ignore that. Butter literally makes everything taste better.
And then I read the Ginger Cake recipe. I dropped everything and made it straight away.
Ginger Cake is a severe weakness of mine. Years ago when I lived in Ireland I cured everything with Jamaica Ginger Cake and cups and cups of strong Irish tea. Dark, damp, gingery - my idea of cake. I really think that it is sort of a blessing I can't get ginger cake like that at the bodega or I'd be 400lbs.
Oddly I had every ingredient required for this particular recipe, including black treacle.
Let me take a minute to explain here about the warning label that comes on the can of black treacle. It says "After expiry date DISCARD IMMEDIATELY".
I take such expiration warnings lightly. If something is expired but still under seal, chances are if it doesn't smell terrible, I will still eat it. Hey, I am still here aren't I?
However, those black treacle folks mean that when black treacle expires, it explodes. Yep. Yep, it does. Which is how I got black treacle on the ceiling and in my hair and on the floor. And all over the shelves. Oh, and everywhere.
So I used molasses instead.
Which is NOT the same. I love the result - bits of spicy ginger, damp, dark, and not overly sweet. But it was very molasses-y, rather than gingery. Which is ok with me seeing as how molasses is my favorite sugar after treacle.
My house smells lovely and now I am curling up with Jane in bed, to see what else I might have to leap up and make immediately.
Don't quote me, but it just might be something potted. Because dreary gray January days need to be gotten through with potted foods and lots of alcohol.
And lots of Ginger Cake.