I'm making lunch box food for Craig's lunches. Being bent over the way he is all day he needs light food in his stomach so he eats lots of fruit, jelly, yoghurt and fruit cake.
I've just made him double decked blueberry and raspberry jellies with blueberries in them but I won't show you a photo, the colours are truly garish and ghastly. Come to think of it, so are the electrolyte replacement fluids he mixes. Shudder! That's technology for you, we can now make our food look neon.
OK, changed my mind, truly horrendous and this is what you should NOT do. I solemnly vow to make proper jellies next time (because I am not going to use the excuse that I don't have time).
Back to the cake.....
I'm mixing up Aunty Lettie's Easy Fruit Cake (p50. in the cook book if you have it) and I realise how soft and unfit I have become. Once upon a time in my poor just moved out of home days I always mixed cakes by hand but in recent years I have used the food processor or the Kenwood mixer.
The butter was well softened because of our halcyon summer we are having but it was still more work than I remember. By the time I started adding the flours and eggs alternately I was starting to huff and switch from my right hand to my left and then back to my right again. This is really hard work!
I really came to appreciate the double handle design of the classic "grip-stand bowl" allowing one to get a good grab either side. I had forgotten how ambidextrous I used to be with these methods. I think I should do a bit more manual cooking from now on, just to keep my kitchen fitness up.
(While we are here on this photo, please note the colour of my eggs!)
It got me thinking about how strong housewives were. It wasn't just the baking and cooking which was more labour intensive, chores in general have become so much easier. As I pottered in the kitchen I threw on several loads of washing, walked away and all I had to do was hang them out. There was no building a fire or boiling water, no standing and stirring, no wrestling them through a mangle then carrying it all, twice as heavy as it comes out of the machine now days.
I washed down several walls and ceilings with my long handled enjo floor fibre that cut the job from a few hours down to about 30mins.
Our working lives have got so much easier. Is it really valid to say on a daily basis to people
"I don't have time. I'm so stressed. I'm so busy"
maybe rather we should be saying
"I don't prioritise my time well enough and I have wasted too much of it"
I know I squander a lot of time. For instance, in a very short moment I am going to finish this post and then franticly race around the house getting ready for work bemoaning all the time I frittered this morning on the computer!
I'm getting soft.
Now that's a cake! One pound of butter and 8 eggs and I can taste every last one of them.