There are many things which can contribute to the perfection of a day, and one of them is not having to change out of ones pajamas from morn till night. Such has been my happy situation today. Actually, the day started with a blot – the newspaper man delivered the Seattle Times rather than the New York Times. He does this occasionally, and it ruins the first part of the morning. The only thing the Seattle Times has going for it is the comics page. While it is basically news-free, it does have the NYT crossword, but I will have already worked that six weeks previously. I have to admit that I seldom have more than the vaguest memory of having done it unless it was a spectacularly clever one on which I had some fantastic insight into the solution. Even then, there is a haze which does not diminish my pleasure in doing it again.
I spent the morning knitting and listening to “Mansfield Park,” the only Jane Austen novel I have not either read or listened to in the last year. Actually, I haven’t read it for quite a few years as it is my least favorite. Fanny Price and Edmond Bertram are such a couple of prigs! Don’t you think so? But a least favorite Jane Austen is better than the most favorite of most other authors.
Then, Aunt Dakki came to visit, and I prepared this squash with corn pudding from the ever reliable 101 Cookbooks blog. I selected it because it looked tasty, not much work to fix, and just the sort of thing Dakki would like. Then I decided to make a ginger cake as well. The recipe told me that it would take an hour and a half to prepare and another hour to bake. I read through the directions, and pooh-poohed the idea. I thought, “It will take no time at all. You just mix the ingredients up, and Bob’s your uncle.” Well, that was true to some extent. However, before mixing the ingredients up, you had to line the cake pan with buttered parchment, grate up 50 grams of ginger, and that is a lot – given that the ginger is rock hard, and I am always in fear of grating off a bit of my finger. You must also chop up the dates, peel and dice the apples, and zest the lemon. Is zest a verb? Probably not, but you know what I mean. I must have a very short memory – rather like a woman, who, after giving birth, forgets the pangs and remembers only the joy of bringing forth a new life. I made this cake once before, and only remembered how good it was. Dakki was there that day as well. I recalled that she kept repeating, “I can’t believe you are doing all this work just to make a cake!” That in itself should have been a clue that the cake actually did take quite a while to assemble. Once again, she was astonished that I would go to such trouble. Since she was there cheering me on, it didn’t really seem like that much trouble, but it did indeed take close to an hour to get it all peeled, grated, and chopped. The result was worth it, as it was super delicious. No more remarks about how much chopping there was as we gobbled it up. It had the yummiest things in it – ginger, my number one food love, as well as other favorites - dates and lemons. It was tastier than it was photogenic, so instead of a picture of it, here is one of Rachael, Paul, and I at choir practice.
4 hours ago