Quote: ‘It’s all about the licking.’
Blackberry picking on Tooting Common is where our weekend continues, after great cake purchasing, yay, and poor coffee drinking at Old York Road Street Party in Wandsworth Town, boo. Strange working times meant our weekend was Sunday and Monday. Crestfallen at our surveyal of the empty brambles we thought we had been beaten to the bush by the real weekenders. We thought we were destined to have an unsuccessful weekend. We kept hunting and I began to spot blackberries, small ones, but ripe. I pointed my Partner in the right direction and off he went. I wasn’t just there to be the foreman, it wasn’t planned like that. I had romantic images of us hand in hand plucking juicy fruits from the bushes and popping the odd one into each other’s mouths. My idealistic and possibly unrealistic ideals came crashing down when I couldn’t even reach the blasted blackberries. I was too short and they were either high up or far into the bush.
My Partner began to become more frenzied and determined, like a child on an Easter egg hunt. And just like a child he came running back to me with scraped knees and nettle stings, but with a big smile, proud with his bounty. A rub of a doc leaf and a hug later we decided that he had a lovely day out. We strolled back to the car hand in hand, finally a little romance, and I planned what I could make with the blackberries other than the obligatory crumble. I was thinking about cupcakes.
On the Monday it was cake making day. Shopping for ingredients, dull! So I ask my Partner what we should do that afternoon. After contemplating, so I thought, really he was fascinated with his new find on the TV: the shopping channel. Not to purchase just to marvel at the tat people would by. What is Tanzanite anyway? He said we could go shopping for different coloured beetroots to go with dinner. Well, I could barely contain myself with excitement. I love food, I really do, but I had just spent the morning shopping and had already bought beetroots. Not impressed I went for a wander anyway. We eventually got to the fruit and veg guy and have a nose, he then asks my Partner what he wants and put on the spot he replied that he would like beetroots. Noooo! We have some I was shouting inside, say that we are just looking. We got given more beetroots and yes they were the common garden purple beetroots as expected. I couldn’t take it and I intervened before I couldn’t move for beetroot, then we made a swift apology and an even swifter exit.
Baking blackberry muffins was the best way to kick off National Cupcake Week which runs from 17th-23rd Sept. Everything was falling into place. I have worked with children for a long time and that evenings events were not dissimilar, except for perhaps the wine drinking. An excited assistant in tow, eager and ready to learn we began. I gave him the helpers’ job of putting out the bun cases, very important, well done darling. Then I handed over the filling of the cases, with direction of course but, as he knew and had been anticipating, the best bit was oh so close. Yes, I said, now you may lick the bowl. It’s similar routine with the chocolate cakes and even better as we inserted the chocolate buttons: two in the cake mix and one in the mouth. Once again the much anticipated words were uttered and the frenzied licking began. With everything in the oven he washed up. Very easy on the eye, willing and eager to help, even in the worst task of all, I think I could get used to having a helper.
A few wines later we decorated, it’s his first attempt and he was pretty good, even if he did say so himself. He now thinks he has found his calling. Hey bun case boy, no usurping in the kitchen. We proudly stood back and viewed our creations. We, as adults, ‘chinked’ our glasses and ‘cheers’d’ our efforts, but as the bowl licking children, we gave each other an excitably self-satisfied high five. And you know what we did next? After all when it comes to cakes we are all children and just like children we couldn’t resist temptation.