Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beauty and the Yeast..........PART ONE

Hello my dear Bloggeroos!

I know that I promised a tale about my recent endeavour into the world of ........................


Now, before I tell you about the bread, it's worth repeating parts of a previous post for you to read.

This will give you an idea just how crap I have been at baking in the past.


The year was 1986.............

My boys were aged 4 and 7 and I had been bullied, (by the Playground Mafia,) into making some cakes for the PTA "Bring and Buy" stall.

In the nick of time, my friend, Maggie, had come to the rescue and given me a huge dollop of "Friendship Cake."

Now, I don't know if you're familiar with this cake, but basically.................

1. Someone gives you a bowl of what can only be described as "GOO."

2. You feed the goo every couple of days or so with cups full of flour and sugar.

3. This "feeds" the mixture until it triples in size.

4. You then split it into three. One lot you keep and carrying on feeding, one you bake, and the third part you give to a friend. (Who then "feeds" it, etc. etc.)

Well........I had the idea, that instead of giving any away, or baking any, I would just keep "feeding" it right up to the day the cakes were expected by the PTA. I could then make THREE cakes.

(is that giggling I can hear?)

Before I knew where I was, the mixture had outgrown the kitchen.

It had a very strong yeasty smell, and I had used up 3 mixing bowls and several more belonging to the neighbours...................

I rushed outside,

.......and dragged the boys' paddling pool into the kitchen.

I chucked in loads of the mixture.

It was continuing to grow................

I 'phoned Mum,
(as yer do in these circumstances.)

"Mumsie, help me, please................"

After she finally stopped laughing, she asked to speak to Eldest Son, Ali.

"Right Lad," she said, "Get the largest paper bag you can find."

ALISTAIR: Nanny, this cake stuff is EVERYWHERE. It won't fit in a paper bag.

MUMSIE: It's not for the cake, it's for your Mum.

She needs to breathe in and out of it, she's hyperventilating. I'll be round in a minute.

EFFECTS: Wonder Woman Theme Tune playing in the background.

Mumsie arrived on my doorstep, she had run all the way from 3 streets away.

As she stopped, there was the noise of brakes screeching because behind her, she was dragging her trusty old shopping bag on wheels.

She has brought with her six mixing bowls, 17 cake tins, extra flour, dried fruit, and 3lbs of best butter.

She had half a bottle of brandy, too.

(The brandy was for me!)

She had brought her large wooden spoon.

(Like this one, but with "Go Faster" stripes.)

Within 20 minutes, Peace ruled supreme!

So, Mumsie had rolled up her sleeves, emptied my freezer of all the out of date stuff.

She divided the Goo into workable sizes.

She put 3 lots of the Goo into the freezer as we realise it's one way to curtail its growth.

Mum shouts over the garden walls to all of me neighbours.

"We have an Emergency situation, please preheat your ovens to Gas mark 4 - NOW!"

A couple of points here...................

No-one says "No" to Mumsie, many have tried believe me.

If Mum had been partnered to Winston Churchill in 1939,

the War would have been over by Christmas!

Altogether, we managed to make and bake 8 cakes.

(We also discovered that the Goo stopped growing when subjected to 140 degrees Centigrade.)

Luckily I lived only four doors away from the school, so I loaded up the old pram with cakes and delivered them to the PTA Committee.

To say that the the "A" lister Mums were impressed would have been an understatement.

They made comments like:




"What IS that she's wearing?"

I placed the cakes on the table, a proud lump in my throat and tears of joy in my eyes.


............ I've had a phobia of anything yeast based ever since.



Autumn Mist said...

I remember friendship cake. One lot went mouldy and people got food poisoning from it! Can't wait for the next installment...

Rose H (UK) said...

I made friendship cake too - we loved the stuff...probably explains the diabetes! I've recently tried to 'start' some more from recipes on the net but after three attempts I gave up. Looking forward to part II, my breadmaking was crap but then I got a breadmaker ;O)

Sandie said...

Ha! I know now why I always gave it to a neighbour instead of doing it myself! I'd heard tales of it before!
Did you ever make Ginger beer...similar things, sounds like WW111 starting when the bottle tops blow!

Sandie xx

KC'sCourt! said...

Did you know that the Friendship Cake is now called Herman the German Cake..............
My daughter-in-Law made two I had samll piece, my son eat a whole one for breakfast!
Julie xxxxxxxxx