It was all a terrible dream…

I am back and my horns and fangs have vanished as if they never really existed….

I have put a link in the sidebar to a baking event that those of you who have Dan Lepard’s glorious new book Short & Sweet might like to join in at some point. For an explanation of what the idea is behind it click here.  I made the first cake and messed it up a bit, if you click through to Evidence Matters’ new blog #shortandtweet you can see a round up of the different results that people got, including mine.

My version was basically underbaked and I tweaked the ingredients to suit what I had in the house (for pics click on my Flickr Link in the sidebar) so next time I will take more care and not just rush it out of the oven. I have had a good run of cakes lately but I am not the most reliable of cake bakers, finding them far more challenging than bread. Still I think overall my cakes are getting better than they were a few years ago when I used to dread making cakes and it is all down to practice, experience, and that underrated commodity commmon sense, which occasionally deserts me completely as it has this Red Admiral basking on my window in the last week of October.

On Sunday we went for a walk in Lower Woods in Gloucestershire and I was struck by this flowering shrub with its bright carmine pink four cornered flowers (seed pods?)  and orange seeds about to burst out. I wonder if anyone can identify it for us? I don’t think it’s that unusual but I haven’t noticed it before in a woodland area.

16 thoughts on “It was all a terrible dream…

  1. sallybr

    Oh, Joanna… as you know, I have the book and of course love it, but I don’t have a Twitter account, and don’t want to get one… I guess I’ll have to just sit on the sidelines and watch you guys have all the fun

    I just baked his Banana Blondies, but ran into trouble – you know, Sally + cake = disaster

    my fault, not the recipe’s, obviously…

    I will follow that blog anyway….

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am sure you can join in, without having a twitter account, where there’s a will there’s a way. I will email you in the morning – thinking about it. You could email me the link to your post or your photos and I can tweet it for you or something like that. If you want to join in do check the ‘rules’ out first and make sure you are comfortable with them. I will put the link here and again in the post above. At the moment the format is slightly experimental and EM is ironing out the bugs with this first one.

      Sorry about the blondies, that’s one I haven’t tried as yet. You know that you are my companion in cake mayhem, don’t you? :D

      1. sallybr

        Thanks, Joanna… after reading the rules more carefully, it would be too hard for me to join. I don’t see myself able to keep up with the weekly baking, so I’ll have to pass.

        I am going to do the banana blondies and post the recipe on my site – got permission from Dan to do so – and use that as a background to a review of the book, which is awesome…

        but I cannot commit to a weekly event at the present time….. :-(

        but I will be watching, attentively!

        1. Joanna Post author

          I am doing a bad job of communicating aren’t I? I don’t think you have to bake every week, more bake the ones you feel like doing. Anyway, lets see how it goes and if you make something that coincides then I will link to you anyway :) xxx Now I have a pork loin in the fridge and I am going to try and make your recipe that looked so good ….. xx

          1. Misk Cooks

            I plan on just doing the breads. It’s not fair on Peder to have yummy cakes and buns in the house that I know he’d love to eat.

            1. Joanna Post author

              I think the idea is to join in with what you feel suits you and the people you share with. It’s a friendly activity, with a little bit of showing off I guess, but I always learn a fair bit from baking the same recipe at the same time as other people, it’s an interesting process :)

  2. chocveg

    Good job I’m up later than you! I think it is this Spindle (Euonymus europaeus):

    Click here for the link Allison has kindly sent to read all about this plant.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Allison, I think you are brilliant. What a great article :) I read it with great interest and feel much better informed. It was indeed in a hedge or loose boundaried area within the woodland, running alongside an old track; very eyecatching against the masses of golden leaves everywhere on the ground.

  3. C

    Glad to see Zeb back to himself again!

    I must check out the Short and Tweet, but I really have no idea how twitter works and I very much doubt I’d be able to do it every week. It’d be a case of if I could fit it in and if I could make the recipe. The trouble with things like this is that I have to substitute for nuts, and although many of Dan’s recipes don’t contain them, many do :-( It does sound interesting though.

    1. C

      So sorry Joanna, that came across as a moan, and really wasn’t intended to! I guess I’m just envious of those more media-savvy than me and/or those with sufficient organisational skills to be able to participate! Thanks for the heads up on the challenge, I really appreciate it! Do you think you’ll be participating often?

      1. Joanna Post author

        Not at all, as I said above, I am not brilliant at explaining things. EM has started a blog to give people who have a copy of Short & Sweet and who want to bake a recipe together ‘a space’ to do that and compare results and that is really all that it’s about. She uses Twitter but it’s not the only way to be part of this if you read her post.

        There is no registration or need to bake/make every week.

        You could maybe just do one if it fitted in once in a while, or do one of your adaptations and then pop onto EM’s blog and leave a comment saying you had done it.

        If you want to share a photo or any notes in the round up blog post you would need to get it to her by the right date that’s all.

        It’s very loose at the moment, it’s not competitive. I see it as companionable with a little bit of a ‘push’ to get me to maybe try things I wouldn’t maybe bake. Similar to the Mellow Bakers, which has kept me amused for many months and is coming to an end in the next two months.

        Some people do loads of these group things and enjoy the process, but it’s not for everyone. One is really enough for me. Does that help? I hope so. :)

        1. C

          Ah, makes sense. I’ve checked out the blog too… Hmm, I want to make all of this month’s challenges!!! I’ll have to see. Will look forward to seeing what other people make though, it’s always interesting to see how different versions of the same recipe turn out :-)

    1. Joanna Post author

      In fact, it is the fruit,which I didn’t realise when I wrote the post, isn’t it pretty? So very pink and tropical in an English woodland :)

      Naughty Amazon not shipping your book. There’s a Kindle version now maybe cancel the book and have the kindle one? :)

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