I am shattered. Destiny etched on old, worn and tear stained faces. Despair delving deep like cotton buds into waxy ears. Delirious arms stretched out. You are alive, his father says. So live. But who lives now? Not the Mist, though the Road continues down a path of gentle hope.
I am a sponge. But everything goes in and nothing comes out.
I am mellow, smalltown America. A brother and sister singing Jezebel and the only shape they will pray to.
I am the ice-cream tester to your doctor.
I am rubber. You are glue.
I am sweetness. The first kiss, then the hungry second.
I am a cake. Lady Chance made me. Two loaf tins, decades spent unused in a mother’s baking cupboard. She released them. Their virginal glow blazing brightly, thrust as they were into the hoary roar of the oven. They emerge unscathed, bearing sweet whispered words that cling to your memory long after the crumbs have passed your lips. They quell the butterflies and grass fires in the pit of my stomach.
For now, I am satisfied.
Sticky Ginger, Fig and Nut Loaves :
(from Australian Gourmet Traveller, March 2005)
(I was looking for dried Iranian baby figs, for this recipe, and chanced upon some small dried black mission figs which I love for their startling dark colour. They were also more moist than the Iranian baby figs I usually use, so I love them in this recipe. Mission figs apparently got their name from being cultivated in California missions in the 18th century after they were introduced from Spain. Figs are naturally high in fibre, and low in fat and cholesterol. As part of a simple, not too sugary cake, they are the pefect weekend treat. These sticky ginger, fig and nut loaves are my contribution to this week’s WHB, hosted by Kel of Green Olive Tree.)
100g dried figs, coarsely chopped
125g soft unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
110g dark moscovado sugar
1/2 cup honey
225g self-raising flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped glace ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
60g walnuts, finely chopped
Place milk in a saucepan and bring almost to the boil, then pour over figs in a bowl and leave for 20 minutes. Grease two 8 x 17cm nut roll tins and lids well, then line lids with baking paper. Place a lid on the end of each tin and stand tin upright.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Sift over flour, ginger and salt, add glace ginger, walnuts, milk and fig mixture and stir until just combined. Divide mixture between tins, cover with remaining lids. Place tins upright on an oven tray and bake on lowest shelf at 180’C for 50-55 minutes. Stand tins for 10 minutes, before turning out onto wire racks to cool.
Serve warm or room temperature, cut into slices (and toasted, if several days old), plain or spread with cultured butter. Rolls will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.