Sunday, 22 October 2017

A Skimpy Outfit

There has been a big disappointment this week that has left me feeling a little less bouncy than usual, but before I explain shall we have some cake?


I must admit that my interest in this year's Bake Off has waned slightly. I didn't really mind the move to Chanel 4 and although I think Noel Fielding does seem a little awkward and out of place at times, mostly the new line up works well... But the bakes? I think they are having a laugh! The technical skill required to make some of the bakes seems way beyond the scope of most amateur bakers and it feels as if they are coming up with more and more obscure and difficult tasks each week. As you know I stepped back from my own personal challenge of doing all the technical bakes the week of the Stroopwafel, not being prepared to buy a wafflemaker just to complete a technical challenge. But I got back into the swing of things with my Portugese Custard Tarts, or Pasteis de Nata, made unnecessarily difficult by the addition of a custard made with a sugar syrup...who on earth makes custard that way? I could have used a different recipe of course (Paul Hollywood uses a completely different method in his baking book) but I've been trying to use the same recipes as the contestants. They weren't too tricky in the end, despite the custard and the results didn't hang about for long. I may have eaten one or two... possibly more, even though I deemed them too sweet.


The next week was Italian week with a ridiculously complicated showstopper challenge to make Sfogliatelle and a tricky signature bake of Cannoli, which are not even baked but fried. The technical bake that week was really simple by comparision - a Margherita Pizza. As I often make pizza from scratch I wasn't going to bother, that was until I got a message from youngest son who was outraged, demanding to know why hadn't I made the technical bake when it was his favourite thing. I sucumbed and made him pizza for lunch. It got the thumbs up!


This week was all about forgotten bakes and mostly I think you can see why they were forgotten. Why would anyone want to bake an oversized architectural Savoy cake, a favourite centerpiece at Victorian banquets, but seldom actually eaten? Or a Bedfordshire clanger containing both sweet and savoury fillings? However the technical bake - a Cumberland Rum Nicky did actually sound quite nice. With a sweet shortcrust base, a lattice top and a rum soaked date, apricot and ginger filling I thought it sounded delicious and I was looking forward to trying it. It didn't disappoint! Especially with a generous helping of rum butter. Once again a helping or two may have been eaten.


So with all this extra baking there wasn't too much chance of me fitting into the skimpy outfit I had lined up for the play... except the play was destined not to happen. It was no ones' fault but despite weeks of rehearsals it really wasn't ready to put on for a paying audience. Although we are just a small AmDram group we do have a good reputation for putting on a high standard of entertainment and so the decision was made it was better to cancel than to put on a substandard performance. It had been in trouble from the start with one cast member having to drop out due to work commitments, another suffering one illness after another, there were lots of tricky movements and some people had an extraordinary amount of lines so we knew it was the right decision. But it was still bitterly disappointing after all the hours learning lines and sitting around at rehearsals... especially with just one week to go until curtain up. But as I've said before, village life is never dull and on Saturday evening there was a chance to dress up in another skimpy outfit as we headed off to a 1960s themed supper.


I got kitted out in a dress that came from our drama group wardrobe and as it happens one that I actually wore about 17-18 years ago to another 1960s themed evening. It wasn't quite so loose fitting as it was back then when I was newly divorced and far too skinny but I squeezed into it even finding the same earrings that I wore all that time ago. We had a fun evening of sixties music, a quiz and a reto supper of prawn cocktail, boeuf bourginon and the most enormous slice of black forest gateau... like I needed more cake. Thankfully I didn't get as drunk as I did the last time I wore it... like I said...newly divorced and somewhat emotionally unstable in retrospect.


So, here I am disappointed and feeling a little down but life goes on... there will be more plays, more cake and no doubt more nights out* before too long, so I along with the other cast members will get over it.

*Talking of nights out we were at another village event on Friday - a monthly cinema club, held in the chapel schoolroom where the film shown was Child 44. I'd read the book with bookclub and had obviously deleted it from memory... it was really disturbing, violent and I found it rather incoherent. The sort of film that makes me long for a gentle drama... and makes me think I'm getting old. Last month it was Kind Hearts and Coronets which was hilarious and charming and much more my thing.

I hope your weekend has been a good one.

21 comments:

  1. I feel the same about GBBO and have hardly watched it this time round. It's not so much the move to Channel 4, but the fact that the bakes are getting more and more contrived. I suppose this is one of the problems with a long running series. Such a pity about your play, after all that work, but as usual, village life seems anything but dull!

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    1. I don't think I'll be doing this week's technical Bake as it was a rather fancy layered patisserie cake with tempered chocolate... like you say, more and more contrived.

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  2. I remember thinking at the time that all those ingredients for that Edwardian cake spectacular must cost and arm and a leg. Not to mention all the effort that went into each one.
    I might have to review my fondness of you since seeing you wearing something you last wore 17 years ago!!
    Kind Hearts and Coronets would be my choice too. I can't cope with harrowing story lines any more.

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  3. Well, I hope at least you had fun at the rehearsals, even if the show didn't go on.
    And don't think it's a sign of getting old to want to be amused, not made to think. After a lifetime of "thinking", and a professional life of dealing with other people's problems, I reckon I'm entitled to some time off now! (Anyway, KHand C is one of my fave films of all time - I think I know the script by heart. Superb acting.)

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  4. Such a shame about the play, but as you say, there will be others.

    I tried watching GBBO on Ch. 4 catch up, but couldn't work up any enthusiasm for it; the chap on it seems totally miss-cast.

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  5. I am very sorry your play was cancelled, disappointing after all those weeks and months of learning and rehearsing. But on the bright side, your village is definitely a village worth moving to, lots to do and a great community spirit. You look fab in your outfit!

    I quite like the new GBBO crew (but I wasn't very fond of the the old presenters). You are right though, the bakes a ridiculous. I guess all long running shows/series/serialised books etc tend to go that way, as the expectation is to get "bigger, better and more outrageous". It is a bit like our performance review at work, we can no longer do our job well, we need to reinvent ourselves every year......

    Wishing you a great week. xx

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  6. I think you were all very brave to cancel the play rather than muddle through, a very honest thing to do. As a non baker I have been enjoying Bake Off although I must admit to not having been quite so invested in the participants this season. The bakes are getting very outrageous though.

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  7. Such a shame about the play after all of your effort. I do hope the group find another one to put on soon. I haven't watched Bake Off since it moved. It doesn't sound quite as good as before, but your bakes look absolutely delicious. Pizza is my youngest's favourite food as well. He likes a bit of pepperoni on his. Love the 1960s top, and you look fabulous in it. It sounds like a great evening, especially the Black Forest Gateau. CJ xx

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  8. What a shame about your play...no wonder you were disappointed !
    I have to say you still look great in the dress. :)
    Great baking as always....that pizza looks amazing!

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  9. Love that wonderful sixties dress, glad that event went ahead after the drama disappointment. All those wonderful bakes, you have made me feel quite hungry! Haven’t watched the new bake off, somehow the new mix of presenters doesn’t feel right. Have a good week. B x

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    1. Hope your week is good too Barbara!

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  10. Oh Gina, how disappointing that the play had to be cancelled.It sounds as though it was the right decision and I am sure was a difficult one to make. Next year...

    I don't know how you can eat so much delectable cake and still stay trim!

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    1. It feels like a losing battle sometimes but I try not to have too much of the cake I bake!

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  11. Sorry to hear about your play. Your cakes are amazing. Love the dress!!!

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  12. Nice to see you dressing as you wish. I like Kind Hearts and Coronets too.

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  13. How disappointing for your drama group but there's always the next production. Your 60's evening sounds great fun and you look fab. I'm not as obsessed with the revised GBBO. I think once the participants start using spray guns, it's no longer about home baking. Someone here spent the last couple of days making Sfogliatelle for the first time. And it wasn't me!

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  14. Oh dear -- a week of ups and downs. Sorry about the play -- but those delicious looking bakes should have helped a little? You look so cute in the dress -- although, where are those little fishnet stockings you wore years ago LOL??? And they had to show a creepy, disturbing film in October didn't they??

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  15. Your baking looks as scrumptious as ever! How disappointing about the play, but perhaps you'd feel even worse if the play didn't come off so well. You look amazing in the 60s dress, both now and way back when! I loved the 60s styles (60s child), and I would have definitely would have loved to wear a dress patterned like this. Wendy

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  16. I made a rum nicky, too - must say, your lattice is much better than mine was! I've also made the chocolate peppermint rolls from week 1 with two 11-year-old boys, great fun - but they tasted a bit icky!

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    1. The chocolate rolls were definitely better without peppermint!

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  17. I am playing catchup in a big way here - I read most of this post a week ago, but hs no time to comment! Your baking sounds and looks good, no wonder the skimpy dress did not fit, though it was sad that the play had t o be cancelled.
    I can't believe you managed t o see Kind Hearts and Coronets - I did not realise it was still available, but it was so funny I am very glad it is. Sounds much more entertaining than the other film you saw!

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