Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Shall I Be Motherf***er?

With my usual whimsy, I decided I would invite the neighbours round to sample some experimental baking. Always good, I think, to become swiftly known as the Letitia Cropley of Bankfoot*. I'm not a baker, and have only recently started trying my hand at scones and such - but I vowed and declared to create a new, original recipe this year, so why not start with some interestingly flavoured scones?

The neighbours duly obliged by showing very willing, and we ended up with 3 of the local lay-deez pouring Earl Grey down their necks (or Assam - yes, we provided a choice) and tucking into the scones. I'm delighted to report that there wasn't a nibbler amongst them.

The first guest was Assisi, who is a hugely friendly golden retriever of a woman, who we met because she walks her collie - Zach - up our road twice every day. She also always has an old man in tow. I think she walks them both. It became ridiculous that we were exchanging friendlier and friendlier waves without speaking, so we eventually stopped the car and said hello. She was delightful, and since then we've had her round for dinner with Epona & Shah (direct neighbours). She's bats about animals, and brings treats for the dogs as her contribution to the gathering - as well as treats for us. This time she arrived bearing a vast and utterly delicious lemon cake, made with condensed milk. And, presumably, other stuff - otherwise it would be a bit wet.

Our second guest was our neighbour-but-one, Ina. We met her at our New Year first foot, and she struck me as slightly shy but with a lifetime of having to talk to hunters, shooters and fishers behind her, and thus the skills to cover her shyness. Anyway, she was very happy to come along, and brought some home made apple jelly.

Lastly was Epona - whom, after running 30 minutes late, I called to remind. She'd taken some cough medicine, fallen asleep and completely forgotten. Anyway, she legged it down the road and was soon scarfing down scones with the best of us.

So that - along with Fisher 'n' me - was our merry band. We had a good chinwag, ate huge amounts, and parted on good terms some 2 hours later. And what was my experiment? Why, here's the menu:

6 orange & Grand Marnier scones with macadamia nuts.
6 white cherry infused scones with black cherries inside.
6 raspberry, ginger and Pimms scones.
Tray of cream-cheese brownies, served with rhubarb and ginger jam.

And, believe it or not, they were all munched with much glee. This, of course, has done nothing for my bid to lose the hideous amount of weight I've gained over the last few months. And when I say hideous, I mean hideous. In a desperate bid to get back into the swing of exercise, I forced myself to go to the gym this evening. This is the result:

1 mile run from gate to gym, 1.1 mile (almost), in 12 minutes. Long, slight uphill. Short but steep downhill.
1 fast mile on treadmill in gym - 9.03 mins. Is this my fastest? I really should keep track. I know I did 9.04 at some point. But, on the other hand, I was using the crap machine which has a habit of hiccupping and nearly sending me flying off the back every time I speed it up or slow it down. It's a feffin' death trap! So I hardly trust it to give an accurate pace, and it always seems easier to use, so who knows? Anyway, I felt pretty good about the mile. I also did some weights and a few tummy crunches. I've decided I really, really need to work on my abs as I'm lordotic and my hamstrings are very tight. Strong abs should help my posture and therefore my sacro-illiac probs too.

So that's that. Too much lard, not enough exercise, and a depressing amount of weight to lose. How shite is that? On the other hand, I can't seem to find anyone else with my scone recipes, so I may indeed have invented new scone flavours. That's something to celebrate - and so is the loveliness of having sociable, chatty, foodie neighbours.

*See Vicar of Dibley for reference.