Today started off really well. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day, and I had a day off work and a good friend coming for afternoon tea…but nothing really went to plan.
My friend Karen the fabulous baker
My friend Karen and I used to see each other at least once a week. We sang in the same choir, coincidentally ended up in the same Writing for the Web course at the Centre for Adult Education, worked together for a while when my department was launching a new website, and met up regularly to cheer each other on when we had our first kids going through year 12 and first year uni at the same time.
These days though, we find it really hard to find a time to meet up. I’d cancelled when we planned to meet last week, but if all went well, we were meeting up for afternoon tea today.
Karen, I have to warn you, is an excellent baker—the winner of numerous baking awards at the Royal Melbourne Agricultural Show (‘The Show’ to those living in Melbourne) AND she’s even written a (baking) cookbook that is being prepared for publication, so it’s a little scary to invite her for afternoon tea (but don’t tell her I said that, she’d be horrified!). She’s not vegan herself, but she’s been known to turn up on my doorstep with specially baked vegan treats for me anyway.
How it all went wrong
So, I had it all planned. I got out of bed early to bake banana bread before I left home. It’s a BBC recipe—I always use this recipe or the one in Veganomicon (which uses apple sauce, which I didn’t have today). I had the bright idea of filming the process in a little Vine video. I know it would have been virtually useless, because they only run for 6 seconds, but it would have been a bit of fun.
I carefully filmed a few frames at each step as I added each ingredient and mixed them together, then put it in the oven to bake. I even filmed the timer, and the step where I covered the loaf with foil to prevent it burning. Then I put the iPod aside while the cake finished baking, and planned to come back and film the removal from the oven and, later, the triumphant cutting of the first slice.
Here’s a tip…if you’re going to stop a Vine video half way, make sure your iPod/iPhone/iPad is charged…mine wasn’t. The damn thing ran out of charge and shut down, and I lost the whole video. OK, it was only about 4 seconds long at that stage, and was no AFI winner, but it had taken me over an hour to get those 4 seconds, and there was no going back for a re-shoot! Something for another day.
Burnt banana bread
Actually, that wasn’t the only problem I’d had. I’d been so distracted by the video that I hadn’t read the recipe properly and got all the ingredients in the wrong order (even though I’ve made that loaf many times before). Who knows whether they all mixed in together properly…it was hard to tell, because I burnt it anyway!
As I said, I’ve made this many times before, and it’s always cooked perfectly, but today it didn’t. It wasn’t exactly charred, but it had a burnt-ish taste and smell, and was much darker than usual.
I wasn’t going to cut it until Karen arrived, but P (my son with the bottomless stomach) was home, and will eat anything, so I offered him a piece…and had one myself.
Change of plans
This afternoon I raced off to the pool for a “swim” (in “ ” because I’m a crap swimmer) and got a text from Karen. Our plans were foiled again—this time by her poor, old, worried dog and a forgotten appointment. So we’ve re-scheduled again, and I made do with a tea party for one in the afternoon Spring sunshine on the back verandah. It was rather pleasant…and at least Karen didn’t have to taste my burnt loaf. Not too bad after all. 🙂