It’s Not all in the Taste

I have a number of interests: some of them more productive than others. One of them is wandering round second-hand book shops seeing whats out there. On a recent trip I came across a tome called “The 1936 Economical Cookery Book”. Intrigued I opened its pages and found that it had a recipe for every meal of every day in the year, including making use of leftovers, plus a small section of treat recipes to put the sense of culinary fun into the life of our forbears. “This is too good to miss” I thought to myself and swiftly bought it.

Returning home with my prize I could see little opportunity to utilise it, especially given that cooking is not one of the things I am famed for, if anything of that nature exists apart from my ability with scrambled eggs of course. At the following weekend a number of friends were coming round and when they  arrived I proudly showed them my purchase and said,”Why don’t I make us a coffee cake”. A range of reactions was evident ranging from muted surprise through to an element of disbelief.  Unperturbed I opened my new prize possession at page 328 and looked over my recipe. Ok both the layout and the ingredients might look a bit dated but lets face it, coffee cake is coffee cake: what could go wrong.

In our cupboards we boast a rather nifty cake tin. One of those where you slide the base between the rim which makes extricating the cake easy at the end of the cooking process. What a good idea that is. After showing off the tin to my friends I assembled the required ingredients, including eggs, flour, sugar etc and set about making the mix. Moving smoothly through the process I got to the bit where you added coffee and it seemed to be asking for  10 ounces  which equated to roughly one jar of instant coffee. I poured a jar into the mix and worked furiously to make sure the texture of the cake was smooth and even before ladling it into the tin. Looking at my triumph I felt a burst of pride and raised the tin above my head, balancing the base on my fingertips.

This may have been a mistake as the nifty base now slid up between the sides of the tin releasing a large quantity of the mixture down my shirt. “Oops” said I, and there was a mixture of muttering and criticism from my captive audience. Unbowed I scooped the surviving mixture off my clothing and placed it back in the tin. The seal between the base and sides was not all it might have  been, but you can’t have everything you want in life so I let this detail go.

“Your not going to bake that thing now” queried a friend but of course I was. Into the oven it went and after the alloted time I took it out. It must be said that a quantity of the mixture was in still in place, but quite a lot had escaped through the gap between the base and sides producing strange stalagmites of cooked cake hanging from the bottom of the tin. “The secrets in the taste ” I said boldly, but somehow I felt I was not carrying my audience with me. The tea was ready but no one else seemed keen to try my creation so I ate over half of it myself. I hate waste.

Soon I began to feel a bit odd and hyper and started charging round the room like an overheated puppy. “Are you Ok” someone asked. “He’s gone off his rocker” said another, and even I felt something was awry. Checking the recipe again I now saw it said one ounce of instant coffee: not ten. I was on a caffeine induced frenzy which lasted for about two hours before I flopped exhausted onto the sofa. Perhaps I’d better stick to scrambled eggs


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in cooking, creative writing, Life, life2, Talent and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to It’s Not all in the Taste

  1. Haha a coffee induced high love it!!


  2. says:

    Ha ha ha. I started laughing when I got to the ten ounce part. A little light bulb went off thinking this can’t be good. Good for you though for not giving up, for following through. I cannot tell you how many times dishes have gone from the stove top into the garbage. Still, you shouldn’t give up! You should try a tiramisu to impress your guests. It’s basically just dipping lady fingers into a cup of prepared coffee, then layering it with mascarpone cheese mixture.


  3. Was the coffee supposed to be made? Or just the grounds directly in? Either way, I totally would have done this. I’m now off to eat very dense sticky buns made yesterday.


  4. Lol.. I can remember my coffee induced lol.. not good at all especially when I crashed LOL. Great post


  5. Larry Lilly says:

    Caffeine buzz on roids huh? From a stateside movie, Mr Mom, a classic line, “220 – 221 whatever it takes”. Yes, dam the small details of life. I once baked some cookies (plural) and it called for a certain amount of butter. In hasty looking, dam far sightedeness, I put in 4 times the amount. The resulting cookie”s” was now singular, a bit runny and soaking in butter.

    At least it didnt go into your face


  6. Caroline says:

    thank you for the giggle

    Have a lovely weekend


  7. Larry Lilly says:

    My first wife had a cookbook handed down to her from a grandmom that passed away mid 1970’s at 98 years old. Her wedding cookbook was more for how a woman was to prepare herself and the house for her husband. And it had recipes that when you got to the oil sections was what they had back then, butter and lard. In excess. But the parts on how the woman was to get her work done early then get the house cleaned up, the dinner on and herself dressed up for his return, two words. Yeah right!


  8. suzicate says:

    Ha, I really wish I could say I’ve never done this! I think we heard from our parents one time too many NOT to waste food!


  9. Kirri White says:

    Oh my gosh. You are too cute! So funny.


  10. Giggles. I might actually try this to get the extra caffeinated kick!


  11. Bee Bee says:

    Funny as every time I “try to cook” 😀

    I also love wandering round second-hand book shops :O

    you must feel lucky I’m not near, or you book might get lost 😉


  12. –Ducky,
    You are HILAREOUS.
    I can just see you “”going off your rocker.”””
    I’ll say one thing….You are quite persistant! :)xx


  13. Great story! Kudos to you for trying something old that was new for you.

    I used to collect recipes like a hoarder and found myself either making the same think over and over (meatloaf!) or creating my own concoctions. Now I have maybe 5 cookbooks for sentimental reasons and barely cook at all. Well, if the weather ever gets cold, I may fire up the oven…

    Loved this post!


  14. swells says:

    Really weird…I bought the same book last week!!! I bought it as I had loved another one
    by the same author written just after the war called ‘Farmers’ Fare’. A wonderful cookbook which assumes that you have almost no sugar – and that you have the time for forage the hedgerows!!
    I was inspired by it and have made – amongst other things haw, sloe, crabapple, elderberry
    chuckney – delicious unlike your coffee cake – and have frozen a load of rosehip with which to
    make syrup at a later date. Economical cooking is a lost skill – and one that is really needed now that food inflation is running ahead of many peoples incomes. I, like you. have the time to forage and gather – but of course the big difference is that most of us (women) now work!!


  15. Lafemmeroar says:

    lol When I read 10oz of coffee I thought something was fishily wrong … how did the cake taste?


  16. Aurora says:

    LMAO that was well written and funny… I love second hand book stores too… until the bugs jump out of them… LOL … maybe that is why… leftover coffee cake stuck in the pages from those too high to notice… Hahaha Hear you on the not wanting to waste, but oh, my waist is paying LOL


  17. Barbara says:

    I think you should sell this version of the cake to Starbuck!


  18. backonmyown says:

    You’re funny. 🙂


  19. ElizOF says:

    Sorry Peter but I had a good and loud laugh reading this post… I knew something was up with your 10 ounces, but to spill some down your shirt was a complete riot! You do have a wry sense of humor… Oh this was delicious… 😉


  20. redheadmouth says:

    This is hilarious! This happens to me when I try to cook also. I can make one mean over easy egg though.


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