Oh for the days when you could pack the children off to a nearby forest with jam sandwiches and ginger beer for sustenance, only for them to return famished at dusk, to scoff drop-scones and cocoa before falling into bed to dream wonderous dreams of their adventure-filled day. How simple the meal plans, grocery shop and cooking would have been, not mention all that independent time to be had whilst they were up the Faraway tree somewhere or other.
I am of course, referring to the fantasy tales created by Enid Blyton – the ones that shaped my childhood from The Enchanted Wood through to The Secret Seven. I always longed to have midnight feasts of homemade chocolate cake and toffees in boarding schools, picnics of orange aid and macaroons in tree-houses or returning home to a ‘tremendous steamed pudding, with lashings of treacle’.
It seems another much respected writer of mine, Angela Mollard, has also been touched by Enid’s writing. Angela is equally fascinated with the food depicted in Blyton’s novels. She states, “It’s all “great slices of cherry cake”, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread and gingerbread described as “dark brown and sticky to eat”. Indeed, it’s a measure of Ms Blyton’s talent that she even makes “potted meat”, “tongue sandwiches” and “lashings of hard-boiled eggs” sound like lovely picnic fare.”
Upon reading that phrase “great slices of cherry cake”, I knew what would be coming out of my oven on the next available baking day….
And just so you know, this Cherry Almond cake really is scrumptious – with or without the lashings of ginger beer.
185g butter, room temperature, chopped
3/4 cup castor sugar
2 cups SR flour
2 tbspn almond meal
1/4 cup milk
200g glace cherries
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and grease a loaf tin.
Place all ingredients, EXCEPT cherries in a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until all ingredients are combined.
Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is smooth and changed in color. Stir in cherries.
Spread mixture into tin and bake for 50-60 minutes.
Cool and dust generously with icing sugar.
Postscript: and being that this is the 100th post for Plain and Simple Blog, it seemed fitting to reference such a magical and prolific writer as Enid Blyton (some sources quote her published tales were in excess of 7500!) Since October last, this blog has catalogued one hundred examples of the plain and simple elements of living – Enid has certainly set the bar high.