I don’t understand why people don’t cook onions more often. And I don’t mean as the staple basic item that always goes, and should go, in casseroles, soups, risotti and all else, but on their own. I’ve meant to say this many times on here and lest I forget this time as well, here is what I think: onions are at their very best when boiled until they are very soft, drained and dressed with salt, vinegar and oil. Gosh my mouth is watering. And don’t worry, please don’t worry about reeking of onion; you won’t, it’s only raw onion that will make you stink to high Heaven.
Now that I got that one off my chest, I should tell you of my return to baking. It took place at the weekend, perhaps unsurprisingly, as I spent the previous two days ticking things off Eat Me, a delightful pink book by Cookie Girl.
So I picked the Banoffee Cupcakes and the Lemon Meringue Cupcakes and they both turned out fantastically awesome, even though I decorated the banoffee ones with a slice of strawberry but I guess I really wanted to go saccharine sweet in the style stakes and I don’t think that a sliver of banana cuts it as well as one of strawberry. Do you agree? Or don’t you agree? In any case I am now hankering after Lakeland’s piping set (which I already mentioned here) and I can’t stop thinking about all of the other cupcakes I can try. I really ought to fill the cupboards with chocolate as well as we are rushing towards Easter and I am convinced I can make my own egg this year.
I’ve also been reading a novel which is something I rarely do. It surely seems odd to be a literary person stating that I don’t really read novels, especially when it ain’t quite an accurate statement. There surely would be no English degree and no PhD if I had not read plentiful. But over the last year or so I have mainly concentrated on non-fiction, thus relegating the memory of fiction to the long-lost days of summer holidays spent on a beach (and this was... oh my God... a lifetime ago). Being the person who doesn’t judge a book by its cover but chooses it on its merits, I picked up The Elegance of the Hedgehog, as its pictorial reference right here reminded me of many happy times in France.
I am barely half-way through it and I am enjoying it very much, except for a vague sense of pretentiousness poking out from between the lines. When I am done with this, I think I will read Dr Zhivago. Just thinking about it thrills me. It thrills me because I know nothing of it. Strange to be admitting to ignorance, right? Well, I am not afraid of confessing that there are books that have always been present in my life, and yet in a removed state, a bit like certain actors. Robert Downey Junior springs to mind, a guy I’ve always been aware of but never quite followed. Like the stench of disinfectant in Starbucks if you sit near to the toilet you know? Something you know it’s there but you do a great job of ignoring. And so it was with Dr Zhivago, a book (or movie) that many people mention in passing but that I know nothing of. Not for long though. Thrills I am telling you, frigging thrills...