Saturday, 26 September 2009

Saturday 26th September 09

A busy and tiring day, but fulfilling.

I got up early enough to be on my bike and going down to town before 10 to be a York Rotter at the Food Festival, from 10 til midday. There were assorted Council bods there already, doing the Love Food Hate Waste info and giveaways. I immediately launched into my Rotter mode and enthusiastically engaged with as many people as possible.

Town was busy and in the two hours I chatted to about 25 people about home composting and sometimes other subjects. Very enjoyable.

I came home via Country Fresh to pick up compostables and had some good chats with Rich before zooming back for lunch, a quick email session and then got changed and bike loaded with Fiddlesticks gear to go up the Hull Road to a four-year-old's party, booked less than a week ago. I'd suggested that as they'd already got a bouncy castle arranged, that a shorter circus skills show would be best, with reduced workshop content, followed by a balloon model giveaway rather than a workshop.

So this format worked well... most of the partygoers were four, two were twelve years old (I think) and there were plenty of adults too, which was good. Everything went as planned, and I was given a veggieburger when all the children had received their balloon animals, and a slice of delicious cake. I had to ask about the cake. It was unlike anything I'd had before... and I was introduced to the cake-baker, the Jamaican Grandma. I asked about the recipe and she said she never used a recipe. She used butter and sugar, blended with a bit of milk, and assorted essences, vanilla pods etc, and some raisins and currants soaked in wine for several months, gravy browning (!) and bicarbonate of soda, and a whole bag of flour. Oh, and some rum, white rum. The secret, though, was to add a few slops of rum to the cake as soon as it came out of the oven. So, and interesting and delicious creation.

I stayed on at the party well after the 4pm supposed finish time as I wanted to make sure that as children left, they had an intact balloon model... and of course there was fizzy pop to drink and the Jamaican Grandma to chat to...

But was home by 5pm and I got changed and did a load of chainsawing. Gill had made a sort of ... veggieburger for tea! I didn't watch the stuff that our boys were engrossed in (some Merlin fantasy stuff I think, and saw an awfully rubbish ITV programme on the other telly which was dire). I switched off and did a lot of Scrabble on facebook, and several interesting conversations with new facebook friends, including a gent who works for the US Environmental Protection Agency and was interested in my uber-low carbon lifestyle. Interesting stuff.

A quiet evening, bit of washing up, lots of computery stuff. (Gill finds this last line funny, can't think why!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi John

Yes, gravy browning is actually quite common in traditional dark cake recipies - well it is amongst the people I know.
I hope you realise that the lady means gravy browning which is really just caramel and excellent for flavour without affecting taste, rather than Bisto which you wouldn't want anywhere near a cake!