Does this ever happen to you. I decided to make a pound cake yesterday morning. It uses NINE eggs and my little cluckers are laying so well that even though I give away four dozen eggs a week and sell a few dozen to my regulars, I always have 3 or 4 dozen in the ‘fridge needing to be cooked.
Now pound cake goes into a cold oven so I had done all my prep when I turned on the oven. Nothing happened. It is a gas oven. I stood with my cake tin in one hand and my confusion in the other and looked at the oven quite perplexed. I am sure my little brow was furrowed. These things are supposed to just WORK when I push the little buttons! So then I turned on one of the burners to check if that worked. Nothing again. Very slowly the realisation crept into my sleepy brain the I had run out of GAS. A quick check of the enormous tank that lives in the garden confirmed this. Usually a big truck comes and fills it up. But someone has to CALL the little man with the big truck don’t they! mm
OK. No hot water. No hot food. So I called the company that handles our gas and the dear lady very sweetly told me in a very matter of fact and up beat voice that there is a fee of 200 dollars for the truck to come out of its way on the same day and was 4 O’Clock OK?. I spluttered and said “um.. well.. gee 200 dollars ..hmmm.. no … um.. well.. no ..thank you that is very kind, but No lets leave it for now. I will do without gas for a bit.” The woman on the other end was gobsmacked, but you will need your gas won’t you? Her voice had dropped as though she suddenly realised that she may be dealing with an irrational person.
Now I had been feeling all satisfied because I choose not to use air conditioning (and yes it is 100 degrees today but I this is my third summer without AC. I hate to break that kind of record), or watch TV or ever feed anyone processed foods (never, ever) or use the dryer in the summer and do without services that really are luxuries, or eat genetically modified food or go on frequent cross country shopping trips. But to do without hot water or the stove? Wasn’t this taking things a bit far?. I can just hear that poor woman telling her boss about those foreigners and their strange ways and they probably never wash anyway and I feel sorry for the children!! Her boss would nod sagely with half an ear on the phone.
But it really has not turned out so bad. It is actually ok. Last night after my swim I boiled some water in the kettle, poured the water into a big basin and gave myself a wash. It was fine. I felt refreshed. Actually I was probably cleaner because usually I just wallow about in a hot bath until I feel done then I get out again. The Silent One had a cold shower ( and was NOT Silent about it either) and he definitely felt refreshed. I have not needed hot water all day, just boiled a wee bit for the dishes in a kettle and washed the laundry in cold.
Tonight we will grill. I have picked zucchini and some baby beetroot these will grill up nicely drizzled with a basil oil and popped on skewers. We will have some of our own lovely lean grass-fed beef steak. The beetroot leaves will make a salad. I can even wrap a few freshly dug little potatoes in tin foil with a big dollop of butter and if I put them on the grill first they should cook. Quite a feast really, even without the pound cake. Which by the way I fed to the chickens, uncoooked of course. They were ecstatic!
I am wondering how long I could actually go without having that gas tank filled. How long could we go without hot water and an oven. I could dig out the electric fry-pan. Dare I call the woman back and tell her not to come at all!!
Rhetorical question really. I am way too lazy and often too filthy to do without hot water!! They are coming to fill it up on Monday.
Oh no, I almost forgot to give you the recipe for the pound cake be warned I am really quite terrible at recipe writing. Elise at //simplyrecipes.com/ is much better at it. She has a formula.! And I need to work out how to link it to a list.
Anyway pound cake is very old-fashioned and an excellent way to help your kids and the hard workers of the family eat eggs and good butter. Eggs are a fantastic food. Good butter cannot be replaced with ANY of those over processed over colored sludges they have lining the shelves of the supermarkets so don’t even think about it. If you saw what color that stuff starts out as you would NOT eat it. I always use Organic Flour then I am sure it is not genetically engineered wheat. the Silent One does not want to be a part of that particular experiment either.
Soften half a pound of butter.
Add 3 cups sugar and beat sugar and butter until creamy. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla. One at a time add 9 fresh eggs. Keep beating between each egg.
Slow mixer down and slowly add 3 cups of Organic Unbleached Flour, alternately with 1/2 cup of either cream or whole milk. NO half and half – that is terrible stuff.
Pour into large cake tin. Put into cold oven and turn on to 350 degrees. Start checking in an hour. If you can smell it check it. Usually this cake takes about one hour and twenty minutes in my oven. The cake is cooked when a knife speared in comes back out clean. Cool in the tin on a rack.
In the summer I store this cake in the fridge. It will keep for quite a few days. It is a big cake, so if you like you can even store half of it in the freezer.
Ok I am off out to shift the captured swarm out of its cuddly little nuc and into a proper hive. I will take pictures for you. Mercy all this swarming. I hope we get honey this year!
PS Sorry there are no pictures of the cake but I cannot cook it can I – with no gas! Next time.