The Bitch is Back. With Lemon Meringue Pie.

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I can imagine that I’ve been causing a lot of anxiety over the past 11 weeks and 2 days (have you been counting too?). “Did she eat all those sweets all by herself and explode?” “Did Queen Victoria’s descendents claim copyright over the name and lead her to go into hiding?” “Did she win the lottery and move into a Large House where things didn’t taste so good anymore?”Almost, but not quite. I did eat a lot of sweets. I did spend a couple of weeks computer free (so sort of in hiding). I’ve never played the lottery, though if I did, and I won, I’m pretty sure my attachment to blog-writing would prevent me from ever moving to a house so big that puddings lost their flavour.

So anxiety is averted. As for the sweets, they were put into little jars (that look like the over-priced Kilner jars you see on BBC baking programmes but really come from IKEA) and wrapped in pink rafia and taken on a road trip around the country, deposited at the houses of various lucky family members. The Christmas break looked something like this: North-SouthEast-SouthWest-SouthEast-North. There were some memorable bakes along the way: the cranberry and orange meringue pie for Christmas Day dessert springs to mind. As does the combination of orange polenta biscuits with dark chocolate mousse (all the way back to Jamie’s first book for that one). But the prospect of deadlines-deadlines-deadlines at the end of January meant that much of the already-dreary month was spent staying in one place, at my desk, trying to write.

I never should have paired the challenges of writing 10,000 words whilst preparing to teach undergraduates for the first time with a new diet. Instead of taking breaks to bake, and blog about baking, and eat baked goods, and share baked goods, and bake again, I took breaks to watch high-calorie (i.e. ‘junk’) television instead. The first season of 24. (I’m resisting the second until I can afford the time to enjoy, rather than feel guilty about, the brain-numbing it entails). The first three seasons of Weeds (yes, Mary Louise Parker). The final season of Damages (what the fuck Glenn). February was supposed to see the return of high quality television (Six Feet Under) and high-calorie baking experiments, starting with a plan for an orange and lemon cheesecake to accompany a reading group discussion of AM Homes’ Music for Torching.

The cheesecake was a disaster. An unphotographable disaster. I would have trusted Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries with my life but this time, as I cursed his name and served scoops of sunken cheese’cake’ adorned with decorative biscuit crumbs in mugs with witty slogans, I had to come to terms with the fact that some of his baking recipes are just a little too willy-nilly for comfort. My confidence was a little bruised and for the rest of the month I allowed myself to be submerged in reading, writing and what felt like a mountain of student essays on Wordsworth (not exactly the ‘contemporary lesbian cinema’ of my comfort zone, you may have realised).

It is March now. And what better way to celebrate the ending of the winter months of doom than by making lemon meringue pie. With the ever-trustworthy and never-willy-nilly Dan Lepard. Even the addition of a potentially-crumbly gluten-free pastry couldn’t topple this one. Look at the picture. I say no more.

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2 Comments

  1. Welcome back, and I cannot express to you how much I enjoy your writing TTBISP (like the acronym?) 😉 You make me laugh out loud so thank you for that! =) Look forward to your next post whenever that is … and warmest wishes! xo

    Reply
  2. What a lovely comment! Thank you. I’ll be sure to keep up weekly posts again with the knowledge that someone is reading them! x

    Reply

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