Chocolate, Cherry & Coconut Macaroon Slice

The body was willing but the mind was not. Baking has been unceremoniously shoved to the back burner. Perhaps it was a subconscious reaction to having a diabetic guest, my father, who stared with hungry eyes at the few home baked treats. I certainly found it hard to munch through a biscuit while speaking with him; his grand children have no such scruples. Why cruelly tempt the poor man? My resolve was broken by The Scotsman, who peered deeply into the bowels of the fridge before flinging open cupboard doors, scavenging for treats. It went on for days, The Scotsman getting more ornery without a post-dinner sugar fix. I finally got the message and donned the baking apron. I wished for the cupboard hinges to remain intact.

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I dream of doughnuts

Gina was every little girl’s dream aunt. Fun, girly and pretty, she had an incredible capacity to accept children as they were, even if they were utter spawns of the devil as I was. She was that grown-up – the one that pulls weird faces to make us laugh, plays hide and seek, tickles our tummies or the kind to soothe teary faces after a parental ticking off. My mother’s younger sister’s arrival meant that my mischief-bent mind and hands were safely occupied, while my perpetually harassed, time poor mother got on with the chores. I got my fair shares of smacks on the backside from the elders of the family, unquestionably deserved, but Gina Aunty could get me to do anything, even being good.


Mango & Passionfruit Sorbet

Every April and May, I repeatedly face defeat. There are only so many Alphonso mangoes I can eat in a day without breaking into spots or worse. I don’t buy these in wimpy wee bags either, I carry home a boxful. The appearance of wrinkles round the fat end is stressing me out; I am on salvage-mode. The only time I ‘cook’ an Alphonso mango is if there is no other recourse left. My no-custard Mango & Coconut Ice cream is a proven winner, but it just might be gazumped by this gutsy yet smoooooooth operator.


Calvin, Hobbes & Peanut Butter

Calvin and Hobbes ‘got’ me. I got them. I felt the unfairness of the world same as them, the rebellion against conformity, the over-the-top reactions, always pushing just that bit too far and the love of that one special friend who saw past the one-man-band kind of bedlam that was me.


Pear, Chocolate & Hazelnut Strudel

Pear & Chocolate Strudel - The Patterned Plate

My mum is a sucker for apple strudel. Just mention those hallowed words and watch the mist come over her. She’s no fool with them either, dismissing several local offerings with authority. Having never put a toe anywhere in Germany until then (and this was the early nineties), it does beg the question – how on earth did she know what she was looking for?