A Piece Of Cake

26 Jun

I promised myself to cook more and maybe even start baking. At the end of the day, it is a creative outlet with great tangible results.

There is the chestnut and orange roulade cooling down in the kitchen at the moment, the one that I promised myself to make about three weeks ago. Every week I would buy oranges and then eat them. But I decided I was using the last one for the roulade. And still, I just couldn’t make myself do it. I had a perfect excuse – I do not own all necessary equipment, such as a mixer – the most useful tool for baking. Imagine all that physical work involved in mixing ingredients by hand, I am not a slave!

But during my yet another sleepless night, lying in bed, I started comparing the old times with today’s. All those household electrical, noise making appliances were invented to make our lives easier. As if there was nothing better than to wake up to the neighbour’s mowing their lawn at 8.30 on Saturday morning! Nothing better to do? A lie-in, no? But I want a lie-in!!!

Anyway, a few weeks ago, I made a loaf of bread. Yummy, but what a hard work! All that kneading, my poor spaghetti arms hurt after like after three minute plank. The women of the past, I bow down to you. I guess, working in the kitchen then was comparable to building a house. And I am exaggerating just a tiny bit.

That must have been a great lifestyle; getting an exercise while making something useful. And today? The supermarket’s aisles are full of ready made meals, so all those beautiful appliances are doomed to be used by only a few the chosen ones, those who have time on their hands, housewives without a proper job, those who don’t work hard enough to make money. People with ‘alternative’ lifestyles. Because only workoholism counts for mainstream.

So we do not have time to cook a proper dinner every night. After all, there are take-aways and ready meals to get us by, shovelling in our mouths, to be done with, moving to something else.

After work, we head to gym, because that is the only right place for exercising. Apparently, they even have screens that play images of the nature to make the run on the treadmill more interesting.

That reminds me of a date I had years ago. The first and the last one. He said he was at he gym basically every night. He would drive there although it was just twenty minutes away. He had to drive there because there was, ehm … a very steep hill on the way.

So me, refusing to ever step on the gym’s grounds, I decided I will make that cake without the mixer or the electrical whisk, like all good women before the electricity was invented. I put on a good energetic song (the only electricity that I used while baking) and was whisking away while dancing in the kitchen. Eggs and sugar proved to be quite easy but the egg whites! My mum taught me that unless you can put them over your head and they’ll stay in the bowl, keep whisking. But we had the lovely mechanical whisk with which you just had to turn the handle. That was a hard work, too.

So I whisked like crazy for two whole songs but it just wasn’t good enough, at least not according to my mother’s standards, her voice from long gone past still in my head. I sweated (my level of fitness is really below the zero) and it still wasn’t enough. My biceps hurt so bad that I had to give up. Hopefully, the cake will still be lovely and she will be proud of me.

So there is a piece of advice for these hard economic times – don’t go to gym, bake and knead like in the old times.

PS: The roulade is edible. 🙂

About the Writer: Zdena comes from Slovakia but has made Wales her second home, that is when she is not travelling, which she can’t live without. Two important things in her life are books and Scrabble and she also loves world cinema.

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