A and B, my married friends, invited me over last Sunday. We had a swell time watching English football and baking a chocolate cake. B gathered the groceries while A and I flirted with cardiac seizure as banal Boro held the greatest team in the world to a gloomy draw. It was an awful start to the afternoon, but well in line with the bilious clouds that hang dark and low outside, pregnant with perverse intent. When the game was over, it rained heavily in the kitchen.
It all came down in thick-coming fancies! Dozens of wonderfully-weighted white eggs, spices to snuff you silly, nutmeg, eclectic essences, vanilla, strawberry, bars of chocolate. It snowed the purest castor sugar and milk; mealy, soft flour and lip-smacking, finger-licking butter. But it remained dry outdoors. The cool afternoon dragged along slowly, and there was no need to hurry up. Packing the sterile mixer back into its box, we beat and mixed and creamed slowly and gently by human hand, splashing the walls, floor and ceiling while seeking the candid consistency.
We were all awash with streaks of the luscious mixture in the face, on the corners of the lips, on the arms, necks; everywhere the sneaky paste had gone :). The apron effect, that magical moment when, with the strings tied behind you, you feel you could cook heavenly delights out of anything or straw, glowed in the kitchen as teasing and horseplay grew a little wild. We caught the chocolate just in time. Sitting in a ceramic bowl in boiling water on the gas, it had melted and was creeping and curdling to a swarthy shade.
When the chocolate was saved, and the mix baking in the preheated oven, we sat back to a low logic movie about satanic cults, prosperity and the power of the Catholic God. As evil gained the upper hand, we amused ourselves with all the sweetness wafting out of the oven, trying to make out all the individual flavours, and putting words to them. In the end, good prevailed in the movie, and we shared a big bottle of coke with the most toothsome chocolate cake ever baked on a Sunday afternoon in Sakumono.
When B announced her plan to bake a pie, I thought it best to go, for it was approaching ten p.m. If you’re still wondering, the greatest team in the world is Manchester United! :)