Half way

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last posted.  It’s been a busy few weeks, though not so great on the endeavours front.

Still, it’s the end of June, we’re half-way through the year, and I think it’s time to reflect on how things have gone.

First, though, this week’s recipe was Flora’s Famous Courgette Cake, from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess.  My first instinct was that it had a rather savoury aspect, but I think that’s because it isn’t as sweet as other cakes.  I halved the quantities, included raisins, and instead of filling it with lemon curd (making my own lime curd would have been a step too far) and topping it with a cream cheese frosting, I drizzled it – in an attempt to be artistic – with a basic icing made from sugar and lime juice.  One thing that this cake has definitely got going in its favour is that it’s moist – and stays moist.  Though I imagine some people might find the green flecks disconcerting.

Apart from that, there has been a dearth of new recipes in recent weeks.  Disappointingly I haven’t tried any new lunchtime recipes (I have discovered a cafe that does very reasonably priced baguettes, without mayonnaise), but I did try making flapjacks with honey instead of golden syrup; I can’t say I noticed much difference, but it did help to use up some honey.

Although things have fallen off a bit recently, overall I’m pleased with how my trying new recipes endeavour has worked out.  At a rough count, I think I’ve tried almost one new recipe a week (on average) thanks to rather more enthusiasm and inspiration earlier in the year.  I’ve had some notable successes.   Cheese risotto is a particular triumph which is now a regular dinner choice; I think it works best with leek rather than spring onion, and it’s rather nice with green beans.  I’ve also enjoyed the fish dishes I’ve tried.  On the baking front, being able to make a small batch of biscuits stops me from buying them, and helps keep the portions under control.  A real surprise has been my enthusiasm for banana muffins, which before this year I would have said that I didn’t like; it turns out that actually, I do, and it’s very handy to try to keep a supply in the freezer.  And of course, some haven’t working out so well – such as the attempt at skirlie and carrot muffins.

I’m definitely going to continue with this endeavour, especially as friends have recently passed two new recipes my way (berry crumble traybake, from the BBC website, and a very tempting oak cake recipe).  I definitely think that thinking of it as an endeavour rather than a resolution has generally kept the impetus going, despite recent weeks, and helps me focus on all the great new recipes I’ve tried, rather than on the fact that I haven’t actually managed a new one each week.

I did, however, plan two endeavours at the start of the year, and yet I’ve barely mentioned the other (which was to buy more interesting clothes).  The fact that I had to go back to my original post is a reflection of how well that one is going… I’ve realised that a key reason why this hasn’t worked so well is that I don’t enjoy clothes shopping, and although this endeavour (which was meant to be in some way liberating) hasn’t actually had an impact.  Still, the year isn’t over, and who knows?  Maybe some interesting purchases lie ahead!

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