Thursday 9 September 2010

Let Them Eat Cake – And Read Poetry Too

On Tuesday we had our Connexion Recipe swap at Doreen’s home. Here are some of the gangDSCF0004

and here are the others [and myself, the photographer]


[special welcome to Gail – in the pink - who is the ‘new girl’ – she and her husband Simon have just arrived at the church in Braunstone]

As usual I forgot to take a picture of the table before we started eating- I confess we descended on the goodies rather in the manner of the Assyrian who ‘came down like the wolf upon the fold’ ** – leaving a trail of crumbs and paper napkins in our wake!


We sampled Hilary’s Special Fruit Cake, Janet’s Jumble Cake, Doreen's Minute Chocolate Cake [that’s minute = 60 seconds, not minute = tiny!] Elisabeth’s Apfelkuchen and my Cookies.


Hoping to try this apfelkuchen recipe soon. Elisabeth got it from her Archer’s of Ambridge Cookbook. It was deliciously moist. According to the BBC this morning, we should expect some brilliant British apples this autumn as we have had exactly the right weather this summer to produce a good harvest.


It was good to get together and chat, eat and swap recipes – but I find I am amassing lots of bits of paper with things on them. So recently I’ve been sticking them into a book.


I got this 2008 Rachel Allen Diary for next to nothing, as it was already out of date, in Borders closing down sale. Each month includes one of Rachel’s recipes, and I am sticking mine on the pages in between. Steph’s Cookies and Liz’s Double Ginger Cake are already in there along with a few others.



I shall use the blank pages at the back, headed “Recipe Notes” to compile an index.

**confession – I was sure that bit about the wolf upon the fold was biblical – but couldn’t find it in Scripture. In fact it is the first line of Byron’s poem “The Destruction of Sennacherib”

Having found the quote, I then fell in love with the poem all over again. It’s the sort of stirring stuff that should be taught more often in schools to make children fall in love with the language [like it used to be in the dark ages when I was a pupil] gareth malone

I note that Golden-boy Gareth is back on BBC2 tonight teaching little boys to love literacy. I bet he gets them doing choral verse speaking [like it was his great new idea to start with]

Go on, read it aloud, with all the expression you can muster, and see if you don’t feel thrilled by it!

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass'd,
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there roll'd not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpets unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!


  1. I like the look of that chocolate cake - I can only imagine it was super yummy! Blessings!

  2. I thought the delightful Gareth was a music whizz? He reminded me of all my choir masters/mistresses rolled into one. We saw the program/programme "The Choir" here in Canada when we used to have TV (us personally, I mean, not Canada!). We learned spoken poetry at school can be very exciting, and it seems to be a lost art.

  3. Yes Jane, Gareth IS a music teacher, but now he is turning his talents towards other aspects of learning!
    BJ - The chocolate cake WAS scrummy - as were all the others!

  4. I don't know of this Gareth who inspires young boys to literary eruditon but I shall be looking out for him ce soir! I have Jennifer Aldridge's Archers Cookbook and it only comes out at this time of the year for the Harvest recipes!


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