The (real) reason I am not a “proper” food blogger

People say that social media is responsible for creating an imbalance in the lives we see portrayed on line, that people who use social media are responsible for showing the “feature reel”, only the good, glossy and perfect bits of our lives. I don’t agree with that, I see an awful lot of the gritty bits of life in my feeds, the unhappy people, the strung out parents, the heartbroken, the grief-struck, the lonely, the annoyed, the angry and the frustrated.

But sometimes I actively seek out a bit of the glossy, because who doesn’t want to get away from the gritty every once in a while? And so it was last Friday I was looking through Facebook when I saw this post on the page of the wonderful Katie 180

Because I am meant not to be eating sugar I looked at the cake and fell in love (sugar deprivation does that to me). I decided that a more amazing cake had never been invented. I HAD to try make this magic sugary confection and I had to make it soon.

A couple of hours later my sister rang, she was on her way home from work and was about to start preparing dinner for a cast of what felt like thousands me included.

“Can I bring a cake?” I asked

“It’s not necessary” she said

“But I saw this magic cake today and I desperately want to try it” I countered “and I have all the ingredients” I added without looking at the ingredient list.

Eventually I persuaded her to allow me to bring it which is no mean feat because my sister is not good at taking help. Something in the family genes apparently.

I rushed downstairs to start making the cake reasoning that if I started right away there would still be plenty of time for me to bake the cake, allow it to cool etc etc. Except I didn’t really look at the time.

Then I discovered that I didn’t have all the ingredients. In fact the recipe said very specifically to use vanilla extract and while I had vanilla essence I’m aware that there is quite a difference. I also know that you can’t just buy vanilla extract at the corner store – you actually have to go to the supermarket (maybe that’s the difference between extract and essence?). So I bolted off to the supermarket. Found a parking and raced in only half worried that it was beginning to look quite dark outside. Flew through the aisles. Got the vanilla essence, back up milk and butter (you can never be too sure) and went to the self serve checkout because I am the fastest checkout chick you have ever seen.

As I pressed the “pay by cash” button I got that hideous feeling you get when you go to get your wallet and you can vividly picture it next to your bed. I asked the lovely man helping the people who can’t manage self-serve to keep my bags aside and I raced back to the car.

Phoned Little Pencil to tell him to find the wallet and bring it outside and wait for me. Managed not to sound angry with him for me leaving my wallet at home because I am very mature. Got the wallet and raced back the 3kms or so to the supermarket. Noticed that it was almost dark outside.

Paid for my stuff and went home to start baking.

The recipe called for four eggs. Realised I only had three. Close to giving up until my gorgeous, well brought-up, level-headed child offered to skate up to the shops and buy me eggs.   Threw off my helicopter mother mantel and allowed him to go in the dark with no helmet. There was cake at stake here.

Little Pencil came home with free-range eggs (bless his compassionate heart) and the cake was made with no more fuss. Until Mr Pencil came home ten minutes after I had stuck it in the oven and I realised that if he was home it had to be close to 7pm and we were going to my sister at 7:45pm.

I peered into the oven. The cake was browning perfectly and the recipe said to cook for an hour or until golden brown. All ovens are different, I assured myself, and mine is brilliant so it’s ready early.

magic cake uncut

Notice the almost visible three layers?

I took it out the oven and pretended to not notice that half of it was on the baking tray. Grabbed many dish towels to protect me from the heat while we drove off to my sister with the cake wobbling on my lap.

Perfect, it’s wobbling like custard I thought.  Virtually patted my own back. Got to my sister and let it rest all through dinner.

Just before dessert was served I went to take the cake out the tin and plate it, all along thinking I would grab a picture and create a glossy website image of the perfect cake that would make everyone believe I was a great cook that lead a charmed life.

And this is how the cake looked when I cut a slice for the picture.

magic cake cut

Yes, that is liquid you see inside

Luckily I managed to take the photo quickly before the liquid cake flowed off the plate like a custard waterfall.

And this is how you know that my blog is not one of the glossy ones.

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  1. Ooops … did you still serve it?

    • Gosh yes of course. But with spoons 😉 xx

      • Is there any other way to eat cake BUT with a spoon? My kids would say no.

        The same kids who won’t eat dinner using cutlery get all dainty on us when the host a a kid’s party doesn’t supply spoons to eat cake. Go figure.

        • I usually eat my cake with a fork but I am guessing I am at least 40 years older than your kids… 😉

  2. That is the story of my life when it comes to cooking. Whenever I invite people over I always remind them not to come for the food but the company.

  3. That is too funny and so like me, we are partners in crime. I was very excited to make a raw cheesecake for my daughters, then once I had whipped everything up I saw that the stupid cheesecake had to sit in the fridge for 24 hours, I had like 3!

  4. Loved this! Well, it gave me a laugh so that’s good right??!!

  5. Anne At Home says:

    I LOVE Katie180. And I love this story – so would she I’m sure, you must send it to her, I reckon she’ll laugh her f***ing socks off (to use her turn of phrase)!

  6. I’m not a cook Lana but on the weekend I made a Malteser slice to die for. Everyone in the staff room raved. I’m thinking maybe I should switch to being a food blogger. Thoughts? P.S.The cake looked fine to me. You just had to change the name to Magic in the Middle Cake. Who’d know?

  7. Mind you, that serving platter is very snazzy – perhaps you could find a niche taking happy snaps of colourful crockery peeking out from underneath recipe fails. Pretty sure nobody else is on to that yet.

    • Full credit goes to my sister for the serving platter. I had to change plates to a bigger one when the liquid came pouring out. :-)

  8. Little Me says:

    I remember Mum serving us our lunch on a magic plate when we where little. The magic plate was a sheet of kitchen towel. The magic part was that she didn’t have to wash it after we’d finished eating.

  9. Leonie Howard says:

    Mum used to have trouble with a chocolate cake recipe. It never turned out right. We kids loved it because it meant we would have “Chocolate Flop Cake” pudding with custard for dessert that night. In a household in which dessert was never served unless we had guests for dinner, it was always a magic night for us. So – you didn’t have cake but you had a great pudding. Well done indeed. And with those ingredients, I’ll bet it tasted wonderful.

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