Every year on my birthday, apart from celebrating all that is fabulous (and modest, of course) about me, I am always inspired to embark on something new. This might be a new experience, a new adventure or simply a new 'education' but there always seems to be a plethora of things I'd like to conquer - or at the very least have a crack at.
So when I turned 41 back at the start of August (and realised that, yes I had left my thirties well and truly behind me), I made a little promise to myself that this year I would overcome my trepidation in an area that everyone else makes look effortlessly simple - baking.
I'm not talking about the type of baking to do with vegetables, burritos, fish or lasagne (although having never made one of these before, I might just sneak one in this year). It's proper baking I mean to master - cakes, pies, tarts, muffins, loaves, biscuits - all that lovely old-fashioned, apron-clad cleverness that's absolutely meant for sharing (vs one-pot meals for one or two).
So this week, with a few days off and having been given 4 tins of pineapple pieces (a whole other story!), I decided that I would kill two birds with one stone and try a cake recipe that used canned pineapple...and after a small amount of fossicking on-line (Google, how I love thee!), I embarked on my first venture - Pineapple and Banana Loaf.
After much mashing, measuring, mixing and mulling over the batter-spotted recipe sheet, I got that beast into the oven and just over an hour later was rewarded with this:
There was a still-warm slice each for me 'n' J for dessert on Wednesday night and then my Ladies Who Lunch visitor, and baking friend extraordinaire, A polished off another couple of slices on Thursday, whilst making all the 'right' noises. And the rest is going next door tonight to face the ultimate test - a couple of teenagers!
But the reviews are good...and I have to say, I'm a little bit chuffed with myself!!
However timing will be of the essence in my future baking forays - after all, I cannot be expected to polish off 32 serves on my own - late at night, watching Mad Men, Desperate Housewives, Hells Kitchen or The Apprentice. Otherwise next year's promise will be a cinch to select...mastering the discipline of Low Fat Diet & Exercise!