Yesterday was My One True Love's birthday. Happy birthday, My One True Love!
This is a photo of a present I made him. He's an obsessive cyclist, and this is a musette he will use to put all sorts of bits and pieces into as those skintight knicks don't have pockets (obviously).
It's made from my favourite Echino fabric in blue and green. I've hung it off Mick the Fish in our backyard. We called him Mick in honour of Mick Jagger, because of his big, pouty mouth.
It was an in-betweeny birthday (no five or zero at the end) so we didn't go overboard with celebrations. A few friends around for dinner, a bit of wine, lots of laughs.
But I *did* make him a birthday cake. And I had plenty of time to think, as I whisked and whisked the eggwhites, which took FOREVER - and I realised was the first ever birthday cake I've made for him in our nearly eight years together.
It's amazing, I know, that I could have loved this man for so long and yet never made him a birthday cake before. I actually don't know why I haven't. I suppose in past years we've gone out to dinner, or we've celebrated in other ways, or it just hadn't occurred to me to do so.
But my mother gave me Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess for Christmas, and I decided it was time. I toasted hazelnuts, I shelled them, I whisked interminably, I poured, then I melted, then I whisked and whisked and whisked again, then I baked, then I cooled, then I melted some more, then I whisked again - the ganache icing this time - then I whisked, then I whisked, then I rested my aching arm, then I whisked, then I poured, and finally I feverishly decorated, just as he came through the door.
Before long, My One True Love and I joined the Amateur Actress, her newly arrived friend LÁuteur and our mate Pommy John, for a splendid meal of pizza and wine followed by the aforementioned chocolate and hazelnut extravaganza.
The cake was a hit, if I do say so myself, and now I'm determined to do more birthday baking.
Thanks mum for the book! I think I'm going to make the gin and tonic jelly this weekend .....