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June 16, 2012

Red Velvet Comfort



This is the time of Matariki in New Zealand. It equates to the Halcyon Days of ancient Greece, when settled weather can be relied on for gathering in the late harvest and sea food before Winter storms in. But this year, the re-appearance of the constellation Matariki - or the Pleiades - in the sky, has ushered in rain, snow and freezing temperatures.  And I am feeling the cold.  Satisfying then to have comforts, like the log burner, the contentment of cats, lush gardening books and home baking...




Kitty, I am realising is a natural baker.  What is it in the genes that can incline one to understanding the business of flour and fat and sugar? Is it the same gene that inclined her father to chemistry? And did he inherit that from his mother, Kitty's grandmother, who was an excellent baker? According to her daughter Lizzie, Dimpy understood and made all types of pastry with skill. And every Christmas, Elwin remembered the ecstasy and the agony of his mother's mince pies: the melt-in-the mouth pastry and the indigestion that followed. Well, now we know that he was also setting himself up for arteriosclerosis. But let's not get distracted from comfort: it's wintertime, it's cold, and home-baked Red Velvet Cake right now, feels good.



10 comments:

Geo. said...

Beautiful photos! Pleiades, sisters set by Zeus among stars, is one of my favorite words --and red velvet cake. This has to be one of my favorite posts ever.

Susan Heather said...

Red Velvet cake - that is a new one for me but looks delicious. A lovely sunny day here in the north but we can feel the chill in the wind that comes from the south.

Keep warm.

Cro Magnon said...

As a non-sugar-eater, I'll pass. But it looks good, and I always loved hundreds and thousands (which we called millions and trillions).

Gill said...

Kitty this looks delicious. One of your many talents! Your poem recital was amazing on Thursday. Well done.

Jeneane said...

Geo: You're right about the word Pleiades - it has a velvet mouth feel. I like to translate Matariki as Little Eyes but don't know a Maori legend associated with the star cluster. An Australian legend is strikingly similar to the Greek myth of the Pleiades and Orion, with seven sisters being disturbed in their gardening by a rapacious hunter. I'm delighted that you enjoyed this post so much, thank you :-)

Susan Heather: It is new to us too. The first contestant to leave NZ Hottest Home Baker made it, and we have been intrigued. You enjoy your sunshine.

Cro Magnon: Millions and trillions: I like that. We do call them hundreds and thousands. Fond memories of childhood :-)

Gill: When Kitty ran through the poem just before leaving for school, it was the first time I'd listened to it without feeling she could improve something. She certainly worked on that accent. I'm very proud of her. We both agree that the Red Velvet cake could do with a bit of improvement. By the way; leave room for a red velvet touch in your Monday morning tea time...

libby said...

Talk of log burners and cake is so very very appealing....lovely photos too.

the cuby poet said...

Red Velvet cake looks so scrummy. Hundreds and thousands were always called Sprinklies when my children were little, why? obvious because that's what you have to do with them.

Jeneane said...

Libby:
Join me any time :-)

the cuby poet:
I do hear 'sprinkles' used here, but my children keep that word specifically for the myriad sprinkle-able novelties from the cake-decorating deptartment in the supermarket. Ah the diversity and nuances of language.

andymlawton@gmail.com said...

Have looked and loved..those snowy cloaks and slipped bark and shape against and into a blue sky.

Thanks for those and the food for comfort..Andy

Jeneane said...

Dear Andy, I'm glad you loved the snow scenes. Maybe when you come to stay it will snow, and then there'll be nothing to do but eat red velvet cake :-)