Years ago, I used to cook for people all the time – anyone willing to eat, really, as long as I didn’t have to. Cooking was a way of being around food without the scary business of having to ingest it.
Fortunately those years are long gone, and I continue to cook, but now I cannot serve food that I have not tasted myself. (Come to think of it, going to chef school was the turning point for that: it was quickly drummed into us that we have to taste everything we cooked – ugh, I still remember the chewy softness of thymus glands, known more commonly and euphemistically as sweetbreads. Like tripe, they are probably not bad, but the idea is too much for me.)
So last Friday, after the fiasco of grilling my cake the day before, I was forced (hands tied and all) to have a piece for for breakfast, just to make sure it would still do to serve to people. It did well enough, particularly once smothered with a good layer of chocolate. Before 9am, I had also enjoyed the sticky sweetness of the plum coconut cake (just in case anyone was allergic to chocolate, you see).
This morning breakfast was what came out of the oven yesterday afternoon: peanut butter cookies, and a slice of lemon-and-thyme cake, very light and moist, as it was made with olive oil instead of butter.
The truth is, I love cake for breakfast. And how much better is a good piece of cake than a crap piece of pastry, or a boring slice of toast with peanut butter?
I particularly love the times I have to martyr myself for my friends: just the other day I spent the early morning making truffles for a friend’s birthday. Well, “truffles” is perhaps less accurate than “seriously boozy pernod balls” (made with a leftover aniseed cake). Think rumballs made with pernod. And when you make cake balls, it’s important that they have 12 hours (at least) to sit and firm up, and for the flavours to “mature”. Still, a busy day ahead meant I had to breakfast on the still slightly soggy (= seriously boozy) mixture. It was delicious, and it turned out to be a fine day indeed. (Obviously).