26 January 2012

Bero Cookbook For Ever!

We are having friends round for a late Burn's Night supper on Saturday, with traditional Scottish food (Haggis, neeps and tatties being the main course), even though none of us is actually Scottish.  I suspect my Beloved has the nearest claim to Scots blood, her father having cousins of that persuasion.

My contribution to the evening lies in the baking department, an aspect of cookery with which I have long been acquainted and, though I say it myself, with appreciable success.  I have my mother, who introduced me in the art of building rock cakes when I was a very tender age, to thank for that.

My dear old mum also introduced me to the Bero Cookbook.  This item has been my main reference for all things farinaceous, having accompanied me to university where I made many a boiled fruitcake or pastry-based pudding to stave off the hunger pangs of a beleaguered student (i.e., me) and his friends.  A large wedge of boiled fruitcake was a frequent breakfast, consumed en route to a nine o'clock physics lecture after crawling from my bed at about 8:40 am.  It was certainly enough to get me through to coffee and a Mars Bar at 10:08 am, and provided sufficient nutrition to enable me to take intelligible notes in the intervening lecture.

A lecture, it is said, is a means of transferring information from the notebook of the lecturer to the notebook of the student without passing through the mind of either.  Perhaps I can attribute the good degree I obtained only to the mental stimulus derived from the nutritional value of the Bero boiled fruitcake...

Today, I made for the very first time some shortcake biscuits.  The Bero book contains instructions for petticoat tails and shortcake fingers.  Although the mixture is the same, I had to do a bit of experimentation to get the cooking time right for biscuits.  I am pleased to report an extremely successful outcome.  If you are one of our invited guests, you will be relieved to hear, no doubt, that there is at least something edible in the offing (fret not, I jest; my Beloved has, to date, singularly failed to poison me beyond all hope of recovery).

Modesty however, and the hope of living to a ripe old age, forbids my claiming to have provided the high point of gastronomic pleasure in the forthcoming event ...

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