Well, that's almost all, folks. The very last photoshoot happened on Saturday, meaning this cookbook-writing montage is whirling to a close and the inspirational eighties song accompanying it is in the coda stage. I still have to edit the heck out of it - to make sure that I don't use the word 'buttery' or 'bodacious' on every single page, which is...of concerningly high likelihood.
I also still have to test a bulging handful of recipes, which means, and has meant, that I have made more or less nothing in the last couple of weeks that isn't specifically for this cookbook.
Apart from these nuts. They seem an even less worthy offering for you than the raspberry smoothie I blogged about last time but what can I do? We are overrun with food that I just can't talk about.
I made these for a birthday party that we had for Tim on Saturday night, along with a cake that I iced to look like Jack White. I was particularly proud of managing to ice some sweaty strands of hair to Cake-Jack's forehead. We drank some excellent whisky and danced and talked and sang "Happy Birthday" to the tune of the Game of Thrones theme song and everyone wrote nice things about Tim in a giant birthday card which was supposed to be a surprise but I forgot about it till an hour before the party started and had to tell Tim, then run out and buy it while he cleaned the house and the only big cards that were in the shop were either hideous or for a specific age (or both) so I got a card which said "good luck" in glittery letters because at that point it felt like the right sentiment.
The uber-dapper and somewhat long-suffering birthday man.
Maple Horseradish Cashews
A recipe by myself.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt, in abundance
Tip the cashews with a clatter into a large saucepan. Toast them, stirring constantly, over a low heat till they start to become fragrant and lightly browned in places. Stir in the oil, the horseradish, the syrup, and plenty of salt, and continue to stir till any liquid is evaporated and the cashews are varying stages of stickily scorched and shiny. You don't want them actually burnt, as they'll turn acrid and bitter, but try to get them as close to it as you can.
These nuts, with their burnished, sticky coating combine horseradish's compellingly back-of-the-throat mustard flavour with the smokily sweet taste of maple. Cashews have their own mild sweetness which complements both but use what you have, I just happened to be hosting more than I knew what to do with in my pantry. If you don't have horseradish sauce, try a tablespoon of dijon or American mustard, or as much wasabi as you dare - both will provide that hot-mouthed zing.
What else has been happening lately besides all that?
Well, I went to a lovely friend's place on Sunday with a bevy of other lovely friends for a day we called Princess Camp. There was snuggling and Olympic gymnastics and dance movies and bubbles and cake and gossip and this beautiful cat who can do forward rolls (if only I'd got a video and she could've been an internet sensation).
I don't see cats very often so this was rather thrilling. I should also point out that we watched the Spice Girls part of the Olympics closing ceremony, and I was recounting how ridiculous it was that I started crying when I watched it the first time, and then - I started crying again. I just couldn't help it, it was all so momentous and the Spice Girls were together again at last, and seemed to be such good friends, and they all looked so happy and beautiful and...there's really no good way to explain this, so perhaps just gaze upon the adorable cat in the photo.
I also helped start a trending topic on twitter with the highly excellent Sarah-Rose. Here's what happened: I'd been thinking about the Baby-sitters Club, as is my wont. I spied Sarah-Rose tweeting about what she was wearing to someone else. It occurred to me, and so I tweeteth, that it'd be really cool if people described what they were wearing on Twitter in the manner of Claudia Kishi, who was the total queen of the BSC and always had the most incredible outfits. Sarah-Rose declared that it should definitely be a thing. Emboldened, we both tweeted our outfits with the hashtag #kishi. And then more people did. And more and more and more.
On day two it trended and then continued to trend. Isn't that the most, to say the least? I understand entirely if Twitter is a concept that eludes you, and now's not the place for social media 101, but I LOVE IT. And managing to hoist a fairly niche-interest topic into the realms of trending was immensely thrilling. And it's such a fun hashtag. Just as I loved reading outfit descriptions in the Baby-sitters Club books, so I do in real life. I love describing my trackpants, should I be wearing them, as lavishly and breathlessly as I would a dress. In short: FUN!
Finally, I made this short video on why I'm proud to support marriage equality.
Finally-finally, Tim and I have somehow been planning our trip to America. Which starts next Friday. We booked tickets to see Wicked on Broadway. What is life. But till that day comes: all the editing and all the feelings! And hopefully all of the blogging, too. I am sorry for not blogging more, and then for barely even coming correct when I do - next time it'll be something more significant than Johnny-Come-Lately fried cashews, I promise.
______________________________________________________________________Title via: Something's Coming, from the beautiful musical West Side Story. I rather enjoy limber-voiced adorable gem Gavin Creel's take on this stunning song.
Rodriguez, Crucify Your Mind: I don't normally say things like this, but this man should be a billion times bigger than Dylan. He just should.
Sky Ferreira, Everything Is Embarrassing. Terribly relatable.
O'Lovely, Bright Lights. I've been listening to this a lot lately, it's so twinkly and dreamy so of course I adore it.
Next time: As I said: Sooner! Better than nuts!