Thursday, 26 May 2011


I couldn't believe it when I found this in the charity shop yesterday and pounced on it in glee.
And then I opened it and felt sad.
It is inscribed in curly black writing, To my sweet EJ. Love always, D.
(Or maybe that's M. No, I think it's D.)
Who was sweet EJ ... Elizabeth Jane? Emily Jessamine? Was it love always from her D for Dad or from Damian, Daniel or David? If he loves her always, how come his lovely gift ended up unappreciated in the charity shop (it was only published about two years ago)? And there's no splodges and stains to show that she ever made Molly's mother's blueberry-raspberry pound cake or the French lemon yogurt cake that brought about a blog romance and then a wedding. (If you're not familiar with Molly's blog Orangette, she met her curly-haired husband - who was one of her readers - when he e-mailed her after discovering her yogurt cake recipe, and their long-distance romance blossomed from there. I have to remind myself that this is extremely unlikely to happen twice.)
Anyway, I've been engrossed in Molly's family reminiscences and recipes all morning until they made me so hungry that I had to make pancakes for lunch.
Don't you think that her book has found a much better home with me? EJ is probably a thin person who watches cookery programmes on television and doesn't know how to make pastry.
I'll let you know how that lemon yogurt cake turns out.

16 comments:

kristina said...

One of my all-time favorite books. How could she? Poor D!

K x

Cornflower said...

What a lucky find, but as Kristina says, poor D!
I've had that book on my wishlist for ages and still not bought it, though the mention of lemon yogurt cake may just tip the balance...

mary said...

I've also been wanting it for ages, Karen, so I was very pleased to find it; our local charity shops aren't so hot on American books.
I'd love to know what recipes you've tried, Kristina.

Sue said...

I've tried hard, but Orangette just doesn't do it for me. No idea why, maybe it is the cabbage leaf on the header? Still, lucky you to find a second hand copy.

mary said...

The blog doesn't look as attractive as it used to, Sue, I agree; that cabbage leaf is definitely a mistake! I'm sure the header used to be chocolate orangettes, or is that my imagination?
And I do struggle with American sticks of butter and cups of half-and-half.

Mystica said...

I'm glad it came to you.

Sue said...

A stick of butter is 4oz. not sure about half and half, is it half cream and half milk? I like using cup measures for baking.

rachel said...

I suspect that D was an old-fashioned chap who fancied himself a hopeless romantic, but that sensible EJ quickly came to realise that he liked his women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen, and was prepared to relinquish a very good book in order to preserve her independence......

mary said...

Rachel, you old cynic ... you have completely changed my mind and now I think that EJ was well out of it!
And, if I'm honest, I did find the book a bit cloying by the time I got to the end. Maybe I gobbled it down too fast.

Eggs on the Roof said...

The cabbage leaf header is a shocker, although the book is wonderful. I preferred the old days of the chocolate-dipped orange peel.

mary said...

It wasn't my imagination then, Charlie!

Nan said...

It really does make you think, and wonder what ever happened? Somehow I think "D" is her dad, and after he suddenly died she just couldn't bear to keep the book. I haven't read it yet. I have a book with the inscription - "For Faye with love (as always) from your one-and-only 6/86"
I've often wondered what happened there. :<)

mary said...

I think Rachel got it right, Nan ... there's something slightly creepy and controlling about it! I bet he wore bowties and was always trying to read poetry to her when she wasn't in the mood. Now I hope that sweet EJ toppled off his pedestal and is living happily, if grungily, ever after on ready meals!

Bee said...

I've love to know how the lemon yogurt cake turns out! I bought this book two months ago -- new; no personal inscription, which is probably for the best! -- and I really enjoyed reading it. I've made the berry pound cake, the buckwheat pancakes and the ginger/choc/banana bread so far.

Bee said...

Mary, an American stick of butter is 4 ounces. Also, I substitute single cream for half and half.

mary said...

Thanks, Bee. I'm also very tempted by that pound cake ... still haven't got round to making the lemon cake, though.