My mind is stuck on a loop. All I can think is that there wasn't enough time.
Time to pour another cup of tea for Nanny.
Time to sit in my favourite chair with the William Morris sunflower tapestry seat and talk about the herbs growing in the garden.
Time to tell Nanny how I've changed and am still changing.
The ground beneath my feet feels like clay. or sand. or thick, sticky mud. I struggle to take a step. Any step. I can't breathe. I know I'm breathing because I'm still here, in a world of confusion and grief, but my throat hurts. My eyes hurt. My heart hurts.
I didn't expect her to die. I stare at my vintage caravan nestled amongst the trees at the bottom of the garden and try to find something, anything that will hold me together.
Behind me, in the house, people are talking.
They're not people I know: they're my sisters.
Everything is too much. I'm feeling too much. Holding in too much. I can't... I can't...
"I've got you." It's Morgan. I'm safe with Morgan. I let myself go with her.
Read my story, The Satin Bowerbird, in Tangled up in Blue.
Welcome to the culinary world of Holly Sinclair. I'm not a qualified chef but I've done a few courses in between running the Satin Bowerbird Inn with my grandmother and her best friend Mrs Kitchener, and getting married to totally the wrong people.
When I was sixteen and came to live with Nanny, she suggested I write down any recipes I use. I started writing very neatly in small A5 books, then in large spiral bound books. Now I write on any scrap of paper that comes to hand and shove it in a binder box I keep in the hutch in the kitchen. It's not at all organised, which sometimes drives Mrs Kitchener to distraction. She's one of those lovely tidy, everything-in-its-place kind of people. I'm like that with my ingredients and utensils, everything in my kitchen actually, but not much else.
Today I made lamingtons. I've made lamingtons before, they're not unique at all, but I've always used the traditional recipes with cocoa and hot water in them. Today, I went to the pantry only to find out I'd run out of cocoa. I had the cake there, already cut for lamingtons. What was I to do?
Make up a new recipe of course!
This is my Decadent Lamington recipe:
225g dark chocolate melts
200g butter (the real stuff, not margarine)
200ml coconut cream (or ordinary pouring cream)
200g icing sugar (icing mixture is fine)
Put chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler. I put boiling water in the bottom pot and didn't need to turn on the stove at all. Stir occasionally until butter and chocolate are melted and mixed. Add icing sugar and coconut cream. Add more or less coconut cream until you have the desired consistency for lamingtons.
The photo shows the lamingtons waiting for the coconut to be put on. I used the last in an orange coconut cake I gave my best friend, Morgan, to take to school and share with the other staff. I'll duck down to the shops and grab some now. Mrs Owens always has plenty in stock.
NOTE: I use a madeira cake instead of a sponge cake for my lamingtons. I find the madeira holds up better when transporting and gives the lamingtons a lovely buttery taste that you don't get with a sponge.
Don't forget: If you want to know my story, look for Tangled up in Blue. My story is told in the last book, The Satin Bowerbird by E E Montgomery.
E E Montgomery
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