I wrote here today that was in the middle of making Sara’s Warming Buns inspired by A Little Princess from Jane Brocket’s Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer. It takes a while with lots of proving but oh it’s worth it! Far better than my previous attempt at fruit buns, they rose really well and produced (in the end) light white fluffy buns studded with currants, with just the right amount of gorgeous stickiness on the top with the glaze. Will definitely be making these again! Mr. Lacer the currant bun hater actually likes these, I’ve just eaten my second, Boy Lacer is eating his from the outside in and Girl Lacer is looking a little stuffed after half a bun but is still battling vainly on!
We were meant to go to the beach today, but one early morning glance at the weather forecast showing two fat rain drops put a stop to those plans, although ironically and frustratingly it hasn’t rained yet! I spent the majority of my childhood either by the sea or within a reasonable short distance of it, so back then two fat rain drops on the weather forecast wouldn’t have meant anything to us, we’d go whatever the weather, we weren’t ‘soft’ inlanders who only thought the seaside was for sunny weather. However Mr. Lacer is a ‘soft’ inlander, so we’re not going.
So a day pottering instead; the Olympics are on the TV, Girl Lacer has turned out to be a surprising fan of it (for a 4 year old) and it’s been making her very excited about doing PE at school, so I hope it’s not completely all non-competitive stuff otherwise it’ll be a bit of a let down.
Mr. Lacer has been doing some much needed fiddling with my increasingly unreliable laptop and has given it a new lease of life.
I currently have a dough rising spectacularly in the kitchen, from Jane Brocket’s Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer, it’s Sara’s Warming Currant Buns inspired by A Little Princess. Girl Lacer helped me in between watching the olympics, it was the first time she’d kneaded something, lots of flour everywhere of course!
I of course have devoted as much time as I could to a good book to. I finished reading The Enchantress of Florence yesterday (click here for my final review) but the short of it was as much I wrote a glowing post about the book last Sunday Salon, I had only at that point read most of the first part, parts 2 and 3 get a bit confusing as it becomes a story within a story and sometimes a story within that to, with lots of annoying but probably necessary italics to delineate between the two strands of the story. Also as the story split up it lost the power of it’s anonymous narrator.
I would like to read some more of the Booker longlist but after a disappointing start I’m not sure and my to be read pile is looking increasingly more tempting instead, although from the longlist Sea of Poppies and the unlikely to make it any further Child 44 (I’ve even seen that for sale in Asda amongst the chick lit and the John Grisham!) look tempting.
For the moment though my attention is thoroughly devoted to the latest, just released Christopher Brookmyre, A Snowball in Hell. I adore Christopher Brookmyre, he has the rank of being the only fiction author I buy everything of, without hesitation because I know he’s just so reliably good. A hang up from my days of reading a lot more crime fiction than I do now, whereas I got tired of Patricia Cornwall and Kathy Reichs, Brookmyre, although writing crime fiction as well is just so different, he’s in a different league. For a start he is incredibly funny, maybe not straight away but I guarantee you that there will be at least one scene in every single one of his books that will have you in tears of laughter (in I warn you not particularly good taste), from someone trying to extricate something from his ah hem rear to the hero mistakenly eating one of the murder victims. Brookmyre is quite a political writer to, with rants on everything from the state of the NHS, religion and the British tabloids. Brookmyre is inspiring for me a writer as he writes such brilliant opening pages, sometimes incredibly funny such as;
‘Are they deid? Jesus Johnnybags, are they both deid? Fuck’s sake, man, answer us. Fuck’s sake.’
‘Naw. Wee Elastoplast an they’ll be fine. Whit does it fuckin look like? Ye any aspirin?’
‘Aspirin? Whit, is that gaunny fuckin revive them?’
‘It’s for ma heid. It’s fuckin thumpin. Cannae think straight.’
‘You cannae think straight? Fuck’s sake, how d’ye think I’m feelin? Whit a mess, man. Whit a fuckin mess. Whit the fuck happened? I mean, for fuck’s sake, that’s . . . that’s . . .’
A tale etched in blood and hard pencil – Christopher Brookmyre
to an incredibly moving opening sequence featuring the terrorist victims in ‘A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away’ which I still think about (actually just checking my copy and I’m actually remembering the second chapter).
In his latest book, A Snowball in Hell, we meet up again with some of Brookmyre’s old characters, Simon Darcourt, a terrorist for hire come assassin last seen at the end of ‘A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away’, has created his own celebrity talent show with a twist. We also meet Angelique de Xavia also from ‘A Big Boy Did it and Ran Away’ plus ‘The Sacred Art of Stealing’, a police woman on the tail end of a not particularly successful anti-terrorist operation in Paris and we’ve also been catching intriguing glimpses of Zal, from ‘The Sacred Art of Stealing’ as well and that’s all in just the first 70 pages
And one final good thing about Christopher Brookmyre, his book covers, how can you not want to pick up one of these in a book shop?