Sunday, May 2, 2010

Love and Do What You Will: Even if it's Inedible ;-) 10th photo post

Is it Sunday again already? 
Just the right day for some inspiration from a Saint!
I promised Jeanne (as well as you!)
that I would post my 10th photo and corresponding post.
What a blast from the past! 
So here it is... 
Aime, et fais ce que tu voudras...

One of my favorite pieces, sold last year to a lovely psychologist for her office

Tonight between cooking the kids' dinner, cooking lasagne for the kids' lunch tomorrow, and whilst I was full on into messing up the kitchen, what the hell! cooking up a baked cheese cake for my calligraphy class tomorrow - I had a flashback of baking my first (and consequently last) carrot cake during my first  year in France.
 In spite of the spectacular patisseries overflowing with delicious cakes and pastries that peppered my 'quartier,' I was determined to cook a fair dinkum
Aussie/kiwi carrot cake. Must've been a lust for orange in me even way back then. ;) Beaker was the only one around at the time to witness the result and up until now I had sworn him to secrecy. At nearly 40 I throw all self respect to the wind and say, 'it's time to bare my soul!'

Anyway, there I was, landed in Paris with this burning desire to cook a moist, juicy carrot cake. So off I went into the city to buy the ingredients.
First obstacle? The language barrier. Second? 14 years ago there was no self-raising flour in France, nor could you buy baking powder (except for a rather dodgy article whose name loosely translated into 'chemical yeast' ... yoook). To top it off, you could buy baking soda, but only at the chemist... Don't even ASK me about the cream cheese. Philadelphia was some obscure place in the US but certainly 'not a CHEESE mademoiselle.'  I obviously confirmed the prevailing suspicion that Antipodeans were little more than savages, so off I trotted  home, a little desolate but none-the-less determined to make my cake.

Under the bemused eye of Beaker, I diligently grated my carrot, mixed it with approximate amounts of sugar, flour (no cup measures at the time and I didn't have kitchen scales...) and a small packet of the 'chemical yeast' that I had finally bought in desperation. One hour later I was the proud mother of .... a carrot pancake.  Only people who know how magnificent a carrot cake normally looks like will see the tragedy and/or humour in this.

It was a beautiful colour mind - all golden on the outside and orange on the inside. However, completely inedible it was, even for the upstart pigeons for whom I had gracefully decided to leave it on the window ledge outside.  It stayed forlornly on the ledge outside for three weeks. Its only virtue was that it didn't go mouldy, inspite of the relentless Parisien drizzle. Thinking back, I should have varnished it and used it for a frisbee. Boulogne had great parks next to the ample patisseries...

Needless to say, I buried the incident waaaaaaay back in some irretrievable memory until I was strolling around Toulouse recently and saw, wait for it, A BAKED CHEESECAKE in the window of a very cool café. Deduction: if they could buy the cheese locally, then so could I!!

And here I am tonight, waiting for my baked cheesecake to come out of the oven, deliriously happy to have found a cheese suitable to make the icing for my next attempt at ...CARROT CAKE. 14 years later I am ready to create my second one. But is Toulouse???

 With all this cooking for family and friends (plus mess monsters, plus housework etc) I have had no time to paint. But my reflection today was that life's a lot like cooking; if you don't have all the ingredients, then the fun essentially lies in making do with what you've got, and making it up as you go along.

Love, And Do What You Will 
as St Augustine says...

PS. Now, you can buy English baking powder and (I'm in HEAVEN) Buderim Ginger in the local supermarket! Now that's progress ;-)

And now it's time for me to pass this one on. I'm normally a bit iffy about passing on awards and tags but this one is so much fun, not too much work and a real blast from the past that I'm passing it on anyway ...
But because I want this to be published before midnight so I can officially count this as Sunday and keep my promise, you'll have to come back  in 5 minutes to read to whom as I'm going live incomplete hehehehe!!

Me revoilà
Told you I'd be back!
Now - for my victims candidates (who are under no obligation to comply of course!):

if you're up to it, re-post your 6th or 10th photo (and post) or both ...
Let's see where it all began!

Don't forget to drop in for a read of their blogs too ...
enlightening, highly entertaining and often humorous reading
Back around Wednesday - time to translate my website into French


  1. Oh, Ange, you're such a nut! Hahahaha.

    Well, I have never attempted to make a carrot cake, not because of missing ingredients, but rather because I'm too lazy and also, hate grating carrots.

    I honestly don't make anything but the simplest desserts, as very few things are as satisfying as a piece of good chocolate. But I do order dessert when going to restaurants.

  2. Ange, save me a piece of that baked cheesecake!! :)

    " life's a lot like cooking; if you don't have all the ingredients, then the fun essentially lies in making do with what you've got, and making it up as you go along."

    I will remember that. You are SO right. Here's hoping that you can get to do some painting this week! :)

  3. Hi Ange,
    What a healthy attitude towards life (and cooking) you have. True words. Half the fun in life is the unexpected joys (and messes) that come along the way.

    Second Hand Chicks

  4. Laughed my socks off! I went metric in Europe, but still have to stop and work out American imperial.(I know someone who thought cream of tartar "would do" in place of baking powder!)

  5. You're too funny Ange. Is Toulouse ready for carrot cake? I say Yes. And how civilised France has become stocking Buderim Ginger. That is heaven.

  6. i LOVE carrot friend Rachelle makes the best one around...however my husband does not share my affection and so I have yet to make one myself. Oh what you do for love! Enjoyed this thoroughly however am a tad bit hungry...

  7. "'s a lot like cooking; if you don't have all the ingredients, then the fun essentially lies in making do with what you've got, and making it up as you go along."

    Truer words were never spoken!

    I loved your carrot cake story and hope that you will share a pic or story about your cheescake as well as the new attempt at carrot cake! Yum!

  8. Oh how hysterical trying to envision your carrot pancake abandoned out on the ledge...for three weeks....hahahaha. You are so cute to finally share that with us! So glad you can now find the proper ingredients! ~Lili

  9. Oh Ange.. the carrot cakes reminds me of my cousin Edna's me that is scary.. but the baked cheese cake!! Well.. me a piece .. I'm on my way!!! Is it only we aussies/kiwis that have Philli??? I remember using that to make cheesecakes as a youngster... arrhh the decadence!! My cholesterol says thank you!!! I'm late in doing my 6th photo thingy too so thanks for the reminder.... Have fun with your translations.. xxx Julie

  10. When I lived in England with my new husband, I couldn't find anything I needed and was use to....and the scale thing had me totally baffled so I do relate...Now I want some cheesecake! oh the power of suggestion.

  11. Ange you are tormenting Mr FF with the chessecake comment as he adores it. I keep telling him that there are shops in OZ and all they sell are cheesecakes :-)
    I love the carrot cake story and must admit I have had a few interesting ingredients which I thought were what I needed only to find that they did not do quite what I thought they would do.

    Hope to catch up soon when things quieten down a bit,

    Gros bisous Leeann

  12. Looking forward to a photo of your cheesecake! Or your cheese pancake, if all goes dreadfully wrong. I love your creation, and how the ME dominates the AIME - perfect for someone lying on a couch to gaze at and ponder.

  13. Carrot pancake! What a hoot, but at least you gave it your best shot - can't ask for more!

  14. What a laugh. 3 weeks without going mouldy and no interest from the pigeons - I am still laughing. Your story-telling of such a fabulous story - I can't believe Beaker hasn't used this before now. The cheesecake will taste just that much more fabulous. xx

  15. Ange, I soo remember the days before self raising flour in France. Ask around your French friends, there are still alot of people who won't use it! I have a VERY good chocolate torte recipe that requires liquid glucose - you guessed - my only supplier for that here is the chemist, who ALWAYS looks at me strangely, as if wondering what home mixed drug cocktails I'm planning to use it for.
    Keep us laughing please - we love it

  16. What a great post, Ange. I LOVE carrot cake and I have a rockin' recipe for it that I make at least once a year. I would have been crestfallen not to find cream cheese! You are hilarious, my friend, and yes, making do with what you've got and making it up as you go along sound just about right to me!.

    Thanks for tagging me. I hate to say it, but I often don't follow through on tags. This one, however, is a fun one, so I shall play along happily!

    Happy Monday, Ange!

  17. Hello! I dropped in via The Magpie's Fancy. :)

    Oh this made me giggle. A carrot pancake! Chemical yeast sounds a bit scary. But I do love your thought of varnishing it for a frisbee!

  18. Love your photo and this post Ange. I know that feeling when you arrive in a new country and start looking for all your old favourites and desperately trying to make do. I have had many a baking fiasco in my time too. I hope your baked cheesecake worked well for you. We must have the recipe if it did!! I love carrot cake...promise you will try again!!


  19. I too have made the odd 'wooden cake' great for practising my carving skills.

    Now baked cheesecake I can't resist...

  20. we have philly in canada.
    i wish i could have seen that cake..... thats an awesome story. one that should really have been witnessed.:)

  21. Can we see a photo of the carrot cake please?

  22. Hilarious. I remember my first blueberry muffins, that I made with exquisite fresh blueberries. So pretty. After you began chewing, you knew something was wrong. Very wrong. I'd substituted baking soda for baking powder, or doubled the amount, or ??. Awful. Completely enjoyed your post.

  23. Hi Ange,
    Love this post...Oh to have seen such a pancake! Perhaps flying past as a frisbee. :)
    Love the piece above. Beautiful...

  24. Ange, when I make cheesecake I use Moret Cream cheese, it's just like philadelphia and available at all the supermarkets at the soft cheese counter.

    When you have a mo, could you pop over to mine, I have something for you.

  25. Dear Ange,

    I personally love your calligraphy plank! It addresses my own sense of design, usage of type and letters.

    As for your frustration of finding the required items needed for your carrot cake brought a combination of laughter and sadness. I wish you had posted photographs but then your creative writing did offer visual clues.

    Warmest regards,

  26. hello! congrats on your new on-line home!

    I want to know more about your calligraphy class?!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog, I would love to have you do the art e-course one time. it is such fun and people are producing such amazing work!!!

    As for cake baking you are sooooooo good. I just simply don't have the urge or time to bake - sad isn't it?!



Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!