It is Spring and that means a lot of creatures big and small come out to enjoy the balmy nights. That’s also when we humans throw caution to the wind and wander about without shoes on darkened cooling grass….and strike trouble.
I have been suffering from a very painful shoulder that has a little bit of restricted movement and when I lift my arm above my head there is intense pain. When I move it quickly or bump it I turn into a ridiculous blubbering idiot. On a recently new warm spring night with the promising scent of a voluptuously flowering Jasmine bush in the air, I stepped off the verandas and straight into a sticky groping spider web whose occupant was just as surprised as I was.
I am just a little petrified of Spiders and the blood curdling scream coupled with my flailing arms and then my anguished weeping whist still swearing at the top of my lungs brought Skater from the house. He saw that I was both in agony and petrified with terror and all I could do was yell get it off…. get it off….. He pulled me into the light and checked me over, looking for any Spider silly enough to be still attached, then lead me into the house. He even asked if I wanted a cup of tea.
I had walked straight into the huge web with a round fat bodied Spider in the middle at about my neck level. The poor Spider had no opportunity to run and I felt it swing into my neck with web wrapped around my ears before it could even run. My hand grabbed it off my neck and flung it with such force it almost pulled my sore arm out of its socket. In the panic I didn’t know if it was gone I was in so much pain I wasn’t sure if I was screaming or if it was someone else. Skater tells me with the eyes of a reliable witness that I was throwing my arms all over the place and screaming. I will never forget the feel of that fat little body on my neck.
My arm was probably damaged a little more in that moment. I lived through it but I still have nightmares about the feel of that Spider in my hands.
Times like this call for some comfort and that usually means cake ….don’t you think? This cake is not only made with beer and pears it’s comfortably caramel with a touch of salt added. It will cure just about anything except inflamed ligaments it seems. Why don’t you make it and see if it can fix you.
- Line a 23cm cake tin with a removeable bottom and spray or grease well. pre-heat the oven to 170C/325F
- 50 gm butter ( 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml ) beer
- 1 T lemon/lime juice
- ½ cup water
- a pinch of salt
- 1⅓ cups flour (190gm)
- 1 cup sugar ( 200gm)
- ½ cup brown sugar (80gm)
- 150 ml beer (5oz)
- 1 egg
- 60 ml or ¼ cup of buttermilk
- 100 gm, melted butter (3.5oz)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large pears
- Peel the pears and cut into 8ths or similar. Not thin slices, nice chunks. Arrange on the bottom of the tin
- Put the butter, sugar, lemon juice and beer in to a wide bottomed pot and bring to a simmer. Boil over medium to high heat till it starts to turn golden brown. Make sure it is a nice brown colour before adding the ½ cup of water. stir and bring back to the boil before taking off the heat and adding the salt, stir well.
- Pour enough of the caramel over the pears to cover, you probably wont need all of it . Set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients, then add the beer, melted butter, egg and buttermilk and mix well.
- Pour the batter over the caramel and smooth down. Bake for around 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake sit for 5-10 minutes after you take it out of the oven. Run a sharp knife around the edge carefully and remove removable side of the cake tin. . Turn the cake over onto a plate and remove the cake base, then peel off the baking paper. My second and third attempt were amazing.