Oh for the days when you could pack the children off to a nearby forest with jam sandwiches and ginger beer for sustenance, only for them to return famished at dusk, to scoff drop scones and cocoa before falling into bed to dream wonderous dreams of their adventure filled day. How simple the meal plans, grocery shop and cooking would have been, not to mention all that independent time to be had whilst they were up the Faraway tree somewhere or other.
I am of course, referring to the fantasy tales created by Enid Blyton - the ones that shaped my childhood from The Enchanted Wood through to The Secret Seven. I always longed to have midnight feasts of homemade chocolate cake and toffees in boarding schools, picnics of orange aid and macaroons in tree houses or returning home to a ‘tremendous steamed pudding, with lashings of treacle’.
It seems another much respected writer of mine, Angela Mollard, has also been touched by Enid’s writing. Angela is equally fascinated with the food depicted in Blyton’s novels. She states, “It’s all “great slices of cherry cake”, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread and gingerbread described as “dark brown and sticky to eat”. Indeed, it’s a measure of Ms Blyton’s talent that she even makes potted meat, “ongue sandwiches and lashings of hard boiled eggs sound like lovely picnic fare."
Upon reading that phrase “great slices of cherry cake”, I knew what would be coming out of my oven on the next available baking day.
And just so you know, this Cherry Almond cake really is scrumptious, with or without the lashings of ginger beer.