Sunday, December 4, 2022

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Bare, Naked Cake

This is the bare, naked Xmas fruitcake that we shall cut into in 22 day's time, once it has a layer of marzipan and royal icing over the top. 

I was late in baking it this year (November 19). It's currently getting its weekly brandy dousing to keep it fresh and moist.

Both our Mums baked these for Xmas when we were growing up (I recall the big porcelain bowl it was mixed in, just like the ones used in the Great British Baking Show, and being allowed to give it a stir and make a wish). It's been nice keeping up the tradition, even though I ALWAYS drag my feet about getting it done and need constant reminders to get started. When baking, it permeates the house with mixed spice aromas that are nostalgic and seasonal, a reminder that Xmas is coming. My Dad really appreciated having a return to these traditional treats when he moved in with us.

It's my plan to TRY and make my own almond paste this year. I always baulk at the price of store-bought marzipan; but maybe after making it myself I will appreciate all that goes into it and pay willingly next time? We shall see ...

Friday, December 2, 2022

Still Lake

Water, once flowing,

Slowly stops. Becomes opaque.

Grey textured surface.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Post Office Intervention

How does the Post Office manage to lay on a show for me every time I happen to go into the vestibule?

I waited in line while the person ahead of me was being 'attended to' - though this seemed to be more of a performance than an actual effort at finding a parcel. Yes, perhaps it could vaguely qualify as looking - it was definitely not determined, nor focused. After many half-hearted explanations from the office worker that the parcel didn't look as if it was there, and having questioned the customer's veracity, the parcel was located, haphazardly placed on top of a post office filing cabinet, away from other parcels, and clearly visible from the vestibule.

The customer then asked the attendant if she could possibly use her other address for ordering parcels in future, since she had two residences, and there was nowhere to leave packages at her current address making it a pain to have to drive down to the P.O. to fetch them.

"Oh no" the postal worker said, "that would be too confusing! We wouldn't know where to deliver it." He looked positively dumbfounded.

"Okay then," the customer said, accepting this bizarre explanation.

I couldn't resist getting involved ... so I waded in, unsolicited ...

"Wait! This lady's not asking you to expect to know when to use address (a) or (b) for delivering her mail. She can use whatever address she requests it to be sent to. All you have to do is deliver to the address specified."

"But we don't advise that! She has an address in East and North Waterboro. How would we know which one to deliver where? They’re separate mail routes."

"Yes! But as I said, she’s not asking YOU to make that determination. Listen lady," I said. "Don't ask questions! Just do what you need to do! Just use the address where it will be delivered."

"We still don't advise it," said the P.O. worker.

"... But it's invisible to you. All she needs to do is use the address she knows will get a parcel delivery. You can send parcels to a friend using their address! Don't you see? It's got nothing to do with the postal service ..."

"But sometimes my order is delivered by USPS and not necessarily the carrier I ordered from!"

"It will still be too confusing … it’s not advisable."

"Don't ask. Just do it. The P. O. just needs to know what address to deliver to. It won't matter that you have another address, and they won't know that you had a parcel sent to another address."

"Okay, thanks. But I'll tell my husband the P.O. doesn't advise using our other address," she said, looking directly at the postal worker.

I rolled my eyes as she left, and stepped up to the glass divider, hoping that I'd get my letter mailed without any unforeseen hurdles, and that I hadn't incensed the office worker unduly. Who knew what I'd incur for my forthrightness?