Lemon and blueberry
Attraction is a fascinating thing, proximity to familiarity to symmetry, all factors that leaven the power of interest. Omit hours of conversation, slightest of touches and let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, we’re going to expose our most private moments to mere strangers.
Sharing a meal with somebody is stunningly intimate but we jump right into that one mouth-first. Ever been on a date where you strategised every bite, weighed each mouthful, and reevaluated the ancient method of chopsticks? There are people who eat, and then there are people who eat. Those endorphin releasing peers you can eat with comfortably, now they are our cathartic audience, but then there are those out to generate mind numbing deductions into the viability of staying splash-free, deductive reasoning has nothing on you.
A date in a chic French brassiere in Soho to the económico street pizza in Shoreditch sat within the same boat, shall we compare thee to a date in a swanky Japanese place in Chelsea? This was likely the most costly and yet the least enjoyed, the difference between them… the company.
How much does it matter if our dates are (financially) invested in fine dining? The ‘fine’ dining may not be necessary, but ‘fine’ food is inordinately necessary. Good food doesn’t always need to come at a hefty price. Fair enough the beloved artichokes and the extra helping of chorizo is almost the total of a main, but it equals good food. My favourite pizza place is rivalled by none, and I get around, a lot- the cost? No more than £7. Perhaps it isn’t the most food-coma inciting idea to mix brilliant food with tedious company.
So then, what is it that we desire from our peers? The validation of beliefs? Reinforcement value of social approval? Achieved. So now, what do we fear? Rejection? Drooping self-esteem? And of course the most unnatural feat, halting evolution, loss of appetite. Eating can reveal incredibly private traits, our partner in food will at that moment be what drives or stills our appetite.
There are people who make you marvel at the taste of everything you love, and then there are those that enter our food-lives without such stimulus. Shall we say that the opposite of such scintillating tendencies are induced?- The suppression of our most addicted tastes and the elimination of what it all boils down to- nutrition.
Have we not all ever reached such a devastating and uncomprehending peak? Driven recklessly by possible self-loathing, credible theories, specious arguments. I’ll admit, yes, sometimes you just don’t fancy that bite, but that tends to be short-term, and if (by some all-encompassing food hell) it embraces the idea of long-term, it’ll be one dish that shines the light to the right path. Revel in this dish. Intermittent sentiment can alter appetite and sever beloved food relationships, as humane as such sentiment is, the results thrive on inhumanity. The fundamentals of eating to live, this is never so basic, or not completely.
So, do you eat to live or do you live to eat?
Recipe + Method
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
220g caster sugar
80g light brown soft sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
360g plain flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 lemons, zest + juice
200-300g fresh blueberries- ensure they are completely dried
For the frosting
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1-2 tbsp whole milk
Preheat the oven to 160C (fan assisted), grease and line 3 round tins (20cm)
Beat the butter and both sugars until light and creamy- about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add the vanilla paste. Leave aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt- beat this into the creamed mixture and follow by adding the milk, lemon zest and juice. Stir in the blueberries. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the sponge bounces back and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes within the tins before placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.
To assemble the frosting beat together the butter and icing sugar, add the vanilla and milk (1 tbsp at a time). Refrigerate if needed before frosting the cake.