Last week, I met up with Sian from Life on a Small Island, during one of her shopping visits to the 'big city' of Kirkwall. Ensconced in a favourite cafe, we ordered lunch and began catching up on all that had happened since we last saw each other.
Before our food arrived, Sian announced that she had been very remiss and not given us a house-warming present when Our Lass and I moved into OTT (which is probably as much our fault as we'd not managed to arrange any sort of soiree to celebrate the event).
A large lime green carrier bag appeared from under the table but, before I could investigate its contents, Sian also produced a folded piece of A4 paper, brandished it in my direction and told me that it was a necessary addition to the gift.
Carefully unfolding the sheet of paper, I discovered that it was a recipe. And peeking into the bag revealed all the ingredients and cooking utensils needed to carry out the baking instructions. Surprised, possibly in the early stages of 'Bake Off' shock, I heard Sian's voice, as if from afar, telling me that, "You're on Orkney now, you will need to be able to produce a Lemon Drizzle Cake at the drop of a hat."
And so, yesterday afternoon, with the kitchen to myself (save for Test Match Special on the radio), I embarked upon the culinary challenge that is a small stepping stone on the journey towards assimilation into island life.
Firstly, the bag was unpacked to reveal the ingredients and utensils...
Or to put it another way...
Then, following the instructions implicitly, the quantities were weighed out...
I think I like recipes that more or less say "Chuck most of it into a bowl and stir vigorously."
Which brought things to this point...
After 40 minutes in the oven, it was time to add the drizzle (which, pleasingly, was made by chucking the remaining ingredients into another bowl and stirring vigorously!).
And so, after waiting patiently for Our Lass to return from work, the tasting could begin.
My profuse thanks to Sian for the pastoral support and such a constructive gift.
What's that old saying... Give a man a lemon drizzle cake and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to bake a lemon drizzle cake and the sugar rushes just keep on a-comin'.