Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Bless Me, Bloggers …

23 Comments

… for I have sinned.

I have been led unto temptation and like the weak-willed sinner I am, I have given in. Twice in the last week, I have ignored my Lentenfast and partaken of the white stuff. But if you will forbear, I can justly show that my excuses were good and my reasons solid.

Firstly, our friend the extremely Funky Uncle Mustard swung by from his corner of the USA. He is an old very youthful friend who we only see once a year, if we are lucky. My husband (who has given up alcohol for Lent) said, “Lent be damned, I am going to have a beer with my friend.” That gave me just cause to say, “If you’re having alcohol, then I’m having sugar”. So the Funky Uncle partook of a homemade lemon ice-cream with me. Rather delicious it was, too.

Then yesterday, there was an even juster cause for my sin. My beloved boy turned two. We had a party. I baked Granny Toni’s Sinful and Decadent Chocolate Cake (see the end of this post for the recipe):

without sampling the mixture or even licking my fingers. I also baked 24 lemon drizzle muffins:

without one small scrap of the white stuff passing my lips. We had a birthday tea and at the end – I cannot lie – I sampled both some muffin and cake crumbs. I found them good. Very good. Sin is delicious.

You will be relieved to know that today I am returned to the straight and narrow. I am finding it straight. I am finding it narrow. I am eating many apples.

In other news, Spring IS behaving, and we were able to have Ollie’s birthday tea in the garden:

It was lovely. The children ran, climbed, swung and played. Ollie sat on his new red car, and batted away any guests who came too near with the firm words, “No, Guest, this is Ollie’s car!” I didn’t force him to share. I thought on his birthday, when his car was brand-new, he should be allowed full ownership. So he sat on his car, like a little king, clutching a red Mini under his arm, and eating “‘Marties”. He had a fine day.

Another sign that Spring is here is that the Germans are once more eating ice-cream. I posted about the national obsession with Eis last year, and got a hurt comment from some poor German saying, “Isn’t ice-cream an international thing to eat?” Um, yes, but not to the same extreme. I have never seen adults eating ice-cream with as much gusto as they do here – grown men in business suits strolling down the Heidelberg Hauptstrasse with cones, old ladies tucking into enormously calorific sundaes. A house across the road is being re-roofed (with spectacular German efficiency, let it be said), and today as we arrived home after the kindergarten collection, seven burly builders were taking their break, tucking into chocolate-, vanilla- and strawberry-striped icecreams. With no irony whatsoever.

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Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

23 thoughts on “Bless Me, Bloggers …

  1. You’ve made me long for those ice cream pizzas and spaghetti ice cream! We had both in Germany and wish to go back ….

  2. Photos – wow!
    That is a birthday cake as it should be – chocolate and Smarties the essential elements. Looks very like ours do, except now the children help decorate and the number gets lost in a forest of Smarties as they vie to get the entire packet onto the cake.

    How on earth did you make that cake without licking your fingers…?! Iron will power – I’m impressed.

  3. Well, I for one am shocked. I don’t know if I can read here anymore :-).
    S. and I have not done a good job with lent this year at all. This is partially because I’m not Catholic and have never practiced the sacrifice but mostly because he is so busy that he ‘forgets’ not to eat meat on friday or that he isn’t drinking rum these days. Next year, we will do better…
    that cake looks amazing! And while I’m here chattering away on your blog, did you not mention a while ago something about a lemongrass trifle? If you have time, could you let me know what cookbook that was in? I’m thinking it might make a wonderful Easter dessert.

  4. You make Germany sound like the best place to live. Burning snowmen and a national fervour for ice cream? I’m moving.

  5. Excellent. A little bit of sinful pleasure followed by repentance. What more could you want?

    My kids are the poster children of the Italian ice cream parlour down the street from where we live. Contradictory to all that you might have heard, ice cream is healthy. Yes, strong teeth and bones, shinny hair, and bright eyes all are a result of joyful ice cream consumption. Not, unfortunately, from the box. It has to be experienced live. There is something about the sunshine, sitting outdoors, the Italian-accented German-speaking waiter, the colour glassed bowls, the background music, the 55 flavours to choose from, that changes all of those endomorphic properties of boxed ice cream into life affirming qualities.

  6. Mmmm….I adore lemon in all forms. Lemon ice cream sounds particularly nice.

  7. Your paragraph on ice cream made me laugh!

  8. Guten tag! I’ve been reading along here for a bit, and have to say I love your take on Germany. I lived there myself, but only for 18 months. I also gave up sugar for lent, and like yourself, I had a little slip on my son’s birthday on Monday. I just had to take a bite of the chocolate muffin. But I’m back on the wagon (or off the wagon–whatever) and going to stick it out for the two weeks until Easter. I’d like to say I’ve lost all cravings for the sweets and will give them up forever, but I can’t. I still want sugar. I still crave sweets, and I’m still fat. Ugh.

  9. I think you displayed remarkable restraint in only consuming crumbs of those luscious desserts. Just blame the Funky Uncle for the other.

    And there you go again, mentioning yet another thing (eis fanaticism) that makes me want to move to Germany!

    Happy Birthday to Ollie!

  10. Oooh that cake looks yummy. I love the little train on top.

    I don’t think you’ve sinned. You’ve just had a break from your fast…. definitely allowed once (or even twice!).

    Oh and I’m building up a picture of Germany in my head. I had no idea that icecream mania ruled!

  11. I’m glad Ollie had a lovely day. I love the cake too! complete with a train.. what more could a boy want? Thanks too for spreading the word about the joys of Germany..I am sure the ice-cream obsession is in large part because it is just so good here – most parlours making it themselves… Up in the hills, we have a van that comes round in the evenings complete with an Italian who speaks hopeless German.. We are last on his route through the village and the hotter it is, the later he arrives..

  12. Nice photos Charlotte. The birthday party looks very happy out of doors.

    I am particularly impressed with the beautiful green grass, because we’re in the middle of a drought here and everything has browned-off.

  13. I think it was in Lauren Winner’s Mudhouse Sabbath where her priest tells her that if keeping a Lenten fast means being rude or “unsociable” (I’m, of course, paraphrasing here), then it’s okay to break it. I’ve listened to that advice ever since, so as far as I’m concerned, you’ve done nothing wrong. (Having given up meat, I did eat turkey when my brother-in-law cooked one up for us, and when I was going through all my medical tests and friends brought me some ham, I ate some of that, too.)

  14. I am impressed because I simply couldn’t resist a swipe of the cake dough. Ollie’s birthday party must have been fun. The Smarties on his cake reminded me of my son’s third birthday – the cake was a large square one covered in Smarties. (The only thing was B. wanted to eat all the Smarties and not cut the cake.)

    Good luck with your Lenten resolve … that white stuff is hard to resist!

  15. If you have to sin, you might as well sin BIG. And the pictures are lovely, and it looks as though the day was completely worth the sin.

  16. I don’t much like ice cream. Am I odd?! Mind you, I do like green tea flavour, I would never say no to that.

    I love Ollie’s birthday cake. It reminded me – when I was little we had those train candle holders for birthday cakes. I want to look for them here! The cake looks so yummy. I can just picture Ollie sitting on his car with another car under his arm – that’s just what Kiko would do!

  17. If I remember correctly, the patron saint of hungary (the one who found yet another chunk of the true cross) would take wine with guests, even though she didn’t drink, on the grounds that the rudeness involved in making her guests uncomfortable was the greater sin. I’m sure I read that somewhere…

  18. I would have gladly taste testedthat cake for you and let you know how it was, thus saving you from your fall from grace. I love ice cream. I want to live somewhere there is a fervor for it.

  19. Happy Birthday to Ollie!

    It looks like a lovely party. Have you posted the recipe for the cupcakes anywhere?

  20. HAPPY HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY OLLIE!!!
    I just know he must have had a wonderful day! The cake looks simply “devine doll” 🙂 I will definitely be making that one next week… although I am still slightly partial to your marzipan cake recipe!
    Sometimes we just have to veer slighlty off course Charlotte…. not exactly sinning….

  21. If it weren’t for the fact that i don’t have the buttermilk I would so, so be making that chocolate fudge ambrosia right blimmin’ now!

    2, eh? Aah, he’s on his way, the little man. It’s terrifying how quickly it happens.

  22. Don’t feel too bad about breaking Lent. We Paddies always get a day off Lent on March 17, when we celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.

    So, I reckon you could surely rustle up some trace element of Irish blood somewhere along the family tree, and swap your 17th March day off for your son’s birthday. Then you only have one digression to feel bad about – YAY!! 🙂

  23. The beer, ice cream, and visit were all heavenly!

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