Merienda is a light meal that I used to eat all the time in Spain with my in-laws. I guess it’s the English equivalent of afternoon tea, a little snack between lunch and dinner. I remember that in Spain we would usually eat some delicious pastries washed down with orange juice. Now I really miss that place – I was last there end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 before ‘You-Know-What’ happened.
Today, feeling physically more at ease but still mentally struggling a little – I allowed myself to have the longest of lie-ins, wrote e-mail to an old and cherished friend and I decided that I would finish making the bundt cake I started prepping yesterday morning. I have essentially modified the rum and raisin cake recipe from last week because it seemed like a really good base/starting point. I changed the plain flour to self-raising powder. I added baking soda and baking powder. I added mixed fruit, walnuts and orange zest. The rum was replaced with orange juice.
The final result was quite nice. It was really soft, moist, spongy, perfect I would dare say. Ignacio had been busy all day so I coaxed him out of his room to sit outside and enjoy a piece of cake with ice-cream with me out in the garden.
I spent part of the afternoon in the garden sorting out the lawn. The grass looks much better now. Maybe tomorrow, I can get out my picnic blanket and have a bit of a read and a lie-down on the fresh new lawn.
Maybe mowing the lawn was not the wisest of ideas during this period of recovery, I did in about three stages so it was not as exhausting as perhaps it could have been. I guess I do not like the idea of being sick/ill, it’s not a role I want to inhabit for any significant period of time. I think I must be testing myself to see if I can get back to ‘normal’. Although on reflection it seems that my version of normal left a lot to be desired. I think I might try reframing this next period of my life as heading towards better. I did find that being outdoors in the sunshine, existing in my own little patch of nature, did wonders for my mental health and well-being. Baking was also extremely soothing to my currently fragile soul. I still do need to to take it easy but also gradually increase my stamina at the same time. I’ll get there – one step and day at a time.
1/4 cup mixed fruit
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 oz sunflower oil
Zest of one orange
2 tbsp water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
- Soak the raisins overnight in orange juice, the walnuts and the cinnamon.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl for 15 minutes.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together. Carefully fold the sifted flour into the mixture, one third at a time.
- Pour the oil slowly into the mixture and carefully stir it in.
- Add the rum and raisins to the mixture carefully. Add the zest of one orange.
- Bake in a 9 inch bundt pan on the centre shelf at 175oCfor about 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool.
- Dissolve caster sugar in the tablespoon. Then add the orange juice. Using a skewer pierce the cake half way down about 20 times. Very slowly pour the syrup over the cake in the pan. Leave to stand for at least 1 hour before turning out and serving as cake