A weekend not quite from hell but nearly, with a yogurt cake to make it better
This last weekend was crazy. It was the sort of weekend that left me tired and begging for the week to start so I could have some rest, mad as this may sound. For starters, it made me realize my son's social life far excells my own, as he had not one, but two birthday parties lined up for the weekend. I confess I am not great on children's parties - oh the noise a dozen six year olds seem to be able to produce is just beyond my capability of endurance! - and I would never have been one of those women who was to have a large family with four or five kids. I remember not even wanting the one, untill I woke up half crazed one morning and now I cannot fathom my life without that amazing little boy inside it! I did love being pregnant, and wouldn't mind the pregnancies per se, but just the thought of three or four kids screaming their lungs out around the house drives me nuts. So, kids' birthday parties are a kind of nemesis to me.
Now, try squeezing in around two parties all that is usually what we need to get done in the weekends, like baking bread and biscuits, a cake, homemade yogurts, jello for the kid, the laundry, the shopping, a husband who needs a lightweight jacket, a child who needs a couple more pyjamas because he simply won't stop growing, the fresh fruit and veggies one needs to buy for the week ahead, the fishmonger's that decided to have salmon for a song and oh do we love our salmon around this house, forcing us to wake up at the crack of dawn on a saturday to make sure we get there on time so we can come home with a big fish, the butcher's that has duck at a fairly good price and we crave on duck, and still we have to go and look for that darn lightweight jacket - and Hugo is the fussiest of blokes, he never likes anything! - and the kid needs a denim jacket as well, and in the end all we come home with is a pair of denim jeggings, a pair of denim shorts and a pair of catseye sunglasses for me...
And then the washing machine decided to croak!! I mean! The moment we thought our finances were getting back to normal and we could afford to replace our old stand up mixer who was on its last legs and about to die on us any second - and people, this is a family who bakes in a nearly industrial way, imagine the horror of loosing our stand up mixer!! - and decide we can now invest on a Kenwood with all the trimmings, the bloody washer decides she has done her work and dies. DIES!! With a loadful of washing inside it and in the aisles waiting to be done! And because we invested in the Kenwood, we now have no money to buy a new washer (we're still hoping against hope this one can be salvaged, you know.). But the fact that right after I think it's safe to invest on something I have been wanting for ages, something like this happens is quite common in my life, to the point when I shy away from ever buying anything, you know, because I am sure sh** is just gonna happen!
It reminds me of when we bought our kitchen table and then woke up the next day to the news of a very hard financial strain just about to hit us that was impossible to predict or do anything to prevent, as it did not depend on us. That time I wished I hadn't bought the darn table and had kept the money aside for a rainy day, as said rainy day was just dawning on us. And I felt the same as we bought the stand up mixer, it took us quite a while to finally cave in and invest on it, really, because all the time I was in a panic that something might happen, and we might need that money, and lo and behold! something did happen! Still, it cannot be helped, the stand up mixer needs to stay, as there's nothing else to do, we can't return it anymore. And the washing machine, well it will sort itself out, anyway, it always does, somehow we seem to manage to just keep going and living, even in the midst of all these financial strains. It's like the universe is telling me I need to go and get back to a lousy payed job that makes me unhappy and makes everyone unhappy around the house, instead of running a blog and writing silly novels and being a stay at home mom... naaah, I don't really think so!! I'm staying put!
And by staying put I mean I'm putting that stand up mixer to good use, and this yogurt cake, a staple of my childhood and one of those cakes I love to bake, is living proof of that. Or was, because it did not last long, around the house. This is an almond yogurt cake, I used to do a version of it with hazelnuts and Frangelico, right after my son was born, it was the best cake ever, but my Frangelico is all gone and way too expensive for me to add it to the budget right now, the same as the hazelnuts. SO we had some almond meal around that we had bought for a song - one of those crazy promotions on supermarkets that I always keep my eyes peeled for! - and after having used it on cookies for my kid to take for his midmorning break at school, I still had a bit left, so I thought why not use it on the yogurt cake, along with a little almond extract? Turns out it's nearly as good as hazelnut. Nearly.
And for this cake you'll be needing:
- two natural yogurts
- 1/2 a pot (use the yogurts pots as a measure!) oil
- 3 pots sugar (I usually keep it at two and a half)
- 3 and a half pots flour
- 1 pot almond meal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3 eggs
- a dash of almond extract - just half a tsp if it's a particularly strong one, like mine