There are some great sayings in Spanish, one of my favourite being “El diablo sabe más por viejo que por diablo”. It certainly loses something when translated into English, but a fairly literal translation would be that the devil knows more because he is old, than because he is the devil…… or…………. as one gets old one gains wisdom.
It is said that the language we speak reflects the importance we put on things, the more words we have, the more important the topic. For example there are several verbs in Spanish for “to eat”, depending upon the time of day one is actually eating! I guess that shows the importance of food to the Spaniards. Spanish also has a different “you” used when talking to their elders. Unfortunately it is falling somewhat into disuse, particularly with the Spanish youth. Is this therefore a reflection that the younger generation is less respectful towards their elders? I suspect that if you were to ask Spanish teachers they would wholeheartedly agree.
I have always considered the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy as the source of all knowledge. Ever since hearing the original BBC radio broadcasts at University I have been hooked. In the 7th episode the writer talks of some aliens who “had little option but to become terribly happy……… ” as “…..the best way not to be unhappy is not to have a word for it”. They you see had no word for “unhappy” in their dictionary so they couldn’t describe a “non-happy” state.
We now have many people who suffer from some sort of eating disorder or food allergy, and I know that many people really do suffer…… but where were all these suffers thirty or forty years ago? Were they in the shadows waiting…… waiting for their conditions to be defined in the dictionary? Did they just suffer in silence because they had no words to voice their problems?
Well back to our elders, or at leat mine. Today’s article, and others I plan on writing over the next few months, aim to celebrate the culinary knowledge of the elder generations in my family. Today I will be writing about one of my Grandmother’s cakes that I have taken from her own handwritten recipe book. I hope you enjoy it.
Cinnamon Crumble Cake
Makes a 9 inch diameter round cake.
150g Cake flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
8 tbsp Milk
50g Brown sugar
1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
Take all the butter, milk and egg out of the fridge to reach room temperature.
Sift then mix together the dry mix ingredients.
Using just your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture.
Beat together the egg and milk.
Again using your fingertips, rub together the crumble ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
Pour most of the milk mixture into the dry mix and beat well with a wooden spoon to ensure it is well mixed. Beat in the rest of the milk mixture.
Grease a 9″ diameter loose bottomed cake mould.
Pour in the cake mix and smooth out.
Sprinkle on the crumble.
Bake for 45 minutes.
The recipe makes a dry, madeira like cake so it does go particularly well with a glass of sweet wine. It might sound like a lot of ground ginger but I don’t find it overpowering and it is a relatively large cake.
So as always I hope you enjoy the recipe and let me know how you get on.
tsp – Teaspoon – 5ml
tbsp – Tablespoon – 15ml
2016 Lincoln W. Betteridge