Monday, 20 April 2009

What would Hemingway do?

Well, the stress is over, but not entirely in a good way. I didn't get the job. I'd been stressed because I hadn't heard about it, then this morning I heard, and it was bad news. Oh well. There'll be other jobs and I'm sure this just means there is something better out there. Plus I won't have to worry about moving whilst doing my writing up this summer.

Still, I really wanted that job.

In these sorts of situations I find it helps to turn to my favourite writers for
comfort. I think this time it would be apt to draw on Hemingway's example. How? by drinking lots of rum of course!

Which brings me to the recipe I promised you. One of my very own creations, "Hemingway's breakfast loaf." I've called it this because it's a quickbread designed for w
eekend breakfasts that's both saturated with rum and filled with coconut, a tropical combination that I think Hemingway would have approved of. Plus, it would be his ideal breakfast, sitting in his study in Cuba, with his cats and a hot strong coffee in the early morning as he started to write. He could justify the alcohol because technically, it's in a cake, and not a shot glass. Cunning eh?
So yes, I will be eating a large slice of this with my coffee this morning. The quickbread equivalent of drowning my sorrows.Ed's note: you can of course make this without the rum using more orange juice, as it is quite a boozy cake for first thing in the morning. Then again, that's why weekend mornings were invented, and less alcohol is surely a crime against the cake's muse.

Hemingway's Breakfast Loaf - Makes one 9" by 5" loaf

1 cup Wholemeal Flour
1 cup self-raising flour

3/4 cup sugar (I used caster as it was all I had, but I think soft brown would be great, and will try that next)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dark rum
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg beaten
1 cup dried cherries, chopped in half

1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
1/2 coconut (fresh, shredded)

Overnight, or for at least half an hour before you start soak the chopped cherries in the rum (or if you're being mad and not using the alcohol, soak them in 1/2 cup orange juice instead).

Preheat oven to 170C and line a 9" by 5" loaf pan.

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda
and salt. When mixed well, add the orange juice, egg and butter, then mix until it starts coming together (it'll be really thick, don't worry). Add the cherries and the rum they've been soaking in, stir, and then add the coconut and pecans. Mix until the they are mixed evenly throughout the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for aprox 45 mins. Cover the top with foil part way through if it looks like it's browning too quickly. It's ready when a toothpick or skewer comes out clean, I'd start checking from about 30mins just in case.

Leave to cool on a wire rack, and then serve. It should stay moist in an airtight container for a couple of days due to the coconut.
Enjoy for breakfast with a strong coffee. An extra shot of rum in your coffee is option, but it would make Hemingway proud.

Update: Good reason for not getting the job: staying closer to friends who are amazing and send you flowers to make you feel better. I might not have gotten the dream job, but I'm a very lucky girl indeed.


green ink said...

Oooh, Hemingway bread!! I'm sure he would have approved. Your recipe reminded me of an amazing bread I used to make called "Sweet Coconut Curry Bread" many years ago....I think I'll have to dig that one out.

I'm sorry about the job - that stinks. I also had that experience just before Easter - fortunately it wasn't my dream job, just a step up and a bit more money, but I was still a bit gutted.

Turning to your favourite writers for comfort always helps. I spent some time with TS Eliot, some toast and tea. Being a non-meat eater these days, there were no smells of steaks in passageways :P

I'm sure something amazing will come along for you :) Focus on the good stuff, keep believing and keep trying!

And haven't you got lovely friends?!


Sarah, The New Girl said...

I am so sorry you didn't get the job you wanted. I feel like I should copy the heartwarming comment you left me when I was upset about lost opportunities, and recycle it for you... since it made me feel so much better...

BUT! You're SO brilliant and lovely that it's hard for me to worry. You will find some great position at which you will exceedingly excel. You will! And until then-- lovely flowers!!!!

Hemingway would love your breakfast. He's always my "Who, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner?" answer. Didn't good 'ol Hemingway say "man is not for defeat... he can be destroyed, but never defeated." Or something like that. I'm sure he has a hundred quotes about courage and perseverance. I hope when you eat your yummy, rum-my breakfast roll you think of how proud he would be of your undefeated attitude :)