Oh, January. Brown, sluggish January. We need some laughs. Something sweet, something tangy. We need clementines. Some to eat...
...and some to read.
I made Nigella Lawson's famous clementine cake. And it was delicious. And I know I should just type the recipe out, but if you click here you can find it on the Food Network website, in Nigella's own voice. Try not to read it without hearing her voice, I dare you. (You can also find the recipe in its original metric system format at Nigella's website.)
Okay, okay, okay, enough. Time to be real. Let me tell you the truth: I've been sitting on this post for over a week. There's a reason for that. My springform pan broke when I tried to loosen the latch to release my cake. Mr. B had to pull the pan open with his hands, and...
The cake broke down the middle. Here I was, writing a blog post in my head and tying it in with the books I planned to start reading with the girls, and my pretty little cake fell apart.
|My friends are funny.|
Something you should know when you make this cake. A springform pan in a must! This is a very sticky cake. And the parchment paper? That is a must, too. And while my glaze tasted good, because my cake was already broken, the bottom of the cake became gooey.
But remember how I was going to tie this in with a readable Clementine? Well, this Clementine is a bundle of energy and constantly in trouble.
Her friend Margaret, she says, looks like a girl in a magazine. Margaret's mother looks like a mother in a magazine. Her apartment and bedroom look like pictures in magazines.
Clementine does not look like a picture in a magazine. Neither does her family. Or apartment. Or bedroom. She comes to realize that's perfect after all.
My cake did not look like a picture in a magazine, either. (It did taste good, though!)
Perhaps my less-than-perfect cake is a good tie-in for this series of books.
|Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee.|
I discovered this series in a sweet, old-fashioned way. We had just finished lunch at our favorite indie bookstore a few years ago and decided to look around the children's area. The girls were tiny then. Little Sis was only a baby. There was a cardboard standee on top of one of the shelves. It was of an adorable curly-haired ragamuffin named Clementine.
(Or maybe I've seen this movie too many times.)
So I found the book on the shelf and read the first page.
I have had not so good of a week. Well, Monday was a pretty good day, if you don't count Hamburger Surprise at lunch and Margaret's mother coming to get her. Or the stuff that happened in the principal's office when I got sent there to explain that Margaret's hair was not my fault and besides she looks okay without it, but I couldn't because Principal Rice was gone, trying to calm down Margaret's mother. Someone should tell you not to answer the phone in the principal's office, if that's a rule. Okay, fine, Monday was not so good of a day. - from Clementine by Sara Pennypacker (Hyperion Books for Children, 2006)I bought the book. Never mind that my girls were too little to read it yet. I knew I was going to love it. I've bought each book in hardcover as they come out, because they make me giggle. I read the first three to Big Sis when she was four. She doesn't remember, though.
Back to dull, brown January. We finally finished On the Banks of Plum Creek. I'm still reading Winnie-the-Pooh and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to Little Sis, and Big Sis has her Junie B. Jones books, but we needed some laughs together.
The Clementine series is providing the laughs. If you haven't read the books, but love characters like Ramona Quimby, Judy Moody, or Junie B. Jones, you should enjoy Clementine.
You can read a synopsis of each book on this page, courtesy of Sara Pennypacker's website. The next book, Clementine and the Spring Trip, comes out this March!
I don't see a career in food blogging in my future. I think I'll go back to my kiddie-lit/vintage mama bubble now.
|And here is one last attempt to make a pretty bloggy picture. |
It isn't a pretty bloggy picture. Okay, fine*.
*Clementine says, "Okay, fine" a lot.
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