brutalized bunnies and other things i blame on the Brits...

i recently found myself baking a pound cake in the middle of the night, a fact i blame in part on Australia, South Africa, and Denmark. but, most of all, i blame the Brits. you see, we—like most people in the world—are fans of The Great British Bake Off. problem is, GBBO is a cleverly-disguised gateway drug, because we keep discovering franchises set in different locales... and we are totally hooked!

we have seen all the episodes to date of The Great Australian Bake Off, most of Den Store Bagedyst (in the original Danish, which neither of us speaks, but we still love every second of the show), and now—just as we were finishing up the first season of The Great South African Bake Off and starting in on season two—we discovered that there exists something called the Great Irish Bake Off. madness!

all the off-viewing is starting to take a toll on my quality of life. watching people bake delicious things makes it very necessary for me to do the same. so, there we were at the end of one episode of Irish baking, when the urge suddenly hit.

me: i need to bake something!!!

now, this is when he usually stops me by offering a cautionary reminder of my allergy to all things wheat. however, he had also just sat through watching people bake delicious things.

him: if you're sure... [with a poorly-disguised tone of gleeful anticipation].

i hopped over to my list of favorite recipes and weighed the possibilities.

me: it has to be something relatively fast, because i am not spending the whole night waiting for dough to rise.
him: what about flan?
me: i could kill for a victoria sponge, 'cept i have no cream for the filling. 
him: what about flan...???

... at which point, i gave him THAT look. [full disclosure: i hate hate HATE flan and most other wobbly, eggy, custardy things. naturally, he loves all those things.]

him: ...or, maybe cinnamon rolls?
me: that is an all-day operation.
him: scones? 
me: i always make scones. i want something different.

then it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.

me: you know that box of really flavorful clementines we bought a few days ago?
him: yes...?
me: i'm gonna make my famous lemon pound cake... with clementines!!!
him: go for it!

so, i did, and after it was out of the oven and resting on the cooling rack, i issued a "will you be needing me for anything in the next hour or so, because i plan to be up to my earlobes in a hot bath" warning, when it happened.

i need to take a moment to paint you a picture that perfectly describes the next part of this tale: imagine if you will, a five year-old child whose two favorite things in the world are his pet bunnies and the family dog. now, imagine that this child comes home one day, and you have to break the tragic news that the dog ate the bunnies... so the dog is being put to sleep!

do you see it? that look right there on the face of that five year old child who has just gotten the news of the brutalized bunnies and the soon-to-be-dead dog...? that was the look on my favorite animator's face when i told him that he would have to wait for the cake to cool completely before he could have a slice. seriously... i have not laughed that hard in a very long time.

later that night, as we sat together over slices of freshly-baked cake and large mugs of tea, we realized just how much off-viewing we actually do together, and it is not all about baking. i like to sew every now and then, so i was excited to discover The Great British Sewing Bee, but i did not expect him to get equally caught up in watching it. by the end of the first season, he was looking at fabric swatches online and asking me to teach him how to use the sewing machine. then there was The Great Pottery Throw Down. we had talked about taking pottery classes together at some point, so we were instantly drawn to this title. then things got weird. i came across something called Den Store Strikkedyst while searching for some knitting-related thing, and my head near exploded. 

me: uhm... sweetie. i just found another "off" to watch.
him: what is it this time? origami?
me: it's knitting... in Danish!

i went through the customary ritual. made tea, lit a candle, fluffed all the cushions, then sat cross-legged on my favorite sofa, while he wandered off to the studio shaking his head. 

me: sure you don't want to join me?
him: i guess i'll check out the beginning, but i am not going to watch a bunch of old women sitting around knitting. 

he came and sat on the arm of the sofa, poised to make a quick exit back to his happy place. fast-forward a couple hours, and he is sitting next to me with my legs stretched in their customary position across his lap, while we debate which contestant is most deserving of elimination at the end of the episode. i think that counts as 'totally hooked'. 

so, there we were tonight, discussing our food options for the coming days.

me: other than a few cans of wet cat food, i don't think we need to buy anything till next week. we have stuff to cook, but there's nothing for snacks or light meals.

then it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.

me: would it be wrong if i made another clementine pound cake?
him: go for it!

i blame the Brits.

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