Perhaps the only beverage the Irish drink more often than beer is hot tea. No matter the occasion, there will certainly be a teapot filled with the caffeinated elixir of traditional Barry’s tea nearby. At Firefly (the company where I’m working in Ireland), my colleagues sit down for a cuppa religiously at 11am every morning. Given the prominence of tea in Ireland and its sacred relationship to cake, it is no wonder I can’t go a day without a sweet passing by my lips.
We had a couple of birthdays the first couple Fridays after I arrived which meant I was forced to indulge in some decadent teatime treats to celebrate. Gobbling praline cream cake with wild abandon, I realized that if there’s one universal way to get on your colleagues’ good side. It’s by using the power of food (and I don’t mean sharing your crisps at lunch). I started bribing people the only way I know how: cake.... you know, because I was trying to fit in with my new work family and make friends in this strange land... blah blah blah...
Picture the scene: evening, your kitchen, the night before someone's birthday for which you've made the cake. You are putting it in the fridge, to sit, covered. And it looks so...pretty. Surely nobody would begrudge you just a bite? I mean the lemon curd is oozing the side and it kind of looks messy. Can't have that. And since your equipment is still out, you use a spatula and you gently extract the runaway curd. And eat it.
Fact: cake will make you popular. Have you ever heard of a person who was disappointed when someone gifted them with a cake? No, neither have I. If you bring a homemade dessert to a gathering of people, you will instantly make friends. I mean no one makes a cake to eat by themselves so most Fridays I bring in something delicious from the kitchen for tea. Isn’t it amazing how one, four-letter world can make your day so much better?
I baked a desserts that I've made so many times that I can make them in my sleep but I also created a few new inventions that were well-suited to my ill-equipped kitchen. The crown jewel may possibly have been this rich Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Curd tart... because it made Irish colleague, Andrea cry because it was so good. Full disclosure she’s preggers so it may have been an easy target but if I ever open a bakery, I’m going to use that in my marketing. Cakes so good, they’ll make you cry.
Now I’m wondering how I'm going to top it when I realize that I have a secret weapon: rosemary gimlets (if I can bring myself to share).
Nice to meet you...
I'm Andi (hence the blog name). I'm a travel aficionado, passionate eater, tireless explorer of internet rabbit-holes, and amateur thinker. Join me as I give it all up (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) and go around the world on a mid-career "soul sabbatical" & year-of-learning to figure out what to be NEXT when I grow up. Won’t you grab a cup of chai and stay a while?
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