Today was officially my last day at my current place of work. I managed only to cry once. Which is a major victory for me, as emotions are uncontrollable most of the time. Poor work friends. Probably didn’t know what to do with me.
I will, with no doubt in my mind, miss the people. Some of the most wonderful people I have worked with so far. It’s been a strange transition year. I was made redundant April 9th of last year and ended up temping two weeks later out of pure panic because of my lack of employment. It wasn’t something that I expected to happen. I was happy in my job in a local family run business. I enjoyed the variety of work and loved the family I worked for. In all honesty, I think I’m only just coming to terms with the loss of such a massive part of my life.
It was more difficult still, when two months in to me temping, we were thrown into more stress as the other half ended up jobless too. It has been, at times, a rough year. Luckily the temp job I ended up with turned out to be a hidden gem. Okay, so I had a bad start. I’ve never worked in any kind of finance before and I found the transition hard. Spending most lunch times hidden away alone in my car across the road, in Morrisons car park. It took me sometime, but I came off of my lonely hermit road and joined the girls for lunch one day. I pushed myself to be more involved, and it turns out I met some pretty awesome people. I will miss them. But it is most certainly not goodbye. Only ‘see you soon’.
To mark my leaving, as you know, I baked. One of the recipes I used seems to fit the feel of today perfectly. Bitter sweet. Bitter as I don’t want to leave my new friends, but sweet as I am excited to see what’s on the horizon of my new career. So here it is. My lovely lemon loaf.
225g Caster Sugar
Zest & Juice of 2 Lemons
225g Self Raising Flour
85g Granulated Sugar
Grease and line a loaf tin. The one I used was a 500g tin, which I found perfect for this recipe. Don’t worry if you don’t have a loaf tin, round tins, square tins are all good too.
Cream your butter and sugar together. Makes sure it’s smooth and light in colour. Add the zest of 2 lemons and the juice of half. Mix thoroughly and add the eggs one at a time. Any sign of curdling, just add a spoonful of the flour.
Once the eggs have been beaten in, fold in the flour. It really is as simple as that. If you are using a hand whisk its super quick as well, but don’t be tempted to whisk in the flour. This would knock all the air out giving your cake a reason to misbehave. Bake this in a 160 degree oven for around 45 mins. If the oven is too hot the cake will colour too quickly on the top, if this happens don’t panic, but cover with a foil lid to save the cake from burning.
When the cake is golden brown and you can pull out a skewer clean from the centre of the cake, take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 10 mins. While the cake is cooling, combine the granulated sugar and the rest of the lemon juice in a separate bowl as well as any zest you have left. Poke a few tiny holes all over the loaf with a skewer and drizzle over the sugar syrup. The liquid will soak right into the cake, but some of the granulated sugar will sit lusciously on the top. The sugar will cling to the wonderfully tart lemon taste. Perfectly sweet and tasty when it’s cooled and great to share with friends.