Lunchtime. Probably my favourite meal of the day. For one, I don't have to cook it, as I do dinner. Nor is it the chronic underwhelmer that is breakfast - basically, cereal or toast, cereal or toast, ad nauseam. Lunchtime seems a smorgasbord of boundless possibility around where I work - there is quality cheap Malaysian, sushi, pizza, Lebanese, Chinese, and café fare (even if there is no Greek or ramen). I quite often meet friends for lunch. Lunch is choice. I really like it.
One day last week, however, I approached 2pm not feeling my usual enthusiasm for lunch. I was not feeling it. I didn't know what I wanted.
I didn't want a sandwich. I didn't want noodles, or soup, or even a salad. I wanted something, but I wasn't sure what. Skipping lunch was a thought too awful to bear - a meal missed is one you never catch up on, even if skipping the odd meal is unlikely to do much damage to my fighting weight.
Interestingly, I heard something interesting on Radio NZ National last week, also - that things weigh less the closer to the equator you are. So, actually, I am thinner than I weigh in at here, so close to the South Pole. I thought this was excellent news.
And news that gave me carte blanche to indulge in something. I went round to my favourite town café - Milk Crate, in Wellington's Ghuznee Street - to have a coffee, and make a plan of attack.
I sat up at the bar, where I like to sit, and ponder, and read the paper, and look at 1-Day Sales on my phone to see if they are selling Dunlop Volleys (my favourite shoes - especially the white ones). And there it is, up on the counter - the answer to my dilemma.
Cake. A big, lovely cake, on a raised platter. Chocolate, caramel ganache, cherries. Good Lord, it looks decadent. Good Lord, it looks delicious. I now have a moral dilemma - is it okay to just have cake for lunch!?
Pros: 1. The cake looks amazing. It looks like something I really want to eat. It looks like something I am going to eat. 2. It solves the "lunch" dilemma. There are more than enough calories to make up for not having a regular lunch, so I won't get faint, etc. 3. I am a grown-up, and am not answerable to anyone but myself as to what I eat. In fact, I am only answerable to my tightest pants. Plus, it has fruit on it, so one of my 5+ achieved. And, finally, 4. I did swim a couple ofkilometres this morning, and am feeling virtuous and slightly superior - this should help quell these feelings.
Cons: 1. Empty calories. Is it going to sustain me till dinnertime? 2. Is it shameful? As an, ahem, larger fellow, people are going to see me eating the decadent cake and think "look at that fat bastard eating cake! For lunch! For shame!". And 3. um, I can't think of any more cons.
There's that expression "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Stupid, obviously - what's the point in having cake if not to eat it?!
This is silly.
I'm getting the damn cake!
Oh, Lordie! It is every bit as delicious as it looks. It is awesome. The caramel ganache is sweet and rich and buttery-creamy. And the sour cherries cut right through the ganache and cake. It is luxurious and rich and decadent. And it really hits the spot. The Mexican turns up while I am eating it, so I tell him what I am doing.
"I'm having cake for lunch!" Remarkably, giving that he is some sort of kung fu kinda guy, he is not as appalled as I thought he would be. In fact, he decides to do similarly. And then, just as he is waiting to order up the last slice of caramel ganache sour cherry chocolate cake - someone beats him to the punch! And he has to revert to the more conventional sandwich option.
Which somehow sorta seems to validate my decision. So much so that when he has a slice of the also delicious looking, but nowhere near as decadent, blueberry lemon cake, I feel that I can also justify a green tea and ginger yo-yo type biscuit. For afters.
A hugely successful affair then, this cake for lunch business. Not one I am going to do every day, mind. But totally one that I will repeat at some stage. And I am thinking that I might have to have a chat with its creator, Agnes some time soon.
Cake - for lunch. Do you ever do that? Or other such debauchery? Ice cream for breakfast? Where will the madness end?! (And - does anyone have a line on a consistent supply of Dunlop Volley shoes here in NZ?)
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Cake photo by CdnStar