Internet shopping has put paid to the bane of my twenties and thirties: changing rooms. They must have employed sadistic sociopaths to design them in most of the high street clothing retail stores. I can’t recall places that would make me feel as depressed, unworthy and self-conscious as fitting rooms used to do. The lighting; the weird position of the mirrors; the oppressive muzak and spiteful assistants secretly swapping size 10 tags with size 16 – thank goodness those horrors are behind me now.
I don’t visit real shops unless it’s a butcher’s or a hardware store. I order all my clothes online in several sizes, making sure they do free returns. A trip to the post office and a small fortune temporarily sinking my credit card are a small price to pay for not having to step into the horror hall of mirrors. And of course I order everything else online too: pans and pots, teddy bears and makeup, panko breadcrumbs and cake decorating accessories.
Inevitably, there’s an odd disaster every now and then; mostly due to misleading descriptions or, let’s be honest, not reading the descriptions properly. A teddy bear twice the expected size; a pan so miniature it can be only used to fry one quails’ egg; and the most recent purchase: a truckload of chocolate curls.
It’s excellent quality milk chocolate which wasn’t hugely expensive so I expected a half a pound box, or thereabouts: a bloody kilogram of the stuff turned up on my doorstep. The description on Amazon bears adequate information, no question – I just failed to read it, so now I’m going to have to make chocolate desserts every other day for the next fifty years.
The curls stirred into this cake mix disappear, but add a lovely squidgy factor. The batter is ready in about three minutes and the cake is almost healthy – not much fat and not much sugar (ha! only chocolate but who counts that?). Well, what can I say? I’ll be doing a lot of those ‘just add chocolate curls’ recipes now…