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unbelievably squeamish

December 17, 2012

“Can we make a mealworm cake – for the birds – on my birthday?” said Boo the other day. So I thought I’d oblige. Turns out that Boo is even more squeamish than I thought – OK so I know she’s afraid of butter (“and ketchup and mayonnaise” she said – adding fears of which I hadn’t previously been cognisant), but I thought that love of her feathered friends could override the fear of the mealworm. Wrong.  Wrong,wrong, wrong.

mealworms

So Boo made chocolate cake – Julia’s chocolate cake in fact (from Julia Ponsonby’s Gaia’s kitchen cookbook) which is a recipe that never fails to impress. The chocolate ganache worked too. I felt I shouldn’t make mealworm cake while the chocolate cake was being made in case of cross contamination, so I made a coconut cake – usual recipe of 4oz of soft butter & white sugar, 2 eggs, 2oz desiccated coconut mixed with 2fl oz boiling water, 8oz self raising flour all mixed together, baked and topped when cool with chocolate melted with a little butter (so that it doesn’t set like a rock).

While the cakes were cooking I turned my attention to the mealworms – someone had to. They are a little jumpy – they’re dead and quite desiccated, but that doesn’t make much difference – they do move in a very lifelike fashion, once the lid of the pot is open, responding to every little twitch of the hand.  Boo didn’t get near enough to see this of course.mealwprm-cake

I punched some holes in some plastic pots and Boo threaded string though so that the cakes could be hung up. Half a block of vegetable fat (“that is vegetable fat isn’t it?” Boo asked, somewhat tremulously – her concern was probably justified in retrospect) went into a pan to melt a little,  followed by birdseed, sunflower seeds and mealworms  mixed up.

Everyone in the kitchen (and by this time we had been joined by Beth, Rella and the Beloved) moved away from me as I spooned the delicious mixture into the containers. Outside I’m sure I could hear the birds salivating.

“They need to go into the fridge to set”, I said. “Not in our fridge” said Rella.  Hmmmm.

Anyway.  Happy Birthday Boo!

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