Sometimes I think that someone is watching over me, saving my bacon from some situations that would’ve got me in a whole heap of trouble. Today was one of those days. I haven’t had my hair cut for 10 months now. It is knotty constantly and my home fringe trimming isn’t exactly up to scratch. I fear the hairdressers. Not because I don’t like getting my hair cut but because I hate having to make conversation with the hairdresser for the first 10 minutes until it inevitably becomes awkward because when you’ve run through the gamut of inane chat. You then have to smile and watch them cut your hair and you can’t read a magazine because they want your head to be straight. My mum is one of those people who manages to find a common point of interest and make conversation with everyone. I swear when I was a kid I would go off while she was having her hair dud and return to find her still gassing away with the coiffeur. I still wonder how she does it. I guess that’s why she’s so good at her job (she’s a registrar of marriages), she been doing it for 26 years!
So anyway today was the day I finally decided to get my hair cut. I needed a cheap cut because I just spent an eye watering amount of money going to see my bestie next weekend and something’s got to give somewhere. As it was during my lunch break it would have to be in the local area. Now where I work is in a not-so-nice area of the city, and therefore the places around it are not-so-nice either. But I googled this place and made an appointment with the gruff sounding hairdresser. I was already feeling a little dubious. But at £8 for a cut I wasn’t going to worry too much. And you know, I have long hair so it would be beyond impossible for it to look awful (y’know, like a mullet). So how far wrong could you go?
When I arrived at my allotted time said hairdresser appeared to have just begun putting weave into this woman’s hair. She said she wouldn’t be long, so she hands me a load of tat magazines and I sit and read celebrity gossip and wait. And wait. And wait. The place smells funny. The hairdresser was “mmm”ing a lot but the weave victim doesn’t appear to be saying anything. I realise the hairdresser is on a hands free kit, white van man style. She also has either a top that’s too short, or trousers that don’t come up high enough, because her belly is protruding from the gap inbetween, like Larry David’s secretary in Curb Your Enthusiasm. My mind is screaming at me to leave, but my British need to be polite is telling me to stay. I don’t want to be here. I need to escape. I look at my phone, it’s only been 15 minutes. But the hairdresser doesn’t look like she is anywhere near finished and I don’t have time to waste. It’s time to make my excuses so I tell her I have to get back to work and I’ll come back tomorrow. “Would you like to rebook?” she asks. “No no, it’s fine, I’ll just pop in.” We both know I am lying. My hair lives to knot up another day.
I wish haircuts were as dependable as cake! I feel like I missed the hype on these Herman The German Friendship Cakes. I only found out about it through my job when someone posted about them on our Facebook wall. Then just a week or so later we received our first one. I nurtured Herman, fed him, rocked him to sleep. OK, not the last one. I mixed him with some other ingredients and he shuffled off his mortal coil and emerged from the oven as a beautiful cake. But of course, I could not leave him as he was. No siree. He needed a tweak.
Here is your secret weapon to make Herman fully loaded! All you need is butter, sugar and a couple of cooking apples.
Here’s Herman, he’s been bubbling away for 10 days, he is good to go.
First we’re going to make the Herman cake…mix the eggs and the sugar
Then add the oil/butter
Sift the flour mix…
…then add it to the cake batter mix along with Herman (say bye bye!)
Add sultanas (I use these instead of raisins)
Now we’re going to take this cake up a gear! Peel and slice the cooking apples.
In a pan, melt the butter with the sugar for a minute or so then add the apples until it begins to bubble and caramelise
In a greased deep cake tin, pour in the caramelised apple mix and spread out evenly over the base of the tin. Spread the cake batter evenly over the top.
BAKE. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in tin for 5 or so minutes.
Turn out and leave to cool on a rack
You can find the Herman recipe here and as I didn’t change anything I’m not going to write it out again, just my addition for the top.
- 1 lot of Herman cake mix
- 2 cooking apples
- 75g butter
- 100g sugar
- Once the Herman cake batter is prepared, make the topping. Peel, core and slice the apples (not too finely, not too thickly).
- In a shallow frying pan over a medium heat, melt the butter than stir in the sugar. Let it turn a light brown, then add the apples. Allow to caramelise a little more, the mixture turns dark brown. Don’t let it burn.
- Pour the caramel apple mix into the base of a deep greased cake tin then add the cake batter mix. Cook as per the Herman instructions.