There is something both hopeful and tacky about the hype and celebration around New Years Eve. Truth be told, I’ve always preferred the first morning of the year to the night before. Waking up to a fresh slate (or at the least, watching the sun rise to a new year). The world in anticipation.
Yesterday, after reading Beth’s post on Local Milk, I started thinking about my own past new year celebrations. Given the general theme of the Local Milk post, the one that sprung to my mind first was a New Years Eve some ten, eleven years ago (I don’t remember exactly which one). I was camping in the bush at a festival with my dear friend Nev. We took copious amounts of acid and spent the night drinking whiskey in a steam room, skinny-dipping in the river, swimming in the mud, and learning about the stars and constellations. As the sun rose we drank pink champagne and watched the bush turn from shades of grey to green and brown and pale yellow.
I can remember other new year celebrations as well, even though they tend to blur. I welcomed 2012 alone in India, perfectly content sitting on the roof of my hotel with a cup of tea, watching the homemade fireworks in the street below. Six years earlier, I welcomed in 2006 on a beach in Colombia with new friends, dancing and laughing and lying on the sand as the sun came up. This year I will eat dinner with my small wonderful family, put my daughter to bed, watch the fireworks with S from the comfort of our verandah, and be fast asleep well before the clock hits midnight.
Wishing you all a lovely start to 2015. With cake!
Pistachio & Lemon Cake
1 ½ cups plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup plain yoghurt
¾ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
½ cup coconut oil
Grated zest of one large lemon (or two small ones)
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 180°c/350°f. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
Using a mortar and pestle (or simply a good knife), roughly crush/chop the pistachio nuts – you want them to be uneven in size, some bigger chunks and some smaller. Set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk the eggs together with the sugar until light and fluffy. Stir through the yoghurt, vanilla essence, coconut oil and lemon zest until thoroughly combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Stir through the pistachios and transfer to the loaf pan. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Prepare the syrup by dissolving the sugar in the lemon juice over a low heat, until all of the sugar is dissolved. Brush the syrup over the cake while it is still warm.
Notes: this cake will keep moist in a sealed container for up to four days.