Now that uni has finished for a few months, I’m looking for a job. And preferably a nice job. If I’m going to sacrifice three months of unlimited freedom that I could be spending somewhere down in Italy on a beach, then it had better be for something vaguely enjoyable.
I found an ad for a vacancy in a café in my area and when the owner offered me a trial shift (unpaid, but hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and more such platitudes), I decided to give it a go. A café, I imagined, would be nicer to work in than a pub, and easier, because sober people are patient and coherent and they don’t make a giant mess of your work place.
God, was I wrong.
I may have to admit that it was my own fault for choosing a café in my own area: I live in the West End. For those of you who are not from Glasgow, the West End is the posh area. Generally that’s good, because you can walk home at night without much fear of getting robbed violently, but it also means that the people here are generally obnoxious bastards.
So there I was, making skinny lattes for ladies with massive sun glasses and four screaming waens in their wake, green teas to go for health-aware, meditative professionals (but time is money, even for their zen asses, so chop chop), and explaining to young hipster couples what was in a carrot and pumpkin seed muffin. (“Pretty much EXACTLY what the name suggests, how’s that?”)
It turns out that against all my expectations, drunk people are probably more patient, more coherent and less messy than West Enders who frequent cafés with their smelly offspring. Because drunks just want a pint. West Enders don’t know what the hell they want. “I’d like a cappuccino, small please, to take away, no chocolate. Or actually, make it a large skinny, and I’ll have the chocolate but I’ll leave the jam I ordered with my scone. And actually I’ll just sit in. Is all of your milk organic?” The kids would then knock over their juices and throw their expensive mini sandwiches against the windows. The tables would be left filled with moist baby wipes covered in crumbs and child snot. This place turned out to be my worst nightmare.
Apart from all that, it turns out that cafés are actually really busy. If I have stated before that baristas don’t deserve tips because they don’t work as hard as night-time bar staff, I was sorely mistaken. It was hard work and I never want to do it again. I’ll look for some other job in the city centre, and I’ll have my own little one-person café in my house, no-one else invited, with coffee for one and home-made raisin and apple muffins. What’s in the muffins, you ask? Pretty much EXACTLY what the name suggests.
For 12 muffins you will need:
- 200 gr self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100 gr sugar
- 1 apple
- 60 gr of raisins, soaked
- 60 gr butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 175 – 200 ml milk
- 1 tsp of ginger powder
- half a tsp of ground cardamom
Put the flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the ginger and the cardamom in a large bowl. Add a small pinch of salt. Mix well. Peel and core the apple and slice it up into tiny little chunks. Boil water and use it to soak the raisins. Drain them once they’re nice and juicy and add them, along with the apple bits, to the flour mix.
Melt the butter in the microwave (preferably on low heat, it should be liquid but not too hot). Whisk up the egg with the milk, then add the butter, keep whisking. Add all of it to the flour mix and stir it all together with a spoon. Don’t stir it too much, it should be a fairly chunky mixture.
Get your muffin tin out, line the holes with paper muffin cups and stick the batter in. Bake at about 200°C for around 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Eat far away from screaming kids and their god-awful parents.