Nigella Lawson’s Sticky Gingerbread and Sticky, Sticky Situations

We were driving 50 mph on the interstate accelerating . . . . . .
30 mph, 40 mph, 50 mph. And then nothing.
The car just stopped.

There was this low thud. Like the gears were trying to change but they wouldn’t. My heart fell out of my chest. Onto the dirty floor mat. The one with the blue slush stain. It stayed there for about 30 seconds as I gulped for air. . . .panicking.

I looked over at him.

He smiled.
And it wasn’t a nervous smile either.
His eyes were glimmering,  “Looks like the transmission just went out.”
And I wanted to throw up.

I secretly-mentally jumped out the window and ran wildly up and down the INTERSTATE screaming “Oh my GAWD. OH MY GAWD. What are we going to do? Are we going to die HERE because we are on the highway and the car just stopped, and not to mention its 7:04 pm AND ITS DARK, and no one will see us as my husband jumps out of the car trying to fix it. . .by  crawling under engine on the hard, hard pavement, ON HIS BACK, because I’m freaking out, because I think THE TRANSMISSION is a serious thing to go wrong in a car. And then what if someone hits our deadbeat car while my husband is under it, and the unmentionable happens? And then what??? I’m a spinster left, with 10 kids and no job. But I do have a blog and a dog, which might count for something. Not much. But something.”

I felt another thunk. And a plunk. And I’m pulled out of my mental cliff jumping.
He’s still smiling. And mumbling something about, We’ll just coast. . .maybe we have enough momentum to make it off the highway, down the ramp and into a parking lot.

And what do you know.
We do kinda.
We coast as I hyperventilate and he smiles.
Right to the entrance of a car dealership.
I want to cry, but I don’t because I really should try to keep it together for my super calm, not at all inconvenienced husband.

The car has completely stopped now.
He puts on the hazards, gets out, tells me to get into the driver seat and says, “OK. Sweetheart (which I don’t think he really said, because he never says that, but his words were so smooth and calming and his eyes definitely said sweetheart, so even though it would have been weird for him to say that that, I’m saying he said it because his eyes definitely said it. I totally felt like a heart that was sweet.) Move over to the drivers side and put the car in neutral. I’ll push and you manage the wheel. Take a right at the corner, it’ll be hard, but you can do it.

Uh. Not as hard as pushing a car in the middle of the night up a baby hill around a corner and into the parking lot, but OK.

So I do.
And he does.
And we call the tow truck.
And then we call our best friend to come pick me up.
And he tells me to go, and leave him there to wait by himself because he knows I need to wash my hair for the Christmas party in 45 minutes.
I don’t want to leave him, but I do.
Because that’s how we are.
He and I.
He takes care of me.
And I let him.
And I love him.
And I try to take care of him right back.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Funny how when you write it down, it doesn’t seem quite as scary.
To me anyway. Not to him.
He just told me yesterday, he was really proud of me. So proud that I’ve be so calm about the car transmission, and it being Christmas time, and budgets and us maybe needing a NEW CAR when we just spent sooooo much money on Christmas stuff.

I really am trying not to freak the mess out.
It won’t help anything.
I’m just going to count my blessings that . . . .
1.) The kids weren’t in the car with us.
2.) My crazy butt wasn’t driving.
4.) I married the right guy.

So. . . . . .
I’m taking pictures with my new camera (to help me forget all these shenanigans )

And I’m making gingerbread.
For my lovely, lovely, life partner.
Who for the record says that this cake is OUT OF THIS WORLD (again not exactly what he said, but his eyes and finger looking definitely conveyed that point).

May the Joy of the Season Be in Our Hearts Always.
No matter what.

Sticky Gingerbread
adapted from Nigella Lawson


  • 10 TB butter
  • 1 cup golden syrup (I used light Karo Syrup)
  • 1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup stout (I used Shiner Bock, she suggests any type of Guinness)
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 rectangular aluminium foil pan or cake pan, approximately 13 by 9 by 2-inches


1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with parchment or aluminium foil and grease it.
2. Into a saucepan, place butter, syrup, brown sugar, beer, ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves. Melt gently over low heat. 
3. Once melted, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the flour and baking soda. Be sure to remove any lumps. 

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and eggs. Then, add them to the gingerbread mixture by whisking them into a smooth batter.

5. Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until it is completely risen, pulling away from the sides and slightly springy. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into squares.

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