Tag Archives: Baking

Whoops!

23 Aug
Webbed toes

Image via Wikipedia

It was a day of mistakes yesterday:

I was not Freshly Pressed

Sorry if I gave the impression that I was.  Thanks for all your positive comments.  If wishing made it so….

I made a roast dinner on the hottest day of August so far

The Hub bought a huge gammon at a small gammon price and, rather than freeze it, I decided to make my first roast, with all the trimmings, in months.  Unfortunately, so did the weather.  I’m not ungrateful for the heat – it warms our webbed feet, after all – but why did it choose to be hot yesterday?  I almost passed out when I opened the oven door.

I baked some fairy cakes

Always a mistake.  Especially when I forget to add one of the main ingredients.

The weird thing is, they tasted fine.

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I was not the only person to make a mistake yesterday.  From – where else? – The Stockport Express:

An opportunist thief stole a van off a driveway as a senior police officer moved house.

Superintendent Vanessa Jardine was moving items from her home on Lower Fold, Marple Bridge, Stockport, when the rented vehicle was suddenly driven away.

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Proving that it really can happen to anyone. 

I know: I’ll make her a cake.

VICTIM OF CRIME: Supt Vanessa Jardine

101/1001 (19) A Re-Think

5 Aug

I have been forced to re-think some of my targets because I have reached and even surpassed quite a few.  Not this first one, though; I may have set my sights a mite too high on this one:

Ride my bike twenty out of thirty days. (0/30)

Decorating, an absent child and several migraines mean I have barely been out on my new old bike; certainly not enough to say I have started this challenge.  I tell you this in an effort to shame myself into getting back in the saddle again.

Find another 64 challenges for the list.  (27/64)

I have a new challenge, inspired by Elizabeth of 1sojournal, who did it with poetry:

Find 26 unfamiliar words, one for each letter of the alphabet; then use them in a post a day for 26 days. (Words: 5/26)

Expose myself to four new experiences (3/4)

This week’s enjoyment of baking was definitely a new experience for me!

I think I set my target too low for 1001 days, so I will adjust it to twenty new experiences.

This challenge is related to

Try out three new recipes (6/3)

I didn’t expect to complete this one so soon, if at all, so I will up the target to 15.  I don’t want to put too much pressure on me; who knows when I’ll next feel like cooking?  The urge may never come around again in my lifetime.

Submit thirty poems to competitions or publishers (7/30)

I sent off a poem this week; and I plan to send another to a different competition.

The poem I sent is probably too lighthearted for the judges; but I adhered to the theme and it was free to enter, so I sent it anyway.  If only to stop Viv nagging me.

Read thirty books (15/30)

I’m already halfway through this challenge so I think I’d better up the ante to 101 books.

This week I read the last Dick Francis; and finally finished a book I started two years ago and came across when I was rearranging the bedroom in an effort to locate the power lead for my netbook.  I failed, but the book was compensation.

Called Dear First Lady, it’s a selection of letters to and from, well, American First Ladies.  A fascinating insight if you’re into that sort of thing, which I am.  And a reminder that my husband buys the most thoughtful presents in the world.  If only I would stop misplacing them.

Write 101 new poems (153/101)

We are at Day 133 of 1001 and I have already written 153 poems.  I think I may have underestimated my poem-writing capacity just a little.  As a result, this target is going up to…drum roll please…1001.  A poem a day.

Gulp.

Reach 13000 comments on my blog (11,878/13,000)

The rate at which I am reaching this one caught me by surprise.  I thought I was stretching a point by aiming for 13000.  I’m going to double it and add the number I first thought of, to make it 30,000.

Double gulp.

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As you can see, a lot of re-thinking of original targets has taken place.  Either I was unrealistic to start with, or the cake-baking success has gone straight to my head.  Time will tell.

Don’t forget to check out the other 101ers, to my right.  And we still welcome new challengers.  You should think about it – I never had so much fun doing things I mostly want to do anyway.

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Baking Crazy

3 Aug

I acted out of character yesterday.  I had the urge to bake.  Not any old urge, like the urge to go to the toilet or to eat a Malteser, or to go to the toilet while eating a Malteser; but an urge like my guts will burst if I don’t get to the bathroom on time; like I must empty that box of Maltesers right now before someone comes in and wants one.  It was quite frightening.

I don’t bake.  I barely cook.  I muddle along as best I can and hope not to poison anyone.  Sometimes, I don’t.  So what brought this new and terrifying desire upon me?  Grocery shopping.

Life is only worth living if we have the occasional treat; by which I mean that we must have snacky things to eat in the house at all times, or the family will at last realise they are running on empty.  We haven’t done a great deal of shopping lately and I needed to stock up on staples.  Once I’d bought all the staples, however, there was nothing left for cakes.  You could misquote Marie Antoinette and say, ‘Let them eat bread!’ but I’m trying to cut back on stodgy food – cakes aren’t ‘food’ but ‘snacks’, so it’s not cheating.

Thus, I decided to make my own.  The itch had been there for a while, if I’m honest; ever since Viv told me her secret: weigh the eggs; make the dry ingredients the same weight; add the flour last and stop mixing.  Viv is a genius.  Usually, my cakes look like this, if I’m lucky: _ _ _ _ _ .

But not with Viv on the case: dear old Viv, wonderful Viv, knows how to bake Viv, glad I listened to her Viv, I love Viv Viv, genius Viv:

You should be looking at the ones at the back; the ones at the front are yet to go in the oven. 

I hung on to Tory Boy’s school recipe booklets, you see, and yesterday I went through them, selecting several recipes to try.  I didn’t just bake one thing: I baked for hours and hours and hours.  At one point the Hub walked into the kitchen and asked me who I was.  It was that phenomenon where you meet someone in the street and you know you know them but it’s not where you usually meet them and you can’t place them until you picture them with a milk float or a lollipop and yellow coat or a sack full of post.

Here’s the next batch:

I didn’t follow Viv’s instructions for the cakes at the front, and it shows.  I have an excuse, however: the recipe said ‘buns’ not ‘cakes’.  I didn’t know they were the same thing.  I suppose I should have guessed when the ingredients were exactly the same, but I was high on the excitement of my first batch. 

The glass dish at the back holds the leftover mixture from Viv’s cakes.  I bunged in some tinned peaches and made a peach cake.  How cool am I?

Then I was left with half a tin of peaches – no problem!  I had a recipe for apple crunchy top so I could halve the topping and make two puddings.  One snag: not enough topping.  No problem!  I made up another batch.  How double cool am I?

While they were baking I made up a variation cake mix from TB’s booklets, still not making the connection that I needed to about the egg weighing thing.  I was too high on my double cool new baking skills to do any thinking.

Then I thought, ‘I’m good enough to bake scones.  Yes I am.  I know I am.’  Turns out I’m not.  They were as flat as all the other cakes that didn’t obey Viv.  But you know what?  Who cares?  I baked.  And, what’s crazy: I enjoyed it.

Back Row: peach cake/apple crunchy top/peach crunchy top/variation cake mix, or flatasapancake for short.

Front Row: Viv’s stupendous cakes/all in one buns/what’s laughingly known as ‘scones’.

The scone downstage left is the one made from all the mushed up left over mix.  Perhaps I’ll make them all from mushed up left over mix next time.

Yes, there will be a next time.

Where’s my lollipop?

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Why I Don’t Bother

11 Sep

The Lots of Laughter prompt this week is cook:

 

How To Bake A Cake

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With care and good scales

or you’ll fail. 

You’ll burn it;

flop it; scrape

it off the

plate and pop

it in the bin,

to your children’s accompanying wails.

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