Has begun. New recipe trialled this weekend was for a pineapple and almond cake. Fresh pineapple and brown sugar in the bottom and the cake mix on top, the strangest cake I've made; it's more like a butter cream held together with a little flour and ground almonds. It rose up like a souffle over the top of the tin. The only problem was trying to keep gas 4 (180 C) for 40 minutes and the edges got a little, shall we say over brown! Anyway it's served with the bottom on the top so slicing off the brown bits didn't matter. It was lovely served hot with whipped cream and even better cold with a drizzle of pouring cream, only a couple of slices left. So that's one for the book but with the cooking instructions left in pencil pending further attempts and some fine tuning.
(note to self, take some photos before you eat the results...)
Monday, 14 January 2013
Monday, 7 January 2013
Do you make resolutions? I don’t really, at least I haven’t not for years but when I was a child my family had a list of 19xx will be the year in which I… They were always positive things, not negatives, so no giving up something or promising to lose weight or even to get fit, they’re things to be done and experiences to be had. We’ve sort of carried on, at least in discussions – yes, usually on or around New Year and rarely got any further. So this year is different because I’m at least putting some them down on paper (even if it is an electronic version).
Here’s my list:
Try a new food every month. It was going to be a vegetable but I thought that might be too easy because we eat most veggies and I try any new fruit on the shelf and thus contrarily it might also prove a little difficult getting hold of 12 new untried vegetables, so I’ve opened it up to food meaning it could be a new cheese one month and a new type of sausage another.
Sticking with the food theme, number two is to try a new recipe each month. Again this might not seem that difficult, I’m a sucker for a new recipe so to make it challenging it has to be something new, not a variation on an old favourite, it has to include new ingredients or novel combinations and new cooking methods are very welcome. I’ve got two already! A new beef casserole with prunes and rosemary (novel combination for us) and a new macaroon biscuit made using nut butter, I’ve not used nut butter before except the peanut variety in muffins!
A one off now for number three, still with the food. To experiment with steamed puds in the microwave. I’m an aga cook and a microwave is useful for – well, not much; but aga’s struggle with genuine steamed puds, having the lids up for the length of time it takes to steam drains all the heat out, yes you can oven them but somehow it just doesn’t cook properly. I’m reliably informed that microwaves make excellent puddings, so this year I’m going to find out for myself.
Getting creative now, number four is to practice my drawing with all the lovely new art materials I got for Christmas. One Labrador paw already underway.
Number five is creative too, to get to grips with my camera at last and make it behave as a true SLR – or else I might just have to revert to film. No photoshopping and editing afterwards won’t do, one shot – one picture and no tinkering.
Six is more of a threat than a promise! To get my cupboards, shelves and storage in order. There is some kind of system behind what’s in each (really there is, honest) but as they’ve filled up they’ve spilled over and some are now quite mixed up. Plus I need some space for all those artist’s materials and photographic equipment and prints.
This one is a reawakening, over Christmas I’ve been catching up on my mountainous piles of magazines. 2012 was rather hectic and the newspaper got a cursory once over, my interest magazines had the headlines read but not much else. Well I’ve been catching up and rediscovered how wonderful it is to sit and read about different subjects, skimming some taking time to delve into others. I’ll always have my book at bedtime (even if it’s an electronic one) but somehow to sit and read a book during daylight hours is a sybaritic pleasure for holidays and days out of time but an interest magazine is permissible (don’t ask me why it just is.) Number seven is simply to read.
An inherited one to finish, Dad always said this will the year he would walk from the Battery to Sandsend on the beach. He never did. I threatened it a few times but Juno ate sand and Maia set off for Denmark so we stopped going to the beach because it was more trouble than it was worth. Meaning that Hebe has only once set foot on sand, she’s walked along the cliffs in howling gales watching the rollers and not been bothered. So maybe this year I’ll complete Dad’s list, there again maybe not and it will still be on the list next year!
And last but by no means least, not one for the list but 2013 will be year in which we meet Dido / Storm / Saxon / Hecate – our new Labrador puppy, as yet un-named (also not yet born, we’re looking at a late spring, early summer addition).
Here’s to 2013, may it be a year of new discoveries, rediscoveries and a completed list…