Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ugly cake

Awww! It's a cake only a mother could love really isn't it? We had an unopened tub of sour cream left over from something or other and I remembered that various cake recipes used it. This one is a cinnamon swirl, where you split the plain mixture in two and then add cinnamon and cocoa to one and swirl them together in the tin. The tin was where I went wrong, as I used a silicone loaf 'tin' which, it turns out, is just too flexible. As the cake cooked it swelled outwards producing this rather unnattractive shape. It also caught a little on the top when P decided to do his 'turn the oven up to full when Mummy's not looking' routine. Even with a generous shawl of icing it's not pretty- but it tastes great, and that's the main thing (or is that like saying 'good personality'?!). I definitely don't blame the recipe, which came from this booklet which I rediscovered recently, having saved it from a couple of years ago. Don't know why I haven't used it before- the recipes look wonderful, including one for honey and multigrain bread that may be tomorrow's bake. I'll probably use a metal loaf tin this time, though...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Survival strategies

One day we'll live in a really, really warm house. Just not at the moment unfortunately! While the boys of the family seem impervious to the cold, even in the arctic wastes of the kitchen, I never seem to get warm at the moment unless I'm in bed or in a bath. P's mittens, then, are only worn on sufferance if we're going out, while I spend my days cuddled up in Grandma Crochet blankets, drinking tea and, whenever possible, knitting. The Fairisle has a double deadline now- partly to provide an extra layer of warmth and partly because I want to be able to wear it this season before the baby bump gets too big. Keep warm, everyone.

Monday, January 4, 2010


The Christmas season definitely does its job with me. Just as it did with our ancestors, the season of light and feasting in the middle of the dark winter days always leaves me feeling rejuvenated and re-energised, ready for that shiny, untouched new year. That said, much as I love the red and the gold and the sparkles and rich food, I'm always keen to return to the normal and simple once the last presents are unwrapped and the final Christmas visits completed. Then it's just a rush to get 'thank you' cards sent before our January birthdays come around. As for New Year's resolutions, well I find a whole year a big prospect, especially given what ours has in store. I have a few things in mind, but prefer to take it one day, at a push one month, at a time. At the moment uppermost in my mind is: getting back into practising the piano, making bread again instead of buying it and looking out for Seville oranges coming into the shops so that this year I can join the family tradition of marmalade making for the first time.