Monday, 12 August 2013

Fun Projects and Making my day...

My daughter was out at the beach with her friend.  When they stopped for lunch, some low life broke into their car and stole beach bags.  They left the iPod which was probably the only item of value, but took swim suits, towels and my daughter's knitting!   Because she has just started collecting supplies and doesn't have much of a stash, all of her needles and notions were in her project bag.   Her birthday was this past weekend, so I made her a new notions bag to replace the one which was stolen and stuffed it full of replacement notions.  Knitting without a few basics can be more fussy, so there are stitch holders, cable needles, darning needles, a needle gauge and stuff like that to get her stash restarted.  Luckily making a quick zippered pouch, even a lined zippered pouch is a pretty quick and easy project.


I worked the bake oven the weekend before.   Usually the oven heats up quickly, when a good fire is started like had been done that day.  Once in a while though, the wind is such that it seems to suck all the heat up the chimney.   The fire wanted to smoulder rather than burn.  It took forever to catch along the length of the oven and then when all was said and done, the oven barely heated up enough to last for what I'd brought along to cook.  Because the temperature wasn't even and didn't hold like it usually does, the bread was a tad too crusty.  A couple of the batches of cookies were burnt, but more because it was incredibly busy and I was distracted telling people about the oven.    What worked perfectly though was an interesting experiment, straight out of Mrs. Beeton's Guide to Household Management, 1859.    I had just enough ingredients for the recipe A Good Useful Cake.   Before I left home I'd done part of the prep for the recipe.  I'd creamed the butter and sugar.   That was a slight deviation to the procedure, but I felt that since I was making a cake from scratch, on a wobbly table, outside under some trees, in what could have been any weather I could live with a few changes that I knew wouldn't affect the outcome.   I'd weighed out the flour, sugar and fruit.  I gotten 3 eggs from my hens the night before, so I'd packed them up in a container for projection and added some milk in a mason jar.   I crossed my fingers that this would be one of the recipes that worked but the ingredient proportions were pretty good, so I had high hopes that it would be at least a reasonable success.   Turns out it is an excellent and very delicious cake.   It had a texture similar to a pound cake, was not cloyingly sweet but had a very smooth and elegant taste to it.   It's a keeper!

My friend called me up today.   She said she was dropping something off at my door but didn't want me to answer it because she had been exposed to chicken pox and didn't want to risk spreading it around.  She said I'd know what to do with whatever it was, when I saw it.  Her husband is a potter and he'd helped me make a bowl a while ago and let me glaze a few pieces of bisque fired dishes that had been kicking around for ages.  I figured that a couple of those had been fired and she was dropping them off.   I hadn't heard Maureen drive up and spent the afternoon making the notions bag.  When my sweetie got home from work, he showed me where he'd put this large white bag.  In it was the most amazing bowl that I'd ever seen.  It was truly a "Wow, this is totally unexpected"   moment   My son looked at it and asked " Mom, are you making bread anytime soon"?    I guess so!  Bread, cakes and all sorts of other things.  This will be the perfect vessel in while to dissect several 19th century cookbooks that have been calling my name!    Look out family, you might be eating some interesting and old fashioned meals in the near future.

3 comments:

Woolly Bits said...

argh, having stuff stolen is annoying enough - even more so when it had no real value for the thief:( or maybe he/she was desperate for some knitting, if they left the ipod?:) that bowl is gorgeous - I see a lot of stirring and kneading coming up...
I would love to have a baking oven like that in the garden, but I don't think it'll ever happen. with only 2 bread eaters heating one up would be far to much work (and cost) to be used often enough to make it worthwhile...

thecrazysheeplady said...

Are you kidding?!? I'm pretty sure that's a karma no-no, stealing knitting.

Great bread bowl. Will have to look for more info on your interesting sounding oven!

Leigh said...

Everything looks wonderful! The bag, genius! The cake, delicious! The bowl, gorgeous! What a great post.